Hooked Up: October 2017

Hooked Up: October 2017
Hello, friends. Like so many others affected by Harvey, I am at a loss for the right words to convey to those who have been so deeply affected by the storm. We went without power seven days, lost fencing and some trees, but that pales in comparison to what so many of my friends, clients, and distant neighbors suffered to the north of Corpus Christi. My heart goes out to all of you, and many prayers for the long recovery ahead. This has all been a surreal experience, but I could never be prouder of the people and the great State of Texas.

It took me about a week to get back on the water after the storm passed. Based on how Flour Bluff made out, I didn't expect to see too many changes on the water. Everything, for the most part, was pretty normal. As expected, some floating cabins ended up on Padre Island and there was some floating debris that will create havoc for those of us who run in the dark.

There was an eerie calm across the Laguna as we headed out, and you could just feel in your bones that something really big had taken place. As the big Mercury slowed to idle off of a long run, and the light was just starting to crack the horizon, we caught our first glimpse of life – baitfish on the surface. It seemed like the switch was flipped during Harvey and the bait migration was suddenly in full swing. Just about any area we shut down, the surface was full of life – and "fishy" to the eye.

September and October have always been the months to follow the bait toward the gulf.  This year seems to have been kickstarted by Harvey, and we have already been benefiting with easy catching and some very healthy trout in the mix.

My charters are still beginning in Baffin and beyond on most every morning, however, the Laguna will start lighting up as the bait heads north towards Corpus Christi Bay. There is so much structure in the Upper Laguna that the fish can be in any of a hundred places at any given time. A good supply of bait on anything resembling a drop-off, grass line, or old channel and you should not have any issues getting some solid action on any Bass Assassin of choice.

In anticipation of colder weather fishing, I love to start getting prepared during October for the season ahead. One of the highlights for me now is getting my hands on 13 Fishing's new Concept Z reel. This reel utilizes a very slick polymer bushing versus traditional roller bearings. I know it sounds kind of crazy, but 20-years ago we were using bushings in an old green reel with very good success. Back then we lost a little distance on the cast, but the maintenance was minimal. The Concept Z promises a new, even slicker bushing, that provides very high spool speed, which allows for exceptionally long casts. Longer cast and reduced maintenance is a win-win for me.

This time of year is also when I spend lots of time making sure all gear is clean and in good shape for the upcoming fall and winter seasons. Many of us are guilty of stuffing gear away in the garage for months, only to find out that it needs cleaning or repair the next time we get on the water to use it. Be proactive with your reels and have them cleaned now. Load up some new braided line, and make sure it is packed on tight. Do a pool check on your waders and make sure you can get another season out of them. Trust me, being cold and wet will spoil even the most spirited angler’s day. Change out the rusty hooks on your favorite plugs while watching a college football game. All of these things seem obvious, but I have seen it all come to fruition ten times over. A minimal amount of time on gear prep now will pay big dividends when you get back on the water for big trout.

In closing, keep the prayers rolling in for all our friends who fell victim to Harvey. Texans are about as resilient and self-reliant a bunch of people as God ever created.  We will get through this, and be bigger and stronger than ever. God Bless!

Remember the buffalo! -Capt David Rowsey