Sorry no further reports for 2OO8. The fishing was just too good to sit down on a stupid chair.
June 22nd 2OO8
Updating now....stay tuned!
It's been a busy month for us and everything is still awesome down here in the Laguna. The winds have died, the water is clear, and the fishing has been as good as the catching. Big reds have pretty much stolen the shallow water show lately but trout have certainly been numerous. We are already starting to see reds school in large numbers, some days busting topwaters like truck batteries getting dropped in the water. It's also that sacred time for sight casting and for stalking tails waiving all over the flats. All of those tails are not reds.
Average sized trout are thick on deeper grass beds but some are still huge. There was an 8 15 and an 8 1O caught down here during the ABACO Tournament this past weekend. Most action is over 3 to 4 ft of grass with tails, but there are still bigger fish in the extreme shallows early. Topwaters have been working well thru late morning and again later in the day. Other good news is that there is still virtually nobody here in comparison to previous years, especially on the weekdays. The new fuel prices may have more to do with a quickly growing trout population than new regulations.
More later, but here are a few pictures representative of this past month with more detail. Have fun and be nice out there...
May 1Oth 2OO8
It's been 'springy windy' this past week but all is still well in the Laguna. The water remains extremely clean, and even after a big blow everything clears within just a few short hours. Late afternoon bites have been markedly better, especially on big reds. Topwaters have been good on both reds and trout, using mostly She Dogs in the chop and Skitter Walks when winds are more moderate. The little Clown Super Spook Jr. has also been getting smashed hard lately. Other than that, the Corky Fat Boy is still calling up some great trout, but the plastic tail is still the most consistent all around bait. Specifically, the Brown lure Devil in plumtreuse. Crowds are still light except for weekends, and next weekend promises to be near stupid with the Griffon Tournament on Friday & Saturday and the huge Shallow Sport tournament on Saturday. If you are planning to come and haven't made reservations yet you are probably sleeping in your truck.
Also, just for local news interest, for those of you wanting bait we heard shrimp is going for $22 per quart and your precious little finfish are far less than readily available. We can catch 1O or more good fish on one Brown Lure and a hundred on a good topwater...so we'll just stay the plastic course. Another small bit of Port trivia...fuel at the Marina is available at $4 per gallon and they have 2 pumps on line. El Jefe's pumps are also operational....at $4.72 per gallon, and their diesel is pegged at $5.25.
Last minute availability!
I [Mike] just had a reschedule for Monday & Tuesday, May 19 & 2Oth. The full moon is on the 2Oth so it should be high potential for a big trout. I'm going anyway if you can pull it off. Great slot!
Capt. Tricia also had a cancellation for the 25th & 26th of June... a good Wed/Thursday session.
April 28th 2OO8
Fishing remains stellar when conditions allow. Trout are plentiful in traditional areas with more showing each day. It appears that this Spring tide has brought some new fish in with it. It also appears they are mad at topwaters. The average size seems up from last year as well with many over 2O" common. Reds are starting to do their tailing thing high on the sand as well.
Here's your report. You just have to read between the frames to figure out your own pattern. Live large...go fishing man!
April 1Oth 2OO8
O.K., for all you inquiring minds who want to know, in a short...yes it's on! Fishing lately has been everything it is supposed to be down here in the Lower Laguna Madre. Crystal clear waters, balled up mullet getting showered and blown apart, topwaters getting smashed like sky dropped batteries, and big shallow reds surging drags like the bull dozers they are. If you read this site much you know we're not much on embellishment...so when we say it's on we really mean it. This week alone we have caught several trout between 7 & 8 lbs, consistent numbers between 3 to 6, and the big shallow reds have been near 'tupid. The better part of this equation is that there is nobody here!, especially during the week [??]. Don't know if it's fuel prices and/or the new 'wha wha' 5 trout limit, but whatever it is, fishing has been awesome and thankfully unmolested. There are many other good pics to post, but here are few which are representative and with some more details. Y'all might need to call in sick.
March 13th 2008
The Holder Fishing Show was a blast, what we got to see of it anyway. We were only there Saturday & Sunday and stuck tight to the FTU Rod booth, but the rounds we were able to make were like a day at Disney Land for us, especially when you live at the end of the road like we do. We got our new FTU sticks with recoil guides and tried them yesterday. They absolutely rocked and were broken in right. The folks at FTU not only treat us right [more than we could ever deserve], but Joe, Norma & Ron fish exactly like we do and are making the best stuff possible for us to use. As far as I'm concerned these are the highest quality sticks on the market [with the best 'no questions asked' warranty], and their new upgraded wading gear will be here soon. Can't wait.
Anyway, click below pics for a few more fishing specifics. Fishing remains awesome and should continue.
We do have a few scattered days left, so if y'all want some of this you need to holler pretty quick. Just remember though...it's not a trip, it's a Skinny Water Adventure!
Lord I love this Lagoon.
March 3rd 2008
Spring is definitely here...winds and all. Yesterday we had gust to 53 in the pm, but Tricia was able to get her guys on some great redfish action until about noon. We've had some good topwater sessions lately on everything from Skitter Walk Jr.s to She Dogs and full sized Spooks. Between those aggressive periods though, the lowly tail still rules.
We are still mainly fishing shallow..., even by Mansfield standards. We are blown out today for sure, but all in all it's been good, skinny and fun. The tides have been extremely low all week but that will soon change. Overall levels will gradually creep up and we should have about a foot more water in here fairly soon. Patterns will also change and we'll all have a lot more water to work, important as the crowds slowly start to increase as well. Most of the bay should remain unmolested though until the bait camps start their pumps, but hopefully that won't happen till mid April.
The trout are still weighing in nicely and the reds are still bruising elbows and tackle. Below are a few recent pics. Y'all have fun out there. See some of you Sat & Sunday at the Holder Show.
February 26th 2008
We are taking a few days off here to catch up on some badly needed chores and to get ready for the March madness. I also had to send my hull back to the factory for a minor warranty issue. It will be back tomorrow after an impressively quick turnaround, so huge kudos to Glen at Explorer and Rick Bailey at Saylor Marine in Pharr. These guys really jumped on it and their professionalism is greatly appreciated.
Fishing has still been good but the norther yesterday rolled everything pretty hard. It looks like it's setting up well for the weekend though. We do have a few scattered days left in March so below is a calendar of what's available. [Click the picture then scroll arrow on upper left to view March]. We'll try to list other dates available for upcoming months soon.
If you get a chance please stop by and visit the FTU booth on Saturday and Sunday March 8th & 9th. It's a great show, and promises not only to be a lot of fun but have a lot of cool stuff as well. In the meantime, see y'all on the water.
Click above for available March Dates
February 24th 2008
Still good! Another 3O" trout in shin deep water plus many absolute beasty class reds testing both equipment and nerves. We're still concentrating on shallow water [shin to just above knee deep] holding good concentrations of bait. Although it's still supposed to be winter the water temps are averaging mid 7O's on the flats. Many small shrimp and crab are showing up along with a lot of other juvenile baitfish, so think late March patterns. It seems like most of the winter stuff is done. We're downsizing our presentations in this skinny stuff and it's been working well. When we can get to them we have several great videos to put up and get you into trouble at the office. We do have a few scattered slots left in March so we'll try to put a calendar up with the remaining dates available. Fishing's good guys!
Three airboat crews got together yesterday and did some excellent crab trap and navigational hazard removal. We removed a lot of junk out of the water so please click pics below for more info. Here's hoping you will get involved when you can.
El Jefe will be re opening about March 15th under new management. I'm sure many of you will be pleased about that, plus we'll finally get our fuel pumps back. As of now there is only one functional pump in the Harbor [Port Mansfield Marina], and they have been closing by noon. Better manage your fuel with that in mind.
Yes there is a bit of Brown Tide floating around, but it's patchy and hasn't affected us at all. Capt. Ernest reports that further south around Gas Well Flats and Cullen has been somewhat off color. The water up north fluctuates between decent visibility and junk depending on wind direction. Still...no worries, the fish are there and catchable. See below...
February 13th 2008
Life has been most fine on the flats lately. When the weatherman gives us a chance we are enjoying some serious hook-setting sessions. But, as life would have it, there are also those hard grinding sessions as well which are divinely designed to help keep us challenged.
On the good days, upper-slot to oversized redfish have been bunched up, aggressive, and slamming topwaters in calf deep water. On the better days there are some exceptional trout in there with them [yes, one of our guys stuck a legitimate 1O a couple of days ago]. On the perfect days, we get opportunities at the best of whatever we want to target. However, on the worst days you may get 3 to 5 bites in 12 hours and you'd better be able to hook what you just felt. [Last I heard that's called trying to challenge nature and she doesn't always give it up.]
Anyway, overall, fishing has been fair to fun to epic. Little has changed since the last report, but with the warming water last week we have all high-fived several killer topwater sessions. Skitter Walks in calf to low thigh water have still been explosive. Bigger trout have often been shallow with the reds. It's either all about bait concentrations in shallow, muddy water, small depressions next to thick grass beds, or waist deep troughs surrounded by shallow water. There are fish in all of those type places...you just have to fish for them and pick the right pattern for the conditions....and conditions can change by the hour.
Here's a few pics and perhaps a few more details. The weather the next few days will make things interesting and could possibly set things up for one of those 'perfect' days. What are you gonna do about it? We're going to tie some plugs on. Ya'll have fun out there...
January 25th 2008
O.K.....we're finally back on line are after a long absence. We had lost our desktop computer and everything in it, so that made things a bit interesting. We finally just gave up. That's really a shame too because we literally had scores of cool videos and pictures to post up, but hopefully we can eventually recover the data. [Our fault for not backing everything up, but hey...we're just fishing here and not trying to be professional webmasters] . Right now we're winging it on a laptop.
Even so, life is good, the fish are hungry, and all is well in the Lower Laguna. In short, it's *ON *, and it has been since early December. Redfish have been active, big & mean. Most of them have been in calf to low thigh deep water. Big trout are in there with them too...just keep going through them and wait for that one exciting strike that feels a bit different. We've been catching fish on everything from topwaters to Corkies to tails. During slow periods between bites, dragging tails in the grass has been productive. When the bait comes up, so do the plugs, and we have had several great topwater sessions lately.
Water conditions are good and we're seeing a lot of big trout sunning in the sand between northers when it's calm and sunny. I would take it as a good sign for things to come.
Many thanks to everybody who made 2OO7 a great year. Looking forward to an even better 2OO8, and all indications are that we are in one of those good cycles. Here's a few teaser pics to play with while the weather is bad. We'll try to keep up with this site better, but seriously, who wants to sit behind a computer after long days on the water?
Hats off to you guys who can keep your stuff updated. Good fishing everybody.