3 day fishing trip
Got a chance for a mid week camping and fishing trip to San Antonio. We camped on the North Shore. Got up there mid morning on 6/25 and got the morning and evening bite. On Thursday and Friday we got the early morning bites while the rest of the day was set aside for relaxing and boating with a group from work.
The morning bite seemed to be the thing and we did good with top water, taking them on poppers and buzzbaits. We did good through the day with small cranks and dropshot worms and Senkos. We got mostly largemouth but caught a few smallmouth also. We stayed mostly on the north side of the lake but didn't get much in the stickups, although we got a couple of catfish on a brush hog and a senko. Working the rocky shorelines and points seemed to be the best with most fish taken really shallow.
The water level is way down and most of the coves we are used to fishing are high and dry. Harris creek is about the only way to get off the main lake besides the stickups on the north side. That whole area is only 3 to 4' and some of the shallower water comes up fast with lots of islands exposed. Cemetery Cove was unaccessable because of the sandbars. Water is stained with less than a foot of visability and some floating algae to the north, but clear by the dam and Harris Creek.
I had a great relaxing trip with a good number of fish caught and too much to drink around the campfire!
WON Team Tourney
I practiced Friday for the WON Sunday. I was hoping to find a few bed fish. What is rather amazing is that the lake went from having zero bed fish at the last WON on March 8 to having almost zero bed fish at this tournament May 3rd. In other words, 99.9% of the bass in that lake spawned in less than 2 months. Weird.
So the water was 63 in the morning and got up to 70-72 both days in the afternoon. It was hot and calm both days, although Saturday was mid 40's with some fog in the AM. Clarity was decent. Friday had more algae than Saturday due to the brighter sunshine Friday.
Friday I checked the whole lake for beds, finding a handful of smallies that were easily catchable, and 7 or 8 largemouth that were relating to spots but not on beds per se. All the largemouth were nice ones though, like 3-5lbers. It was strange. I didn't make any casts on those fish.
I ripped one 3.3lb black on a jerkbait Friday and had a few swimbait followers. I can't figure out the right swimbait for that lake though. Everything I throw they chase and don't eat. Very annoying.
Saturday I went to a spot where I had seen a 6lb largemouth sitting on top of a rock on Friday. There was a boat on the spot. I fished right next door on a point that had some shad on it. Had two quick bites on jerkbait but neither one stuck, they felt small. Watched the guys on my starting spot catch a nice largemouth.
The smallmouth on beds were nearby so I went there. I made a blind cast to a spot where I'd seen a 5lb largemouth the day before. The line swam off. I set and thought life was about to get really good. Instead it was a 2lb smallmouth. Weird? I had seen what I thought was the male there the day before but I guess it was a smallmouth male with a largemouth female.
Next fish I made a few casts blind then got closer to take a look. I saw the fish flash once, switched lures and caught it on the next cast. 2.5lb smallie. A bit later I ripped another keeper smallie on a jerkbait. 3 fish in the first 35 minutes seemed like a good start.
The rest of the day was not so good though... I checked all the largemouth from the day before and not one single one was still there. That was a weird deal. Then I went back to my starting spot, starting about 200 yards down. I worked my way up to the spot and noticed another boat coming at the spot from the other direction. I got to the spot first and made 2 casts across it.
I figured the guys in the other boat would leave or go around. Instead they just started casting right on top of where I was casting. It was in all honesty the most BS move I've ever seen in a tournament. I was pretty ticked. Rather than get in to a shouting match - I left. Not my style to fight with people on the water.
200 feet down the bank I turn around and they stick a 3lber off the spot. Guess I got hosed. I hooked up on a ripbait a few casts later with a largemouth I had seen the day before that was sitting by a bush. Unfortunately my cast was over the bush (it was a long cast and I couldn't see the bush). The fish went straight in to the bush and came off.
For my encore I changed spots, hooked a keeper smallmouth on the ripbait and got it fouled up in the net and lost it too. I was on a roll with the retardation....
At the end of the day I went back to my starting spot again. I was hoping like heck to get a crack at it. Of course there was a boat on it again, and I watched them get one that was pushing 5lbs. They were yelling and high fiving like they had just won the Bassmasters Classic. I had a smallmouth blow up on a spook and miss the bait.
Weighed 5lbs for 3 fish and came in near to last place. I had the right spot today but just never got to fish it. That's tournament fishing.
San Antonio Largemouth
Mr. SWMB8R was up in town for the holidays so we decided to mount a striper mission to San Antonio. The forecast was for light rain, and the day turned out to be great fishing weather, with a threatening overcast all day and light winds from the south, switching to the north at the end of the day. Water temps were 51 on the surface.
The clarity on the west end of the lake was algae with 2-3 feet vis. By the dam however it was blue and super clear, 12-15 foot vis. We checked the entire lake for stripers casting and trolling Big Hammers. We tried Triple Trout, spoons, rattle traps, and Lunker Punker. We started 20 minutes before sunrise and fished until sunset.
On the first spot of the day, Mark had a 5lb striper chase the Lunker Punker. There may have been some fishing busting here but they could have been carp also. Thousands of carp in that lake. The boils were small and sharp like striper boils but it was impossible to tell.
After that initial striper sighting, the rest of the day was brutal tough. There was sign of fish on the meter on the river end of the lake, but they would not bite. Around 2pm we gave up on the stripers and drug some worms around for bass. Mark caught a 2lber on a random break way out in the lake that we saw on the meter.
Finally, around 4pm we hit our last spot of the day. I picked up another fish drop shotting a good old fashioned 5" green pumpkin worm. We turned around on the spot and had a double hookup. Go figure? I was a bit surprised to get 3 fish almost in a row after a brutal day.
The next 30 minutes though, the fishing went stupid on drop shot. We caught 12 more largemouth, most of which were around 2lbs. I had almost left the spinning rods at home but it turned out a good thing in the end. As soon as the sun went over the hill, the bite ended. We hit the window for the entire day, and were fortunate to be on a spot with a lot of fish. Funny day in that regard.
The fish were in 15-18 feet of water. I think they were triggered in to biting during the warmest part of the day. The water down deep has to be super cold there right now because my lures felt frozen when I put them in my hand. I think the shad have moved to the deeps, and are perhaps dying now with the cold.
San Antonio Striper Action
Took a trip up to San Antonio this morning. Arrived around 6:15am. Conditions were beautiful, just a slight ripple with ominous skies.
I rigged for bass and stripers for this trip. A ways up the lake I see some birds far off. As I get closer it looks like a bird work you'd see on the ocean. Is this good when birds do this?
Tried a rattle trap through the birds for about 15 minutes and nothing. Kind of discouraging with so much bait and birds around. Decided to switch to a 6" all white Big Hammer on a 1oz head on 25lb test. A few casts later I got bumped. Next cast I stuck one. Schoolie striper in the boat :) After that it was pretty fast action for about 30 minutes. You had to really chase the birds fast and cast far, but I put 3 more in the boat and missed at least a half dozen more bites. Pretty exciting fishing, although not very sport on 25lb test :)
These were my captives after the flurry ended. They were all 5lber type stripers
I decided to go back to the marina for ice to keep the fish good. I don't keep fish too often but when I do I like to do it right.
Ran back up the lake after getting the ice and the birds had died down. One of those deals where the minute the sun came out it was over. I fished around for an hour or two with no luck until I located some shad pushed back in a little cut. I missed 3 bites, then hung another striper on the Big Hammer. A few casts later I get the weird bite and of course it's a ... catfish. Catfish love me.
I put Mr. catfish in the cooler to take his picture, I hate when they slime my boat. Then I tossed him back.
Updated captives photo
I thought the limit was 5 stripers (it's actually 10 with no size limit) so I made a move and tried for bass for an hour or two. Bass fishing was nill. I just fished reaction. I did pick up another schoolie striper on a triple trout. That's what I get for using a white lure. Stripers get happy when they see white lures...
This is what worked today, 6" Big Hammer. I got off the water around 1pm to white caps and post front conditions.