The world tour part 2 ends on the South end of Falcon Lake in Mr. Jim Mayo’s beautiful 21fx Skeeter.
Our plane hit Laredo Sunday and I was back on the water Monday after a terrific family vacation to Disney. More on that in a bit. Let’s talk Falcon Lake for a moment and more specifically the South end of the lake. I took Jim and Glenda out right before I left for Disney. The mission was to mark up the North end of the lake a bit and to teach Jim a little bit about his electronics and to get them dialed in and working properly. Monday was about launching down South and increasing his knowledge level of Falcon Lake. We fished from the dam to Tigers and fished most of my prized spots at this depth level. (268 ish) and speaking of this depth level….the State Park boat ramp only has about 2 feet left on it before using it is no bueno. Once you dip below 266 you run the risk of sucking up silt and mud into your lower unit and wreaking havoc on your impeller. Take it from somebody who knows this first hand. Can you float a boat at 266? yes, but the water is too diluted with sediment at that point and you are asking for trouble. Where can you find depth levels easily? Click on the link below from my website……save it as a favorite and you are good to go.
Back to my prized South locations at this depth level……we launched at 1:30 pm and fished until 7 pm and it was a struggle until 5:30. From 5:30 to 7 the light switch flipped on and we got into plenty of action, but from 1:30 to 5:30 it was a straight up grind. If I had to do it over again? I would of loaded up Jim’s boat with nothing but cranks and gone after a reaction bite. We fished from 1 ft of water out to 25 ft of water and everywhere in between. We boated 17 fish and the best bite broke me off while I was trying to pull her out of the bush she buried me in. She came rocketing out of the water attempting to throw my mag fluke. She was easily in the 8 lb class…….a great Falcon Lake fish. Jim wins the darkest bass caught in 2016 award.
Baits that caught fish were the 5 inch Senko, Rage Lobster, Mag Fluke, full size brush hog in the typical colors. The only non typical color would be that I threw a Mag Fluke in Plum for a large portion of the day. That is also what the big girl came off of. I’m getting a lot of calls, texts, and emails concerning water and water levels. Here’s the deal…..we will be fine for the next 12 to 18 months at this clip and that’s without help from Mo Nature and without help from Amistad which is in great shape. Sugar Lake is in similar shape and still has 12 foot of water where the back lake meets the main lake. If it drops more than 12 more feet then you are only able to fish the main lake. With all this water talk Mother Nature has been hard at work the last 4 days and while Louisiana and the Eastern part of Texas are under water we are getting a shower or two. If that tropical activety would of just slid a little farther west and South we would of hit the jackpot. There of course is still plenty of time for us to hit that jackpot. We have been so, so, so, soooooooooooooooo close the last several years, but we will certainly take every drop that we are blessed with. Speaking of drops? Jaime is driving through quite a few today in Laredo and she says it’s flooding…..here’s some pictorial evidence.
Back on the water tomorrow with a father son duo that has been looking forward to these dates for the better part of year. I have an extremely busy end to August and I am very much looking forward to it. Ok, this ends the fishing/water levels portion of my report…..continue reading at your own risk…lol.
As mentioned above Jaime, the girls and I had a terrific week at the Mouse House in Disney. Our last trip to Disney was 4 years ago and while the girlies certainly enjoyed their previous 3 trips to the Wonderful World of Walt Disney this one was the best. Both Sierra and Madison were able to ride all the rides and will be old enough to remember the trip really well. Here are a few pics we took and over the coming weeks I’ll share some of the professional photos that were taken as well.
The girlies were vibrating with excitement at this stage of the game.
First pic at Magic Kingdom with my lovelies.
We bought the park hopper passes and jumped all over the place everyday. We Reeeeeaaaallllly enjoyed the Animal Kingdom at night.
Madison is a ride junky and I tried to hang with her the best I could. Jaime and Sierra were good for a ride or two, but both would start getting sickly if they tried to do more than that in a short period of time. Of course my neck was a major concern, but I manned up for my Mad Dog and only had one day where the neck just wouldn’t let me answer the bell.
14 years of awesome with that lovely lil thing up there and we also celebrated Madison’s 9th birthday while we were in Disney as well.
Here we are killing Aliens with Buz Lightyear…….
……and Madison doing it in style while throwing out the deuces.
I thought about upping my Halloween game……
Juuuuuuuuust a bit out of my price range.
And my favorite pic of the trip?
We had just gotten back from the restroom and were waiting on Momma and Sissy to bring the grub over. I looked at Madison and said, “smile pretty” and snapped that pic. I have that pic saved everywhere and will remember it forever.
I want to thank Carlos and Jim for helping me out with this trip on such short notice. Sugar Lake didn’t hand out many free passes today and the fish that the three boats caught were certainly earned. With all that said between the three boats we had well over a hundred fish caught. Walruses?…… not one, not two, not three, but 4 walruses in which 3 of those were new personal bests. DD’s?…..two of them nearly missed 10 lbs. The real story? Three young men getting to hang with their Dads. Nothing and I do mean NOTHING beats the memories and laughs that were made and shared today. Days like today are what make my job so special. Did these youngsters have a great time? Sure…..do they know just how special these events are? Nah…..there is just no way at the age of 15 or so that they can truly grasp just how special it is. Trust me I didn’t realize it when I was their age, but I certainly realize it now. To the walrus pics!
These men have a half day on Falcon Lake tomorrow and I’m predicting an EPIC day to be had. I have the Falcon Lake Ram pinch hitting for me and he is on some kinda roll here on Falcon.
The Zara Spook Kid was back in town and he brought Glenda the Good Fisherwoman with him……..
…………….and she was sizzling with the 5 inch senko.
Jim caught plenty of fish too….
The main purpose of the trip was to dial in Jim’s brand new FX21 Skeeter and that mission was certainly accomplished as well. He’s going to have a lot of great days on the water with that beautiful rig. I’m back to Sugar Lake in the morning.
Let’s look at the numbers for the 3 day trip.
175 fish caught
33 lb best five for the trip
7.57 big fish
One Mega Walrus bite…..once again we saw a stupid big fish mere feet from the net. Bubba has been looking for that ever elusive DD his whole life and he had one 15 feet from the net. She was home free when she jumped off. He did a great job with that fish, just like Barbara did a great job with hers. Bad luck bug has a nasty bite at times. A LOT and I do mean A LOT of fish under 3 lbs. The small fish were by far the most active this trip. I felt bad for Lonnie as he booked this trip with plastics in mind and it was a dominant crank bite from word go. These two guys cranked their arms clean off. They have a big three day golf outing they’re heading to now and they better buy the family size box of wheaties. I appreciate you coming back down Lonnie and bringing Big Bass Bubba. Sure hope we can do it again.
I spent the last three days on Sugar Lake with Barbara and Clay. I know you want me to describe their trip. I’m sorry, but there is no way I can do it justice. Clay wanted a great trip for Barbara and they both wanted to get away together for some much needed R and R. Sugar Lake certainly did not disappoint. Barbara had a 5 lb personal best that she was gunning for and three casts into the first day she had a new PB of 6.22 lbs.
We struggled in a big way however, and only caught a fish here and there until 1 o’clock on that first day. I don’t know whether it was a timing thing or a location thing or a lure thing or a little of all three, but after we made a big move in the afternoon magic happened. We switched over to deep diving cranks and literally caught fish on every cast for over 2+ hours and we left them biting…..silly. I know what you’re thinking…..ah, you caught a bunch of dinks to pad your numbers.
Barbara ended the day with a personal best that we all thought would last a lifetime. I will also come clean…..I biggie eyed that fish. When I hung her on the scales I thought without question I would see 13 flash up on that screen.
Thirteen did flash up on the screen, just in the wrong spot!…..lol. Still an incredible fish to end an incredible first day in paradise with BVT and Clay. Before diner that night I felt something on my hand and couldn’t figure out what it was……
and this guy showed up too….
Nasty lil thing…….lol. You all know I am a video game nerd from waaaaaaaaaaaaaay back. I have been reading about this Pokemon Go craze that is sweeping the world. Now listen….if I’m not tossing a football or blasting aliens or bad guys online I don’t play it. But I have to admit, that Pokemon Go thing is pretty cool. Barbara caught plenty of new geographic specific Pokemon while at Sugar Lake you can believe that…….and this leads us to the quote of 2016 or heck any year for that matter. After landing the 11.13 BVT says…..”wow! that was better than catching a rare Pokemon”. I told her thank God you didn’t say “almost” because my feelings might of got hurt.
Before I went to bed I decided to go to one of those Bass weight calculator websites to see if my scale cheated BVT. We took measurements for the replica that she is going to have done. I typed those into the calculator…..
Day 2 was a grind from start to finish. Why? I have no idea…..we fished every square inch of Sugar and threw everything, but the kitchen sink at em. We probably caught 30 fish all day and the highlight? A near miss PB for Clay.
Day 3 was as good a day as I’ve ever had in my guiding career. We fished a half day and caught a 40 lb bag. BVT also had another fish on that would of shattered her PB from two days ago. She was 15 feet from the boat when she came rocketing out of the water and spit her crank. Have I been biggie eyeing fish lately? YES…..so go ahead and feel free to doubt how big I think that fish was. Here is the breakdown…..I would of bet both Rangers she was over 12 lbs, I would of bet 10k she was over 13 lbs and I would of bet a 100 dollar bill she was over 14 lbs.
Our best 5 for the three day trip went……..
……and speaking of both Rangers.
I am on cloud nine……It’s been 7 months since both Rangers were in that carport fully operational. I have about 5 hours of break in time to put on that SHO before she will be put back into the starting rotation. I can’t thank Clay enough for setting me up with John from Dean’s Marine and for driving it back down for me. Thanks again for the opportunity to show you and Barbara a great time on Sugar Lake.
It sure was fun not only being back on Falcon, but back on Falcon with my man Charlie. We only fished till noon today and goodness was it an action packed 5 hours of fishing. We caught fish everywhere, but we stumbled onto the absolute mother-load that padded our stats and stringer considerably. We had 6 walrus bites and went 0fer the first 5 before I finally boated this 7.98.
That fish had an 11 lb head, but was the skinniest fish I’ve caught in some time. Don’t throw your used plastics in the water folks. Fish will eat them and then the plastics swell inside their belly…..game over, starvation ensues. Here are some more nice fish from a 60ish fish half day of fishing.(not official…..clicker left in the vehicle.)
Nothing personal Charlie!!!!!, but my favorite pic of the day?
There she is…….7 months in the making. Sooooooo happy to have her back in the carport with new carpet, livewell controls, seat bushings, powerhead and more. Dean’s Marine and John the service manager hooked me up to say the least. I can’t thank Clay and Barbara enough for bringing her down all the way from Odessa. That z522 is the ultimate guide platform and I am beyond excited to get the new powerhead broken in and get her back on the water. With all that said…..WHAT. A. JOB. my back up boat did. I bought that 2004 521vx a little over two years ago and have leaned on it pretty hard during the last two years. It owes me nothing. Very much looking forward to giving her a much deserved vacation from the every day rigors of guiding.
Just got back from about as epic of a Sugar trip as you could have. Here are the numbers.
Fish caught: 108 (80 ish of those fish were between 3 and 5 lbs)
Best 5: 33 and change
Kicker: 7.25 lbs
Fish caught: 75 (again the quality was awesome…..most fish between 3 to 5 lbs)
Best 5: 37 and change
We only took one pic of a 6 and here it is….
Gary’s big fish came in at 7.90
The biggest fish we weighed did not make it unfortunately.
A true MEGA walrus, that unfortunately tried to eat a MEGA tilapia walrus. Oddly enough the tilapia was still alive, but the bass was not able to be saved. We caught fish from 4 to 14 foot of water…..trigged worms/lizards, squarebills and Norman deep lil N’s. What a great trip and hope Gary and I have many more to come.
Here is a look at the rest of my world tour……Pennsylvania? Check.
A lake Erie walrus!!!!!
The time of my life with my two best friends? check. Already counting the days down until Thanksgiving.
The next stop on the World tour? You guessed it….Vegas.
One of the very best hands of BJ I’ve ever had. I was winning and pressed my bet to 1k…….then an EPIC shit show broke out. A PAIR OF EIGHT’S!!!!
Ok, stay calm….just 2K. I got this…..then a 3 to make it 11!!!!!
Now I have 3k out there….still no problem. That is what I was up. Next card was a freaking 4 to make 15. Great. Next card? ANOTHER FREAKING 8!!!!!
Now we have 4k on the table and yes this is my first night in Vegas…..soooooo typical. I’ve read this book before and the ending ain’t good. Next card?…..a deuce to make 10.
We are now at 5k on the table after the double down. Out comes a welcomed 10 of hearts for 20. Next card? A three……yes boys and girls that makes 11 and another double down and for those scoring at home that is now 6k on the table and an empty money clip. Next card is a Jack of diamonds…..21. Dealer had a 2 showing and flips over a King…..for 12, the 3 for 15 and then the 9 for the bust.
Needless to say I had a monster Vegas trip and ate pretty damn good too.
I’m glad to be back on the border….the fishing right now is just not describable. If you have the time and the resources you need to experience this silliness for yourself.
Both Danny and James like whacking on fish…..did we try some big fish areas? Absolutely, but the biggest we landed went 7 lbs 14 oz on Sir James’ scale. We didn’t weigh anything else. I forgot my clicker both days, but I promise you we had nearly 200 fish in two days and left them biting. That is also with two lines in the water as I was running cameras and working on boat position. I also wanted to be damn sure I didn’t catch the big fish. So you ask what was the secret bait? Um…..eh. A wet lure. Seriously, there were times that I just don’t think it mattered. A texas rigged jalapeno would of caught you more 2-4 lb fish than an episode of Bill Dance Outdoors. Danny has some great footage for the site update and his drone was so freaking cool.
Unfortunately the drone didn’t pick up any footage of Danny on Dr. J’s operating table. James was on his A game however and maned the GoPro for the extraction.
Let’s check out some fish pics. Here is a look at Sr. James and his 7-14.
The pics below give you an idea of what we were catching a lot of. Nothing huge, but certainly fun.
Don’t laugh…..James won a buck on that fish.
Check out this walrus that was caught at the boat ramp as we were pulling up……
Unfortunately that fish was made into walrus soup.
Great memories were made this trip and in the end it’s memories that remain. Over the next three weeks I will be making many more memories. I want to wish everyone a great and safe 4th of July. I will see ya when I see ya.
Our totals from two days…..
Our big fish from two days…
She went 7.96 lbs
Best 5 on day one came in at a very respectable 32 ish lbs. Day 2 came in at around 20 lbs.
Our best bait this trip was a chartreuse/powder blue back Strike King 5xd crankbait thrown on 20 lb test fluoro. Why the big line? We were fishing tree tops in 12ish foot of water and need the “4 wheel drive” that the 20 lb test line provides. It also keeps the crank much higher in the water column. Our best plastic was the Zoom U-vibe with chartreuse dip N dye. We stuck with 1/2 texas rig bullet weights both days. I had a great time with these two guys….am I a little disappointed that I couldn’t put these guys on a 9 lb or better fish? Sure……heck I’m disappointed when I don’t boat a DD on Sugar. I also want to be clear on something…..just because I’m disappointed doesn’t mean I’m not grateful for Sugar Lake and how it’s fishing. To call a trip like we had the last two days “disappointing” is just a testament of how amazing Sugar truly is. I am back at it for two more days on Sugar. One of Highstakesbassin’s founding fathers will be in the house. I call him “the man behind the curtain”, a great client, and above all a terrific friend.
My man Danny is making his Sugar Lake debut tomorrow. He will be sharing the front deck with this guy for two days………
Danny and I will both be working on this trip….I will be working on putting him on fish and he will be working on material for the new face-lift for highstakesbassin.com. Rumor has it a drone will be deployed tomorrow on Sugar Lake. Danny is awesome at what he does and I can’t wait the new updates to the site. Should be exciting. So you say what about James? What’s he going to be doing? Well, James is going to do what James does and that’s have a rocking good time and go walrus hunting South of the border.
I’ll see ya’ll when I see ya……..
Took out Tom and Barbara today and these two had a great time catching fish and expanding their knowledge of Falcon Lake. Barbara had the hot hand today and was a lot of fun to watch. Here she is with her new personal best of 5.66 lbs.
and she added another nice chunk later in the day….
I had the big fish of the trip…..she was in the 8 lb class. My first 10xd fish in who knows how many months.
I am off tomorrow and then it’s 4 straight on Sugar. I have a new client Sunday/Monday and then the 10 lb hunt for my man Danny continues Tuesday/Wednesday. Looking forward to some Sugar Lake magic.