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The Falcon Fishing Report

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Mother Nature 2019 or mid 80’s Mike Tyson?

Geesh……..I would rather take the Tyson upper cut personally. Good grief….I have had to cancel 8 days since we last talked. One day the South wind is Blowing 40 and the next the North is blowing 25. In my line of work this stuff happens though. I really feel for my clients/friends that look forward to coming down here and hunting these Falcon Lake Walruses and I sure do hate having to tell them news they don’t want to hear. This year has been the very worst year I have had from a weather/cancellation perspective without question. When we have been able to get on the water the fishing remains tough. We are battling some post spawn blues along with Mother Nature punching us in the mouth. Here a few pics of fish that are very common right now.

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The good news is we are catching a lot of quality 3 to 5 lb fish and not a lot of dinks whatsoever…..and every now and again magic will still happen along the border. Just ask my man Randy who boated this near miss MEGA Walrus that went 9.21 lbs.

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The fishing will improve folks…..trust me on that. The shad spawn is imminent as we are starting to see these beautiful specimens everywhere.

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The offshore bite is coming along, but certainly not at the rate of speed I would like to see, but we are geared up and ready for it.

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Zapata County Fair has come and gone…….and I have taken that pic below every year. Time flies

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I had a big response to the “incidents” on Falcon Lake that have been blasted all over social media. I also copied several negative quotes from posting forums about South Texas and Zapata. I have opted to keep my comments and thoughts off the internet. I will say this and I have said many many many many times over, both verbally and in print. You could give me a briefcase with a million dollars cash in it and tell me I had to move from Zapata, TX. I would tell you to take that briefcase and shove it where the sun don’t shine. That sentiment has nothing to do with the fishing either and has everything to do with my neighbors, friends, the workers at the grocery store, post office, pizza hut, subway, steak house, Stripes gas station, the motels and hotels and the beautiful ladies at the Dollar General who always greet my girlies and I with a wonderful smile and great conversation. This small town has treated my family better than anyone deserves and I love it with every fiber of my being.

 

Jay

 

 

Basschamps recap and the week ahead.

Basschamps has come and gone for 2019. The competitors caught one heck of a break too. The weather guessers predicted some really really strong gusts and Champs decided to make this a trailer-able event. The forecast was wrong and the really strong winds never hit. Here is a look at my predictions and the actual (in BOLD).

 

My Basschamps predictions over the years have been spot on. The one tomorrow may break some records and I ain’t talking about the records you wanna see broke either.

1st Place – 27.94 pounds

34.05 took home first place…..INCREDIBLE tournament for Bret Fisher and Rick Cathey. Second place fell more in line with my 1st place prediction at 26.81 lbs.

Check line – 17.43 pounds

16.50 was the check line.

Big Bass – 9.13 lbs

We had one bass creep over the 10 lb mark for the tournament and it went 10.14 lbs caught by the 2nd place team of Dennis Odell and Frank Mixon.

50% of the field will not weigh 5 keepers

151 teams launched their boat here on Falcon Lake for the tournament. 79 of those anglers didn’t weigh 5 fish which comes to 52%.

 

What does all this mean? I talked to several teams and every single one of them mentioned the same thing. Bites were at a premium and fishing clean was critical. A fine example of that was team Texas Boat World of Cliff Brown and John Riley. They weighed 3 fish, but one of which was a 9.43 near miss MEGA Walrus. They had 2 other fish on that would of moved them up the ladder significantly. In a word? GRIND……… which certainly is no surprise to this guy.

 

The majority of the fish are transitioning from the spawn right now and the fishing will get better very soon as the offshore bite begins to take shape. And you can believe I’m ready for a change of scenery. We are off tomorrow with the second cancellation day in a row. I will be out there manana regardless in preparation for the trips ahead.

 

See ya in March!

 

Jay

From 43 fish days to 3 fish days to everywhere in between and my annual Basschamps prediction

It has not been easy here along the border. Have we had a good day or two? Sure, but the other days have been nothing short of terrible and I’m not just talking about the catching either.

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That’s Barbara the Walrus Whacking Barbarian in there and yes it was BRUTALLY cold for their trip and that’s been a common theme with the exception of the 90 degree days we had last weekend. Some February’s are magical…..February of 2019 will not be described as such.

 

OK, OK, OK…….I’m done beating up my beloved Falcon hopefully for the rest of 2019. With all the struggles recently we still managed 3 personal best Walruses.

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I also can’t say enough great things about all of my clients that have come down during this tough tough tough stretch. Every single trip was a great time on the water even when the catching was anything, but spectacular. MANY MANY MANY thanks over. Here are a few Jr. Walrus from the last handful of trips.

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My Basschamps predictions over the years have been spot on. The one tomorrow may break some records and I ain’t talking about the records you wanna see broke either.

1st Place – 27.94 pounds

Check line – 17.43 pounds

Big Bass – 9.13 lbs

50% of the field will not weigh 5 keepers

 

I wish em the best as they will also have your typical February weather to contend with as well. Be Safe.

 

Family fun, Doc, Elmo and GTO Paul

I got the chance to take my girlies out Saturday for a few hours and they blasted the fish as you can see by the pics below. The only bummer is that Jaime and I both jumped off fish well over 10 pounds. Jaime’s fish was one of the bigger bass I’ve seen on Falcon since Tom’s 12 pounder that was caught two years ago. Traps and small squarebills are tough to keep buttoned up in these giant bass when you have to pull on em so damn hard to keep them up and out of the trash.

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They had such a good time Saturday we decided to go out for a couple hours before the Super Bowl started on Sunday. Unfortunately the bite wasn’t nearly as good Sunday.

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Next up was Elmo and Doc…….and for whatever reason the bite (especially the big bite) really was terrible. Here are a couple of examples of the quality we got into.

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GTO Paul was on the ticket yesterday and goodness he had his way with these Falcon Lake bass. The guy was like Babe Ruth calling his shots all day. The quality you ask?…….Paul damn near had a 30 lb bag on his own. Falcon Lake showed off a bit yesterday and so did GTO.

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…….and in a rare Sasquatch type of siting…..I actually got into the big fish party as well.

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We have a heck of a front blowing in as I type…….and the next 3 days are gonna be cold as shit. Clay and Barbara are en route and told me they ain’t scared of snow, ice, and wind. I told em…..let’s go fishing weather be damned.

Eleven pound legends from Colorado.

The last time these men were along the border this happened…..

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On the final day of their trip in 2017 they boated back to back 11 lbers. To say that was a special trip would be the understatement of the century. Mike and Phil saw a much much much tougher bite here in 2019 than they saw in 2017. The weather certainly wasn’t our friend either. With all that said, goodness we had a fun freaking time and caught quite a few fish with a couple good ones and a couple good ones that got away. These men are off to the St. Lawrence River in a few months to chase the ever elusive 6 pound smallmouth and I wish em nothing, but the very best.

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We are still dropping water here on Falcon Lake.

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You have to go all the way back to December of 06 to January of 07 to see this kind of significant drop (4 to 5 foot) this time of year. Many many many times over the history of this lake we are coming up with the help of Amistad in preparation for the looming irrigation season. I certainly don’t want to see Amistad lose water, but a little help heading into March/April would be appreciated let there be no doubt.

 

A terrific 2019 is off to a great start…….here’s to a FABULOUS February.

Falcon Lake Rollercoaster – A – Palooza 2019 Edition

It’s been a looooooooong time since I have seen Falcon Lake be so damn hot and cold both figuratively and literally. We have seen 74 on the clicker here of late, but we’ve also seen 13 on our fingers and three toes. Most days consist of hours with no bites then BLAM you find a shit pile of em and you sit there and whack 10-20 on nearly every single cast with some good ones mixed in too. Then? You go another couple of face slapping hours with nary a bite and BLAM it’s a whackfest for 30 minutes…….wash, rinse, repeat. I have been fishing every square inch of Falcon Lake from up river to the dam…… both in brush and in the rocks…..out deep and in less than a foot of water and everywhere in between. The common theme to all of it is putting in your time and keeping a line wet regardless of how you are attacking Falcon Lake. If you pinned me down and told me I could only fish one spot with one lure? I would still pick a creek from Tigers on South……any of em. Head to the back and grab a trap and a hard hat and get to work. Been a fun start to 2019. I have the weekend off, but will be back at it next week. I think Mary Poppin’s is on the docket for manana.

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And my favorite 2019 pic so far?!?!

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Man I love father/son trips. Dave’s been at it for over 70 years and we beat his personal best…….and nearly got him a MEGA Walrus to boot. We will put that on the to do list for next year.

 

Give me a holler if any of the above looks fun. Would love to have ya down.

 

Jay

 

 

HIGHSTAKESBASSIN.COM 2018 – A Year in Review

2018 is gone and what a freaking year it was here along the border. More specifically? Falcon Lake. As most of you know most of my trips over the last three years have been on Sugar Lake Mexico. 2018 was an entirely different story as Falcon Lake was just too hot to ignore. What a fun year here in Zapata, TX. Let’s take one final look at the year that was 2018.

 

January –

January was a tough month(one of the few). I was still trying to fight the green algae bloom on Sugar and really struggling. We also saw Falcon fishing pretty tough with the bait fish trying to survive the frigid weather that we were seeing. We still managed a few good fish, but they were certainly earned.

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Check out the pic below….what do you notice? Dean was tossing a red trap…..the trap bite was ok last year, but certainly nothing compared to what we are seeing right now.

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February –

Falcon REALLLLLLY started to go crazy in February and was a sign of things to come in 2018. We were still knee deep in the bush and having a blast battling walruses in the jungle.

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February also marked Clay and Barbara’s first trip down to see me and good grief we whacked the numbers of fish.

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March –

Good grief March was insane……we started targeting offshore giants and boy did we whack em. MEGA Walruses? You bet. Including these two DD’s from Long Ron and Clayboa.

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Here a few more Walruses from March.

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We also got a shinny new Tow vehicle for the business which I have thoroughly enjoyed.

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April –

We were blessed to start the year with some great water levels. (283 and change) But with April arriving and the irrigation season kicking off we saw the plug get pulled and wow did we lose some water. With that being said the fished loved it and the drop shot bite was simply incredible. I also got to see my folks for the first time in 2018 as Mom and Dad came down to visit. Pops got him some great fish and we had a blast on the water like we have for 30 plus years.

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Here are a few more good fish from April including my Boyzzzzzz from Illinoiszzzzzzzz

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May –

May was a special month. I was able to head up North and celebrate my Dad’s 70th birthday doing what we love to do the most and that’s watching Tribe baseball.

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I also rolled out to Vegas for my first trip of 2018 as well. I met these two crazy cats out there.

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Fishing was still incredible in between my vacations…..Including my man Troy’s MEGA Walrus!

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Here are a few more beauties.

 

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June –

June saw the very best day I have ever had on Falcon Lake. Clay came down to fish a two day tournament with me and day 1 was a day I’ll never ever forget. We had the fish on to put a 50 lb bag in the boat. We saw everyone one of em….problem? Each one of those fish came unbuttoned in gut wrenching fashion. I don’t know how many 4-8 lb fish we caught that day, but it was truly special.

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June also saw a client catch back to back MEGA Walruses on back to back days. It was a couple of days Andrew won’t soon forget.

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And my favorite pic of 2018? God knows I love my girlies……time just won’t slow down unfortunately.

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July –

The water continued to leave Falcon Lake and we were launching off the banks at the State Park. The dam bite was a life saver for all of us guides as it was really the only bite that was consistently worth a dam*n. Mind you it was full blown awesome……..

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I also got a nice plug in Bassmaster Magazine.

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August – 

August marked a return to Sugar Lake and Clay and Barbara had a monster trip.

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This would be my last trip on Sugar Lake and it was like old times with two great friends. Falcon continued to cruise as well with several good trips mixed in.

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August was very busy off the water as well with another Vegas trip and a trip to PA for my Mom’s 70th. What a great time.

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September –

September marked the end of our water going down for 2018 and the start to a WONDERFUL rise that put us back on the State Park ramp. Fishing at the dam continued to be as strong as I’ve ever seen it and it continued to pump out walruses(and Mega Walruses) at a break neck clip.

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October –

We continued to get rain along the border and we continued with our levels going up and up. The fishing as a whole got very very very inconsistent to say the least. Some days were incredible while others were a complete grind. With the rapid influx of water the offshore/dam bite slowed to a crawl. Geoff and Kimbo came down to visit me and they were fortunate enough to have one of their three days go full nuclear.

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November –

November was an absolute monster for numbers of 1-3 lb. I’m serious ….problem? I didn’t catch a single picture worthy fish and that is REALLY REALLY strange. The highlight of the month was heading home to see my folks after Thanksgiving and hunting with my Dad. If I could hit the rewind button and do that trip again I would……over and over and over and over again. We spent most of our time just sitting around watching football and basketball……talking and shooting the shit. Fun freaking time.

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December –

December started there……

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and ended here……

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December of 2018 was the best December I have ever had here on Falcon Lake. The trap bite has been out of this world and 2018 went out in fine fashion with John and Jodie participating in an absolute Falcon Lake WHACKFEST.

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Jodie also brought in 2019 with a MEGA WALRUS!!!!!

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That freaking tilapia was the thickest I’ve ever seen…….you could of fed a family of 4 for two days with those filets. I am looking forward 2019 here along the border and hope to see all you soon. Happy New Year!!

 

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Falcon Lake, Pennsylvania, and one last Vegas trip for 2018

First off……. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! I hope everyone reading this has a happy and safe Holiday Season.

Falcon is going out like it came in for 2018. In a word? Simply amazing. Well that’s two words I guess, but certainly appropriate. I have seen a lot of rattle trap bites in my day from all over this great country. Epic days from the likes of: Lake Erie, Okeechobee, Stick Marsh Farm 13, Chowan River, James River, and many others. The Trap bite I am seeing right now here on Falcon Lake is the very best I have ever seen. Heck I went out and bought two brand new outfits specifically designed to throw em.

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Here is a look at a few fish from the last handful of days on the water.

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If ripping traps through flooded growth sounds like a damn fun time…..give me a ring. I am VERY confident you will not be disappointed. The end of November and the beginning of December also included some vacation time for me. I flew home to see my folks and hunt with my Dad. I absolutely live to spend time with them and this trip to see em was really needed on many levels. How was the hunting you ask? HAHAHAHA……not as good as the Falcon Lake rattle trap bite.

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This was the only buck I saw and I let this monster walk……lol. Mom and I also snuck off to the Erie casino one night as well.

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And speaking of casinos….I took a detour after leaving Erie and headed out to my home away from home for a few days as well.

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I will have a year in review post up within the week. Always fun looking back at the year that was.

 

See ya soon.

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving from Team High Stakes Bassin

I had the opportunity to take out Chris from Arkansas today. He told me that he has read my report and knew the cold front was gonna kill the bite, but he still wanted to go and give em heck. I certainly appreciated the positive thoughts and the fish must of felt Chris’s positive vibes today as well. We zeroed the first two hours as once again I went for the 8-10 foot creek channel bite. Our last 6 hours you ask? Chris caught nearly 50 fish on his own. It got silly a few different times. The only bummer and please don’t take this as I am complaining because I’m not. The size of every single fish was between 1-3 lbs. We could not get the bigger bite going. We caught fish on a variety of baits, but once again the trap dominated. Chris even broke out the BIG OLE 1 oz traps and the fish smoked em. A perfect day on the water with a great client the day before Thanksgiving. It just doesn’t get much better.

 

Thanks High Stakes Bassin family and friends.

Been on the water a BUNCH and………..

…….wow is the fishing tough. I’m serious. I have seen tough fishing on Falcon over the years…..yes it happens even on this world class fishery. These last 10 days or so have ranked right up there as the worst I have ever seen. Right now my Mother has my number half dialed to tell me to put a positive spin on this. My positive spin? I have not had a lot of jobs and people in my boat. I guess that’s not positive either…..lol, but I am not a fan of disappointing folks that step in my boat and right now Falcon is just not fishing worth a damn and I’m glad it’s just me out there most days.

 

Today I wasn’t by myself however. Paul was back on Falcon and in my boat again. He was down about 12 days ago or so and didn’t boat a fish. Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised when he called me this week to take him out again. Today was MUCH better and was soooooo happy we caught plenty of fish. The size? A big bag of MEH, but was just damn awful happy Paul came down and was able to whack on em a bit. The hot bait today was without question a chrome and blue lipless crankbait. We also caught a couple offshore on a Texas rig fluke. Those fish were our smallest of the day surprisingly. Our creek fish were all small keepers. I am taking the rest of the week off as we have a nasty cold front looming Friday. I am actually looking forward to it…….lol. CAN’T HURT!!

 

I will be back at em next week……Walruses be damned.

 

 

 

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