Catching Up: November 2008

Catching Up: November 2008
Jay Ray Watkins and C.R. Webb were a tough team to beat in the 2007 Texas Trout Series; C.R. will be taking the reins of the Webb family’s fishing business.
I am sure that by now everybody is very happy to say goodbye to hurricane season. Our thoughts and prayers have been with all the people of the Galveston Bay region. You guys took a hard lick this year and we pray for your speedy recovery.  Everybody along the coast prays that each and every one of your homes and businesses will be rebuilt soon and better than ever before. After seeing the pictures of the devastation, I am amazed at what Mother Nature is capable of doing.  If it could be in my control Texas would never be ravaged by another hurricane.

Here in the Corpus area we were lucky to dodge Ike’s wrath. We experienced extremely high tides with the passing of the storm and there is debris on our beaches but we can certainly live with these. We’ve had  north winds almost continuously for three weeks following the storm. The north winds and cooler temperatures they brought along with low humidity have made for great weather. It took the heat off earlier than usual. 

The fish have been scattered with the high tides. When we do find them they are not in large numbers as they were before the high tide. We’ll pick up a few good trout along with a lot of small ones then have move to pick up a few more. The most productive area has been the King Ranch shoreline. The stretch between Bird Island and Humble bridge has been the most consistent. Down south in Baffin Bay it has been pretty slow.  

Packery Channel jetties have been providing some very good fishing. Now that the wind and seas have calmed the fishermen who frequent that area are doing quite well catching big redfish, trout, snook and flounder. It is good to have those jetties providing solid action when the rest of our bay systems are going through the kind of changes we’ve been seeing lately. 

I get phone calls all the time from people who want to know what the fish are hitting. Out of the many baits we have been throwing I would have to say best soft plastic lure has been the 5” Salt Water Assassin and the best color has been plum with chartreuse tail. The best top water lure by far has been the chrome and black She Dog.

I am excited about my new  2009  Pathfinder 24' Tournament Edition from Ronnie’s Marine here in Corpus Christi.   This one has the newest outboard technology from Yamaha and they call it the F250B. It has digital electronic remote control by computer called, fly-by-wire.  There is no cable or linkage from the throttle to the engine. This system is incredibly smooth and responsive and the difference between this and a mechanical system is absolutely amazing. Perhaps the neatest thing about the fly-by-wire system is the level of control it provides during low-speed operation. Docking and getting in and out of a slip or sling is now much easier.  Also of note, the model year 2009 gauges are totally different. They are much more detailed and provide a good deal more information regarding engine performance and fuel consumption.

November brings cold fronts and cooler weather and the north wind will lower the tide quite a bit. This is when I start to get real excited about fishing for big trout. I have included a photograph of one of the many heavy trout I was fortunate enough to land last winter. Looking back through my fishing log book and photo album sometimes makes we wish it could February all year. 

As I close this month’s article I want to announce that I am finally going to slow down a little.  After 30-something years of guiding and working on the water year ‘round Carol and I are going to try and do some of the things we have yearned to do for many years. We will be traveling some and taking fishing vacations whenever we can.  My son C.R. will continue running our charter business fulltime and I will be joining him when things get real busy and helping with favored clients I have enjoyed meeting and fishing with over the years. You can rest assured I’ll be on the water with C.R. and our clients as many days as the weather will allow during “big trout” season. I have truly enjoyed my time here as the Upper Laguna/Baffin Bay writer for TSFMag and will show up on these pages as a part-time correspondent to give everybody an update and pass along a good story from time to time.  I want to say a special thanks to all my fishing clients and readers and also to Everett and Pam Johnson for having me as part of their writing team.

Good luck and good fishing.