River Tournament Fishing   Leave a comment

Today I fished the first ever River Bassin tournament series to come to Texas. The series has been around for a few years and just started branching out. Being new here they opened up a couple of lakes that are fed by the Colorado river to try and attract more fisherman. My day started with a 2:30am wake up alarm and I was on the road and headed to my launch by 3am.  A friend of mine agreed to shuttle me as I was fishing the Colorado river outside of Austin and he was right on time at 5am at the takeout point. We unloaded everything from my truck and put it in his then drove to the put in.The stretch that I was fishing today is a ten mile paddle and consists of three elevation changes with a set of rapids at each and a dam that you have to portage around at the halfway point. This is the same stretch that we fish when we do a weekend campout so I wasn’t sure how long it would take to do. Figuring that there was a schelduled water release that would push me down the river starting at 10am and predicted winds of 18mph out of the SE which meant it would be blowing in my face most of the day and making for a good workout I figured that I needed to be off the water and loaded up by no later than 2:30pm in order to drive the 45 miles to the weigh in. Upon arriving at the put in it was apparent that the release scheldule was wrong and it had already occured. This meant that the river was now 3ft lower than normal and there would be more paddling than I thought. After launching I paddled at a brisk pace for thirty minutes bypassing some very shallow unproductive water to get to the old remains of a bridge where I would start the day. Everything was ready and I started fishing the concrete in this deep hole catching my first legal fish on the first cast. After catching a few smaller fish I decided to continue my paddle to my next spot. I had prefished the river two weeks ago and caught four large bass on the day and was hoping for the same success today but with the lack of current and all of the grass showing instead of being two feet underwater it made for a hard day of fishing. Now that’s not to say that I didn’t catch my share of fish, I ended up with over twenty bass caught on the day but I didn’t get the big fish that I was after. The way the tournament works is you are given a stack of numbered cards on a ring and a special icon that is given to you the night before, each time you catch a legal fish you place it on the measuring board and put the number and icon by it then photograph it being sure to get the fish,board,and icon in the photo. You are allowed to weigh in three fish with the total length of the combined three to be used as your score. My three largest fish averaged a little over 17 inches each for a total of 51 1/2 inches. I ended up paddling a little faster than I thought and was out and loaded up to head to the weigh in by 2pm. Even though I didn’t have that kicker fish I was feeling pretty confident thinking that the wind and boat traffic on the lakes might hinder the other contestants. After all of the scores were tallied there was an awards presentation and that is when I found out that my total score ended me up in 6th place, four inches out of the lead. If I would have had the kicker fish like most of the others had it could have ended up differently but then that is why they call it fishing and not catching. I do feel a great sense of accomplishment knowing that I was the only contestant to fish the river as all of the others fished out of the lake by the weigh in where the fish usually run larger in size. The lures that were used today were Texas rigged Dinero and Zoom soft plastics, BlackDog Jigs in Crawfish pattern and a Rebel PopR. If you read through all of this you were either brave or I am getting better at this. Patiently awaiting the next tournament.

See you on the water,

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

Posted May 1, 2011 by rmatt0101 in Uncategorized

My style of fishing   Leave a comment

I grew up a soft plastics fisherman and continue to fish that way almost 95% of the time. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy tossing other lures in pursuit of fish, it’s just something that you have gained confidence in and it’s my go to lure of choice. One thing that I have found is sometimes smaller is better. You will usually find me tossing a Texas rigged Centipede by Zoom or a Lake Fork ring fry from Lake Fork Trophy Lures

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

. These are my go to baits and they are rigged with a 1/8oz bullet weight and usually a 2/0 worm hook. There is something about the action or lack of action of these lures that seem to attract numbers of quality fish even when the bite is slow. It must be the lack of action that causes an impulse strike rather than a reaction strike. I was sent some Dinero worms by Get Five lures out of Austin,TX to try out and found them to be a great addition to my arsenal. I’m not sure if it the slender build of these lures or the tail design that triggered the strikes but they were producing just like the above mentioned lures that I am accustomed to throwing. On a recent river outing I put them to the test against my confidence baits and they matched them fish for fish. Alternating between the three different lures I found the bite to be the same no matter which one I was using. It could have been the added scent attractant that the Dinero comes soaked in which seemed to get the fish to hit it multiple times on the retrieve. I was purposely pulling it out of their mouths to see if the scent would cause them to pursue the lure and they would repeatedly hit the bait each time. Most of the bites on the french fry are suttle and you really need to watch your line, I think the fish just pick it up since it looks dead and move off with it, where the bite on the Dinero was the tell tale thump/thump. Another way to work these lures is by rigging them up on a Carolina rig. I usually go to a larger egg shaped sinker up to 1oz when I fish it this way and add a bead below the sinker on top of the swivel where a three foot leader or less is tied to give the lure a natural fall on the presentation. This is a great way to work deep sloping points and drop offs as well as another way to fish grass flats. When fishing the grass this way you are usually depending on leader length keeping the lure above the grass while you are working it through the strike zone. Both are excellent ways to make presentation to fish whether they are actively feeding or not. Good luck out there.

Posted April 28, 2011 by rmatt0101 in Uncategorized

Coosa Kayak by Jackson Kayaks   Leave a comment

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There are many kayaks out on the market and all claim to do different things. The hardest thing about choosing one is getting the one that fits all of your fishing needs. Now I have owned many brands, Cobra, Native U12, Wilderness Ride and Four different Malibu’s. They were all good respected brands but none of them were designed with the fisherman in mind. The JK Coosa came along with the intent of luring fisherman by offering a kayak that is not only designed for fishermen but it was designed by a fisherman. The other brands would slap some rod holders on and call them a fisherman package but that was about it. The Coosa is basically a fishing platform, you can sit elevated in the high position seat and be comfortable all day as well as being at a better advantage for seeing what’s in front of you. If you are doing a lot of paddlin then you simply lower the seat and get after it, simple. Now I have never been one to stand in a kayak, that is another great design element is you are able to stand and sight cast as well as stand and paddle if you desire. Look at me in the picture. I am 250# and stood and paddled with no problem once I found my balance as well as developed trust in the kayak and myself. Will I do it all of the time, no. But if I want to I am able to. Another thing that I value in a kayak is storage. When camping out of it on a river fishing trip I need to have as much stuff under deck as possible. I was able to put more gear under the deck in the Coosa than I ever was in the other kayaks that I had owned. I also stayed dry in the kayak instead of sitting in water due to the weight. Their are also two rear slanted rod holders that allow your rods to ride in a swept back position instead of straight up, a much better design than others. The front and rear hatches have raised lids that keep water out as well as being able to lock them if you have gear stored inside and you need to run into a store you can lock them and have a little better piece of mind. There is a notch on both sides of the top of the deck where you would normally place your paddle when casting that aids in keeping your paddle in place, even on a windy day. There are many other features that can be found by going to the Jackson Kayak website. If you are a fisherman then this is another great tool.
See ya on the river,
Robert

Posted April 25, 2011 by rmatt0101 in Uncategorized

River Bassin   Leave a comment

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Spent the weekend fishing and camping with some friends on the river. I took this time not only to relax and enjoy visiting with some people that I only get to see when we fish, but also to try out some products and lures that were given to me to test out their usefulness for kayak fisherman. The day started out with meeting up with everyone and get unloaded for our shuttle. We were soon on the water around 8am in the morning and wasn’t to long after we started catching some bass. It didn’t take long to establish a pattern, most of the fish came on soft plastics fished in about a foot of water as they were holding tight to the bank due to the release of water from the dam. I caught around 30 bass on the first day with a few being over five lbs in size. Once we found some grass I switched tactics from soft plastics to a top water, this was what they were looking for as I released fish after fish to the point that the three others fishing with me tied one on to try and get in on the action. We reached our island that we would be camping on for the night and proceeded to set up tents and then gather firewood to last through the night. As the sun set and the full moon started showing it was clear that we would not need headlights to move around during the night. It was nice to be able to see as you moved around and to get serenaded by a pack of coyotes as they ran up and down the bank across from us. The evening turned out cool as bedtime rolled around, it made for a nice night of sleeping. Arose to find that the release of water had halted and the water had dropped about three feet. The wind had also picked up to the point that there would be very little fishing while working our way to the takeout and a lot of paddling just to keep your momentum going forward. We reached the takeout only to find that our vehicles had been rummaged through the beds and anything not tied down was missing. They even took the bed extender from Pauls truck. First time to have this happen here but I guess it was bound to occur sooner or later. It was a great trip regardless and I look forward to the next one.

Posted April 25, 2011 by rmatt0101 in Uncategorized