Just not by my boat……
Check out John Adami and Jimmy Steeds Facebook pages. For those that don’t know they are full time guides here on Falcon Lake as well. Both of which are currently doing silly things out there and it’s fun to watch.
I have been on the water for a few trips of late and also on the water putting in work. (sunk another brush pile and trying to find productive areas that don’t have the dam in the background) Most all of my fish are coming off rocks with sharp drop offs from marker 3 to the dam. Tigers and State Park are also producing a few fish for me and I stress the word FEW. I took my girlies out Monday to check on the Veleno bite and a few other creeks and main lake spots up here. It was tough, tough, tough sledding. Pretty proud of my girls though. They spent 6 hours out there and helped me with a few trees and caught a handful of fish to boot.
Last week loooooooong time clients made their way down to the border to fish with me. Last time Joel was down he dang near stroked a MEGA walrus……missed punching his DD ticket by mere ounces.
This trip Joel had to settle for just a run of the mill 8 pound walrus as his big fish of the trip…..lol.
I love me some Joel and Chad…….those guys were among the 1st to give me a shot damn near 9 years ago. Not too many years go by that Joel isn’t in my boat twice a year. Thanks men.
Here are a few more Jr Walruses from the past couple of days.
As always High Stakes Bassin family…..thanks for reading and see ya along the border soon.
With the Covid 19 thing in the review mirror…….here is a look at my schedules through the month of September. I am booking “all” “small” and “tall” trips with no limitations. (had to slip in a Vegas reference……been a while and miss my craps tables)
Here are pics of my schedules……..and they can also be found using the schedule tab up top.
As you can see the books are wiiiiiiide open. I also want to take a moment to let folks know that we are doing fine financially. I’ve had numerous clients and some non clients reach out and offer financial assistance. I want to be as clear as possible with what I type and how I type it. (remember I’m not an English major)
I REALLY REALLY REALLY appreciated all the texts, emails, and calls offering help. I’m serious….thank you a million times over.
With that being said the family and I are doing fine. I don’t need very many trips to pay my bills and keep my internet and power on so that I can play War Zone on the Xbox. (and hopefully soon, watch sports on DirecTV) Now…….. am I headed out to Vegas any time soon to throw money all over the felt? I believe Mr. Bishop Bullwinkle says it best.
Ok lets shift gears to Falcon Lake and the current fishing conditions. The last week to ten days has seen a lot of localized rain hit our water shed. That rain also had some of the strongest wind I have ever seen in my life. (including the tropical storms I saw in Virginia)
We have come up 5 plus feet…..fantastic development as we head into our tropical season down here. The fishing is pretty damn good most days and as we slow the rise down it will get even better. Here are a few recent fish.
And here is an example of taking a good pic…..and taking a bad pic. Robby caught a 9.03 lb walrus last year with me and was his PB.
Great pic……one of the best I’ve ever taken. Now fast forward to last week……Robby smashes his PB with a 9.66 just missing his MEGA walrus certification card.
I like the pic of Robby, but I sure didn’t get the best of that fish. Yes, I am fanatical about my pics….lol.
Thanks for reading as always and hope to see ya soon.
The last time I wrote I talked about the amazing fishing and being able to catch a dag gone fish anywhere you threw a bait. Fast forward a few weeks and a lot has changed. We have been on a very very slow rise here of late and those of you that know Falcon understand that a rising Falcon Lake can be a tough Falcon Lake. Am I grateful for the foot or so of water? You bet I am and I pray everyday for it as well. But with that said the bite has gotten significantly slower and 75 fish days have turned into 7.5 fish days. (ok maybe not that low……but you get my point) Once we level off and begin to go the other way Falcon will turn on again. I put 3 new brushpiles in about 10 days ago and the good news is that the baitfish have found em…….bad news that’s been it. Been a strange year for the brushpile game for sure, but I fully expect it to go nuclear and soon. Poor numbers aside the big girls have been playing and at times not playing nicely. I lost the biggest fish of my life recently on a 1o xd. She absolutely inhaled that big ole crankbait and she still manage to throw the damn thing. We did get two MEGA walruses in the boat and on a set of scales. The first big ole girl went to Cuatro and it came in at 11.09 pounds.
The second MEGA walrus went to my main man Jim and it came in at 10.33 pounds.
When I grow up I wanna be like Jim. I have never in my life met a more positive, life loving person. He has two sayings that he said 100 times while in my boat.
“You know? I love shit like this”
“You wanna know what I like about (fill in the blank)………EVERYTHING”
We also had the opportunity to take three generations of fishermen out the other day. Mark, his son Josh and his daughter Audrey. To say we had an incredible day on the water together would of been the understatement of the year. I’m still smiling and chuckling. What an awesome family tree.
You wanna know what I like about taking families on the water fishing?
Love ya High Stakes Bassin Fam……see ya in June.
Since I last wrote more fall out from Covid-19 hit Zapata, TX. Unfortunately this list of things I didn’t see coming continues to grow.
A few Items already on the list:
-All major sports shut down
-Las Vegas completely shut down
-A run on toilet paper that made the run on 90’s Beanie Babies and the 80’s Cabbage Patch Kids green with envy.
-Being told to stay home by big brother
-The utter collapse of the oil and gas industry
Now I can add the state by state decision to close lakes and water ways to the public. Never in my wildest of wild dreams did I see that coming……and it actually hit Falcon Lake, TX. For roughly 10 days give or take a day or 3. Falcon Lake went off limits April 8th. All ramps both public and private were ordered by the county be shut down. Now listen…….I do understand why Zapata did what it did. Easter is the biggest celebratory Holiday in these parts. Family and friends gather in the 100’s of 1000’s. If you have ever been here and tried to launch a boat over Easter weekend you know what I am talking about. The boat ramp looks closer to Woodstock than it does a ramp and parking lot. The secondary reason was to slow down the out of town fishermen coming to Zapata to fish. The lake has since re-opened and the last 10 days has seen crowds like I haven’t seen in years. The old expression, “you don’t miss something till it’s gone” has never been more true.
I have tried to stay busy during all this down time. Both boats have had their maintenance done and every lil thing fixed that could be fixed. Both have been detailed and waxed as well. Unfortunately my new boat is in storage as I have yet to pay my taxes on it. That means the boat, motor, and trailer haven’t been registered. My temp tags ran out and Texas Parks and Wild Life remain closed and won’t answer a phone. And for those wondering…..no you can’t register and pay your taxes on a new boat online. (grrrrrr) Soooooooo this is the home of the new boat……for now. (Mrs. High Stakes Bassin says she’ll pay the fine and wants me to use the new boat……might take her up on that tbh)
Luckily my 521vx has had all her maintenance done by the finest of fine folks at South Texas Marine. She received a clean bill of health and is ready for action. Fear not……that boat is a big fish magnet like no other.
I have hit the water a handful of times since last writing. I will tell you that Falcon is fishing the biggest and best I have personally seen since May of 2012. It’s been nearly 8 years since the overall fishing has been this good. What exactly do I mean by this? I mean that you can literally pick any rocky shallow point in the lake and grab a square bill and start whacking fish. From the dam to the Veleno the lake is fishing incredible. Which this is the main reason that the ramps are packed full of fishermen post lock down. I am still only taking a limited number of people fishing through the month of May. I am hopeful that this covid – 19 horseshit will start to become a distant memory soon and can be up and running at 100% by June 1st. If you want to book a trip in the month of May, call me. We can talk about your situation and if it fits my guidelines we will go out and have a trip of 9 lifetimes. Here are a few pics over the last couple of weeks or so.
Thanks for checking in High Stakes Bassin Family.
Until next time…….
I hate to have to do this, but I am postponing all trips through May.
Two main reasons this is being done:
1.) Wife works in the medical/therapy field. Her patients fall into two categories…..new borns and the elderly.(who recently fought off a stroke)
2.) My oldest daughter Sierra has struggled with respiratory issues her whole life including an involved surgery 2 years ago.
There are exceptions and I will still take a select few fishing. You have to meet the criteria below.
1.) Minimal contact with folks outside your immediate family
2.) Drive directly to Falcon to fish with me for the day. (No overnight stays unless you have your own place here in Zapata or it’s same day fishing only)
Please text, email, or call if you have questions.
Well here we are. I was sincerely hoping that the words Corona or Coronavirus or Covid-19, or whatever else you wanna call it, would not of needed to be put into print here on these pages. The reality for me is that my end of March and my entire April has canceled. (except for 4 days in April that are drive in clients and two of those days are drive ins alllllllllll the way from California that are also bringing their own boat) 2020 has been an incredibly slow year for me. (mainly because of me telling folks to not come down because of the terrible fishing here on Falcon during the months of December through February) Now that the fishing has gotten significantly more consistent and heading into the best time of year to be on this lake (March – November) we run into a damn global pandemic. Listen folks I minimized this thing for weeks and chalked it up to media bullshit. I’ll tell you the very second it hit home that this wasn’t bullshit. I was driving back from Missouri with the new boat and my cellphone alerts went crazy with the news that the NBA was postponing their season. Another anvil drop of reality for me was when my home away from home decided to completely shut down and go dark. Las Vegas ain’t completely shutting down just for the hell of it folks. That’s a multi Trillion dollar machine that literally just straight up pulled the plug seemingly overnight.
As far as how this affects my business? Yeah it sucks, but we are prepared for the worst and hoping for the best. My wife, who works in the therapy/medical world, is still working everyday 7 days a week. Now she looks like a hazmat worker when she goes in to visit patients, but her clientele is either newborns or elderly so caution is a must. Our oldest daughter also has had respiratory issues her whole life. So we are being as careful as possible too. Sooooooo should you come down right now and fish Falcon with me? That’s a question that I’m getting a lot and I wish I had the right answer for each specific individual that has asked me that. The common theme of my cancellations over the next 6 weeks? Each trip had at least one individual North of 70 years old. My main man Elmo wanted to come down and fish with me this week. I told him to stay put and I’ll come to him and fish out of his Bass Whacking Wagon.
We had a blast fishing Choke. (he has a house there……and he’s trying to sell it if anyone reading this is interested in owning a house on this wonderful fishery) Pictured is Elmo working his frog……was a lot of fun seeing so many damn topwater strikes. Been a looooooooooong time. No picture fish for us, but it was a lot of fun just to get with Sir Elmo and enjoy a dag gone beautiful day on the water. I had clients from the great state of Kansas come down to fish with me last week. They canceled their flights and jumped into their truck and made the 12 hour drive. The fishing was ok I guess……I was expecting 50 fish days to be honest and we struggled to hit 20 each day. We did, however, catch a few walruses including Mike’s new personal best of 8.74 lbs.
and Jim dam (n) near hitting the MEGA walrus category with his 9 something pounder. (sorry forgot the exact weight)
Here are a few more walruses from that trip….
Clay also came down to fish with me for two days and it turned out to be just 6 hours as the weather kicked our ass to say the very least, but Clay caught about a 30 lb bag on his own with his best 5 looking like picture below.
No walruses but a bunch of Jr. Walruses……Ole Clayboa doing what Clayboa does here on Falcon Lake.
High Stakes Bassin fam please take care of yourself. Jaime, I and the kids aren’t going anywhere. This too shall pass…….
I also want to keep my oilfield friends and family in our thoughts and prayers. That industry is doing what it does….the peaks are awesome, but the valleys are disastrous. Tough, tough, TOUGH line of work to be in.
Be safe, be smart…..see ya soon.
Falcon is spitting out some serious numbers of fish right now. Problem is the quality has taken a nose dive……at least in my boat. We caught 71 the other day without a single fish over 3 lbs. Now that right there is awfully tough to do here on Falcon Lake, but by God we did it. With that said each and everyday somebody on the lake runs into a monster. When it’s your time it’s your time and the only way it will ever be your time is with a line in the water. So if you’re down here and struggling to catch a good one just know we all are having to wade through small fish right now. It could be worse and we’ve seen it worse not long ago. I would rather be wading through half pound fish than wondering when my next bite will be. I heard of a 10 lber caught by a fella fishing for white bass of all things. Like I said when it’s your time it’s your time. Here are a few pics from some recent trips.
and yes the crappie are still very VERY active…….I caught a 2.21 pounder the other day on a dag gone 6 inch senko. Here’s a good one that Justin caught.
And speaking of Justin…….Him and his Grandpa were my first ever clients. Justin was fresh out of college at the ripe ole age of 22. Fast forward to now, he is 31 and heading to med school with a few white hairs in the mix. Where in the Sam HECK does time go. Here is a double from his trip last week. Good times were once again certainly had.
I also got to take out my main lil man Tobin last week……he caught a tough freaking wind day, but he damn sure made the best of it.
as you can see by the pic below ole Falcon took him to the canvas.
I also picked up a new boat this week.
……and Sir James did the honors of catching the first fish.
We will call that a Micro Walrus and my first fish….. a Mini Walrus.
and the biggest catch of the day went to me……..
If anyone kicked this over their boat at the dam recently give me a shout……it’s currently at Falcon Lake Tackle. Busy days ahead here along the border and the fish be a biting.
8 years ago Laura (at the time was Danny’s girlfriend) bought him a guided trip here on Falcon Lake with me. The three of us had a terrific time. Both Danny and Laura caught personal bests that day, but it was the one that got away that would bring Danny back to the border, trip after trip after trip. For 8 years Danny would chase the ever elusive Double Digit MEGA WALRUS with me…….both here in Texas and across the border at Sugar Lake. Over these 8 years he had two other legit opportunities get away from him. He also caught a 9 lb 14 oz near miss MEGA Walrus. Danny has a few roles in my life……client, High Stakes Bassin Senior VP of the Board of Directors, and most importantly a terrific friend. Soooooooo to see him boat his first ever DD was beyond special.
She went 10.64 lbs…….next up? The 11 pound club.
Falcon Lake went full NUCLEAR for about a 3.5 day stretch. Water temps pushed 70 degrees and it got crazy…..like nearly 200 fish type crazy over that span. The most amazing thing was the quality…..of the 200 fish I guarantee 97% of them were keepers. Now listen, most were between 1.5 pounds and 3.5 lbs, but damn that’s a lot of fun. My man Brian came down and caught two that were busting at the seams. (one just shy of 7 and the other just shy of 8)
Here are some typical fish that are being caught….fun, healthy, fighting son of a guns.
If this looks like a good time give me a holler and we will get you in the books and on the border whacking and stacking.
A couple of weeks back I thought the fishing was fixing to explode. I took my girlies out for a few hours and every damn species in the lake was biting. Here are some pics from the carnage.
As you can see …..Sierra had a day including a carp on a crappie rig. For about 30 seconds I thought a MEGA walrus had been duped by a half inch crappie jig. I talked to several folks that fished that day and 85% of em had smiles. Life was good and Falcon Lake was going to go bonkers heading into February. Well fast forward to today…February 11th. I have been on the water 4 times. Twice with clients in 30 mph hurricane force winds. Neither day made noon and one of the days didn’t make 11. I am happy to report no skunks and 7 fish between the two days were caught. All seven fish were clone 2 pound males. The other two times I have been on the water was to run my boat more so than to fish. I do not want to beat up Falcon Lake anymore. So I am not and will focus on the positives.
The lake is in GREAT shape. We are sitting at 264. Our water levels could be better, but 264 is a great depth and I have caught a bazillion fish at this depth over the years.
The lake is LOADED full of fish and just as importantly BAIT. You can’t flip your side scan on and not see shad EVERYWHERE. The lake isn’t fishing slow because of a lack of fish.
If you are reading this and have waited to come down….congrats. You have rolled the dice and won. How long should you wait to come down? Man I wish I had the answer, but I can damn near promise you…..glory is coming.
Even during these tough tough tough times the last 6 weeks or so there have been magical days and fish caught. Heck you only have to go back one day to yesterday. John Adami had a client catch a near miss 11 pounder. Was it a grind? Did they have to put their hard hats on? Sure…..but the payoff here on Falcon Lake can be truly magical.
I have a heck of busy stretch coming and I am going to not only be guiding on Falcon during that stretch, but will be guiding on 3 other lakes as well. Gonna be a fun ride. If you see an opening on the calendar that you like……holler!
Well the three day trip with Rusty and Ron has come and gone. Always look forward to their trips from the time I get the text that they’re coming to the time they’re in my boat. The fishing was as advertised. The first day and last day was a grind, but the middle day turned into a whackfest out of nowhere. The biggest problem over the 3 days wasn’t the number of bites necessarily, but the quality of the bite after the front was pretty poor all three days. We caught fish from 1 foot of water out to 18 foot and everywhere in between. Lures that caught fish were: Spinnerbait, squarebill, deep diving crank, small fluke and senko. The best depth? 10-15 foot. The best structure? rock/gravel. The best bait?senko followed by the crank. We took a pic each day of the type of fish that was being boated…..
We always take a pic together after our trip and this time James from Falcon Lake Tackle did the honors. (and if ya ask me he did a damn good job)
That’s a hell of pair to draw to right there. Thanks, as always, for supporting my business fellas.
This week was also Sierra’s 16 birthday. Sierra is starting to hit those ages now that I still remember from my high school days. When I was her age I was rehabbing a blown out knee courtesy of a cut block in football. I was hell bent on playing baseball in the Spring whether I could run or not. I didn’t pitch that year as I didn’t have enough confidence in pushing off of the right knee. Spent most of the year DHing and limping around the bases. 10th grade was also the year Jaime seemingly appeared out of nowhere into my life and would later become my beautiful bride. I also wrecked about 71 cars. I was that punk, dumbass kid that didn’t respect a vehicle from ages 16 to 19. By the grace of God my friends and I all survived that time period. I can’t say the same for all of our cars however. Holy detour down memory lane……..here are a few pics from BiggiE’s birthday.
….and here are her friends.
I Know I have mentioned this many times over, but I’ll mention it again. My girlies have the best friends that any parent could possibly hope and pray for.
See ya on the water Fam!