Texas Fishing Reports for 2002

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Copyright 1999-2002 


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December 10, 2002 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman - Lake Level 268.23 (32.97 Low) 55 degrees Air temp-mild wind most of the day gusting to 15 mph in afternoon-Lake Water Temperature 58 degrees

The highs today should be in the sixties and based on the conditions and number of fishermen out on the lake, those bedding bass are going to be bothered by a lot of baits invading their homes/obstetric units. While there are any number of baits that will produce a pick up, as the reports from the last two weeks fishing/tournament reports have shown, it seems to me that right now, the Zoom 8" redbug magnum lizard on one rod and a blue shad or white 1/2 oz spinnerbait with dual white (or nickel) willow blades will be about all you need if you are in the correct water. A rattler on the bait may also improve the pick up rate and use the smallest weight you can get by with and still make your cast.

The 4 to 10 ft edges of 10 to 15 ft creek channels on base of hardwoods (preferably with adjacent vegetation or multiple trunks in close proximity) is where the best and most fish are being caught, but do not rule out other water also. This weekend one of the tournament fishermen threw a bait in the center of a cove, in no visible cover and no apparent hardwood, and a good bass came out of nowhere and nailed it. The fisherman said he had just tossed the spinnerbait up toward the shore and started working it back not even expecting to get bit when a bass that felt like a ten-pounder hit the bait and nearly jerked the rod out of his hands. The bass was small in pounds but very large in attitude.

This has been a recurrent observation of Falcon fishermen for as long as I can remember. This is also why Jim Murray and most of our Falcon guides strongly recommend 65 to 80 lb test braided line. It is especially true if you are fishing the pattern outlined above or anytime you are fishing hardwoods.
I finally heard a plausible explanation as to why Falcon bass put up such a strong fight. Someone from SWRI reminded me that they raise Mexican fighting bulls over at several ranches adjacent to Falcon Lake. He observed a bull using the lake as a convenient dumping station and he concluded this was general practice since most of the indoor toilets are hard to hoof-flush or, are not conveniently located. His reasoning, which seems logical was that since spawning bass frequent these areas where fighting bulls respond to the calls of nature, their eggs are fertilized by male bass as well as some of these bull by-products. The fry therefore have characteristics provided by both gene pools. This is probably the most logical explanation I have heard for explaining the fighting spirit of the Falcon bass.

December 2, 2002 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman - Lake Level 268.27 (32.93 Low) 76 degrees Air temp-mild wind most of the day gusting to 23 mph in late afternoon Lake Water Temperature 68 degrees I ran into several boats today while taking the 21SS Extreme Stratos for a check ride. Local fishermen out enjoying the beautiful weather included John Burnham and Bruce Fox, the Preacher and another couple who caught some nice blues and flatheads.
They were using live bait up the river and had a limit of 5 lb plus fish including a 10 lb flathead.

Burnham and Fox advised they had been out checking some new spots at the higher water levels and they found things had changed significantly. They reported having had had one bite for the day. The preacher had 7 good bass today including one weighing 7 lb plus and one over 8 lbs that waved goodbye as she headed south. This was the second good day in a row (nine yesterday) where Pete has caught fish off willows and hardwoods on the edge of 10 to 15 deep creeks in 4 to 5 ft of water. This is the same pattern that was working for Roy Lee Graham last weekend. Plastic baits are still producing the nice fish, which are continuing to show signs of working the beds. If this warm weather continues to hold, fishing should do nothing but get better.

November 15, 2002 - Texoma - Submitted by Bill Bannister, Guide - Lake Texoma, water clear, normal level, 61 degrees. Stripers excellent to 8 lbs. on live shad, slabs and sassy shads. Black Bass fair on plastic worms and spinnerbaits. Crappie fair on jigs around boat houses over brush piles. Catfish good on cut shad.
Email - bannist9@aol.com

October 25, 2002 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman - Lake Level 262.37 and rising - Winds N 2 mph Gusting to 14 Temps 71 to 86, Water Condition fair to good - Water Temperature 79 To say that yesterday was not your normal catfishing day would have been an understatement especially Our local catfish guide and blue/yellow cat lake record holder Jeffery Hammer. He was out on one of his routine deep-hole Rio Grande excursions when he spotted a floating torso of a hapless soul. A short time later, a horse came floating by also. After calling in the discovery, Hammer kept one eye on the body by moving with the current until the game warden and an accompanying Border patrolman responded to the call. As far as we know the horse is still out there floating in our drinking water.

Why the Game Warden and not the Sherrif's department would respond to a dead body report I cannot explain. Kevin Frazier our new Game Warden is a good hand and he is trying hard to do the right thing and I can tell you that hauling in someone who has been floating for some time in the river cannot be an easy task nor a pleasant one, which is probably why he got the nod on this one.

A couple of fishermen were in today after prefishing for the weekend STBAA tournament. They only had one fish but it weighed over 8 lbs. Several of our locals caught three blacks today to about five lbs. This is one of those times when you are either on the fish or you are in for a slow day. They are definitely not on a big bite. If you enjoyed fishing Falcon at its peak in the early 90's and would like to see her returned to that former glorious status, please email us your comments if you are unable to attend next Wednesday's hearing. We will make sure the Senator receives a copy.

October 24, 2002 - Lake Level 261.35 and rising - Winds ESE 11mph Gusting to 21 Temps 67 to 74, Water Condition fair to good - Water Temperature 78 degrees Fishing has been fair for most anglers reporting. Catches have not been outstanding for size or quantity, but about everyone has had some action. Most of the 5 lb and up fish caught have been showing bloody tails. One boat had 4 fish from 3 to 5 lbs and they were still finding them in the hardwoods in 4 to 10 ft of water. The bigger fish were reportedly being caught in deeper water.

Red shad sickle tail worms were working the best for one group of anglers from San Antonio. Another boat reported catching some good catfish in the river on live bait up to 5 lbs. South Texas Bass Anglers will be here for a club tournament this weekend. Several of the members have been here prefishing, but they have been rigged for silent running so reports are non-existent.

October 30 at 3:00 pm in the Zapata County Community Center, Senator Zaffirini has called for a hearing on the Falcon Lake situation . Congressman Ciro Rodriguez and officials from TPWD, IWBC, Watermaster, TABC and others will be here in Zapata. Please attend if at all possible. Falcon needs your help and support.

October 17 - Lake Level 261.09 & leveling off - Winds ESE to @ 15 mph gusting to 21 - Temps 63 to 79 high - Water good condition fair to good from marker 7 to lower end - water temperature 78 degrees - Lake levels have risen about a foot in the last five days and about 5 ft since the report on the 10th a week ago today. The rise has leveled off for the last few days, but some shad-chasing shallow fish are still being caught on white spinnerbaits; just not very many or very big. Some of the anglers fishing this first day of practice for the weekend OPEC tournament, reported a slow bite on just about all the traditional lures and were buying things like jigs, plastics in "old favorite" colors such as red shad and lots of white skirts.

A few of the fishermen just smiled when I ask about the bite and it is hard to tell who is on the fish. Jimmy Johnson reported a single four-pound fish, but he is one of the guys who smiles a lot and is most always in the hunt. Tomorrow is the last practice day for the two-day event so watch for our report Saturday night.

October 12, 2002 - Lake Level 260.28 & rising fast 7:00 pm 10/12/02- Winds ESE to @ 5 mph gusting to 19 - Temps 93 high - Water good condition to lower end - Water Temperature 81 to 84 degrees

Several boats were here pre-fishing for next weekend's O.P.E.C. Legacy Tournament plus we had a bass club here testing the bite. They had some great tales including one of an old-style Falcon big bass, which zeroed out a 10 lb scale. Load up momma and come on down for some great fun, good food and free beer to all participants. There are a lot of door prizes and that, together with the freebees and three meals, are about enough to recover your entry fees. The prize monies are also generous and it is not just blacks that will put you in the money. Stripers and white bass (if any are located) prize money is offered each day (on the 19th & 20th)
Now, about that big 10lb plus bass. Some times we hear stories, but lack smell- test verification so we have to pass. In this case we had several boats of good fishermen including perennial Falcon tournament angler Jimmy Johnson breaking the news. He caught the fish very shallow and there were three people that verified it looked like an honest 12 lb fish. Some Wildcat Bass Club anglers found a similar pattern with very shallow fish working the shoreline and all that newly covered turf.

The lake is up a solid 4.34 foot per the unofficial total since yesterday afternoon and the unofficial elevation is 260.28 and will (best guess) rise another 2 to 3 ft. (See tournament results for Wildcat Club first day recap). Several boats of cat fishermen went out yesterday trying to catch the rising water bite in the Rio, which typically follows a major inflow. Three boats, one with a former guide and a local that have fished these rises for years, and another guide were zip for three. I would have said this was lies and deception had they not sworn it to be the truth.

Several of our locals blame the vast number of nets and traps that Mexican fishermen have stretched across the river this year in a number of the deep holes. Several reports called in to Operation Game Thief have not produced any reports of arrests or confiscations of vessels, but we were treated to a dissertation on how tough it is to catch anyone.

Yeah Right! As many of you know, I have written report after report about how our out-manned, out-maneuvered enforcement needs to be increased by at least 400 % to even have a glimmer of hope of impacting the illegal netting practices. We have posted addresses and draft letters written to legislators requesting additional wardens and funding. Go to our local news and copy/mail this message to help stress the importance of allocating additional monies before our fishery consists of only rough fish and bow fishermen

October 10, 2002 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman-October 10 - Lake Level 255.94 (10/10) & about to rise - Winds NNE to @ 5 mph gusting to 11 - Temps 71 to 90 high - Water good condition from marker 8 to lower end - water temperature 81 to 83 degrees We have had several locals and one or two out-of-towners (OOTs) on the lake the last few days and reports have been good-to-excellent as far as black bass. We are about to receive a beneficial rise from the heavy rains that fell from Del Rio to Eagle Pass and it appears that Amistad rose nearly two foot yesterday. Laredo is flooding in the low lying areas adjacent to the Rio Grande as I write this report and this water should continue moving downstream to Falcon arriving some time tomorrow and continuing through the weekend.

I am guessing that we may see at least a couple of foot rise. if the river crests above the original 19 ft estimated, we could receive considerably more water. Enough babbling, here is the skinny on fishing:
One of our Zapata boats had eight fish today including a big bass estimated between 9 and ten ponds. Several other good fish were included in the catch as well as a few fish that were just legal. Almost all the fish came on the pattern that we reported in place this weekend i.e., plastic lizards in the hardwoods from 4 to 12 feet. The Zoom watermelon red 6" lizards were the hot bait today.

One of our good customers from the Valley was hear prefishing for next weekends OPEC tournament and while he was fishing a lot of areas other than his prime spots he had a good number of fish on Zoom lizards also. Most of his fish were legal, but not big. Another duo reported some spinnerbait and crankbait action off points and in hardwoods and brush. Overall it looks pretty good for the weekend unless the new water hits us faster and harder than we anticipate.

Catfishing has been fair, but should take a big leap to good-to-excellent when the new water arrives.

October 6 - Lake Level 256.12 (10/4) & dropping, wind gusting to 26 yesterday - water clarity good lower end to stained upper end
Some boats pre-fishing for the OPEC Legacy tournament, together with the two bass clubs contesting their respective October club tournaments and a few locals brought the largest number of boats to Falcon in some time (approximately 25 boats). Nearly every one caught some fish this weekend although there were only a few 5-fish limits. Of the 87 fish weighed, their were approximately 10 fish over four pounds with a 6.4 big bass.

The vast majority of big fish were located on the hardwoods in 4 to 12 ft of water. Typically the larger fish came from the outermost trees while some fishermen had as many as thirty fish on secondary points in the willows and salt cedars. Atascosa Bass Club's Dub Billings weighed eight fish totaling 31.6 lbs. This was the heaviest stringer out of the two clubs 23 participants and Dub also had the big bass of 6.4 lbs (See Tournament Results for details). McAllen Bass Anglers also weighed some six-pound fish, but their heavy stringers were lighter than those of the Atascosa club. The main difference appeared to be the type of water they were fishing. Al Malone had a 6.2 lb fish, which was big bass for his club.

One of the non-tournament boats pre-fishing for OPEC estimated about 25 lbs for their five best fish on Saturday including two 6 lbers, two 5 lbers and one 4 lb fish. They also caught a number of smaller fish so overall, the anglers had some good action. A few fish were reported being caught on spinnerbaits, but plastic lizards in black neon/chartreuse and watermelon red appeared to be the bait of choice. The stripers were showing up again on points taking swimming baits and crankbaits. Catfishing was reported as fair-to- good.

October 2 - Lake Level 256.17 & dropping, wind gusting to 29 yesterday - water clarity good lower end to stained upper end
Several reports from some of the local fishermen and some visitors as well indicates the slow bite is continuing through mid-week. Fish have been scattered and those that have been caught were small and/or did not measure the legal 14 inches. Mornings have been very pleasant, but even with the warming trend fish have not found the bite they lost during the seven foot plus rise. Look for scattered fish in the hardwoods or possibly some suspended fish out off the points, ledges and rocks. Watermelon red, watermelon or black neon/chartreuse plastics are the best bet with spinnerbaits and crankbaits possible options.

Catfishing has continued fair-to-excellent on live bait worms, shrimp and stinkbait. Striper reports have been unremarkable.

September 19, 2002 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman-

September 19 - Lake Level 255.53 & Rising - Water Temperature 82 Degrees- Water Clarity Good Lower End/Stained to Muddy Upper End and Creeks - Wind Light to Medium
Fishing pressure has been light this week and the lake is off limits for those fishing the Honey Hole Tournament this weekend. Thanks to the recent rains, the lake has risen 3.92 feet since the last fishing report on the 15th. Several fishermen from Boerne were in town this week and they reported a good day on the lake Wednesday. They had 25 fish total including several in the four to five pound range. They were using watermelon Power Worms in 6 feet of water and they were also catching some fish on crankbaits.
Catfishing has picked up again with the river holes producing fish up to 18 lbs. There have been no reports on stripers, but deep/mid running crankbaits and lipless crankbaits should both generate some striper activity on rock points early and ledges/rock piles later in the day.
September 15 - Lake Level 251.61 (9/13) & Rising - Water Temperature 83 Degrees - Water Clarity Good Lower End/Stained to Muddy Upper End and Creeks - Wind Light NNE to 22 mph
Several boats were out this weekend pre-fishing for next weekend's Honey Hole Tournament. Bruce Fox and John Burnham caught a number of weighable fish up to 5 1/2 lbs. Some of the local anglers reported the two dominant patterns of the last few weeks i.e., crankbaits on points, rocks and ledges and plastic Zoom lizards in 4ft of water on hardwoods, were both producing fish. Another boat reported 1 striper and no blacks using the same patterns so the catching is not universal.
The catfishing has picked up a great deal since the river started running and live bait, shrimp, stink bait and night crawlers have all been catching fish. Some of the local guides have been putting their customers on some good catches of catfish in the river.
According to one of the anglers, they received a letter from Honey Hole Tournament Director Ralph Celedon stating that the registration at Falcon Lake Tackle on the 21st had been cancelled. I understand that anglers need to contact him by phone or at the ramp on the morning of the 22nd. We have e-mailed him in an attempt to confirm this information, but we have not yet received a reply.

September 12 - Lake Level 251.18 & Rising - Water Temperature 83 Degrees- Water Clarity Good Lower End/Stained to Muddy Upper End and Creeks - Wind Light NNE to 11 mph
The lake has risen a little over two feet thanks to the Fay generated rain and we temporarily have launching back at the Zapata County Point Ramp. A couple of our local fishermen (Russ Gruver and Lou Franich) were out today for a few hours and they found five black bass to 5 1/2 lbs and a couple of skillet stripers to go along with the blacks. They found two patterns working and fish were caught on both plastics and hard baits. They nearly got stuck in the mud at the State Park when loading and they caution others planning to launch/load there now to use a 4 x 4 vehicle.
It never ceases to amaze us that the State Park Staff are so unconcerned about launching conditions and the boating public. They seem to feel their only job is to collect fees and they turn a blind eye to the process of maintenance and/or improvements. If they would do a little maintenance work and blade out the soft spots and then haul in and compact some rocks and caliche, they could have removed all the impediments by now or even better, why not pour some concrete and make a real ramp?
Catfishing has been picking up the last few days, but several disturbing reports have come in about Mexican commercial netters working some of the deep holes in the river with traps and nets clear across the Rio Grande. These holes (US side) are no longer producing the quantity or quality of fish that locals had come to take for granted. It is no wonder when the Mexican netters are hauling them out by the boat loads. The species of white bass and crappie, Rio Grande perch and channel cat are history and they (Mexican netters) have now turned their attention to black bass, blue cats and flatheads. All of these species including sunfish are showing year-to-year dramatically diminishing numbers, but enforcement is inadequate to make any impact. When the Operation Gamefish folks were contacted to report this activity their attitude was antagonistic and very defensive. Instead of thanking us for the report, the phone clerk was more interested in telling us what a difficult process it was to catch any of the netters impling that we should not be wasting time reporting these incidents. Apparently the whole TPW department is consumed with the "its too big a job syndrome".
If you are a Falcon fisherman (or woman), please go to www.tpwcomment.com and relay your experiences with illegal netting at Falcon and enter your request for corrective enforcement action. It can't hurt and it might even help.

September 4 - Lake Level 249.82 (9/3) & Dropping - Water Temperature 84 to 89 degrees - Water Clarity Good Lower End, Stained to Muddy Upper End - Wind Conditions Moderate
For a holiday weekend, it was about as slow as a fat dog sleeping on a sunny porch. I do not think we saw more than two boats and they were heading south. Messrs. Burnham and Fox were out for a couple days and they caught some fish and had a big one on, which flashed them and then headed south. Crankbaits and plastics both produced fish, just not very many.
With no launching capability in Zapata due to the dropping lake level, I am afraid our fishing reports are going to be pretty scarce. I just finished sending letters to all the TPW Commissioners confirming our presentation made at the hearing last Wednesday. Hopefully something positive will happen as a result of this effort. We have their names and information on our website www.tackleandrods.com under Local Information. The efforts of anyone who can take the time to write these folks a letter of concern will be appreciated.
Catfishing action has been reported as good to 15 lbs on live bait. Shrimp, night crawlers and stink bait are producing smaller catfish in traditional locations along the river, marker 9 and by the Old Veleno Bridge. No reports have been received on stripers.

August 14, 2002 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman- August 14 Lake Level: 253.07 & Dropping - Water Temperature 87 Degrees & Up - Water Clarity - Good
Like most days, Wednesday started out with light-to-medium winds and as of 12 noon, wind was gusting to about 15 mph. If you are fishing this time of year (unless you are young and/or tough as nails) figure on an early 6:30 am start and pack it in by noon. This goes for outside yard work and swatting flies also. This is the time of year that there is lots of stuff brewing in the Gulf so hopefully we can catch some more water in time to salvage our launching in Zapata.

Fishing has been good for black bass on crankbaits fished over rocky ledges. Several boats out fishing earlier this week reported mixed results, but Bruce Fox had two good days in a row fishing with his grandson and granddaughter. Their two-day effort ended on Wednesday with 7 blacks and 8 stripers and about thirty total fish for the two days. The 3 big blacks Wednesday weighed 4.7, 5.7 and 5.8 lbs. and all were caught on Norman DD22 Crankbaits The stripers and blacks were all sharing the same ledges in the Tigers. One fisherman from Atascosa had only a couple fish for a half-day effort Monday compared to a two-day limit during his recent club tournament.

The Lake level is spiraling downward again. A few more feet and it will be back to the State Park for the only possible launching except for rafts and dinghies.

Be sure and mark your calendars for the O.P.E.C. Legacy Tournament Oct 18 and 19. We now have the rules and entry forms available on our website. Go to FLT Front Page "Coming Events" and click OPEC. If you fish with a Bass Club, let me know what you think about the possibility of hooking up and doing a combined club and OPEC tournament. If there is sufficient interest, we may submit a recommendation to the Board for some special prizes and club recognition awards.

August 6, 2002 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman- August 6 Lake Level: 253.79 & Dropping - Water Temperature: 84-89 degrees - Water Clarity: Good Lower Lake to Stained from 7 to River Ralph Crockett just left the store having fished this morning until the wind lay and the heat index made fishing conditions plum miserable. He had some good fish off the hard woods with a 7.2 lb big bass.

He did a lot better in the hardwoods than we did Saturday. We fished the Coyote about as far back as you can go and we had one fish total for our 90-minute effort. I have to admit we were probably fishing too fast, but the captain was throwing spinnerbaits and this was no time to try and fish a "slow repeated casts to the same target with lizards pattern". Cat fishing reports have been about the same, i.e. fair-to-good and no one has reported any striper action

August 3 Lake Level: 253.85 (8-1) & Dropping - Water Temperature: 84 degrees Water Clarity: Good Lower Lake to Stained from 7 to Muddy in River
Fishing reports have been scarce as game wardens on Falcon Lake, but I am happy to say I counted one of each today. The TPWD boat was out on the lake and he should have done well because we counted six nets on the US side from Marker 6 to Marker 3 and saw several Mexican boats heading into the US to run them.

I had a report from a couple (man and his wife) that fished Wednesday and Thursday of this week under some very poor conditions (35 mph winds). They found only a few fish and they were all small. We received no other reports for the last few days so when I got the chance to go out fishing with Bruce Fox today, I jumped on the offer for several reasons i.e., a long dry spell on fishing and I wanted to take pictures and check the depth on the reworked and new bridge cuts. Recently, the work on these cuts was reported (by Speedy Collette of Rolling Stone who did the work at the request of County Judge David Morales) to be finished. The International Water and Boundary requested some pictures and I was anxious to check the depth.

For those of you that have not met or do not know of Bruce, he and his partner Mutt McNeil are repeat Honey Hole Anglers of the Year and they are in contention again this year. They are not just lucky, they work at it and they have enormous knowledge about all the lakes on the circuit including Falcon. In between fishing tournaments and running Foxco, his oilfield supply business, Bruce also guides. With the lake dropping, Bruce felt the fish might be out roaming the rock piles and he was dead on. We found one or two fish on each pile we worked and our best five fish would have weighed 22 lbs. The 6.8 lb big bass (see picture) took a GDD22 Norman crankbait. We caught fish on plastic baits, spinner baits and crankbaits.

I would summarize today's trip as follows: Fishing was great, catching was good and fishing out of Bruce's 2002 Stratos was delightful. Catfishing has slowed from the high level of activity experienced during the period that the river was running to slow-to-good. There have been no reports on stripers and we did not catch any off the rocks today.

July 24, 2002 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman- - Lake Level 254.72 Lake Water Temperature 83 degrees, Air Temperature 93 Degree High, Wind Gusts 37 mph N-NE A small front blew through Zapata today bringing .79 inch of rainfall and dropping the temperature a few degrees. Night fishing for big cats has been paying dividends for anyone willing to sacrifice their sleep. Jeffery Hammer brought in a 31lb blue cat that he is going to certify as a Falcon Lake record.

At the present time there are only two records posted for Falcon Lake, a gar and the Deaton black bass. The process for certifying Water Body Records involves completing a set of forms, documenting via pictures/measurments and obtaining a weight slip from a certified scales. It also requires the verification of a disinterested source. It takes a little work, but it can be done. We have the forms available at Falcon Lake Tackle.

Bass fishing has continued fair or good depending on who is fishing. The crankbait bite has been back in evidence, but plastics are still the best bet and I would start with the watermelon red or red bug colors in the Zoom magnum lizards.

Stripers are still showing up on drop offs and rocky points. Even though the bass are scattered due to the 8 ft rise in the lake level since July 1, you can expect to catch some decent fish and a fair number of small ones if you stay with it and work the traditional Falcon summer patterns.

July 20, 2002 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman-
Lake Level 254.33 (7/19) Lake Water Temperature 83 degrees, Air Temperature 96 Degree High, Wind Gusts 24mph E-SE.

Catfishing continues good-to-excellent from the shoreline as well as from boats on stinkbait, shrimp and worms. Live bait has been producing some big catfish in the river holes.

Bass fishermen are continuing to find fish scattered due to the recent rise in the lake level. Big fish for the weekend was 7.58 lbs (See Tournament Report 7/20). The crankbait bite, which has been missing for the last several weeks, was back in play this weekend and the BAGLEY DB3 Firetiger bait nailed the big fish Saturday. Watermelon red lizards continue to produce fish and some spinnerbait action was also noted.

I have reported from personal experience and/or reliable reports that stripers continue to show up taking about any type of bait being presented to black bass. This weekend was no exception. Spinnerbaits seemed to be the victims of stripers this weekend as the picture of Tommy Steransky's fish will attest. (See Under Tournament Results)

July 15, 2002 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman
Lake Level 250.90 and rising Lake Water Temperature 81 to 82 degrees

The San Antonio Bass Club fielded 24 anglers for the weekend tournament and nearly all the fishermen and ladies caught fish. Lamont Potter had a 7.27 lb bass on Saturday and it was caught on an 8" Zoom watermelon red lizard. We have the pictures and recap posted under the Tournament Results section.

Non-tournament fishermen also reported some good results for their weekend efforts. Messrs. Fox and Burnham had a limit of bass both days including an 8 lb big bass. Most of their fish came on plastic baits. The watermelon red Senko was their most productive bait. The excellent crankbait bite of last weekend seems to have all but disappeared this weekend.

Catfishermen reported good results, but the size was down based on the reports received. No reports on stripers were received.

July 8, 2002 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman
Lake level 249.38 ft -on July 8 - (up about 2 1/2 ft since July 1) Lake Temperature 81 degrees..
Several boats were out this weekend fishing for bass, catfish and stripers. Most of the reports were in the good-to-excellent range. I received a call from Carlos Olivarez who is the owner of Falcon Heights Motel and also books guide trips both for Falcon fishing and hunting for quail, deer and white wing doves in Mexico. His busy season for white wing hunts in Mexico is fast approaching and Carlos will be spending most of his time promoting those hunts during the next few months. He called to see if I wanted to give the fishing a go before he officially changes hats.

Carlos recently purchased a single console 20 ft Champion and it brought back some memories of fishing in my old Champion, which I sorely miss. Anyway, it was about 1:15 PM when I pulled into the motel and we headed over to the State Park launching ramp. The launching and loading was fine and even though we were launching just as the temperature was peaking at 98 degrees and all the other boats were loading up, it really didn't bother me. I had decked out with a long sleeve white shirt, my best light-weight fishing pants, my hand protectors and a brand new Falcon Lake Tackle Coastal Wader with the terry cloth back towel, which I dipped in the water repeatedly and let the cool lake water run down my back all day. All this preparation was amazingly successful and together with the Gel Pre Sun, I was very comfortable all day and have no burn to treat as I usually do the next day after a summer afternoon fishing trip.

It was absolutely a drop-dead gorgeous day on the lake. We had light to moderate winds and a gorgeous evening capped off with a beautiful sunset. The big fish of the day broke Carlos off and took his secret weapon that had already put me in the hole 3 to zip. I was sorry for Carlos, but this finally slowed him down enough that I started catching up. I never managed to pull ahead, but we landed a total of 14 fish including 3 stripers over the 18" minimum. We never put on any slabs or went looking for stripers, but they showed up any time we were in an area with good rock ledges dropping off into deep water. I feel sure we could have limited on these fish if we had tried some other patterns.

Most of the stripers came from near the dam while the black bass came from a combination of brush piles, rocks and concrete structures. Crankbaits were our most effective lure, with Zoom redbug centipedes catching fish also. I was surprised that I got no pick-ups when I rigged these centipedes wacky style. On this particular day, the Aggressor weighted fluke hook and centipede rigged Texas style were the ticket. Also, the crankbait action was significantly better using 14 lb line. Even though we had several break-offs on the lighter line, the number of strikes was about 5 to 1 with 14 lb test winning out over 20 lb line.

I received several reports of big catfish being caught in the river holes since the river started running. The big catfish weighed was 35 lbs and a 15 and 20lb fish were also caught.

July 6, 2002 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman
Lake Level 248.03 (53.17 low) Lake Temperature 80 degrees
Several locals were out yesterday and they reported bass fishing as fair with mostly 13 to 15 inch fish and not a lot of them. They had a couple of solid keepers, but nothing to write home about. Yesterday the Zapata County News reported a 193 lb gar being hooked and landed in the Big Tigers area so it appears that some of the larger fish have started to show themselves.

Even though the State Record fish were take in the winter months, July and August is the time of year that the gar fishermen start to hook and shoot many of the big gar. TPWD still shows the 1951 Rio Grande 279 lb Alligator Gar as the Rod and Reel record and the unrestricted record is 302 lbs. We know that fish well over 200 lbs have come from this area and a 231 lb fish was taken by some folks from the north, I believe Minnesota, that come to Beacon Lodge each summer to hunt gar. Also, the gar we have pictured on the Species Section of our website (Under Lake Information) weighed in at 220 lbs.

The river is running pretty strong right now and the catfishing has picked up considerably. Just about anything you use will work during days when the water is running including live and cut bait, shrimp, worms and stink bait. The large fish still come from the deep river holes on live or cut bait.

July 4, 2002 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman
Lake Level 247.13 (54.07 ft low)
The lake level has risen about .16 since the low of 246.97 July 1. We are still below last year's low point (which came in August) and neither the recent rains nor the increased releases from Amistad have had a major impact.

Fishing pressure has been light the past two weeks, therefore our reports have been less frequent. The fishermen that we have seen go out report mixed results so a fair-to good rating is about the best we can do for black bass and stripers. The crankbait-on-drop-offs pattern has been the most productive with Carolina rigged plastics coming in a close second. None of the folks we have talked to have gone out looking for stripers, but almost everyone using crankbaits looking for black bass have caught stipers on the rocks, especially during the early morning hours.

The traditional Falcon favorite crankbait colors of red/black early and firetiger or watermelonseed (GDD22, GDD14 or GDLN) when the sun appears still seem to be producing fish. I am sure that Rapala, Bagley and Berkley crankbaits would work also, but there are just more fishermen using the Norman baits. The Zoom Centipede in red bug color has found some fish for local fisherman Mike Patrick on the drop-offs on the lower end of the lake. Catfishermen and women are still reporting good catches and some large fish are coming on live bait in the river holes when you can get there. Nightcrawlers, stinkbait and shrimp are all working in the lake so take your pick and go fishing.

Have a great 4th of July..

July 3, 2002 - Falcon - I noticed that the info you have on Falcon is dated and inaccurate. EX: There are no white bass left in lake...Of 3 boat ramps you ref as working only one is working. I am not being critical because I think you guys have a great site. I was born in hutchinson, went to college in Wichita and love Ks. We have a lot of folks who come here for the winters. I have a website where current info is posted on fishing reports, launching, lake level, weather, hazards etc every few days or as situation changes. It is www.tackleandrods.com

April 29, 2002 - Lake Nacogdoches - (4/26/2) Black bass good on top waters early. Spooks, Buzz baits, and Rogues until around 9:30 or 10:00 in the shallows, 5ft. or less. Midday bass on small white single spins, pink floating worms, and black and blue jigs with a craw worm in the creek channels.

April 29, 2002 - Stienhagen: (4/26/2) Black bass good on topwaters, Spooks, Pop-R's, and Rogue's until noon. Midday on blue worms fished texas rigged around laydowns.

April 8, 2002 - Cedar Springs (Bob Sandlin) - Fished this past weekend (4-6 & 4-7) for black bass. Had a good time. Landed several 2 to 3.5 lb. fish back in the creek (inlet) using a black and blue lizard, texas rigged. Had a really great time, the bass are in the shallows now. Water temp. was at 62

April 4, 2002 - Ray Roberts - Got into the sand bass yesterday evening on Lake Ray Roberts. Found them under the birds at the mouth of State Park Cove. Caught them on chrome slabs bounced off the bottom. It was real fun. I had intended to
bass fish but just can't bring myself to ever pass up schooling fish.
Check out all the pictures at http://users.myexcel.com/metromonte/

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