Here we are, another year mere minutes away from being in the books. Mind boggling where time goes. Let’s dig in and check out the year that was.
January was all about getting healthy and going to physical therapy.
I was still very concerned about my neck at this point and continued struggle following my surgery in late November. Was certainly a tough way to bring in the New Year. Here is a look at the first fish of 2017…….there was only one way to go and that was up.
February marked my return to work and I can’t tell you wonderful it was to get back to doing what I love. I was fortunate enough to land this 11.17 pound Falcon Lake Mega Walrus to start my comeback trail in 2017.
March was ladies month here at High Stakes Bassin.
I also got into the act in March landing this 11.55 pound Sugar Lake MEGA WALRUS.
That wasn’t the only Sugar Lake MEGA WALRUS of the month either. Terry got him a brand new personal best in grand style.
My first Vegas trip of the year and I look forward to Vegas every spring with my Sister and Mom. This year our trip is in May.
The fishing in April was just silly as well. Mega Walruses? You bet.
May is arguably my favorite month to fish down here on the border, but I can tell you May of 2017 was not my best May in the history of the biz. Water levels were dropping faster than I have ever seen and for that matter faster than ANYBODY had ever seen. Both Sugar and Falcon were getting drained.
I got to spend a week with my Dad as he celebrated his last birthday in his 60’s. Next stop 70’s and hopefully many more. Sugar Lake Motel sure did a great job helping me celebrate with Pops.
Fear not! My man Tim would not let the month of May slip on by without boating a Sugar Lake MEGA WALRUS. I promise you that fish was well EARNED.
We also had a few good trips on Falcon while the lake dropped like a rock.
As tough a month that May was……June was a walrus parade lead by Wade da Walrus Hunter.
My second Vegas trip of the year was on the books. Vegas is my home away from home and has been for nearly 20 years.
The fishing along the border in July was just silly. Summer time bassin down here at it’s absolute finest.
The month of August marked the beginning of some incredible rain events for the great state of Texas. Harvey was a full on disaster. So many incredible Texans rose up to help others and answered the bell. August also marked the month that a new addition was welcomed into the High Stakes Bassin Family. The boat has had more issues than I care to admit including a dead trolling motor and a wiring issue that put it out of commission for over a month. Here’s hoping it has a healthy and productive 2018.
Our prayers along the border were answered. We caught significant rain and water in the nick of time. We are now sitting at 284 and change which puts us in tremendous shape heading into the new year. September also marked the passing of one of the very best human beings to ever walk on this Earth. He’s in a great place with Grandma looking down at a family tree that will continue to grow, love, and prosper.
I think October was arguably the best all around month from a fishing perspective in 2017. Both Sugar and Falcon were firing on all cylinders.
As mentioned above…..my new boat has had rocky beginning let there be no doubt.
That rocky beginning still, as you can see, has not stopped us from having monster trips.
November and December –
My wife and I did have a terrific Vegas trip in November. My days as a 30 something officially ended while on that trip.
2017 started out pretty damn tough and it’s going out that way too. I have had to cancel more trips the last two months than what I’ve had to cancel the last 6 years combined including 6 days this week with father son combos. The weather has been nothing short of terrible and the fishing not much better of late. I also have just recently got to 100% after getting the death plague that has been going around Zapata for the last 6 weeks. Good days ahead in 2018.
For those that are still reading these words……..thanks. I hope and pray to see each and every one of you in 2018.
Happy NEW YEAR!!!!!!
It was a 4 am wake up call along the border this morning. Yeesh, I thought the older kids get the longer they sleep in! I am currently working on my year in review posts and going through the pics. Always fun. Hopefully ya’ll had a Merry Christmas today and here’s wishing you the very best in 2018.
Yesterday I took Glen and his wife Karen on Falcon Lake and the fishing wasn’t near as spectacular as I was hoping for. The good news is we caught fish (14) and Karen caught her first ever bass (3). Right now fish are stacking up in small groups and in smaller areas along creek channels and drains. Some days and areas you got to throw a crankbait right smack dab down the middle in 8 to 15 foot of water and others you gotta parallel the brush line in 3 to 6 foot. We did a little of everything yesterday and in most cases struck out. This time of year can make you a hero, but it can also damn well make ya zero. I certainly had a terrific time with Glen and Karen. Glen and I have quite a bit in common. Scary actually……lol. Check out the lizard Glen spotted in the retama. Don’t ask me how he saw it. It took Karen and I several seconds with him pointing right at it for us to see ole Larry.
I have spent countless hours on the water along this wonderful border and I have NEVER seen such a creature. And if Glen would not of pointed him out I still would not of seen such a creature….lol. During one of our take offs yesterday my motor had a “hiccup”. A very concerning “hiccup”. Sooooooo today I went out and ran the dog out of that motor. I put that girl on plane…..off plane….on plane…..off plane…..etc, etc, etc…..5,173 times and that “hiccup” never happened again.
A nasty ole cold front is on our door step yet again. Ugly stuff….I’m gonna bundle up till next week.
Back to back lows in the 30’s?!?! Yikes…….yep winter is here, even in Zapata. I fished with Mr. Steve Monday and Tuesday before all this mess hit. We did very well Monday and even caught an 8.35 lb Falcon walrus.
We thought Tuesday was going to be off the hook……we got out there and fished right up until the front was on our doorstep. I’m going to tell ya, it was as bad a bite as I’ve seen all year on any lake. Steve caught one fish on one bite. I caught one fish on one bite. Don’t ask me…..was a tough 4 hours of fishing for sure.
We will see ya back on the water when it warms back up into the 60’s. Heck I’ll take 50’s at this stage of the game. Anybody have an ice auger I can borrow?
Finally got my new boat back and on the water yesterday. Boat ran good and the girlies whacked on some fish. The girlies did work on spinnerbaits and Jaime and I threw traps at em. I also caught one fish on a senko. This was the first time I’ve launched here on the north end since the Lake picked up 20+ foot of water. We only had time to look at one creek and it sure had plenty of fish willing to cooperate. Were they monsters? Nah, but we did catch two in the 4 lb class. Sierra is getting pretty damn good with a baitcaster. She had only one backlash and chunked that spinnerbait relentlessly. Madison is doing extremely well with the spinning gear too. Pretty cool to go out now as a family and everyone is whipping the water and wanting long cast competitions…..lol. I’ll be back on the water the next two days with Mr. Steve. We will be in my boat mañana and his Tuesday. Needless to say I’m looking forward to it.
My last Vegas trip for 2017 is in the books and Jaime, Danny, Laura and I had a pretty damn good time. Forty freaking years old. Time flies when you’re having fun. I turned 20 in Pennsylvania, 30 in Virginia, and now 40 in Texas….well technically Vegas. Life isn’t a straight path…..lol and I am sure grateful to be sitting here typing these words right now. Here are a few pics from the 40th Birthday in Viva Las Vegas.
The fishing was out of this world prior to leaving for Vegas, but can tell you that it has come back down to Earth unfortunately. With that said we are still whacking on plenty of fish. We also got a hell of treat a couple days back as well. We were fishing beside Mark Pena when he came over and asked to borrow my scales. I said sure and asked Mark how big he thought it was. He said it might be a DD…..lol. He pulled her out of the livewell and I honestly thought I was gonna see 13 on my scales for the first time ever. Nooooo 13, but 12.04 lbs did flash up on the screen.
Congrats Mark! This isn’t the first DD I have taken a picture of for Mark…..lol. The guy is a stud no doubt.
Here are a few more nice pics from my boat the past couple of trips to Falcon and Sugar.
And nothing beats a brand new personal best from Sugar Lake…….gotta love the look of pure joy. Congrats Mr. Waggy!!! She hit triple 8’s on the scales.
I also got terrific news in regards to my new boat. There was nothing wrong with the motor as it turns out. The issue was a faulty wiring harness on Rangers end. I’m glad to get it back as my back up boat now is having lower unit issues and it’s off to the shop tomorrow. I will be staying home for the holidays this year and have plenty of availability heading to the new year. Drop me a line if a walrus hunt for Thanksgiving or Christmas sounds like a good time.
Falcon Lake flexing her muscles, Sugar heading to 100% capacity, and a Mercury Pro XS bites the dust
Folks I rarely sound the all call alarm if ever, but if you are reading this right now? Shoot me an email or text and get on the books. Remember a couple weeks back I wrote that Falcon would go bonkers with this new water? Well it certainly has and I believe it will continue all the way through the spring and beyond. Ya don’t believe me? Check out the last three days here on Falcon and these are just the best pics we took.
Biggest weighed in at 9.26 lbs Pictured below.
Our best 5 stringers went 32, 35, 36. Kimbo and Geoff certainly had em a trip to remember. Thanks for coming back down men.
Sugar Lake will be going bonkers soon as well. It is heading towards 100% capacity as I type. Even with the water coming up over a foot a day we still had damn good fishing over there as well.
With all this great news about Sugar and Falcon…..I got hit in the face today with yet another engine failure. My brand new Mercury Pro XS with 12 hours on it went down. Luckily it was at the end of the day and John Adami was nice enough to help a brother out and tow me in. I’ll be driving it back to Texas Boat World Friday. This business provides some epic highs like what you see above with wonderful clients…..but man this business will show ya some lows too as seen in the pic below.
I have had to unpack my workhorse boat far too often over the last 3.5 years.
J.J. ain’t happy with the latest developments either.
The ole 2004 Ranger 521vx is now packed up and ready to go back to work. Man I love that boat and can’t imagine where I would be without it. My three day trip to Sugar cancelled due to some nasty fronts looming…….so I am off to Texas Boat World to deliver my broken down “new” boat. After that, my 40th birthday is on the horizon and I’ll give you one guess as to what I’ll be up to.
Take care gang and get yourself down here……..
Let’s start with the good news. Sugar Lake is on fire and words can’t describe just how fun it is. Are we catching a lot of fish North of 6 lbs? No, but the number of 2-5 lb fish is just off the charts……and no I’m not talking about 8 inch 2 lbers. I’m talking legit fun 2-5 pound mean as a rattle snake fish……here is some Sugar Lake bass porn courtesy of Kelly, Alan, Clay, and Barbara “The Walrus Hunting” Barbarian.
And look at these three beasts from “Da Walrus Hunter”
Oh and there is this lil nugget from Monday……..
My clicker took the Nestea plunge mid way through the day and we were well within striking range of the 100 mark. So Clay downloaded a clicker app on his phone. As you can see the mission was accomplished…..109. Sugar is truly a special place and with this new water it just picked up? Man O freaking man.
Well another baseball season is in the books and another disappointing finish for my Tribe.
Luckily I “hedged” my rooting interests the last two games for that of monetary gain. I’m pretty sure most of you who read this site know why my business name is “High Stakes”.
I just back from a terrific trip to Sugar Lake Mexico with my man Danny. The first day Danny straight whacked the fish from start to finish. Walruses? you bet……
The weapon of choice was a deep diving Spro……
I fished plastics most of the day and let him whoop up on me. Day 2 rolled around and I decided to give him a run for his money and I switched to a crankbait. There was only one problem……for whatever reason they were COMPLETELY off the crank. Finally I got tired of chunking and winding and switched to the Zoom Ole Monster. Turned into a whackfest real quick like. We didn’t catch a single fish over 6 lbs today.
As many of you know Falcon has and is catching some incredible water. (more on that in sec.) Danny and I got to Sugar and were expecting to see that the lake had come up too. Well it didn’t…..maybe and I do mean maybe a few inches since my last trip in August. With that said during the 36 hours that we were there the water has arrived and I’m happy to say ole Sugar is now on the rise as well.
When Danny and I showed up, that ramp was barely in the water. Pretty exciting to say the least…..and you wanna talk about exciting?
We have picked up 11 foot of water and counting since Tuesday. Folks, this kind of water is a game changer for our fisheries down here.
My October will be a blur, but I do have a few openings…..if fishing in some fresh new water sounds like fun give me a holler. Here is a video from the last time we flooded a bunch of new growth in October.
Explosive? Hahahahahahahahaha…….doesn’t get much better.
My Grandpa passed away last week. He was 93 years old. That pic was the last time I went golfing with him……August 22nd 2010. (Thanks for taking that pic Charlie!!) I got to see him one last time while I was in PA this past August. It was tough and has been tough the last year and a half. My Mom and her sisters were amazing during that stretch. I could literally write a book about how great my Grandpa was in every single aspect of life. I’m not going to write that book here because the book, even though he’s gone, will never have an ending. My family, my kids, my grand kids, my great great great great grand kids will carry on with his ideals, with how he lived life, with how he loved family more than anything, and with how he treated people………forever.
“Family is everything”
See ya on the other side Grandpa
I just finished watching the tribe win 21 straight this afternoon. I was supposed to be at Sugar, but I am having trailer issues and I don’t have my paperwork back for the new boat. Soooooooooo we are in a bit of a holding pattern for Sugar. I am hopeful that the trailer will be fixed Friday. Fingers crossed!! I have been on Falcon quite a bit of late. The fishing is very average in my opinion. Yesterday afternoon could of been epic, but we just couldn’t land the big ones. I was the main culprit…..I could not keep the big girls glued on the chrome and blue trap I was using. I’m fishing that trap in some serious junk so you have to pull for all of your worth to get em out and they just wouldn’t stay buttoned up. I did get a 6 and two 5’s to the boat, but that was it…..I was probably 3 for 10. Literally. The average size fish here on the North end of the lake is pretty decent right now.
Those pics give you an idea of what we are catching a lot of at the moment here on Falcon. We had a beaver at the boat ramp trying to help too……lol.
…..and my girl Marlie was happy that I stayed home today as well. Such a beautiful dog.
Love ya gang…..and goooooooo Tribe!!!