Sunday, November 26, 2006

Some post-Thanksgiving river fishing

After a month away from fishing freshwater, I contacted my friend preast to see if he wanted to join me on the San Gabriel river on Saturday morning to pursue some carp on the fly. He said he may be a little late.

The morning turned out to be beautiful. It was still and crisp but it was really foggy. It was so foggy I could barely make out the outline of the 18-wheeler that was parked across the two lanes of the road! I got around it safely though.

I got to the low water crossing around 8am and paddled upstream. It was a gorgeous morning on the water with the cool air, fog, calm water and the changing fall colors in the trees lining the river.

Fishing was slow, by the time preast showed around mid-morning, I had only caught two carp in the shallow limestone flats. So preast and I returned to a pool downstream where I have usually had better luck. preast indicated he never has much luck there. As it turned out, that would change.

I ended up catching one more carp at the pool and preast immediately hooked up with one that was mudding near him. He kept fishing and caught a couple more nice ones including the one he's holding in the photo here (sorry, but all I had was my camera phone which explains the low quality). I really need to ask for a better digital camera for Christmas that I can use for fishing trips.

So, we kept fishing and continued downstream with no additional luck and called it a day. We discussed getting together again in December to fish the Guadalupe river for rainbow trout which is a fish I have very little experience going after but enjoyed catching last year.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Moonlight on the bays

I went down to Corpus Christi this weekend to fish my cousin George once again. Originally the plans were to do an offshore trip but that didn't pan out as there was no scheduled trip out on Friday.

The first thoughts were to fish some bridge lights from the kayak but we ended up fishing with the sail line at Bird Island Basin since the winds were a fairly steady 20 knots from the East to Northeast. We only ended up with a few undersized trout and one keeper trout. We also ended up with two black drum and so we gave up around 2am.

On Saturday afternoon with took the kayaks out to Deadman's Hole. No sooner than we paddled out to the north in search of redfish and got to the deeper water did we stumble onto a large school of keeper to oversize redfish containing dozens and dozens of fish. The water was bronze with redfish. The only problem is they didn't care for any lure or fly we threw at them which was frustrating. According to my cousin, they were hunting by smell not sight. They saw my spoonfly alright since I saw them swim right underneath it. We did catch a few small trout but no reds that afternoon. We decided to come back with the sail line and some live shrimp for a night wade and see if our luck would change.

That night we came back to Deadman's with waders on since the water was a bit cool. The tide was rising fast and we could actually see the water slowly creeping up on shore. We set the sail line out and then after a while took the baitbucket with shrimp out for some wadefishing by moonlight.

The first thing I caught was a small stingray. George caught a small hardhead and I think I had one to but it came off. These are the downsides of live bait; they attract trash fish. George did manage a rat red but the big schools of keeper redfish we had run into that afternoon. Around 11pm we called it a night. The laguna was beautiful in the moonlight. Even without the fish, it had been a good night to be out and about.

This was an interesting trip since I actually got to use four forms of fishing: 1) fly casting 2) baitcasting with shrimp 3) sail lining and 4) baitcasting with artificial lures and none was particularly productive. Oh well, we'll nail them next time.