Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Pond stress relief

Work this week has been a bit stressful so I left earlier than usual from home to head to a neighborhood pond with my 4wt for a 45 minute stress relief session before heading into work. Fishing was slower than usual but this big Green Sunfish hit my dry fly like a freight train which was cool. These fish are ultra aggressive for their size. I didn't have my digital camera, just the one in my phone which is why it's such a low quality photo.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Yarborough Pass Report (5/20/06)

I went down to Corpus Friday afternoon to fish with my cousin. We set out for Yarborough Pass which is located about 15 miles south of PINS entrance. I took the kayak down to Corpus but left it at his house since the winds were a good 20 to 25 knots and there was little doubt it was going to let up. I took the 7wt fly rod and a casting rod but never pulled the fly rod out unfortunetly.

We got to the pass entrance and checked it out before going full throttle through it to avoid getting stuck in the sand. Good thing we checked because there was a horse trailer stuck in the pass. It had a small Jon boat in it along with two 55 gallon drums loaded up with water! It was being pulled by a duelly diesel dodge ram but the hitch was too high. Eventually they were digging it out with shovels and winching it. After about an hour and a half they finally got it out so we went through. My cousin's Z71 4x4 went through the pass without a problem.

We made a hasty camp in order to set out a sail line for the evening. We got out there just as it was getting dark. We ended up with four trout from 19" to 26" and one nice black drum. The fish were caught on soft plastic eels at the dropoff past the grass line. A friend of my cousin's ended up with several larger trout up to 28" and one slot red.

It was pretty much a slow night. By 11pm the bite seemed to have really ended though my cousin's friend ended up with another nice trout around 24" after midnight.

The next day we pretty much grilled meat, swapped lies and had a good time. There were some ranchers with a large camp there with several teenage boys and small boys that were fishing and running around all day. We did a little wade fishin on the flats for a while with topwaters but no luck. Most of the fishing parties there fished for hours with a couple of reds to show for it.

We were particularly impressed with a 9 or 10 year-old cowboy kid that never stopped. That kid was a hardcore fisherman. He finally hooked a good red as we watched. That was pretty cool.

That evening we ended up catching a couple of more fish. I caught a nice keeper black drum on a clear soft plastic minnow with blue flecks that I had found on the shore! Want not waste not.

We left around 2am Sunday morning. It was not the most productive trip but it was still lots of fun. The flats had clear water with lots of grass. There were some spots though loaded with rays so it required an eye out for them.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Borski Haystack

In preparation for Yarborough Pass this weekend, I tied a new fly pattern based on Borski's Haystack pattern. I chose this one because I've liked the action of rabbit fur strips lately so I wanted to try something similar for the salt. I think the fly came out really well for my first one and it was relatively easy to tie. I did forget the weedguard which I am going to retrofit before I leave. I tied it in black & purple because I probably will be using it in low light conditions in the early morning.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

If I had a Barbie fishing rod

Yesterday, we went to Academy's Sports & Outdoors store to get my 8 year old son a youth compound bow (and a quiver with arrows) and my 5 year old daughter asked for a Barbie fishing rod to replace the hand-me-down Scooby Doo rod from my son. We've been practicing casts all day. You know, I own lots of high end tackle (conventional and fly) but to see how happy that $10 rod made her and the accomplishments of casting 30 ft where she wanted it to go was pricessless. Next task is to get her catching lots of brim at the pond. If your wondering why she's got a jacket on, no it's not cold. We started getting light rain and that did not deter her, she went inside and grabbed a coat and came back out to keep casting. She obviously has her daddy's attitude! :D

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Still my biggest bass

The end of this month will mark three years since I caught my largest largemouth bass to date. She weighed 8.1 pounds and was 24" long. I caught and released her at the small quarry lake I was fishing. I had caught a small male a few minutes before and it had torn up my last plastic worm (yes, I was using conventional tackle) and so I switched to a watermelon green color plastic lizard bait that I rigged Texas-rigged style. I cast it out and felt a hit and set the hook. Next thing I know, this humongous bass leaps out of the water! It did that three times with it's tail slapping the water but luckily I was able to bring her to the kayak. I was also lucky in that I had my digital scale and a disposable camera with me. So I took her measurements, took a couple of photos and let her go. I never saw her again. I've caught several four and six pound bass but nothing close or larger than that eight pounder. Hopefully, I'll get a double-digit bass one of these days.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Two weeks 'til Yarborough Pass

Looks like I'll get a chance to head back to the Texas coast in a couple of weeks. I talked with my cousin from Corpus Christi and he's planning a fish-a-thon at Yarborough Pass. Cool! YP is located about 15 miles south of Padre Island National Seashore near Corpus Christi. I finally get a chance to satisfy a salt fix. The last time I fished saltwater was in March (that trip yield a 28" gator speckled trout but that's another story to tell once I get a copy of a photo of the trout). YP is in a fairly remote location that needs a 4x4 vehicle to get you there but once you get there there are some prime flats on the Laguna Madre side to catch redfish and speckled trout. I'm pretty excited about this. Hopefully, I'll get to catch my first slot red for the year that weekend!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Bonker Zonker

Since the majority of my fishing occurs in Central Texas in freshwater lakes and rivers, my favored target is largemouth bass and so I'm always in search of that one fly that will always entice them to bite plus catch quality size bass. I think I have come close with that after having discovered the Bonker Zonker. It's simply a rabbit fur strip with some pearl cactus chenille. So far the bass seem to really like this fly. Since I prefer sub-surface flies, this seems to be a good one in that it has so much action plus it's weighted enough to sink as fast as I need to such as when fishing the lake though I can strip it quicker, like most streamers, if need be when river fishing. I'll likely take a couple of these to try in saltwater. I expect they will be liked just as much by speckled trout as by bass.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Catchin' these little fish is fun!

I had a blast with my Sage 4wt fly rod catching greenies and redbreast sunfish after recent thunderstorms added more water to the local pond. All these little guys plus the small bass were hanging out at the intake to the pond for whatever comes down the pipe...including my flies. ;-) I really enjoy catching large redfish, speckled trout, largemouth bass, and carp when I can but brim (what we call them in Texas; other folks might say call them bluegill) can be just as fun on ultra-light tackle when they're biting...and they were biting. :D