There is no way I could of scripted a return to action any better. I got to see several friends and long time clients and also several new clients found their way to my boat as well. I really want to thank all of the above……I put several in tough spots with my health uncertainty. Health you ask? I am doing pretty darn good all things considered. I pushed it really really hard this month and was on the water dang near every day whether it was with clients or making scouting runs or simply just running the boats. The fishing has been very good on both Sugar and Falcon. Both lakes are pumping out some insane numbers of 1-3 pound fish which certainly bodes well for our future especially if we can hold some of our water. Falcon is at 270.5 which I’m fine with, but we need rain in the valley and soon. Sugar water levels are really good and El cuchillo also is in really good shape. The last couple of weeks saw some great Sugar Lake fish come to the boat.
As good as Sugar was….Falcon decided to go full vintage. Check out these Falcon Lake walruses.
…..and then there is the Falcon Lake Mega Walrus. We pulled up to a spot that had been producing of late and didn’t boat a single fish after what felt like a 1,000 casts. I was seriously considering pulling up the trolling motor and leaving, but decided to pick up a rod to see if I could help get em fired up. One cast later this 11.17 pounder found her way to the scales.
I’m heading into March as healthy as I have been in months and catching some incredible fish on both Sugar and Falcon. If you see an opening or two on my calendar that fits your schedule don’t hesitate to drop me a line. As always, thanks for reading and see ya on the water.
“Man I’m sorry”…….Yep I blew the net job on a ridiculously big fish for Blake yesterday. Thought about giving you a second by second account of the disaster, but I’ll pass. I’m pretty bummed out to say the least. Worst net job of an elite level fish in 4 years. We had several big fish opportunities yesterday, especially after lunch. Today? We whacked the daylights out of a smaller caliber of fish for the most part. We boated a 7.46 on day 1 and a 7.08 on day 2 for our big fish of the two day trip. Bill, Blake, and Mike were so fun to fish with…..I’ve had Bill down here with Gary back in September and October. This was the first time fishing with Blake and Mike. Good times……and Blake took the terrible net job a lot better than I did.
We even caught fish on a crankbait and jig this trip, but the lizard was still the dominant player. Blake had the hot color in a limited supply and I could give you 15 guesses and I don’t think you would guess it. Think overcast skies for much of the two days…..black with red flake and a chartreuse tail. Heck Blake even melted em back together last night and re-used them today….lol. Gonna have to check ole Falcon Lake Tackle’s inventory manana. The family and I were planning on heading for San Antonio for a lil fun for the weekend, but we just started a major bathroom remodel and Momma wants to shop for some granite and other such goodies. Monday starts a wild stretch for me…..I’ll be on the water for 14 straight days and in some bad weather to start. I will post an update on the site at the end of the month, but you can always check out the Facebook page (High Stakes Bassin on Facebook) for pics throughout this 14 day stretch.
……..maybe if Guy would of caught a Walrus.
Ok, Ok, Ok…..just kidding. I’m not getting greedy or in-grateful. We had a wonderful freaking trip. We whacked on a lot of fish, drank a few beer and I had the best meal of my 39 years of living on this planet. I’m serious….not joking. Guy told me last week that he was bringing down some choice steaks for the festivities and told me how bad ass they were…..yada, yada, yada. Listen I’ve eaten at some of the most expensive steak joints in Las Vegas……I know steaks and it takes a lot to impress me. Just ask my Dad….drives him nuts taking me to a restaurant because listen, if you ask me how my food was I am going to be honest. If it rocks I’ll say it, but if it doesn’t?
Soooooo we decided to keep a few bass last night for a lil surf and turf and the only screw up was me not snapping a photo of this spread. I did not see the steaks prior to Juan bring them out……when those 2.37 inch thick bronto freaking saurus strip steaks came out I didn’t even know what I was looking at. Juan cooked them over an open mesquite fire and I’m telling you…..it was the best steak I’ve ever eaten and there is no close second and the fish was amazing too. As far as the fishing was concerned? I have never fished so shallow in my life. Once again….not joking. I have been known to be hard headed and fight a shallow bite to the bitter end and this trip was no different. I wanted to find a mess of fish that were gonna spawn in March or heck even April. It took me nearly two days, but damn it Guy and I accomplished that goal today and nearly boated our only Mega walrus of the trip there as well. Guy caught several fish on a lizard of this spot and it went quiet so I picked up a Rage Lobster to see if I could get em going again. First cast….thump…reel down and set the hook and all hell (and I do mean all hell) straight up broke loose. There were nets all over this location and I’ll be damned if she didn’t pull like a freight train right towards one. I gave the rod a bear hug and pulled with every thing I had and blam. Broke me off…..ugh. I turn the boat a bit and have guy through on that line and he picks up three fish…boom boom boom. Including the fish pictured below.
After he threw that fish back we continued to work the spot when out of nowhere this massive monster of a bass comes out the water multiple times…..you guessed it….trying to spit my Rage Lobster that was dangling out of her mouth.
I don’t know how many fish we caught….still without a clicker, but most were small and between 1 and 3 pounds. We did put one fish on the scales for an eyeball check. Guy had her at 6 lbs and I had her at 5.5.
She went 6.14 lbs……Guy wins again.
(Actual photo of Jersey Dan drinking his Bacardi and Kool Aid last night……lol, not judging) So fun to be writing reports again. The last pic is the only pic we took on the first day. We needed proof that we were in Mexico fishing….lol.
Thanks for coming down my brother (inside joke)……couldn’t of asked for a better trip and person to welcome me back. And speaking of back……all things considered I did very well and feel pretty damn good right now. To say that I am excited would be the understatement of the century. I’m off tomorrow, but will see ya’ll Friday night.
Yes I know what you are thinking……”yikes I thought you were going to ease into this thing”. The CEO and General Manager and stock holders of High Stakes Bassin have voiced their “concern”. Here is what I compare it to……when I am flying into Vegas I keep telling myself that when I land I am going to take it easy the first day and show some with-strain. Then I sit down…….
……..and before my second drink hits the table I’m all in. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
And yes that is an actual pic of me after winning that hand. I got some great news from my re-eval today…..my strength and range of motion have improved a great deal, but they still want me for 12 more visits. UGH. It may take me until December to get the 12 visits in because I am doing bass therapy from here on out.
Here is a sneak peek at the March schedule……See ya then.
No fishing today unfortunately. I have some knocking and banging going on in my Suburban. My emergency break broke for some reason or another. I am also having new tires put on. I am back to work next week and first up is my man Guy. We are opting for Sugar Lake as Falcon just is not fishing the way I had hoped it would. Tom Haralson just whacked 3 double digit fish over on Sugar Monday……..needless to say I am looking forward to putting Guy in position for a mega walrus. Hopefully the Suburban gets all fixed up by Friday. I plan on heading to the State Park Saturday with the family for a lil fishing and a bike ride. Time to go put on some fresh line for that Sugar trip.
…..James and I certainly did not beat the roosters to the punch this morning, but we did put in about 4 hours of time on the South end of the lake and once again it was another tough day. With that said I will not be skunked in 2017.
All of my fish came on a dropshot….(notice trying to make it sound like I caught more than 3) I think we nearly caught as many crappie as we did bass today. I know I missed a few that took swings at my ole monster and roboworm. If you don’t have a jackpot hole or two right now you are just shit out of luck. The lake is fishing incredibly small which is typical at this depth and this time of year. The lake should open up a bit soon when the vast majority of these fish move up into these creeks to spawn. Right now most are still main lake and mouths of creeks…..and certainly not everywhere. Could they be transitioning? Sure…..this time of year is such a dart throw, but if you find em? Hang on. This is my last week of therapy and I have been busting it….especially at home. When Doc gave me the green light to get active I put the pedal down and have not had any setbacks and continue to inch my way forward. Now I just need to stumble onto a few hammer holes that aren’t getting pounded already and that is easier said than done this time of year. I will be back after em on Wednesday…….still trying to talk James into heading to Sugar with me on Sunday. Will keep ya’ll posted.
We had a little bit of a cold snap blow through the area yesterday and this morning was a lil chilly. James and I opted to hit the water around 10:30 and allow it to warm up a bit and boy did it turn out to be as nice a day as you could possibly have here in the month of January. We fished to about 2:30 and I am going to tell ya it was arguably the toughest 4 hours of fishing that I have ever seen on Falcon Lake. Did we get skunked? Nah, but we came as dangerously close to it as you can possibly get. Here is the breakdown of techniques and locations fished.
1.) Timber from 2 ft to 12 ft
2.) Rock piles from 3 ft to 12 ft
3.) Shallow gravel points
4.) Humps and ledges from 6 ft to 20 ft
5.) Mid lake and South
6.) Texas rigged plastics
7.) Shallow and deep diving cranks
10.) drop shot
The good news? The z522 is running great after a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time off. Gas gauge isn’t working, but if that’s the only thing not working at this stage of the game I will certainly take it. My neck is stiff, but pain and numbness are very minimal and that’s after whipping the water pretty hard for 4 hours.(no cranks for me) No rods were dropped in the water either……lol. James and I had our typical great time minus the fact that the son of b$%&# broke out a high dollar cigar and smoked it in front of me.
It’s clear that I am anything, but dialed in and need to put my nose to the stone and get to work. I’m certainly looking forward to doing just that.
The day finally arrived……High Stakes Bassin was back on Falcon Lake. The main purpose of the trip today was to run the Z522. Jaime and I took our youngest out as well. Sierra had soccer practice. We ran down to Marker 8 and back to the ramp twice. We did wet a line by the ramp without a bite, but it was great to have a line in the water after several weeks/months of recliner only activities.(trained for the donut Olympics) Next up is the 521vx……it will get some exercise Thursday if the weather forecasters are accurate.
My line showed up the other day along with a couple of new reels……
……..and speaking of reels.
I sent my babies off to get cleaned, oiled, and tuned up for the up coming season. Clay and Barbara just booked four days on Sugar August 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th. Barbara wanted to get her summer time Sugar days booked up…..
Can ya blame her?
Off to therapy in the morning and hopefully back on the water Thursday for another boat ride. Things are looking up.
I have two weeks left of rehab and it’s amazing how weak I was and really still am. I’m telling you from first hand experience that sitting in a recliner 24 hours a day for weeks on end while eating donuts from the bakery is no bueno. I had a good friend of mine that had not seen me since mid November do a “wow Jay”, while looking at my stomach tonight. We shared a good laugh and ate wonderful steak, but yes a few salads will be on the menu going forward. In early December I cancelled/rescheduled 9 jobs in January and 17 in February. I did that because not only was I having a hard time sleeping with the crazy amounts of pain. I was also having a hard time sleeping not knowing whether I would be able to give those clients a quality fishing experience. It hurt (pun intended) to cancel those jobs in February let there be no doubt about that. Fast forward to today. I am beginning to re-book February dates. With that said I will only be booking a handful and only on Falcon Lake. March will be my first full month back to guiding and will include returning to Sugar Lake. Thanks for your patience and prayers. I am sooooooooo ready to see, feel, smell and hear the water. I’ve missed her.
Love ya’ll and see ya soon.
2016 will go down as the very best year for our family down here on the border. My business hit new highs from a booking and also fish catching standpoint. We went 8 straight months to start the year with at least one double digit bass boated per month. Falcon had my number early in the year let there be no doubt, but I did get dialed in late spring and through the summer which included Tom catching the second biggest Falcon Lake fish that has ever been in my boat.
To say I was dialed in on Sugar Lake in 2016 would be the understatement of the century. Not in my wildest of dreams could I have imagined how great Sugar was going to treat my clients and I this year. I can’t thank Noe Santos, Carlos Olivares, Buck, Sugar Rey, Senior Juan and all the fine folks at Sugar Lake Motel enough. They are without question some of the finest people you will ever meet and would do anything for me and I would do anything for them as well. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
2016’s success wasn’t all about me either…….my wife had without question her best year professionally as well and just recently found out that she won therapist of the year for her company and also will be featured in a national speech therapy magazine/tabloid. She is an amazing person and how the hell I ended up with her I’ll never know……hitting the lottery 71 times wouldn’t match how lucky I am. My girlies are doing very well down here as well. They continue to come home day after day after day with smiles on their face and eager to tell me how great their day was at school. That’s gold right there, just solid freaking gold. As you can see and many, many, many of you already know…. I am a blessed man. I have written this before and I’ll write it again 100 more times. I have lived a life that nobody deserves to live. I am very, very cognoscente of how fortunate I am to be where I am in life. All of you know that I have been in a battle with my neck and spine for sometime and it’s a battle that I will fight the rest of my life. We are about a month from surgery and I am doing better than what I was before the surgery. That’s the good news, but the bad news is that I have things that are still not working right and I am still in quite a bit of pain. Those are the facts as I know them.
Ok enough about the neck…..let’s get to the fun part of this Year in Review post! First up…………
The lowlight of January was my SHO blowing up yet again. I did not get that boat totally back up and running at 100% until October. What a struggle. The highlight? Look no further than my man David. What an EPIC trip.
Here’s the link.
…..and here is a pic of his MEGA Walrus.
Man o freaking Man was February fun. Highlights?…..heck they were all highlights practically, but I have to give the nod to an EPIC trip taken by Justin and Ryan. Those two have been in my boat numerous times and to put those two on the mother load was as good as it gets….especially when that mother load included Ryan landing his first ever DD.
Here is the link:
…..and here are a few of the February bruisers including Ryan’s DD and new PB.
There is no way to describe the fishing in the month of March. It started with David coming back down to try and beat his 11 lb personal best from January…..you’re thinking no way, but yes it did happen and here’s the link.
March also saw yet another Father/Son trip for my boyzzzzz from Illinois and a lot of great fish caught. To the pics:
March also included a very memorable trip with this crew.
That’s Justin, his Dad Ronald, me and his brother Rusty. Those three men were and are salt of the Earth and just a wonderful family. We had an amazing trip with some great fish caught and even better laughs shared. At the end of the trip on our final day Rusty asked me to take a group pic of all us in front of the Motel and that’s the pic you see up there. I had no idea just how important this trip or that picture was to them at the time and I will leave it at that. Do you wanna know who the first person to text me after my surgery? Heck I wasn’t even out of the recovery room yet……you guessed it. Rusty.
The theme continues as the monster 2016 rolls on. Back to back 11 lb MEGA walruses? Yep and here’s the link.
Tough to only pick a few pics from this month….lol, but here ya go.
Goodness, sweet mother of pearl was May amazing. I did not post at all during that month as I took the month off to focus on the 3 F’s…….family, fishing, and fun……on the water and in the bright lights of Vegas. Check out the link that summed up an unforgettable May of 2016.
Here are some pics!
and who could forget my Dad’s fist pump DD!
June was the first time that I noticed something seriously wrong with my neck and I wrote about it below.
It would give me problems off and on until October when it finally just had enough. June also remained silly good from a fishing standpoint and Cody found his way to the High Stakes Bassin Wall of Fame with his 11 lb MEGA walrus.
Here are a few more walruses from June:
July was yet another month that saw multiple MEGA walruses find their way to the scales. Barbara and Clay had a trip to Sugar that neither will soon forget and one that included Barbara boating a near 12 lb monster.
Check out the link below:
To the MEGA walruses:
This the Month that Tom caught his 12 lb Falcon Lake Mega Walrus that is first picture of the post up above.
Here’s the link to that incredible Falcon Lake trip:
Check out the pic of Tom pulling out this monster……still gives me goosebumps.
Here are a few more August beauties.
I goofed off a lot in September and really didn’t fish much…..here’s a link to my Vegas trip and a Falcon trip for Charles and Allen.
My life got turned upside down this month and would be the last month my boat would hit the water in 2016. I came home from a great baseball trip with my parents and fell asleep feeling fine with minor spine discomfort. I woke up in more pain than I care to try to describe. Here’s the only post from October and it includes Dr. Jack experiencing a tougher than normal Sugar Lake.
Here are some more nice October fish.
Well here we are. I had surgery November 28th and have been battling ever since. We are all still hoping that I can stay off the table, but as 2016 comes to a close it looks as though rehab and recovery will be in order to start 2017 instead of walruses and Mega walruses. I’m looking forward to the challenge and to getting past this. I want to wish everybody a great 2017 and for those that were a part of this remarkable 2016 in High Stakes Bassin history….Thank You.