Catching Up: January 2007

Catching Up: January 2007 C.R. with a beautiful Mexican snook.

The weather in south Texas changes quickly. It went from a balmy 80-degrees to a wintry 35 in less than twelve hours. It was a drastic temperature difference. The water temperature dropped fast too, causing the fish to head for the warmer, deeper water. The channels have been full of trout and redfish. The birds, seagulls and pelicans, have been working in huge flocks in these areas. Mainly the Intra-coastal Waterway has been holding a lot of fish.

We had a great trip yesterday. There were five wade fishermen from Boerne, Texas. The weather was calm for a change. We started out wading in Baffin Bay and caught redfish and that one twenty-six inch trout caught by Jim Kohler. We were using the new "Slurp" by Bass Assassin. This is an extreme scent, shrimp shaped, soft plastic. As they say, it has a natural fish-catching flavor. It worked great, it will definitely add to the action.

About eleven o'clock we moved back up north a few miles and fished the shoreline, wading with the new scented baits from Bass Assassin. The bite really turned on and we caught trout, redfish and drum. Being in a full moon pattern, the best action was in the middle of the day and we had a blast.

Hunting season has begun and my son, C.R., hunts ducks all the time. I scared my wife for a second when I told her, "Our son has a problem; he is addicted to quack." There have been plenty of ducks, it's a good habit. I've said it before, I'm glad we live here, this time of year offers so much for the sportsmen and sportswomen.

Now that I've been using my new boat a few months, I can tell you how impressed I am with it. It's a Pathfinder 2400 Tournament Edition. I have owned a lot of boats through the years. This one is proving to be my favorite. I don't think I'll ever use the smaller boat again. This one has a huge deck space, room for everyone and all their gear. The ride is incredibly smooth; it just glides over the chop. I'll get on top and trim tab the nose down and it just cuts through the waves. When you're on the water as much as I am, the comfort of the ride is a big part of fishing longer and adding years to my fishing. I have it powered with a Yamaha 250 hp Four Stroke that I am equally impressed with. It is quiet running and the gas mileage is incredible. So, with the eighty gallon gas tank, my range is greater than ever. I'm completely satisfied with this boat. Thanks to the fine people at Ronnie's Marine that helped me with it. I've been with Ronnie's Marine for about twenty years now. They have never let me down and things just keep getting better.

So, what does a fishing guide do for a vacation? He goes fishing!

I was fortunate enough to take my family on vacation to the Pacific Coast of Mexico. We loaded up the truck with all our fishing gear and surfboards and drove to a little spot south of Manzanillo. It's on the beach near a river mouth. This time of year is the end of the rainy season and the river starts to clear up and the flow slows down. I had traveled to this place many times before during the past thirty-five years and it hasn't changed too much.

The fishing and surfing are excellent. We anticipated catching snook and brought our Waterloo rods, the 6' 6" and 7', and a bag of all the lures that I thought would work. We'd cast right into the surf at the opening of the river. You never know what could hit the lure because it's unprotected ocean that drops off deep. You can cast right from the beach; it's not necessary to wade.

When I had fished here a couple of years ago the snook were feeding on mullet, so the Mirrolures and topwaters were working. This time the mullet were not there. The snook were feeding on sardines. The clear soft plastics and small sardine imitation crankbaits worked.

As I cleaned the fish for dinner I examined what was in their stomach and that told me what they were feeding on.

Here's a picture of my son C. R. with a nice snook. We all caught our share of jackfish, pargo, snapper and snook. The locals caught the largest snook of course. Everyone enjoyed eating the fresh catch of the day, it was delicious. We surfed and fished everyday;, it was paradise and could not have been better. What a great trip.

The trout fishing this month can be a hit or miss, but I'll be out there wade fishing just as much as the weather will let me. The big trout may not feed every day with the barometer changes and cold conditions. If it's really cold they will get what I call "lock jaw" and they will not feed until the weather warms a little. I have all the weather gear and dress for the conditions.

Remember to check the weather forecast. It's good to be prepared this time of year. I really depend on the NOAA weather radio. It can be bad when those northers come in and I'd hate to be caught out on the water when they hit; let them blow on through and try fishing the next day.