Texas Fishing Report

Submitted by Anglers Like You

2004

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Copyright 1999-2004

 

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December 31, 2004 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman - What a way to close out 2004 with 81 degree temperatures, great fishing and a lot of our good customers here to enjoy both the weather and the good bite we have going. Yes folks, Falcon fishing has gone from exceptionally good to outstanding. Yesterday, Beacon Lodge owner Speedy Collett guided a couple fishermen from Missouri to one of their best days on the water and one of the best guide trips in recent history. Before I get into the specifics of their day on the water, let me provide some background.

Smithville Missouri is a great fishing area and Catfish Austin's Smithville Marine has brought, sent or badgered a lot of fishermen to Zapata's Falcon Lake, typically accompanied by Catfish . He called earlier this week and said that although he was unable to personally come right now, if my reports were factual, he had a couple friends he was going to send down. I assured him that good, bad or mediocre we always told it as we received it and he could take our reports to the bank. Well, he did just that and late Wednesday evening a couple of tired guys from Missouri pulled in after having worked most of the day and driven over 1000 miles. Lonnie Holliday and his friend were not new to Texas, but they were nevertheless somewhat skeptical. They had made other trips to Texas's supposedly "hot spots" and to several destinations in Mexico as well, but most of these long trips had met with less than spectacular results.

So, with a bad cold picked up courtesy of a long drive and skepticism equal to their trip odometer reading, they hit Zapata home to Falcon Lake Tackle. They got set up in their room at Beacon and headed to Falcon Lake Tackle for the latest fishing report and the hot lures. We put them on some good baits, a package of 80 lb braided Power Pro line and some 5/0 Superline Gamakatsu hooks. They felt more secure in the fortifications of their arsenal after pondering our assurances that without these, they would be no match for the Falcon Muy Grandes that were out there just waiting to bust off too-light tackle of unsuspecting Missouri fishermen.

They also listened to the tales of another fisherman who happened to venture into the store while they were here and his experiences of Wednesday reinforced their decision to purchase the suggested armaments. They then headed back to Beacon where they met up with Speedy. Showing wisdom beyond their years, they pooled their cash and made the decision to have Speedy guide them the first day. It turned out to be the right choice.

They boated what according to Speedy would have been a record setting day for numbers of legal length bass on any lake in Texas. Even though the big bass caught was a little less than 6 lbs, they had over two-hundred legal fish in the boat by the end of the day and nearly that number of undersized scrappers that fight as hard as 5 lbers in most lakes. Dark worms were working on about any drop-off or in 15 ft of water on points with trees.
Some of these locations gave up 30, 40 or 50 fish without moving and some of them had 4 to 5 lb fish stacked up like spare footballs at a Dallas Cowboy football game.

One sad note, even my admonishment about bass with bad attitudes and the fact they loaded up with heavy hooks and braided line did not end up tilting the scales totally in the guys favor. A big bass hit, doubled up and nearly broke the rod, then tore off in one of the hardwoods ending their hopes of landing a double digit hawg from Falcon, at least for Thursday. Friday will be another day and thanks to Speedy they know where at least one hawg calls home.

If you are sitting around the fire in one of the northern states, probably with 10 degree temps and snow on the ground and up to your naval, you might want to do what Lonnie and his buddy did. Give us a call at 956-765-4866, or call Beacon at 956-765-4616 and get Speedy or one of his guys booked and then head for Zapata. I guarantee you that work will still be there when you return and you might just feel better about doing it with a few good memories in your book and some fish stories in your arsenal. If you catch a cold on the way, we have some orange, grapefruit and lemons in our orchard that will get you pumped up on Vitamin C. Take a bag or two back to your home and when your friends see how good they are, you might just sell them and get enough cash to help pay for your trip. This may be the only fruit you have eaten that requires a bib for protection.
You might think graprefruit is for old folks, if so try this recipe. Cut the grapefruit in half, coat the fruit with butter and then put brown sugar over the butter. Microwave until warm and enjoy a delicious South Texas Ruby Red Treat.

Speedy and his guides can also take you to one of the nearby Northern Mexico Lakes for a unique fishing adventure split between Falcon and day trips to several Mexico lakes including Las Blancas, Sugar and/or El Cuchillo. We have the necessary Mexico Boat Permits and Licenses available here at Falcon Lake Tackle www.falconlake.com.

One additional note about the duck hunting, which several parties are currently successfully pursuing. There are a lot of ducks on the lake right now and most every one is getting a lot of shooting. Daily bag limits are not uncommon for the good shots. We will try to do a detail report as soon as possible. Deer hunting has also been good and our ammo sales have been double what we have seen in prior years.

Until next year, practice Catch and Release and have a very Bassy New Year.

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December 28, 2004 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman - I have been receiving a lot of calls about Falcon's fishing conditions from fishermen planning a New Years outing and best we can tell, the cooler weather has not been of any great detriment to fishing. Although it made it into the fifties, the water is warming back up as is the air temperature. Maybe the overall average size is a little smaller, the overall number may be a little less, but fishing is still good-to-excellent depending on who you talk to for both bass and catfish. Our high temperature yesterday reached 69 degrees, and by 9:00 am we had already reached 52 degrees this morning. By noon the temperature passed 73 degrees and the winds have been gusting out of the South at 12 mph with high gusts of about 22 mph. Some of the bank and dock fishermen here visiting for the holidays have caught both some good cats and nice bass. Bass have been caught both deep and in shallow. The lake level is continuing to drop, albeit very slowly. Falcon is still a little over 289.50 ft, which is a little over 11 ft low.

Some of our locals have discovered a bait that has been working well for bass here on Falcon for several weeks. It is a red, black-core 7" ring worm and we are usually able to get them in bulk. The 7" sell for 15 cents and they have been working "as good as any bait and better than most", according to the locals who are using them. We sold three thousand to a tackle store near San Antonio, have reordered twice for local sales and they are still selling. Apparently they are working at a lot of lakes because we also filled two big orders out-of-state. We have the same red, black-core color in 11 inch worms and 6" lizards also.

Until next time, practice Catch and Release of all big fish.

December 24, 2004 & December 25 Update: Dawn brought a White Christmas to South Texas and a light dusting to Zapata, the first since 1973. Our friends in Buffalo NY, our relatives in Kansas and everyone at all points in between would scoff if we referred to this as "snow", but here is proof from the front of our house, that it was (at the very least) a moist, white substance that fell on Zapata.

Christmas Eve Day: From Zapata, Texas, home of Falcon Lake and South Texas's number one fishing and hunting destination for many Texas natives and winter Texans, Barbara and I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a joyous holiday season. The weather got a little messy here (on Christmas Eve Day). We woke to a misty rain, 31 degree temps and winds gusting to 15 mph out of the Northwest. This is not nearly as bad as what other areas are experiencing north of us, nor are we as cold as what it is expected to be (in the mid-twenties) Christmas eve.

We will be spending a good portion of the day picking fruit, draining hoses and getting propane tanks filled. Hunkering down for a freeze is just not as much fun as it use to be. Meanwhile, those braving the winds and cooler temperatures have continued to catch fish, if not as many as before the cooler weather arrived. Deep and/or deep and suspended is the best bet right now and plastic brushogs and baby brushog in red bug and watermelon red are still a good bet.

In case you have not heard, the sale of the tackle store we were anticipating never materialized so we are going to continue running the store and website next year as we have in the past. If you hear of someone interested in taking over a really fun business, let us know. We sincerely appreciate your support over the last year and the business that you have brought to us both in the store and over the web site e-store. We have now sold tackle, gifts and marine supplies to customers in 46 states and 6 countries including Spain, Germany, Brazil, Australia, Mexico and Canada. If you have not utilized our website, we hope you will check it out so we can add you to our list of satisfied customers.

December 21, 2004 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman - Just when you thought it was safe to take your Brush Hogs back on the water, Charlie Ormand and his Camo Brush Hogs were viciously attack by a 11lb 2 oz bass today in the Marker 8 area of the lake on the U.S. side. It wasn't pretty but when the fight was over, Charlie had the best of the deal and, proving he was a great sportsman, released the fish in the Veleno to fight another day. Barbara snapped this pictures showing again the benefit of the great training I have provided.

Fishing has slowed a little as cooler temperatures have brought cooler nights (in the 40 degree range) and warm days reaching the low eighties. Winds to day were much lower than yesterday's 28 mph and gusts never made it out of single digits. Lake water temperature remains in the low sixties and clarity is 1ft or slightly better in some parts.

Fishing reports have been mixed, but the more successful fishermen have been working the deeper pattern. The fish today came out of 21 ft of water. Catches of 25 or more fish are still being reported, but one or two fish days are sometimes offered as proof that the bass are not everywhere.

Catfishing has been spotty also, an indication that very few of the fins enjoy a lot of activity in cooler water. Some stripers have been showing up in the Veleno and off river points on crankbaits and Little Georges.

We are seeing an increasing presence of fishermen and women new to Falcon attracted by the "new lake" and great fishing. We always welcome these newcomers to the lake and try to provide them with enough help to make their trip enjoyable. We have the baits, tackle and gear necessary to make the trip a success and we have some guides available who can show you the best places to find the big ones.

Whether it is fishing tackle, marine supplies, Mexico licenses or bait you can find it at Falcon Lake Tackle.

Until next time good fishing and practice catch and release of all big fish.

December 14, 2004 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman - (Photo is Mark Hiler and two 6 lb Falcon Bass) Falcon Lake just broke through the 290 ft elevation and is sitting at 290.03 ft just 11.17 ft below conservation level. The temperature has dropped with the approaching cold front, expected to be the coldest of the year, dropping temperatures to the 30-degree range. The water clarity remains stained to murky as the algae and other aquatic proliferation from the rising lake levels continue to negatively impact the water clarity. However, it is important to note that this has had no material affect on the fishing and the bite remains strong.

The mid-sixties water temperatures increased trough Sunday to the low- seventies, which has proved to be helpful in moving some of the fish in shallow to 3 to 5 ft of water. A strong spinnerbait bite was developing late Sunday ahead of the front and some good fish were taken by those who did not rely on the deep pattern that has been effective for several weeks. The normal choices for spinnerbaits at Falcon have typically been either chartreuse, white/chartreuse or white and occasionally red or black early mornings and cloudy days. This weekend we saw the black and white skirt producing some good fish so keep that skirt combination in mind.

This weekend, the Uvalde Bass Club's 12 participants weighed a total of 83 fish in two days weighing 215.01 lbs. They caught about 200 fish each day and the had a number of big bass including a 6.26 lb big bass and a fair number of fish in the 5 and six pound range. Mark Hiler's day and a half heavy stringer weighed 41.66 lbs and the boat heavy stringer was 40.08 lbs Sunday. To say that fishing has been excellent would be to understate the obvious.

Many of the successful fishermen in this tournament as well as other anglers have purchased their bass lures and tackle from Falcon Lake Tackle. We have over 5000 items in stock and the majority of these items are listed under the on-line store at www.falconlaketackle.com, available for immediate shipping. Through our on-line E-Store, we have sold tackle to fishermen and women in 6 countries and 46 states.
We have a large selection of Falcon Rods and we also keep the lighter than air (LTA) Kistler rods in stock. As one of our repeat Kistler customers put it, "They are super light, extremely-sensitive rods that broadcast a super signal when a fish even smells the bait.

Most people shopping with us remark that Falcon Lake Tackle has the most extensive selection of tackle and marine supplies of any store they have visited. We try to anticipate demand and we do not just stock a few packages. In the last two tournaments we sold over 50 packages of the plastic lure that has been working the best for big bass. Fifty packages and we still did not run out.

This weekend, one of the fishermen ruined a prop and busted up his neoprene bow roller. We were able to help him with both and he was able to fish Sunday as a result. Marine supplies, trolling motor parts, switches, pumps for bilge and aerators, we have them in most every style, size and capacity. Most of all, Falcon Lake Tackle is proud to be a business where a high premium is placed on being of service and helping out regardless of the task or hour. Ask Jerry Campos with SWRI Bass Busters from San Antonio Texas who recently caught a 14.28 lb bass he wanted submitted to ShareLunker. We provided an aerated 150 gal tank to keep the fish healthy for its pickup by the TPW Hatchery truck at 1:00 pm Sunday morning at no cost to any of the involved parties.

Catfishing has remained strong at Falcon for channel cats and big blues up to 39 lbs on beef liver, shrimp and J. Pigg stinkbait. The fishermen are looking for signs of roosting activity by birds in 25 to 30 ft of water near trees. Areas close to creek channels are best and some folks have been loading up on good cats without ever leaving the coves of lodges and RV Parks like Beacon Lodge and Four Seasons.
Good fishing until next time and always practice catch and release.

December 4 & 5, 2004 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman - (Photo is Jerry Ramos 14.28 lb bass 12/04/04 by Falcon Lake Tackle) Saturday started just like most winter days in Zapata, but this was not going to be remembered as a normal winter day. Not for San Antonio's SWRI Bass Busters that had their 2004 7.74 lb club record bass caught here week before last, or for Jerry Campos who shattered that record with a 14.28 lb fish from Falcon. The heavy stringer also claimed by Jerry was 29.02 lbs. Nineteen fishermen and ladies weighed 15 limits including second and on weights of 20.76 lbs, 19.76 lbs and 19.58 lbs.

Sunday was another great day for the club and the humongous anchor fish from yesterday almost gave Jerry the two-day, heavy stringer bragging rights Unfortunately his 41.06 lbs was relegated to second place and he had to be satisfied with one-day heavy stringer and big bass honors. Luke Cavanaugh hauled in a 10.04 lb bass from 13 ft of water and grabbed two-day heavy stringer honors with 43.94 lbs. His big fish came on a 10" red shad worm out of 65 degree water.
Alex Gonzales held on to third with his two-day 36.80 lb total weight. A number of fishermen reported 20 fish catches and fish over five pounds were routine. See picture and full story on out website under Tournament Results. The successful fishermen purchased their big bass lures at Falcon Lake Tackle. Falcon Lake Tackle has over 5000 items in stock and the majority of these items are listed under the on-line store at www.falconlaketackle.com and are available for immediate shipping.
Catfishermen have also been doing well on channel cats and big blues up to 39 lbs on beef liver and/or shrimp. The fishermen are looking for signs of roosting activity by birds in 25 to 30 ft of water near trees. Areas close to creek channels are best.
Good fishing until next time and always practice catch and release.

November 27, 2004 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman - The lake level is still holding just below the 290.00 ft level and remains 11.50 ft low with temperatures in the low, seventy-degree range. Water quality ranges from clear to stained, depending on where exactly you are fishing. The weather since November 1 has been drop-dead beautiful and sleeping with windows open and a light blanket or quilt nearby has been the typical routine. It is but another reminder to those of fortunate enough to call Zapata home why we are willing to endure the summers, which by some peoples standards are considered inhospitably warm.
We had one day this month that made it to 90 degrees (just barely), but the rest of the month has been mostly 60-70 degree highs with a few days either side in the eighties and the fifties. We had one night that dropped to 37 degrees, but the average has been about 50 to 60 degrees. Only 2.80 inches of rain was recorded on our official National Weather Service computer and Zapata missed the deluge that went North dropping 11 inches or more on the San Antonio and surrounding areas.
The interesting thing about this year is that in spite of having seen about 7 fronts arrive so far this winter (based on temperature drop and/or wind shift criteria). the bite has held up much better than during frontal conditions encountered during previous years, at least as far as five lbs fish and smaller are concerned. We have even continued to see some 6 and 7 lb fish being caught, but the larger bass are either suspended or have pick up a case of pre-spawn lockjaw. Bass club participants and fishermen who frequently found only a few takers in prior years continue to catch limits and frequently find themselves culling their catch.
The pattern of plastic lures (like lizards, worms, brush hogs and senkos in watermelon, watermelon red and watermelon chartreuse) in 10 to 25 ft of water off points and in creek channels adjacent to willows, juischae and mesquites has been the dominant pattern so far this winter. This is not to say that other baits such as spinnerbaits, crankbaits and flukes should be discounted as viable options. The dominant forage in Falcon are shad and crawdad with bluegill also in there as the top-three favorites for Falcon bass. So anything that looks like or can be made to appear as if it is one of these favorites will work.
Catfish are still doing well and a fishermen last week brought in a 30 plus lb fish he caught in the marker nine area. Catfish are all over in just about all parts of the lake as well as in the river. As I have told many fishermen, they are all over, they are just not everywhere. It takes a little more than just throwing out a line to locate the fish and there is no substitute for spending enough time on the water to locate productive areas. If you do not get bit, move to a different area, depth or type of water. It is pretty hard to go blank for a days catfishing.
Launching at Falcon is no problem at this level. The State Park and Zapata County Ramps are both working, as are most of the Lodge and RV Park ramps. In order to launch in the river, conditions have to be right, so check it out before you make your plans. In order to legally fish in Mexico, Mexican Licenses and Boat Permits are required for boats that carry fishing equipment into Mexican waters and are available locally from Falcon Lake Tackle in Zapata or by mail (call 956-765-4866 or e-mail lbridgeman@starband.net. Everyone in the boat must have a Mexico fishing license whether fishing or not.
Falcon Lake Tackle has one of the largest, best-equipped privately owned e-stores on the world wide web. Go to www.falconlaketackle.com for your tackle and marine equipment requirements. We are offering 10% off our large selection of fishing and hunting theme gifts just in time for Christmas. If you are one of our charter members, we will double this discount through Christmas.
Don't pass up an opportunity to enjoy some great South Texas action, weather and hospitality. Its all here in Zapata waiting for you and your family. If you want to hedge your bet and eliminate some of the search time, we can help you find a guide who can help assure your quick adaptation to the lake (and fishing) at current levels
Until next time, have a great day on the water.

November 16, 2004 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman - We have recorded .83, .20 and .05 inches of rain the last three days and much of it has been slow falling mist, which has saturated the ground. We just finished reordering a new supply of Frogg Togg rainwear, which we have sold at a rate on par with brushhogs, the last few days. The lake level, which started the week at 289.12 ft is expected to rise some more as the rainwater from the water shed hits Falcon. The water clarity may continue to suffer a little and with the murky conditions and continuing cloud cover, the darker blue fleck, plum apple, and june bug colors should be good choices. It is a good bet that larger 9" to 11" baits will produce more large fish if for no other reason that they will not be bothered as much by the smaller fish. A heavier weight may also pay off by getting the offering down quicker through the schools of small fish that frequent the upper levels of points and drop offs.

The fishing has continued excellent for bass this week with thirty-five to fifty fish per boat being an average day's catch for most fishermen we have talked to recently. Not all of the fish are legal length, but enough of them are that the excitement and anticipation factors are quite high.

We understand that Bill and Connie Bayles had a good productive trip to Falcon last week. You may remember them as tournament directors for Anglers Choice for several years running. Their last day was fantastic with over 20 fish boated in the 4 to 5 lb range. Their best five fish would have weighed 28 lbs according to Speedy Collett.

A lot of the bass right now are being caught up the river from Beacon. Hedionda (in Mexico across from Beacon) has been producing a lot of good fish off the points as has Chapote and other creeks on the Mexican side. The US side is holding good numbers of fish as well. The Veleno is still producing good numbers of fish and last weekend's UCBC Tournament was won out of the Tigers. To say that fishing is fantastic right now is to understate an obvious observation. A local winter Texan was in the store this morning reporting on the family budget he was breaking buying plastics. In some previous years he remembered a package of worms lasting a month or longer. He is going through a pack a day now and usually more.

Catfishing has also been great with good quantities of fish coming from the willows off creeks in 20 ft or so of water. All types of baits are working including shrimp, worms, liver, shad and stinkbait. We have these available at the tackle store in Zapata and online in our e-store on the Internet at www.falconlaketackle.com. We have over 3000 items listed and ready to ship including some great fishing and hunting theme gifts at 10% off for Christmas. Gift certificates are also available online.

We had several tournaments hold their November events at Falcon last weekend. Ingram Bass Club was here as well as 31 fishermen, ladies and youth from Universal city Bass Club in San Antonio, TX.. The second and third cold fronts of the season provided a challenge as far as conditions and fishing were concerned. Water temperatures had dropped to the mid-sixty degree range thanks to sub 50-degree temperatures Friday night that never exceeded 53 degrees Saturday. Water clarity was murky in a number of areas, but even with all the impediments, some good fish were caught. Seventy-five fish weighing 182.77 lbs were weighed by Universal City Bass Club weighmaster, David Glenny (See Picture) on Saturday. The heavy stringer of 16.78 lbs was weighed in by Jim McCrary and his big bass was 5.30 lbs. Larry Martin's 6.69 lb fish took big bass honors Saturday and altogether, there were 4 fish caught over 4 lbs. The heavy boat honors went to Alan Parks and Jim McCrary with a total of 32.10 lb.

Many of the fish caught were bunched up off some (but not all) of the points in around 13 ft of water and once you found a concentration of fish, it was no big deal to catch twenty or so legal fish according to some of the fishermen we talked with after the tournament. Fish were caught pretty much all over the lake. but Alan Parks and Jim McCrary (first day first and second place heavy stringer leaders) found the Tigers to be their best location. Watermelon red brush hogs, either Carolina or Texas rigged, produced the most fish. Stick worms were also workings for some of the fishermen.

Sunday was more of the same as far as weather and fishing. Fighting the drizzle and sometimes the rain, Alan Parks grabbed the heavy stringer honors with a total weight of 26.11 lb. Ken Schmoekel out-ounced Larry Martin for big fish with a 6.75 lb bass. David Glenny and Greg Hignite finished 2nd and 3rd with heavy stringers of 22.26 and 21.30 lbs respectively. Altogether, the 31 fishermen and ladies caught and released a lot of fish, but they carried a total of 128 fish to the scales weighing 327 lbs.

Until next time, have a great day on the water.

November 1, 2004 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman -Falcon Lake Fishing Flash Report: Several tournaments have been contested at Falcon over the last two weeks and results have been very good. The lake, which had started dropping a little has pretty much stabilized in the low 289 ft range, or just about 12 ft below conservation level of 301.20 ft. Water clarity is good and bass are being caught in deeper water than is usual for this time of year i.e., 15 to 30 ft. Many of the bass have been found suspended and we have had reports of fishermen catching as many as 20 fish in one area.

Main lake points and mouths of coves with submerged trees have been producing a lot of bass and while not all are large, their have been some respectable numbers of fish in the 7-to-11 pound range reported, both in tournaments and by individual fishermen. If we had only one bait we could use, it would be a watermelon red Zoom Brushog but a number of other baits and colors are working. Stick Worms in watermelon red and sour grape, Mag II Zoom worms in plum apple, blue fleck Berkley Power Worms and other baits too numerous to mention are all working.

Atascosa Bass Club held their October tournament the weekend of the 30th at Falcon and the fishing did not disappoint anyone. Byron White captured heavy stringer honors with a two day, 10 fish 30.75 lbs total. Following by a .30 lb margin and weighing in 30.45 lbs for 2nd heavy stringer was Jim Marsh. Dub Billings 29.46 lb stringer was enough to capture 3ed heavy stringer. Ted Wayland had big bass of 6 lbs out-ouncing Terry Vrana's 5 lber. Patricia White, fishing with her husband Craig, hooked and nearly landed a huge bass she estimated at 10 lbs. They got the fish up to and almost in the boat, before the sow decided the time was right to flip the bait and go home.

What is impressive about the great fishing at Falcon right now is the multiple double-digit stingers being caught by many of the anglers. There are a lot of 2 to 3lb fish being caught (2002 spawn) and a number of sub-14" fish that spawned last year (2003 class). By next year we will be seeing a lot of 4 to 5 lbers and the sub-limit fish we are seeing now will be legal keepers. If we are able to hold the lake level this winter and into the spring, a third class of fish will be present. Falcon is well on her way to regaining her former status as a top bass fishery.

Falcon catfish are being caught by fishermen in 20 to 25 ft water off bends in the river channel and also in areas next to willows and just about all the baits such as live worms, shad, shrimp, stinkbait and liver are working. Larger fish are being caught on live bait in river holes.

For those of you who have not been to Amistad recently, as a side note, the lake level has continued to increase and stands at 1107.12 ft as of today, which is only 9.88 ft below conservation level of 1117 ft. This is considerably above levels experienced in previous years. In fact both Falcon and Amistad are well above last year levels, which were 10-year highs.

Don't forget that if you fish or carry fishing equipment in your boat and enter Mexico waters, you need to have a current fishing license for each person in the boat and a boat permit for the vessel. These are available from us at the store or by mail. We strongly recommend you purchase these documents before fishing in Mexico. Do not rely on the kindness of strangers.

For all your tackle and marine supplies, please check out the Falcon Lake Tackle on-line E-Store at www.tackleandrods.com. We have thousands of items listed available for immediate shipping including a unique selection of hunting and fishing theme gifts. We just finished adding a lot of new items to the shopping cart so check it out. We would love to see some orders for tackle periodically from those of you who enjoy seeing current conditions and fishing reports updated on Falcon and Mexico Lakes.

Until next time, have a great day on the water.

September 9, 2004 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman - Zapata received a nice rain last week totaling 2.70 inches. The drop in lake level has subsided and the level is increasing a little each day now. As of today we were sitting at 287.64 ft, which is less than a foot below this years high water mark of 288.21 ft. Water temperature is in the low 80-degree range and water clarity is good except in creeks where run-off has muddied the water. Daily highs have averaged in the 80 to low 90 degree range with lows around 66-70 degrees. Wind has been light-to-moderate with peak gusts in the 20 mph range.

Catfishermen report good results on worms, liver, stinkbait and shrimp with bigger cats being taken from river holes on live bait. Catches have averaged 25 to 35 catfish per boat. There have been no reports of crappie or white bass caught and these species no longer exist at Falcon in sufficient numbers to constitute fishable species.
Bass fishermen report that main and secondary lake points are producing the best bass and deeper water (around 25 ft) has been the most consistent depth holding fish.. Water quality in the main lake is good, but off color back in the rivers and creeks where mostly small fish are being found. Jorge Aguilera and a buddy from Houston, Texas decided to give Falcon a shot over Labor Day weekend and to use their own words, "What a Trip it was." They fished the lower lake and they had 35 fish that were in the 2 to 3 lb class, They also caught and released 4 fish that weighed 7, 8 10 and 11.2 lbs. I would say that qualifies as a good trip.

Hunters started showing up in Zapata Saturday morning for the first weekend of the Special South Texas White-Wing Dove season. The rainy weather we have had the last three days did not bode well for the hunters, but as it turned out there were a lot of birds flying. White wings are definitely in the area as we have heard their serenades for several weeks. Most of the birds killed last weekend were mourning doves, but there were a few white wings reported also.

Make your plans now to fish the O.P.E.C. Legacy Tournament this October. The entry forms are now available. The lake will be off limits on October 18th - 20th. Activities start on October 21st and 22nd with prefishing and continue through the 23rd and 24th for this two-day tournament. Registration/Calcutta is the evening of the 22nd at the State Park Rec Hall. One of the rules is that you must pre-pay and complete a registration form before prefishing (drop off either at the State park or Falcon Lake Tackle). This 11th Annual Tournament is being dedicated to the memory of Jim Murray so lets make it the best one ever. There has never been a weight of under thirty-pounds for 3 fish per day (6 fish total) win OPEC Heavy Stringer and it has typically taken over eight pounds to win big bass. If you can only fish one tournament this year, make sure it is OPEC.

For all your tackle and marine supplies, please check out the Falcon Lake Tackle on-line E-Store at www.tackleandrods.com. We have thousands of items listed available for immediate shipping including a unique selection of hunting and fishing theme gifts. We just finished adding a lot of new items to the shopping cart so check it out. We would love to see some orders for tackle periodically from those of you who enjoy seeing current conditions and fishing reports updated on Falcon and Mexico Lakes.

August 24, 2004 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman - - We are receiving a nice rain in Zapata this morning and the drop in lake level has (at least temporarily) subsided with an increase of .02 from the end of the month level of 286.79 ft. Water temperature is in the low to mid 80-degree range and water clarity is good. The surrounding area, especially north to Laredo, had a good amount of rain last week so a rise can be expected. We only received .51, but that does not include what we received today. Daily highs have averaged around 90 degrees with lows around 71 degrees. Wind has been light to moderate with peak gusts to 30 mph.

Several locals report mostly juvenile bass hitting plastic baits in watermelon red and red shad colors. One of the fishermen has been using a Zoom tube bait in watermelon crawdad and doing well in about 5 ft of water. The larger fish that were showing up in deeper water seem to have pulled out of the Veleno. Even though it does not make a lot of sense some of the locals have reported a bad odor in the Veleno, which may have temporarily moved the fish. Speedy Colett has reported good quantities of over legal-limit fish in the Salado. He has taken several groups in and has not had a bad trip yet.

Catfishermen report good results on liver and shrimp with bigger cats being taken from river holes on live bait. Three 30lb plus fish were caught Tuesday. There have been no reports of crappie or white bass caught and these species no longer exist at Falcon in sufficient numbers to constitute fishable species. Habitat losses during the drought years and the lack of enforcement of regulations regarding illegal netting together with the absence of an adequate stocking program has pretty much eliminated these species.

Make your plans now to fish the O.P.E.C. Legacy Tournament this October. The entry forms are now available. The lake will be off limits on October 18th - 20th. Activities start on October 21st and 22nd with prefishing and continue through the 23rd and 24th for this two-day tournament. Registration/Calcutta is the evening of the 22nd at the State Park Rec Hall. One of the rules is that you must pre-pay and complete a registration form before prefishing (drop off either at the State park or Falcon Lake Tackle). This 11th Annual Tournament is being dedicated to the memory of Jim Murray so lets make it the best one ever. There has never been a weight of under thirty pounds for 3 fish per day (6 fish total) win OPEC Heavy Stringer and it has typically taken over eight pounds to win big bass. If you can only fish one tournament this year, make sure it is OPEC.

For all your tackle and marine supplies, please check out the Falcon Lake Tackle on-line E-Store at www.tackleandrods.com. We have thousands of items listed available for immediate shipping including a unique selection of hunting and fishing theme gifts. We just finished adding a lot of new items to the shopping cart so check it out. We would love to see some orders for tackle periodically from those of you who enjoy seeing current conditions and fishing reports updated on Falcon and Mexico Lakes.

August 24, 2004 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman - - The lake has continued to drop a few inches a day and it reached 287.02 ft yesterday, down about 1.19 since the high. Water clarity is still good and lake temperature is averaging from the ,id to upper eighties depending on the time of day and exposure to the direct sun. Afternoon highs have been peaking in the low 100-degree range and early mornings have been greeting fishermen with 80-degree and very humid conditions. Winds have been variable, peaking in the low-to-mid 30 mph range.

Bass fishing pressure has been light and reports have been very slow coming in to Falcon Lake Tackle. We had one of our locals drop by this morning and he brought a living example of the fish caught up the river this morning. According to Jeffery Hammer they had about 150 lbs of fish including this 30-plus pounder from daylight to about 10:00 am. Live bait produced the best bite and all the fish they caught were yellow cats. According to Hammer, the black bass were showing up in the river also, all the way to San Ignacio. Bass appear to be most interested in the small plastic creature baits and watermelon something or red shad seem to be the best colors. Rocks and structure early, changing to willows-deep later are patterns producing fish. No word has been received of any action on stripers and neither white bass or crappie exist in adequate numbers to constitute a fishery.

If you have been wanting to take advantage of some good bass fishing either at Falcon or Las Blancas, which is south of Mier Mexico about 15 miles from Falcon Dam, the fish seem to be starting to feed more aggressively. Now might be a good time to book a trip to either/or both lakes. Charlie Haralson fished Las Blancas recently with some good results and an update has been posted under this website's "Mexico Lakes Report". Call 956-763-6175 to talk to Charlie Haralson or call Beacon Lodge and talk to Speedy Collett at 956-765-4616. Remember that a large percentage of Falcon is actually Mexico waters and in order to legally fish from a boat in Mexico, Mexican Licenses and Boat Permits are required (for boats that carry fishing equipment). We keep these in stock and available at Falcon Lake Tackle in Zapata or you can obtain them by mail (call 956-765-4866 or e-mail lbridgeman@starband.net). Everyone in the boat must have a Mexico Fishing License whether fishing or not.

Make your plans now to fish the O.P.E.C. Legacy Tournament this October. The forms are being printed now. The lake will be off limits on October 18th - 20th. Activities start on October 21st and 22nd with prefishing and continue through the 23rd and 24th for this two-day tournament. Registration/Calcutta is the evening of the 22nd at the State Park Rec Hall. One of the rules is that you must pre-pay and complete a registration form before prefishing (drop off either at the State park or Falcon Lake Tackle). This 11th Annual Tournament is being dedicated to the memory of Jim Murray so lets make it the best one ever. There has never been a weight of under thirty pounds for 3 fish per day (6 fish total) win OPEC Heavy Stringer and it has typically taken over eight pounds to win big bass. If you can only fish one tournament this year, make sure it is OPEC.

For all your tackle and marine supplies, please check out the Falcon Lake Tackle on-line E-Store at www.tackleandrods.com. We have thousands of items listed available for immediate shipping including a unique selection of hunting and fishing theme gifts. We just finished adding a lot of new items to the shopping cart so check it out. We would love to see some orders for tackle periodically from those of you who enjoy seeing current conditions and fishing reports updated on Falcon and Mexico Lakes.

August 1, 2004 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman - Mornings on Falcon Lake have been drop-dead beautiful. Wind has been light-to-moderate and water has been clear with water temperatures in the mid-eighties. Catfish have been very active and willows next to river or creek channels in about 20 to 25 ft depths have been producing a lot of good eating-size fish. One of our local guides took a group from Monterrey, Mexico out yesterday and they had an icebox full of filets from the 65 fish they caught before 1:00 pm.

Bass fishermen have been showing up in Zapata this week and most of them are catching fish according to reports received. Not everyone has reported large numbers of fish and not all the reports indicate predominately large bass are being caught, but 10 to 30 fish reports are encouraging. There are three patterns working from what we understand and both big blue gill and bass are likely to be enticed by the baits. Spinnerbaits in white with nickel willow or combination nickel/gold willow blades has been productive for many fishermen in 3 to 5 ft of water in coves and along shorelines. A 1/4 or 3/8 oz size in the shallows and a larger 1/2 oz size in deeper water has been the most common bait on which success has been reported.

Early mornings have still been producing some topwater strikes on chuggers and popper baits like Storm Chug Bug's and Rebel PopRs. Shallow diving crankbaits on rocky points and islands have been producing good action, as have small plastic baits like Baby Brush Hogs and 5- inch lizards in watermelon anything.

Watermelon, grasshopper and green pumpkin have been the colors selling the most. Most of the action reported has been in the upper lake, but no one fishing the lower end has provided any reports so the fish may be biting there as well.

Remember that a large percentage of Falcon is actually Mexico waters and in order to legally fish from a boat in Mexico, Mexican Licenses and Boat Permits are required for boats that carry fishing equipment. We keep these in stock and available at Falcon Lake Tackle in Zapata or you can obtain them by mail (call 956-765-4866 or e-mail lbridgeman@starband.net). Everyone in the boat must have a Mexico Fishing License whether fishing or not.

Make your plans now to fish the O.P.E.C. Legacy Tournament this October. The forms are being printed now. The lake will be off limits on October 18th - 20th. Activities start on October 21st and 22nd with prefishing and continue through the 23rd and 24th for this two-day tournament. Registration/Calcutta is the evening of the 22nd at the State Park Rec Hall. One of the rules is that you must pre-pay and complete a registration form before prefishing (drop off either at the State park or Falcon Lake Tackle). This 11th Annual Tournament is being dedicated to the memory of Jim Murray so lets make it the best one ever. There has never been a weight of under thirty pounds for 3 fish per day (6 fish total) win OPEC Heavy Stringer and it has typically taken over eight pounds to win big bass. If you can only fish one tournament this year, make sure it is OPEC.

For all your tackle and marine supplies, please check out the Falcon Lake Tackle on-line E-Store at www.tackleandrods.com. We have thousands of items listed available for immediate shipping including a unique selection of hunting and fishing theme gifts. We just finished adding a lot of new items to the shopping cart so check it out. We would love to see some orders for tackle periodically from those of you who enjoy seeing current conditions and fishing reports updated on Falcon and Mexico Lakes.

July 28, 2004 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman - - Based on reports received yesterday and today, now may be about the right time to be fishing Falcon Lake. We had a 6.98 lb fish caught yesterday (see picture) and two 4 1/2 lb fish as well. This morning a couple locals had 15 fish up to 4 lbs. They found the fish to be receptive to plastics, crankbaits and spinnerbaits in about any color that you threw up on the rocks and worked back into deeper water. Fish seem to have found current conditions to be the right combination of water temperature and color to match the warm air and light wind. Temperatures peaked at 97 degrees winds were light most of the day at 8 to11mph out of the S/SE and the lake water temps were in the low to mid-eighties. If you are sitting at home wondering what to do, give Falcon a try. All of the fish discussed in this report were caught in the Veleno on both sides of the Hwy 83 Bridge, but there should be some other areas producing fish further down the lake as well.

July 27, 2004 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman - A couple of fishermen from the Atascosa Bass Club are here this weekend prefishing for an upcoming club tournament. They worked some of the Mexico creeks including Goldondrinas, but there were a lot more of the fat, under legal-length fish than bust-your-line lunkers showing up yesterday. According to Speedy Collett from Beacon Lodge, he had been there last week and had similar results. Dub Billings and Ted Wayland did find some legal fish in La Hedionda, which is the creek next to the Salado in Mexico across from Beacon Lodge. There were apparently a ton of baitfish up the river as there are in the lake also. The good news is that there is a lot of action right now and catching a lot of fish, even though they are small, is a real hoot and there is always the chance for large fish as well.

Catfishermen continued to report good fishing and it should be getting even better as the water from Thursday rain hits and the river starts to run. A bunch of rain north of here ( reports of 8 to 9 inches at Bustamante) should start the Veleno running and this may revitalize the gar fishing also.

There was an article in the Zapata news this week that TPW enforcement officers had caught and arrested two illegal netters and confiscated their boat in the river above Zapata. Apparently 2500 ft of nets were also confiscated. Good job guys, only about a million feet remaining. Having said this, I do want to add a note that when we receive reports about volumes of nets that are from credible sources we usually pass these on and do not intend them as criticisms of the enforcement folks we have working Falcon. This is the best enforcement we have had for a number of years and the numerous "project blitzes" organized by TPW have been instrumental in reducing activities in traditional netting sites in the lake on the US side. We have mentioned that in past reports and we do not intend any criticism of the work these guys are doing. It is the budget allocation for officers and equipment that needs improvement and not the motivation of our assigned enforcement officers.

Our suggestion that the Border Patrol officers be cross-trained as Wildlife Enforcement officers and that they be authorized to arrest illegal netters and confiscate boats never went anywhere and the Falcon Lake Task Force that Senator Zaffirini and Congressman Ciro Rodriguez appointed is pretty much defunct. In spite of several contacts and requests, personnel changes in these offices and lack of commitment by the Committee Chairman have resulted in an abandonment of the committee and it's assigned objectives.The Chamber of Commerce is currently trying to pick up the baton and run with the program. We are lucky to have Peggy Humphres heading up that program.

The good news is that launching at Falcon is not a problem at this level and hazards are greatly reduced also. The State Park and Zapata County Ramps are both working, as are most of the Lodge and RV Park ramps. They have reopened the ramp at El Tigre Island to the public for a $3/person fee. Launching below the dam on the Rio Grande River is possible at both the Salineno and Chapeno access points. However, fishing has been reported as poor in both these areas for several weeks.

Remember that a large percentage of Falcon is actually Mexico waters and in order to legally fish from a boat in Mexico, Mexican Licenses and Boat Permits are required for boats that carry fishing equipment. We keep these in stock and available at Falcon Lake Tackle in Zapata or you can obtain them by mail (call 956-765-4866 or e-mail lbridgeman@starband.net). Everyone in the boat must have a Mexico Fishing License whether fishing or not.

Make your plans now to fish the O.P.E.C. Legacy Tournament this October. The forms are being printed now. The lake will be off limits on October 18th - 20th. Activities start on October 21st and 22nd with prefishing and continue through the 23rd and 24th for this two-day tournament. Registration/Calcutta is the evening of the 22nd at the State Park Rec Hall. One of the rules is that you must pre-pay and complete a registration form before prefishing (drop off either at the State park or Falcon Lake Tackle). This 11th Annual Tournament is being dedicated to the memory of Jim Murray so lets make it the best one ever. There has never been a weight of under thirty pounds for 3 fish per day (6 fish total) win OPEC Heavy Stringer and it has typically taken over eight pounds to win big bass. If you can only fish one tournament this year, make sure it is OPEC.

For all your tackle and marine supplies, please check out the Falcon Lake Tackle on-line E-Store at www.tackleandrods.com. We have thousands of items listed available for immediate shipping including a unique selection of hunting and fishing theme gifts. We just finished adding a lot of new items to the shopping cart so check it out. We would love to see some orders for tackle periodically from those of you who enjoy seeing current conditions and fishing reports updated on Falcon and Mexico Lakes.

June 26, 2004 - Lake Fork - Submitted by Jimmy Everett - Lake Fork has been pretty good in the last couple of days. The bass fishing continues to get better. The patterns have been easy to figure out and have stayed pretty consistant so far this summer. I have been starting out with my clients about 6:00 am. Now for those who like the topwater bite it has not been very good this year but you can pick up a few trowing one. When we start out with a topwater we are either throwing a zoom horney toad in black or white, or by throwing a yellow magic or storm chug bug in shad color. I have been fishing these in back of creek channels or main lake hydrilla flats.

After the morning bite slows down I kick out the boat to about 15 feet and throw in to 8 and work it out. Im fishing road beds, humps, and main lake ridges. I like throwing a carolina rig but will also throw a texas rig in the same places. The baits I have found to be most productive are zoom speed craws, baby brush hogs, and centipedes.The colors that good are the same almost every year which are green pumpkin, watermelon, and watermelon/red. ON these baits I almost always dye the tip or tails in chartruse dye. This has been depth of water all day and fish seem to stay there but there are some fish I'm finding in 25-30 feet of water stacked up on main lake points and humps. Im throwing a carolina rig with a 10" blue fleck power worm or a pearl storm 5" swimbait and bouncing it off the bottom.

The Skeeter owners tournament is coming and now would be a good time to scout out a spot. I f you need a guide to help or just want to come out to fish Lake Fork give me a call at 903-765-3980 or visit www.fishinlakefork.com

Thank you Guide Jimmy Everett

June 24, 2004 - Lake Fork - Submitted by Jimmy Everett - Lake Fork has been pretty good the last couple of days but the patterns have swicthed dramatically. I am still starting out the day with topwaters although they havnt been very good the last couple of days for me. Im starting out throwing black zoom horny toads or yellow magic (pop r) in shad. Then Im still kicking out to 6-14 feet of water and texas rigging and carolina rigging zoom speed craws in green pumpkin, watermelon, or pumpkinseed with the pinchers dyed in chartruse dye. I have beed fishing this all day but we experimented with a bandit 200 series crankbait in chartruse/black and brown/white/orange. Let me tell you it was a good experiment. We had many fish up to 8 pounds in the last 2 days in 6 feet of water. Most of these fish were close to the bank on small main lake points and road beds. These have been a no fail patterns for me for the past week or more. If you would like to get out on the lake and go fishing on Lake Fork give me a call at 903-765-3980 to book a trip. Or visit me at www.fishinlakefork.com.

June 24, 2004 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman - Falcon's water level is 287.29 ft as of today, which is 13.91 ft below the 301.20 conservation level. This is within .03 of the highest level enjoyed since before 1994. Water clarity ranges from good on the lower lake (dam area) to stained depending how far you are up the lake and the river. Lake water temperatures are averaging in the mid-eighties. We have enjoyed some beneficial rains over the last two nights bringing just a little under 3 inches to Zapata.

Large quantities of baitfish are still being reported as are good results on catching of the large crawdads. Overall, fishing pressure at Falcon has been very light and only a few fishermen have reported being on the lake, while the majority of these have been catfishing. Based on these reports and recognizing that the rain is probably going to get the river running again, I would go out on a short limb and predict some reasonably good catfishing through the weekend 4th of July holiday. Reports from one boat of good eating-size catfish around Marker 12 were encouraging. It may not be necessary to go up the river to find fish, but the bigger cats will undoubtedly be found in the river holes on live bait.

Some bass are still biting at Falcon and the size, like last week, has ranged from under legal length to 5 lbs. Some of the better numbers of small fish are coming from the Veleno. Topwater action has continued to slow this week, except for some good reports from farm ponds around Zapata. Fish up to 9 lbs have been reported on Heddon topwaters and scum frogs. For the best shot at top water action, go out early from daybreak to about 7:30 am, or maybe even later if there is some cloud cover. For larger fish, I would still believe that the Carolina-rigged brush hogs and baby brush hogs in a green pumpkin or watermelon red/green anything color off points and drop-offs, while anchored up in shallower water, might be the number one pattern. This has produced a number of fish over the last few weeks. Some bass were also caught over the last couple weeks pitching deep-running crankbaits up under trees where the depth drops off quickly. Locations fitting this profile are rather scarce so you will need to find some spots where you can use crankbaits without making a $5 deposit at the Falcon Lake Tree Bank.

Bow fishing for gar has been difficult the last few weeks because of 30 mph plus winds. George Gutierrez found four gar in the Tigers area of the lake. The windy conditions have subsided at least for a few days so this could improve the results dramatically together with the fact that the Arroyo's will be bringing in muddy water that should attract Gar.

The white bass and crappie species no longer exist at Falcon in adequate numbers to constitute a fishery and striper numbers have declined also. Factors contributing to the white bass and crappie species' demise include illegal netting, loss of spawning habitat and pressure from stocking of 4mm Stripers in the nineties and early in the new millennium. Stripers have been substantially reduced in numbers by virtue of large quantities of these fish being taken in Mexican nets. Last week a fishing boat got tangled up in a net that was later confiscated. Reportedly over 200 lbs of fish were removed from the mile long net. It was taken from the area adjacent to the Veleno Bridge at Highway 83.

Launching at Falcon is not a problem at this level and hazards are greatly reduced also. The State Park and Zapata County Ramps are both working, as are some of the Lodge and RV Park ramps. They have reopened the ramp at El Tigre Island to the public for a $3/person fee. This is a great place to launch and load when the blow is on. There is a pay to launch ramp at Ruiz's in San Ignacio and Beacon Lodge will also allow you to launch for a fee. It is recommended you call and check before planning a trip to confirm launching conditions.

Launching below the dam on the Rio Grande River is possible at both the Salineno and Chapeno access points. Remember that half or more of Falcon is actually Mexico water. In order to legally fish from a boat in Mexico, Mexican Licenses and Boat Permits are required for boats that are carrying fishing equipment. These are available at Falcon Lake Tackle in Zapata either at the store, or by mail (call 956-765-4866 or e-mail lbridgeman@starband.net). Everyone in the boat must have a Mexico Fishing License whether fishing or not.

Check out Falcon Lake Tackle's on-line E-Store at www.tackleandrods.com. We have thousands of fishing and marine supply items available for immediate shipping including a unique selection of hunting and fishing theme gifts. We just finished adding a lot of new items to the shopping cart with pictures to show the color patterns so check it out. We would very much appreciate seeing some orders periodically from those of you who enjoy seeing current conditions and fishing reports updated on Falcon and Mexico Lakes. There is a lot of cost associated with maintaining our websites and the retail business is the way we fund those costs.

To post your Falcon fishing reports and view boats for sale, or to enter a free listing of a boat you have for sale, visit our sister website www.falconlake.com. See the current June issue of Bass Times for several timely articles by Senior Writer Robert Montgomery on Falcon issues and the need for a new water treaty plus our response under the local news section of www.falconlaketackle.com. The new summer Save Falcon Lake Newsletter is finished and has been e-mailed to all the members for whom we have addresses. If you are not on our members list e-mail me and join SFLA to receive one or sign up on either of our websites. You will also be able to access the news letter on either of the web sites
.
Make your plans now to fish the O.P.E.C. Legacy Tournament this October. The forms are being printed. The lake will be off limits on October 18th - 20th. Activities start on October 21st and 22nd with prefishing and continue through the 23rd and 24th for this two-day tournament. Registration/Calcutta is the evening of the 22nd at the State ParkRec Hall. You must pre-pay and complete a registration form before prefishing (drop off either at the State park or Falcon Lake Tackle). This 11th Annual Tournament is being dedicated to the memory of Jim Murray so lets make it the best one ever. There has never been a weight of under thirty pounds for 6 fish win OPEC Heavy Stringer and it has typically taken over eight pounds to win big bass. If you can only fish one tournament this year, make sure it is OPEC.

June 21, 2004 - Lake Fork - Submitted by Jimmy Everett - Bass Fishing is starting to pick up more and more it seems. My better times are coming late in the afternoon that is why I run a 10-12 hour trip instead of 8 hours like most guides. Im starting out in the morning in shallow water, either in the back of creeks around grass or main lake ridges in 4-8 feet of water. In the creeks im throwing a zoom horney toad in black or junebug. Then switching to a texas rigged berkley power worm in tequila sunrise, green pumpkin, or red shad. The worms are also the baits Im throwng on the ridges.After the sun comes up Im scooting out to 6-14 feet and carolina rigging zoom speed craws in watermelon, green pumpkin, or pumpkinseed. Im also dying the claws in chartruse dye. I have been fishing this bait all day till it gets close to dark then swicthing to the same speed craws just texas rigging them in the same places I started out the day in. In recent days I have caught a few trolling crankbaits in 40 feet of water. Some of my better fih have come like this but the fish a little between bites. If youd would like to go fishing on Lake Fork and book a trip give me a call at 903-765-3980 or visit me at www.fishinlakefork.com <http://www.fishinlakefork.com> . Remeber Im offering a $50 dollar discount on all trips for 2004 if booked before July 20th 2004.

June 20, 2004 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman - - Falcon's water level is 287.28 ft as of today, which is 13.92 ft below the 301.20 conservation level. This is within .04 of the highest level enjoyed since before 1994. Water clarity ranges from good on the lower lake (dam area) to stained depending how far you are up the lake and the river. Lake water temperatures are averaging in the mid-eighties.

Schooling bass action has slowed in the Veleno, but large quantities of baitfish are still being reported. Fishing pressure at Falcon has been very light and only a few reports have been received. These reports have been indicating some fish are biting and the size has ranged from under legal length to 5 lbs. The best report we had this week was from a McAllen angler who caught 12 fish one morning from the Dam all the way to Coyotes. Some of the better numbers of small fish are coming from the Veleno. Top water action has continued slow this week. For the best shot at top water action, go out early from daybreak to about 7:30 am or later if there is some cloud cover. For larger fish, try working the Carolina-rigged brush hogs and baby brush hogs in a green pumpkin or watermelon red/green anything color off points and drop-off while anchored up in shallower water. This has produced a number of fish over the last few weeks.

Some fish were caught over the last couple weeks pitching deep-running crankbaits up under trees where the depth drops off a ledge quickly. Locations fitting this profile are rather scarce so you will need to do some scouting. Catfish continue to be caught in a number of areas on the lake and in the River using a variety of baits. We have had reports that the larger cats that were hitting after the recent rains are not as abundant as they were, but some good eating size and a few bigger cats are still being caught on live bait in the river holes. The crawdad action has continued and I have heard that are still being caught around most any dock or in the hardwoods.A family from Missouri was here bow fishing for gar, but they did not find anything of any size. The windy conditions have made gar fishing difficult.

The white bass and crappie species no longer exist at Falcon in adequate numbers to constitute a fishery. Factors contributing to their demise include illegal netting, loss of spawning habitat and pressure from stocking of 4mm Stripers in the nineties and early in the new millennium. Stripers have been substantially reduced in numbers by virtue of large quantities of these fish being taken in Mexican nets. A fishing boat got tangled up in a net that was later confiscated and over 200 lbs of fish were removed from the mile long net. It was taken from the area adjacent to the Veleno Bridge at Highway 83.

The good news is that launching at Falcon is not a problem at this level and hazards are greatly reduced also. The State Park and Zapata County Ramps are both working, as are most of the Lodge and RV Park ramps including Beacon Lodge, Oso Blanco, Red wood, 4 Seasons and Sunset Villa. Some of the locals report that the boat dock at Lakefront is now blocking launching. They have reopened the ramp at El Tigre Island to the public for a $3/person fee. This is a great place to put in when the blow is on. Last report was that the San Ignacio's pay to launch ramp is working only for small boats. It is recommended you call and check before planning a trip to San Ignacio. Launching below the dam on the Rio Grande River is possible at both the Salineno and Chapeno access points. However, fishing has been reported as poor in both these areas for several weeks.

Remember that half or more of Falcon is actually Mexico waters and in order to legally fish from a boat in Mexico, Mexican Licenses and Boat Permits are required for boats that carry fishing equipment. We keep these in stock and available at Falcon Lake Tackle in Zapata or you can obtain them by mail (call 956-765-4866 or e-mail lbridgeman@starband.net). Everyone in the boat must have a Mexico Fishing License whether fishing or not.

For all your tackle and marine supplies, please check out the Falcon Lake Tackle on-line E-Store at www.tackleandrods.com. We have thousands of items listed available for immediate shipping including a unique selection of hunting and fishing theme gifts. We just finished adding a lot of new items to the shopping cart with pics to show the color patterns so check it out. We would love to see some orders for tackle periodically from those of you who enjoy seeing current conditions and fishing reports updated on Falcon and Mexico Lakes.

To post your Falcon fishing reports and view boats for sale, or to enter a free listing of a boat you have for sale, visit our sister website www.falconlake.com. See the current June issue of Bass Times for several timely articles by Senior Writer Robert Montgomery on Falcon issues and the need for a new water treaty plus our response under the local news section of www.falconlaketackle.com. The new summer Save Falcon Lake Newsletter is finished and has been e-mailed to all the members for whom we have addresses. If you are not on our members list e-mail me and join SFLA to receive one or sign up on either of our websites.

June 14, 2004 - Lake Fork - Submitted by Jimmy Everett - Lake Fork has been a little slow this week avg 20 fsh a day. Although the fishing was a little slow the big fish have seemed to turn on a little. Last week and weekend i was booked every day including today. We had a day with an 9lb and a 8lb, a day with an 8 1/2lb bass today we had another 8, a day with a 7, and the day with the 9 and 8 I had a cleint hang a fish I would guess around 15 lbs. Its the biggest fish Ive had hung out of my boat in a couple of years. I had a clent catch a 13lb bass last year and this fish was much bigger. I regret to say that the fish straightened out a 4/0 gamakatsu hook.It was such a drag but the day was saved with other big fish. My deep bite has almost completly shut off. The topwater bite is gone, so the way to fish has changed. Ive been fishing main lake humps,road beds, and grass lines in 6-14 feet. This is where we are starting out and staying all day. Im roatating between 4 or 5 spots through out the day. I have been throwing carolina rigs and texas rigs for the most part. On both rigs Im throwing baby brush hogs, centipedes and baby lake fork cretures all in green pumpkin with the tips dyed in chartruse.Ive also caught some of the bigger fish on a 10 1/2 inch zoom ol monster worm in tequlia sunrise. Ive been staying with these because they have been out producing anything else Ive thrown. If you get a chance to come out you should do so and if you need a guide I would be happy to help. To Book a trip call 903-765-3980 or visit www.fishinlakefork.com
Thank you
Guide Jimmy Everett

June 11, 2004 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman - Falcon's water level is 287.27 ft as of today, which is 13.91 ft below the 301.20 conservation level. This is the highest level enjoyed since before 1994. Water clarity ranges from fairly good on the lower lake (dam area) to stained or murky green depending how far you are up the lake and the river. The water in the Zapata area and in the Rio Grande North of Zapata is suffering from an algae bloom and some small fish have died. It appears the bigger fish are tolerating the conditions and have not moved out. Lake water temperatures are averaging in the mid-eighties.

Schooling bass continue showing up in the Veleno and bait fish are being reported as well. Some legal fish have been caught on plastics and top water baits from the Veleno points and rocks. Look for shaded, rocky areas with overhanging retama or juisache trees during the day when the sun is up or, go deep. For the best shot at top water action, go out early from daybreak to about 7:30 am or later if it is cloudy/overcast. For larger fish, try working the Carolina rigged brush hogs and baby brush hogs in a green pumpkin or watermelon green anything color off 20 ft rises while anchored up in shallow water. This produced 40 fish up to 5 lbs for an angler last week. Some fish were caught today pitching deep-running crankbaits up under trees where the depth drops off a ledge quickly. One of our customers caught 13 fish this morning in the State Park Area and lost a good bass estimated to weigh 8 to 9 lbs. These locations are rather scarce so you will need to do some scouting. His deep water Carolina Rig pattern used successfully last week did not work well today.

Catfish continue to be caught in a number of areas on the lake and in the River using a variety of baits. We have had reports that the larger cats that were hitting after the recent rains are not as abundant as they were, but some good eating size and a few bigger cats are still being caught. I have heard that around most any dock or in the hardwoods you can find crawdads. They will hit big plastic offerings such as Zoom red shad brush hogs or chicken necks and bacon will catch them also. Just have a dip net handy to place under the crawdad while it is still in the water. They will hang on pretty good, but they are not good at hanging on to the bait once it is removed from the water.

The white bass and crappie species no longer exist in adequate numbers in Falcon Lake to constitute a fishery. Factors contributing to their demise include illegal netting, loss of spawning habitat and pressure from stocking of 4mm Stripers in the nineties and early in the new millennium. Stripers have also been substantially reduced in numbers by virtue of large quantities of these fish being taken in Mexican nets.

With TPW's help we were able to transfer 174 large whites from Choke Canyon to Falcon and if each sow were to lay the 900,000 eggs they tell us is the high potential, we could see a new beginning for white bass on Falcon. Especially with the cover they are afforded at this level. Fishermen throwing cast nets for shad report catching a lot of new class blacks, crappie and even some white bass fry so it appears that the spawn may have at least enabled some of these species to make a partial recovery. It probably will not be possible to declare the restocking a success until we see birds working schools of shad with white bass feeding underneath. That will indeed be a wonderful sight that has been absent at Falcon for many years.
The good news is that launching at Falcon is not a problem at this level and hazards are greatly reduced also. The State Park and Zapata County Ramps are both working, as are most of the Lodge and RV Park ramps including Beacon Lodge, Oso Blanco, Red wood, Lakefront Lodge, 4 Seasons and Sunset Villa. They have reopened the ramp at El Tigre Island to the public for a $3/person fee. This is a great place to put in when the blow is on. Last report was that the San Ignacio's pay to launch ramp is working only for small boats. It is recommended you call and check before planning a trip to San Ignacio. Launching below the dam on the Rio Grande River is possible at both the Salineno and Chapeno access points. However, fishing has been reported as poor in both these areas for several weeks. Gar have been sighted spawning in large numbers over the in the Veleno area.

Remember that half or more of Falcon is actually Mexico waters and in order to legally fish from a boat in Mexico, Mexican Licenses and Boat Permits are required for boats that carry fishing equipment. We keep these in stock and available at Falcon Lake Tackle in Zapata or you can obtain them by mail (call 956-765-4866 or e-mail lbridgeman@starband.net). Everyone in the boat must have a Mexico Fishing License whether fishing or not.

For all your tackle and marine supplies, please check out the Falcon Lake Tackle on-line E-Store at www.tackleandrods.com. We have thousands of items listed available for immediate shipping including a unique selection of hunting and fishing theme gifts. We just finished adding a lot of new items to the shopping cart with pics to show the color patterns so check it out. We would love to see some orders for tackle periodically from those of you who enjoy seeing current conditions and fishing reports updated on Falcon and Mexico Lakes. New items are continuously including the new El Salto Tilapia spinnerbait that incorporates a twist instead of an R-bend on the wire especially for Mexico big bass with bad attitudes. We also have Nichols new hollow creature bait that will accept two rattles (in several colors) that is fresh off a win in the Angler's Choice Tournament. We have just added the Texas Smoke Houdini Shad bait that has been hot at Choke Canyon according to local guides. To post your Falcon fishing reports and view boats for sale, or to enter a free listing of a boat you have for sale, visit our sister website www.falconlake.com.
See the current June issue of Bass Times for several timely articles by Senior Writer Robert Montgomery on Falcon issues and the need for a new water treaty plus our response under the local news section of www.falconlaketackle.com..

June 5, 2004 - Lake Fork - Submitted by Jimmy Everett - Man it was hot today so I guess I was lucky to have a half day trip. I tried to make it a full day trip but couldnt talk them into stayin at the lake for the afternoon. With two people they boated 11 fish this morning. We started out in the back of a major creek throwing white buzzbaits and storm chugbugs in a shad pattern. These baits were fished around hydrilla and in the creek channel and where the two met. We missed alot of fish on short strikes and bad hooksets but was still lots of fun. After the topwater bite slowed down a little we switched over to a 5"Gary Yomamoto Senko in watermelon/black flake and caught a couple fishing this in the same areas as the topwaters. With about an hour let in the morning we moved out to main lake points and caught 1 on a carolina rigged 10" blue fleck power worm (9.8lbs which made the morning) and 1 on a carolina rigged 6" Gary Yomamoto Lizard in Watermelon/black flake. It proved to be a good morning and ma! n i wish we would have caught the ones we missed but thats ok because our avg. fish was over 4 pounds and a kicker that was almost 10 which was a blast. If you or any one you know is coming out to Lake Fork give me a call at 903-765-3980 to book a trip or visit me at www.fishinlakefork.com
Remeber Im offering a discount on all full day trips for 2004 if they are booked before July 20th 2004 Thank you Guide Jimmy Everett

June 4, 2004 - Lake Fork - Submitted by Jimmy Everett - It was HOT today let me tell youfor those who were not out on the lake today, and the fishin wasnt. With 2 people in the boat we only boated 13 fish all day. We started out on a road bed in 6-10 feet of water and caught a few throwing a yellow magic topwater bait (pop-r). As always in a shad color. We picked up a few fish early but the action died quick. Then we worked our way out to a ridge by throwing crankbaits from the flat to the ridge which picked up a small fish. We used a bill norman DLN in purpleback shad. Once we got to the ridge we fished carolina rigged 10" bluefleck power worms. We sat on top of the ridge in 14 feet and throw to 28 dragging it back up very slow. After pisking up a few we went it to lunch where we took a little longer break since it was so hot. After we got back out we sat on a couple of main lake humps in 20 to 30 feet with our carolina rigged 10"blue fleck power worms for the rest of the day and this is how we caught the rest o! f our fish. It was still a good day just being out on the lake. If you would like to book a trip please give me a call at 903-765-3980 or visit www.fishinlakefork.com <http://www.fishinlakefork.com>
Mention this report and receive $50 off any Full day trips booked in 2004. Trips must be booked by July 20th 2004 Thank you Guide Jimmy Everett

June 3, 2004 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman - Falcon Lake Fishing Flash Report June 2, 2004 - Falcon's water level is 287.28 ft as of today, which is 13.92 ft below the 301.20 conservation level. This is the highest level enjoyed since before 1994. Water clarity ranges from fairly good on the lower lake (dam area) to stained or murky green depending how far you are up the lake and the river. The water in the Zapata area and in the Rio Grande North of Zapata is showing a lot of algae and some small fish have died in the Veleno around Paradise Point. It appears the bigger fish are tolerating the conditions and have not moved out. Lake water temperatures are averaging in the mid-eighties. High temperatures were under 100 (just barely) and serve as a reminder that summer has indeed arrived.

Schooling bass continue showing up off points in the Veleno and an abundance of bait fish are being reported as well. Some legal fish have been caught on plastics and top water baits from the Veleno points and rocks. Look for shaded, rocky areas with overhanging retama or juisache trees during the day when the sun is up or, go deep. For the best shot at top water action, go out early from daybreak to about 7:30 am or later if it is cloudy/overcast. For larger fish, try working the Carolina rigged brush hogs and baby brush hogs in a green pumpkin or watermelon green anything color off 20 ft rises while anchored up in shallow water. This produced 40 fish up to 5 lbs for an angler yesterday morning.

Catfish continue to be caught in a number of areas on the lake using a variety of baits. We have had reports that the larger cats that were hitting after the recent rains are not as abundant as they were, but some good eating size and a few bigger cats are still being caught. The marker 11 area has been producing some good fish in recent days. One of the fishermen used jug lines with some success. We have been receiving reports for several weeks now of large crawdads being taken off docks and from boats. These dudes are big and will not fit in one hand. Beacon Lodge and 4 Seasons docks have been productive for these delicacies and any old chicken neck or bait rigged with bacon will work. I have heard that around most any dock or in the hardwoods you can find crawdads. They will also go for big plastic offerings such as Zoom red shad brush hogs. Just have a dip net handy to place under the crawdad while it is still in the water. They will hang on pretty good, but they are not likely to stay on the bait once it is removed from the water.

The white bass and crappie species no longer exist in adequate numbers in Falcon Lake to constitute a fishery. Factors contributing to their demise include illegal netting, loss of spawning habitat and pressure from stocking of 4mm Stripers in the nineties and early in the new millennium. Stripers have also been substantially reduced in numbers by virtue of large quantities of these fish being taken in Mexican nets. Fishermen throwing cast nets for shad report catching a lot of new class blacks, crappie and even some white bass fry so it appears that the spawn may have at least enabled some of these species to make a partial recovery. It probably will not be possible to determine the level of success until we see birds working schools of shad with white bass feeding underneath. That will indeed be a wonderful sight that has been absent at Falcon for many years. With TPW's help we were able to transfer 174 large whites from Choke Canyon to Falcon and if each sow were to lay the 900,000 eggs they tell us is the high potential, well we could see a new beginning for white bass on Falcon. Especially with the cover they are afforded at this level.

The good news is that launching at Falcon is not a problem at this level and hazards are greatly reduced also. The State Park and Zapata County Ramps are both working, as are most of the Lodge and RV Park ramps including Beacon Lodge, Oso Blanco, Red wood, Lakefront Lodge, 4 Seasons and Sunset Villa. They have reopened the ramp at El Tigre Island to the public for a $3/person fee. This is a great place to put in when the blow is on. Last report was that the San Ignacio's pay to launch ramp is working only for small boats. It is recommended you call and check before planning a trip to San Ignacio. Launching below the dam on the Rio Grande River is possible at both the Salineno and Chapeno access points. However, fishing has been reported as poor in both these areas for several weeks. Gar were sighted spawning in large numbers over the weekend in the Veleno area.

Remember that half or more of Falcon is actually Mexico waters and in order to legally fish from a boat in Mexico, Mexican Licenses and Boat Permits are required for boats that carry fishing equipment. We keep these in stock and available at Falcon Lake Tackle in Zapata or you can obtain them by mail (call 956-765-4866 or e-mail lbridgeman@starband.net). Everyone in the boat must have a Mexico Fishing License whether fishing or not.

For all your tackle and marine supplies, please check out the Falcon Lake Tackle on-line E-Store at www.tackleandrods.com. We have thousands of items listed available for immediate shipping including a unique selection of hunting and fishing theme gifts. We just finished adding a lot of new items to the shopping cart with pics to show the color patterns so check it out. We would love to see some orders for tackle periodically from those of you who enjoy seeing current conditions and fishing reports updated on Falcon and Mexico Lakes. New items are continuosly including the new El Salto Tilapia spinnerbait that incorporates a twist instead of an R-bend on the wire especially for Mexico big bass with bad attitudes. We also have Nichols new hollow creature bait that will accept two rattles (in several colors) that is fresh off a win in the Angler's Choice Tournament. We have just added the Texas Smoke Houdini Shad bait that has been hot at Choke Canyon according to local guides. To post your Falcon fishing reports and view boats for sale, or to enter a free listing of a boat you have for sale, visit our sister website www.falconlake.com.
See the current June issue of Bass Times for several timely articles by Senior Writer Robert Montgomery on Falcon issues and the need for a new water treaty plus our response under the local news section of www.falconlaketackle.com..

June 1, 2004 - Lake Fork - Submitted by Jimmy Everett It was hot out on Lake Fork today. If it didnt reach 100 degrees it was sure close to it. Fishing was fair with my clients boating around 15 fish today. All of our bass came out of deep water today. For some reason my shallow bite just wasnt there. We stayed on about four diffrent humps out on the main lake. The bass we caught were pretty good size and hit very aggressive. We caught our fish on 3 different baits. The bait of choice today had to be a 7" blue fleck power worm carolina rigged with a four foot leader. The other was also carolina rigged lake fork creature in watermelon/red flake which did very well. Last but not least was the drop shot rig. On it rigged 2 feet up was a watermelon 5" senko. These baits were fished around the edges of humps on break lines in 15-25 feet of water. We tried moving the baits fast and slow and caught fish every way we used it. If you would like to book a trip on Lake Fork please! give me a call at 903-765-3980 or visit me at www.fishinlakefork.com Thank you Jimmy Everett

May 31, 2004 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman -
Falcon's water level is 287.29 ft as of today, which is 13.91 ft below the 301.20 conservation level. This is the highest level enjoyed since before 1994. Water clarity ranges from fairly good on the lower lake (dam area) to stained or murky green depending how far you are up the lake and the river. The water in the Zapata area and in the Rio Grande North of Zapata is showing a lot of algae and some small fish have died in the Veleno around Paradise Point. It appears the bigger fish are tolerating the conditions and have not moved out. Lake water temperatures are averaging in the mid-eighties. We had a little Northern hit yesterday, but about the only affect was a wind shift without any cooler temperatures. High temperatures of 103 today were the highest of the year so far and serve as a reminder that summer has arrived. Laredo, just 50 miles northwest, recorded 108 degrees today.

Schooling bass continue showing up off points in the Veleno and an abundance of bait fish are being reported as well. Some legal fish have been caught on plastics and top water baits from the Veleno points and rocks. Look for shaded, rocky areas with overhanging retama or juisache trees during the day when the sun is up or, go deep. For the best shot at top water action, go out early from daybreak to about 7:30 am. One of our locals had 30 fish on a blue/ chrome Storm Chug Bug this morning. About a fourth of them were over the 14-inch legal minimum length. We had a small turnout for the weekend South Texas Bass Angler's club tournament and only one of the three-boat field had fish to weigh on Saturday and Sunday. Details are posted under "Tournament Reports" at www.tackleandrods.com/tourney/tourney2.htm

Catfish continue to be caught in a number of areas on the lake using a variety of baits. We have had reports that the larger cats that were hitting after the recent rains are not as abundant as they were, but some good eating size and a few bigger cats are still being caught. The marker 11 area has been producing some good fish in recent days. One of the fishermen used jug lines with some success. We have been receiving reports for several weeks now of large crawdads being taken off docks and from boats. These dudes are big and will not fit in one hand. Beacon Lodge and 4 Seasons docks have been productive for these delicacies and any old chicken neck or bait rigged with bacon will work. I have heard that around most any dock or in the hardwoods you can find crawdads. They will also go for big plastic offerings such as Zoom red shad brush hogs. Just have a dip net handy to place under the crawdad while it is still in the water. They will hang on pretty good, but they are not likely to stay on the bait once it is removed from the water. The white bass and crappie species no longer exist in adequate numbers in Falcon Lake to constitute a fishery. Factors contributing to their demise include illegal netting, loss of spawning habitat and pressure from stocking of 4mm Stripers in the nineties and early in the new millennium. Stripers have also been substantially reduced in numbers by virtue of large quantities of these fish being taken in Mexican nets. Fishermen throwing cast nets for shad report catching a lot of new class blacks, crappie and even some white bass fry so it appears that the spawn may have at least enabled some of these species to make a partial recovery. It probably will not be possible to determine the level of success until we see birds working schools of shad with white bass feeding underneath. That will indeed be a wonderful sight that has been absent at Falcon for many years. With TPW's help we were able to transfer 174 large whites from Choke Canyon to Falcon and if each sow were to lay the 900,000 eggs they tell us is the high potential, well we could see a new beginning for white bass on Falcon. Especially with the cover they are afforded at this level.

The good news is that launching at Falcon is not a problem at this level and hazards are greatly reduced also. The State Park and Zapata County Ramps are both working, as are most of the Lodge and RV Park ramps including Beacon Lodge, Oso Blanco, Red wood, Lakefront Lodge, 4 Seasons and Sunset Villa. They have reopened the ramp at El Tigre Island to the public for a $3/person fee. This is a great place to put in when the blow is on. Last report was that the San Ignacio's pay to launch ramp is working only for small boats. It is recommended you call and check before planning a trip to San Ignacio. Launching below the dam on the Rio Grande River is possible at both the Salineno and Chapeno access points. However, fishing has been reported as poor in both these areas for several weeks. Gar were sighted spawning in large numbers over the weekend in the Veleno area.

Remember that half or more of Falcon is actually Mexico waters and in order to legally fish from a boat in Mexico, Mexican Licenses and Boat Permits are required for boats that carry fishing equipment. We keep these in stock and available at Falcon Lake Tackle in Zapata or you can obtain them by mail (call 956-765-4866 or e-mail lbridgeman@starband.net). Everyone in the boat must have a Mexico Fishing License whether fishing or not.

For all your tackle and marine supplies, please check out the Falcon Lake Tackle on-line E-Store at www.tackleandrods.com. We have thousands of items listed available for immediate shipping including a unique selection of hunting and fishing theme gifts. We just finished adding a lot of new items to the shopping cart with pics to show the color patterns so check it out. We would love to see some orders for tackle periodically from those of you who enjoy seeing current conditions and fishing reports updated on Falcon and Mexico Lakes. New items are continuosly including the new El Salto Tilapia spinnerbait that incorporates a twist instead of an R-bend on the wire especially for Mexico big bass with bad attitudes. We also have their new creature bait in several colors that is fresh off a win in the Angler's Choice Tournament. We have just added the Texas Smoke Houdini Shad bait that has been hot at Choke Canyon according to guide, Jim Symcox. To post your Falcon fishing reports and view boats for sale, or to enter a free listing of a boat you have for sale, visit our second website www.falconlake.com.

May 29, 2004 - Lake Fork - Submitted by Jimmy Everett - Today I had a 1/2 day trip with 2 guys and the fishing was pretty fair. altough we caught many fish most were small but still fun to catch. It was a little clowdy this morning was the air temp only got up to 80 degrees. Since this was the case topwaters and shallow crankbaits ruled today. The only 2 baits we throw were a yellow magic 3/8 oz topwater in shad and a shollow running bandit crankbait in the 200 series. The crankbait colors we used were (chartruse/black back, crawfish, and perch). Both baits we fished around grass and timber all morning. We started in the back of the creeks and on flats early and made our way out to main lake points by mid morning were we fished till we came in. Our avg. fish only weighed about 1 1/2 to 2 lbs but was fun. Im going to get married this afternoon so you may not here from me for a couple of days. If you would like to book a trip to the famous Lake Fork give me a call at 903-765-3980 or visit me at www.fishinlakefork.com <http://www.fishinlakefork.com>
Thank you and good fishin
Guide Jimmy Everett

May 28, 2004 - Lake Fork - Submitted by Jimmy Everett - Lake fork was pretty good to today. Today myself and 2 clients caught around 25 fish. most in the 3 to 5 pound range with an 8 pounder to kickit off. We started out in the shollows in the back of a creek channel throwing white buzzbaits in 4 to 6 feet of water. this lasted almost all day but at the end of the day we moved to deep water and throw carolina rigs in 15-20 feet deep. We only used a gary yomamoto 6" lizard and dyed the tail in chartruse. This picked up about 8 or 9 of our fish so I would say it was a good day out on fork. Remember If you would like to book a trip give me a call at 903-765-3980 or visit me at www.fishinlakefork.com <http://www.fishinlakefork.com> Thank you Jimmy Everett

May 26, 2004 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman - The lake rise is continuing at about the same pace as the last few weeks. We are up again this week and the level today is 287.14 ft, which is a little over 14 ft low. Water clarity is good overall and temps are in the upper-eighties to mid-eighties range. It is hot and windy as the gulf area is being drawn across South Texas North where storms and rain have been plentiful. Our winds have been averaging in the low 30's and high temps have been in the upper nineties with nights in the low seventies. The island by the Veleno Bridge is about to be covered with water and we are seeing more open areas with the brush covered by water.

We continue to experience very low fishing pressure with only a few fishermen on the lake. Bank and dock fishermen have continued to report fair-to-good results. The few boats with bass fishermen are still reporting schooling activity by small bass in coves and off points mainly in the Veleno. The larger bass are showing up in small numbers, while the aggressive small bass keep on taking the lures before the big bass see them. The South Texas Bass Anglers are scheduled for a tournament here this weekend so hopefully we will have a good report for next week. One boat of catfishermen had a 10 lb blue in the Beacon Lodge area and several smaller cats as well all on live bait. Jorge Gutierrez from Arrowhead Ranch reports gar fishing is still good, but more of the big gar are being found in the Tigers area than in the Veleno.

Regretfully, the white bass and crappie species no longer exist at Falcon in adequate numbers to constitute a fishery. Factors contributing to their demise include uncontrolled illegal Mexican Commercial fishing, loss of spawning habitat due to low water levels (again Mexico's insatiable appetite for water a major factor), and pressure from stocking of 4 million stripers in the nineties and early in the new millennium. Stripers have also been substantially reduced in numbers by virtue of large quantities of these fish being taken in Mexican nets. We recently had a report of some small white bass and crappie showing up in a throw net. If this is true, and the local fisherman swears it is, this means that at least one of the whites and crappies spawned and hopefully more than one did so. We have been hoping for the best from the combined efforts of stocking 1500 mature crappie (from Live Oak Reservoir-San Antonio) and 174 mature white bass out of Choke.

Launching at Falcon is not a problem at this level. The State Park and Zapata County Ramps are both working, as are most of the Lodge and RV Park ramps including Beacon, Oso Blanco, Redwood and Lakefront. The docks are floating at all of these lodges as well providing guests with an opportunity to catch fish without the necessity of launching a boat. The ramp at El Tigre Island is open to the public for a small fee. Last report was that the San Ignacio Ramp is working only for small boats. It is recommended you call and check before planning a trip to San Ignacio. Launching below the dam on the Rio Grande River is possible at both the Salineno and Chapeno access points.

In order to legally fish in Mexico, Mexican Licenses and Boat Permits are required for boats that carry fishing equipment into Mexican waters. These documents are available locally from Falcon Lake Tackle's retail store in Zapata or by mail (call 956-765-4866 or e-mail lbridgeman@starband.net). Everyone in the boat must have a Mexico fishing license whether fishing or not. For all your tackle and marine supplies, check out the Falcon Lake Tackle On-Line store at www.tackleandrods.com .

We have thousands of items listed available for immediate shipping including a unique selection of hunting and fishing theme gifts, fishing tackle and marine supplies. The big seller this week has been the discontinued Norman Front Runner lures. These small lures are rigged ahead of topwater baits (for black bass and/or stripers) frequently resulting in catching two fish at one time. They were mentioned by a pro on the FLW circuit in a TV show and the E-Store order system has been working overtime to supply the demand. Fortunately we had invested in a number of these baits and have been able to meet the demand so far.

We also have hunting supplies and ammunition and have expanded into bow hunting equipment as well. Remember that shipping is free on orders over $100 (Certain Restrictions Apply) and it is OK to combine orders with a fishing buddy. To post your Falcon fishing reports and view boats or hunting vehicles for sale or to enter a free listing of a boat you have for sale, visit our sister website at www.falconlake.com

May 23, 2004 - Lake Fork - Submitted by Jimmy Everett - Lake Fork bass fishing has been great the last couple of days. The lake is up just a tad but the gates are closed which is good. Today myself and two clients boated 19 fish in the 2-6lb range. We started out throwing yellow magics (shad) and 200 series bandit crankbaits (perch)around main lake and secondary points which had hydrilla present or near them (4-8 feet deep). The retrives we used were very fast with pauses through out the cast. After the morning bite had ended we moved out on to main lake humps (18-25 feet deep)and drop shot 5" senkos (watermelon) and carolina rigged zoom baby brush hogs (watermelon. The retrives used were very slow with many and long pauses trough out the cast. Once the sun started to set we went on to a hydrilla flat and caught a few on a wacky rigged senko (watermelon candy) in shallow water(2-4 feet deep). This has been a good pattern for the last couple of weeks. I have also been fishing the lower end of the lake because the upper end is! still a little muddy. If you need more info or would like to book a trip please call Jimmy Everetts Guide Service at 903-765-3980 or look under www.fishinlakefork.com
Thank you Jimmy Everett

May 20, 2004 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman - Big gar, big crawdads and lots of small bass, that is the story as the lake keeps moving North.

The lake rise is continuing at about the same pace as the last few weeks. We are up this week by about .27 inch and the level today is 286.94 ft. Water clarity is good overall and temps are in the upper-eighties to mid-eighties range. We continue to experience very low fishing pressure with only a few fishermen on the lake. Bank and dock fishermen have continued to report fair-to-good results and a couple of veteran locals went catfishing up the river Tuesday, but there was so much crawdad activity that the catfish never got a chance to take the shrimp.The few boats with bass fishermen are still reporting lots of schooling activity by small bass in coves and off points in the Veleno. The larger bass are showing up in small numbers, while the aggressive small bass keep on taking the lures before the big bass see them.

Jorge Gutierrez from Arrowhead Ranch stopped by with some more war stories about big gar being shot. They had 4 fish over 175 and one that weighed over 200 lbs See Attached Picture. Big ugly fish are doing great at Falcon. TPW has certified Jorge's new record Gar at 213 lbs. Regretfully, the white bass and crappie species no longer exist at Falcon in adequate numbers to constitute a fishery. Factors contributing to their demise include uncontrolled illegal Mexican Commercial fishing, loss of spawning habitat due to low water levels (again Mexico's insatiable appetite for water a major factor), and pressure from stocking of 4 million stripers in the nineties and early in the new millennium. Stripers have also been substantially reduced in numbers by virtue of large quantities of these fish being taken in Mexican nets. We have not heard of any small white bass or crappie showing up in throw nets but this is not unexpected since they tend to be in deeper water. We hope for the best from the combined efforts of stocking 1500 mature crappie (from Live Oak Reservoir-San Antonio) and 174 mature white bass out of Choke.

Launching at Falcon is not a problem at this level. The State Park and Zapata County Ramps are both working, as are most of the Lodge and RV Park ramps including Beacon, Oso Blanco, Redwood and Lakefront. The ramp at El Tigre Island is open to the public for a small fee. Last report was that the San Ignacio Ramp is working only for small boats. It is recommended you call and check before planning a trip to San Ignacio. Launching below the dam on the Rio Grande River is possible at both the Salieno and Chapeno access points. In order to legally fish in Mexico,

Mexican Licenses and Boat Permits are required for boats that carry fishing equipment into Mexican waters. These documents are available locally from Falcon Lake Tackle's retail store in Zapata or by mail (call 956-765-4866 or e-mail lbridgeman@starband.net). Everyone in the boat must have a Mexico fishing license whether fishing or not. For all your tackle and marine supplies, check out the Falcon Lake Tackle On-Line store at www.tackleandrods.com. We have thousands of items listed available for immediate shipping including a unique selection of hunting and fishing theme gifts, fishing tackle and marine supplies. We also have hunting supplies and ammunition. Shipping is free on orders over $100 (Certain Restrictions Apply).To post your Falcon fishing reports and view boats for sale or enter a free listing of a boat you have for sale, visit our sister website at www.falconlake.com

May 14, 2004 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman - The lake rise is continuing, albeit at a slower rate. We are up this week by about .61 inch and the level today is 286.67 ft. Water clarity is good overall and temps are in the mid-eighties. If last week's activity is any indication of the fishing at Falcon, we would have to report that very few fishermen have been available to enjoy the rain and good fishing. Bank dwellers have been about the only active fishermen at least on this end of the lake. They are still catching fish on spinners and some small lipless-crankbaits, but the number of fish reported have been a little less than last week. The boat fishermen are still reporting lots of schooling activity by small bass in coves and off points in the Veleno. The larger bass are showing up in small numbers, while the aggressive small bass keep on taking the lures before the big bass see them.
Catfish are still doing well on a variety of baits from the bank and boats as well. Big crawdads are still being caught from docks and boats on bacon, chicken necks or about anything that looks bad and smells good or vice versa.
Jorge Gutierrez from Arrowhead Ranch stopped by with some war stories about big gar being shot. They had two over 175 and one that weighed 208 lbs. Big ugly fish are doing great at Falcon. Good news is that the pipe stand and trash can hazard adjacent to the boat ramp at the Zapata County Launch Ramp has been removed. Thanks go out to Pope Gonzales our County Comissioner and his crew for the demo job.
The white bass and crappie species no longer exist in adequate numbers in Falcon Lake to constitute a fishery. Factors contributing to their demise include uncontrolled illegal Mexican Commercial fishing, loss of spawning habitat due to low water levels (again Mexico's insatiable appetite for water a major factor), and pressure from stocking of 4 million stripers in the nineties and early in the new millennium. Stripers have also been substantially reduced in numbers by virtue of large quantities of these fish being taken in Mexican nets.
Although no progress or action is being taken to get the permits so low-level launching facilities can be constructed when the lake drops, (either by TPW at the State Park or by Zapata County at their Park in Zapata), launching at Falcon is not a problem at this level. The State Park and Zapata County Ramps are both working, as are most of the Lodge and RV Park ramps. The ramp at El Tigre Island is open to the public for a small fee. Last report was that the San Ignacio Ramp is working only for small boats. It is recommended you call and check before planning a trip to San Ignacio. Launching below the dam on the Rio Grande River is possible at both the Salieno and Chapeno access points.
In order to legally fish in Mexico, Mexican Licenses and Boat Permits are required for boats that carry fishing equipment into Mexican waters. These documents are available locally from Falcon Lake Tackle's retail store in Zapata or by mail (call 956-765-4866 or e-mail lbridgeman@starband.net). Everyone in the boat must have a Mexico fishing license whether fishing or not.
For all your tackle and marine supplies, check out the Falcon Lake Tackle On-Line store at www.tackleandrods.com We have thousands of items listed available for immediate shipping including a unique selection of hunting and fishing theme gifts. To post your Falcon fishing reports and view boats for sale or enter a free listing of a boat you have for sale, visit our sister website at www.falconlake.com

May 7, 2004 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman - How's this for a Texas Craw?

Falcon's water level is 286.06 ft as of today, which is 15.14 ft low. This is the highest level enjoyed since July of 1994. The trash can and pipe stand adjacent to the ramp is about 2/3 covered with water and will constitute a hazard (when pulling into the area adjacent to the ramp) if the rise continues. We have notified the responsible County Commissioner and requested removal.

Considering the amount of rain we have experienced, water clarity is not bad ranging from clear-to-stained-to-murky depending how far you are up the lake. The lower lake is in better condition and has not been as susceptible to mud from runoffs. Lake water temperatures are averaging in the mid-seventies. We had a nice shower today in Zapata and it looks like Mother Nature is continuing to smile on us.

Large schools of new class bass and a number of buck bass are being seen in coves and traditional shallow bedding areas. Some better fish have been caught on plastics and spinnerbaits from these areas. We had several locals report fish to 6 _ lbs caught in shallow coves on in-line white spinners and motor oil colored plastic power worms. We are seeing a significant amount of bedding activity right now and based on reports being received, it appears that a major late spawn is imminent. Fishing pressure has been light with no club tournaments scheduled this weekend or next as far as we know.

Catfish continue to be caught in a number of areas on the lake using a variety of baits. We have had reports that some cats are hitting the in-line spinners being used to attract bass and they are in the shallows. One of the better areas producing fish under roosting birds is the hardwood area located in Goose Bay. Several groups of fishermen have been hitting this area early and pulling in under the birds to catch the cats feeding on their droppings. Fish are being caught rather dramatically in the 7 - 10 LB range and the bite has been good for several hours. Get there early and locate a spot under the highest density of birds. You should have some good catching and even better eating.

Speaking of eating, Gar Outdoors has a show on Falcon Catfishing, which aired Part 1 last Sunday and part 2 is this Sunday at 10:30 pm. For those of you who receive Laredo Channel 13, it was a good show last weekend with some grat fish recipes and should repeat this performance this weekend. Zapata's own Buddy Gutierrez is the guide and the cats were definitely cooperating. If you want to get in on some of this action, call us and we will put you in touch with Buddy.
We have been receiving reports for several weeks now of large crawdads being taken off docks and from boats. These dudes are big and will not fit in one hand (see attached picture) Beacon Lodge and 4 Seasons Docks have been productive for these delicacies and any old chicken neck or bait rigged with bacon will work. Just have a dip net handy to place under the crawdad while still in the water. They will hang on pretty good, but they are not likely to stay on the bait once it is removed from the water. It may be that they find fishermen as a whole to be too ugly to hang around.

The white bass and crappie species no longer exist in adequate numbers in Falcon Lake to constitute a fishery. Factors contributing to their demise include uncontrolled illegal Mexican Commercial fishing, loss of spawning habitat due to low water levels (again Mexico's insatiable appetite for water a major factor), and pressure from stocking of 4 million Stripers in the nineties and early in the new millennium. Stripers have also been substantially reduced in numbers by virtue of large quantities of these fish being taken in Mexican nets.

As far as we know, no progress or action is being taken to develop low level launching facilities, either by TPW at the State Park or by Zapata County at their Park in ZapataThe good news is that launching at Falcon is not a problem at this level. The State Park and Zapata County Ramps are both working, as are most of the Lodge and RV Park ramps. The ramp at El Tigre Island is open to the public for a $3/person fee. Last report was that the San Ignacio's pay to launch ramp is working only for small boats. It is recommended you call and check before planning a trip to San Ignacio.Launching below the dam on the Rio Grande River is possible at both the Salineno and Chapeno access points. Our river authority Pablo Gomez reports he had four fish last Tuesday to 6 lbs and a number of smaller ones.
In order to legally fish in Mexico, Mexican Licenses and Boat Permits are required for boats that carry fishing equipment into Mexican waters and are available locally from Falcon Lake Tackle's retail store in Zapata or by mail (call 956-765-4866 or e-mail lbridgeman@starband.net). Everyone in the boat must have a Mexico fishing license whether fishing or not. For all your tackle and marine supplies, check out the Falcon Lake Tackle On-Line store at www.tackleandrods.com We have thousands of items listed available for immediate shipping including a unique selection of hunting and fishing theme gifts. We just finished adding a lot of new items and pics so give us a look see. We would love to see some orders for tackle periodically from those of you who enjoy seeing current conditions and fishing reports updated on Falcon and Mexico Lakes.

To post your Falcon fishing reports and view boats for sale, or to enter a free listing of a boat you have for sale, visit our second website at www.falconlake.com

April 24, 2004 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman - Jorge Gutierrez from Arrowhead Ranch, Zapata shot the new lake record alligator gar weighing 213 lbs on April 21, 2004 in the Veleno Arm of Falcon. He was accompanied by Lupe Gutierrez. The record gar has been submitted to Texas Parks and Wildlife for certification. George provides guided Gar hunts as part of his Arrowhead Ranch outfitting services and he can be reached at (956) 744-6470

April 24, 2004 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman - April 24, 2004 Tournaments Report - Helotes and San Antonio Bass Clubs held their April tournaments at Falcon this weekend and all together 22 fishermen and women from the two clubs tested the waters. As usual (for at least one of these clubs) the weather did not fully cooperate. Rains Friday and Saturday brought about two inches and some areas had considerably more. The rain did not present a problem for most of the fishermen and women, especially those like the Potters who stayed in the Veleno, where rains held off until late afternoon. It was a pleasant, overcast day with high temperatures in the mid-eighties.

Water temperatures were in the mid-seventies and conditions were mostly clear. Some vegetation is still cluttering the surface in windswept areas and shorelines. Those fishing the lower end had a couple cells to deal with during the day, but the heavy rain held up long enough to get the weigh-ins completed.

The top-proroducer for both clubs on Saturday was Felix Huerta with 3 fish weighing 11.43 lbs and a 5.04 lb big bass. He found his fish staging pre-spawn in about 12 to 14 ft of water. This was the dominant pattern with plastic baits attracting the most action. The second pattern utilized successfully was spinnerbaits and small crankbaits in shallowwater. San Antonio Bass Club's Gabriele Potter caught the clubs big bass weigh in at 3.42 lb fish on a Norman Watermelon Red Middle-N and some other fish were caught in shallow, bedding areas on white willow-leaf spinnerbaits. Bill Meckel had the heavy stringer of 5.07 lbs and it was good enough to beat out 2nd place Wayne Bell and 3ed place Kathy Woodruff's stringers of 4.78 lbs and 4.69 lbs respectively for two-day, heavy-stringer honors.

Using one (or both) of these patterns, the majority of the combatants had one or more fish and stories about big fish lost due to light bites and/or bad hook sets left me with the impression that fish at Falcon might be approaching another major spawn. About half of those that were fishing caught fish (most fish were showing some egg development) and most of the others fishing had bites and at least an opportunity to catch a fish or so. Dead sticking was the best presentation as the light-biting fish were not exactly pounding the baits that found their way into strike zones. Helotes Sunday results furnished by Felix Huerta, found Al Reyna with all the beans and most of the meat. He ended up with 13.81 lbs for 4 fish edging out second place Huerta's 13.06 lb stringer by .75 lb. Jim Black tied down third place with 8.01 lbs. Al and his wife Anabel, Jim and his wife Marilyn are always tough on Falcon. Spinnerbaits and black Berkley Power Worms were top baits for the club.


March 27, 2004 - Lake Tawakoni - The people pictured are, from right to left, Stephen Glover, Jose Vargas, Brian Lewis, and Sean Kinkel. As you can see we actually paid someone to take us fishing. But after the days end we found that it was well worth the money invested. The four of us are from Mineral Wells and, as of the closing of Squaw Creek, had ran out of good fishing holes and were on the lookout for potential hot spots. That's when Stephen saw a small piece on the news about a catfish service working out of Lake Tawakoni. Well when he saw the guys on the tube catching 30+ pound blue cats that perked his ears a bit. He called Little D and got the run down about his service and immediately started in on me and his cousin Sean about going. I told him the only way I'd pay anyone to take me fishing is if I'd try the lake first and see if it was the journey.

Well, on the first day I ever fished the lake I reeled in a 30 lb. blue. But this was only obtained because of a locals generosity. Martin France, an avid catfisher, was there to donate the shad that was used to catch the 30 pounder. And which at the time was the biggest fish I'd ever caught. Well, that alone would have got me to fork up the money for the trip, but about ten minutes later Martin hooked into a monster. After what seemed an eternity passed and he landed the golaith we got the scales out only to be disappointed.

You see the scales only went up to 50 pounds and this brute pegged it out effortlessly. Well, that was it. I was sold and when I made it back and told my story we got Brian to join in too. Little D took us out around 8 a.m. and had us back on land at 3 p.m. The days catch also included a 45 lb giant that I caught but was asked to release it inorder to help keep the population up and D in service. The entire time we were out on the lake we drifted only one section of the lake and we always used cut gizzard shad for bait. I am sending a picture of the 30lb blue that I caught
prior to this trip. I had sent it when I sent you this one but I'm not sure you got it. Thanks, Jose Vargas

March 17, 2004 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman - Water is clear with a lot of surface clutter from blooms off Huisache, salt cedars and other brush in certain areas including the Veleno. Water temperature has been holding in the mid-sixties to high-sixties and lake level has been fluctuating between 278 ft and 279 ft elevation since December of 2003 with only a few days in December and January falling below that level. The actual level recorded Friday 3/16 was 279.33 ft, which is 21.87 ft low. We had a little over an inch of rain over the last few days, but considerably more in the water shed around us. This has given us a pleasant rise and postponed release of irrigation water to the Rio Grande Valley. Conditions on Falcon have been partly sunny, moderate winds (gusts to 17 mph) and cool (temperatures in the low 60's to mid-seventies). Water clarity has been predominately clear. Some of the major creeks may become stained-to-muddy as runoff from recent rains reaches them this week.
Two locals had 12 fish yesterday, but the majority were caught in a single area as were two of the fish that weighed about three pounds, The water has cooled off about four to five degrees and bass fishing remains slow. Some bass can be caught in 2 to 10 ft of water on plastics mostly by dead-sticking watermelon red baits around brush or hardwoods. The Zoom Super Fluke produced some fish last weekend, as did the Wave watermelon red stick worms. Fishermen continue to report a very light bite and mostly notice activity by a line movement rather than from a bump or peck. A spinnerbait bite has not yet developed, but may be about to do so as the temperature recovers to the 70-degree range.
Cat fishermen continue to report good results on shrimp, shad and stink bait and the Marker 8 OPEC Creek area seems to be the most productive area at this time. Most of the catfish seem to be oriented to the hardwood. Striper action is fair based on weekend reports of fish being caught off submerged islands with brush showing above water.

March 8, 2004 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman -
Water is clear overall with yellow Huisache blooms on the surface primarily in wooded areas. The lake level is 278.93', which is 22.27 ft low. Water temperature is in the 68-71 degree range. Small black bass action is good and when you locate the fish you can easily catch 10 or more in a short time. Action on large black bass has been slow, but as water temperature continues to rise, fishing is improving. A number of fish have been sighted in 3 ft or less depths and plastic (watermelon red and blue fleck baits) seem to be the best lures followed by white spinnerbaits. The white spinnerbaits with gold/nickel willow leaf blades have been drawing a few strikes. As the water continues to warn, spinnerbait action should improve as should fishing overall.

Several boats out this week reported a little action with one or two-fish per boat being about average. Richard Quick and a couple folks spent three days fishing Falcon and reported some better then average action for their efforts at the lower end of the lake. Friday they fished in the Veleno around Zapata and they had 4 fish they considered legal keepers measuring about 15 inches. They moved to the State Park area Saturday and found a couple nice fish weighing 6 lbs and 4.9 lbs on blue fleck worms. Sunday was a better day with 8 fish caught on blue fleck plastics. Two weighed just under 5 lbs, 3 were just under 14" and the other 3 weighed around three lbs each. All their fish were heavy with eggs and were released alive. The depths and type cover in which most of the fish were caught was 7 ft to 12 ft in the willows.

Catfishing has been fair-to-good with small-to-medium size cats being caught from the bank as well as from boats. A few big cats have been caught in river holes. Shrimp, live worms and stinkbait are all working well. We have been receiving some good reports about the catfish bite around Marker 8 area. Crappie and white bass do not exist in adequate numbers to be considered fishable species. Striper action is poor. Zapata is in close proximity to several Northern Mexico lakes where fishing has been excellent. Fishing reports and pictures are now available on-line at the Falcon Lake Tackle website http://www.tackleandrods.com/lake/murray.htm
Launching at Falcon is not a problem at this level. The State Park and Zapata County Ramps are both working, as are most of the Lodge and RV Park ramps.

The ramp at El Tigre Island is closed to the public. Last report was that the San Ignacio Ramp is working only for small boats. It is recommended you call and check before planning a trip to San Ignacio. Beacon owner and manager Speedy Collett and Roy Graham have and are developing Beacon Lodge into a first class facility and their launching, dock and pier facilities are the best on the lake. They can accommodate club tournaments in sizes up to 300 plus boat entries. They are making their launching facilities available to non-paying guests also. The improved security for your vehicle by using the Motel facilities is well worth the small charge they levy for launching. Most all of the lodges and motels located on the lake including Oso Blanco and Lakefront Lodge have launching available

Launching below the dam on the Rio Grande River is working at the Salieno access point or by paying a fee and launching at the RV Park property in Chapeno. Fishing in the River varies from day-to-day based on a number of factors. The amount of water being released seems to have a direct impact on the fishing (and launching), but for the last few weeks fishing has been reported as fair-to-good.
Mexican licenses and boat permits are required for boats that carry fishing equipment into Mexican waters and are available locally from Falcon Lake Tackle's retail store in Zapata or by mail (call 956-765-4866 or e-mail lbridgeman@starband.net). Everyone in the boat must have a Mexico fishing license whether fishing or not. For all your tackle, marine supplies and fishing/hunting theme gift requirements, check out the Falcon Lake Tackle On-Line store at www.tackleandrods.com We have thousands of items listed available for immediate shipping. To post your Falcon fishing reports and view boats for sale or enter a free listing of a boat you have for sale, visit our other website www.falconlake.com

February 28, 2004 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman -Water is clear-to-stained overall with considerable yellow Huisache blooms on the surface in wooded and wind swept areas. The lake level is 278.78', which is 22.42 ft low. Water temperature is in the mid 60-degree range. A few fishermen found water as warm as 66 degrees Sunday. Small black bass are good when you locate the fish it is not uncommon to catch 10 or more in a short time. Action on large black bass has been poor Last weekend the lake water temperature had made it to 70 degrees and fishing was beginning to improve. A number of 6, 7 and 8 lb fish were caught as the larger bass started to move in shallow and begin working the beds. Most of the fish caught showed very little tail damage. Mother nature stepped in and delivered a little cold front, some rain all around us and she threw in a little hail for good measure. This pretty much put the brakes on the developing bite, but a few fish were caught this weekend in primarly 3 ft depths and using plastic watermelon red brush hogs. A few big fish were lost; one broke off under Oso Blanco's dock and one broke a rod and escaped.

Catfishing has continued fair-to-good with small-to-medium size cats being caught from the bank as well as from boats. Shrimp, live worms and stinkbait are all working well. Crappie and white bass do not exist in adequate numbers to be considered fishable species and striper action has been poor. Zapata is in close proximity to several Northern Mexico lakes where fishing has been running good-to-excellent. Fishing reports and pictures are now available on-line at the Falcon Lake Tackle website http://www.tackleandrods.com/lake/murray.htm

The two club tournaments scheduled for Falcon this weekend, i.e. the STBAA and Ingram Bass Club Tounaments produced very few fish and although a few big fish were hooked and lost, the heavy stringer on the 28th was under 8 lbs. Big bass was 3.89 lbs.

Launching at Falcon is not a problem at this level and the State Park and Zapata County Ramps are both working. Most of the Lodges and RV Park ramps on the water are operational also. The ramp at El Tigre Island is closed to the public. Last report was that the San Ignacio Ramp is working only for small boats. It is recommended you call and check before planning a trip to San Ignacio. Beacon Lodge is developing into a first class tournament facility and their launching, dock and pier facilities are in excellent condition. They can accommodate club tournaments from small to 300 plus entries.

Launching below the dam on the Rio is best accomplished at the Salineno access point. Fishing in the River varies from day-to-day based on a number of factors. The amount of water being released seems to have a direct impact on the fishing (and launching), but for the last few weeks fishing has been reported as fair-to-good.

Mexican Licenses and Boat Permits are required for boats that carry fishing equipment into Mexican waters and are available locally from Falcon Lake Tackle's retail store in Zapata or by mail (call 956-765-4866 or e-mail lbridgeman@starband.net). Everyone in the boat must have a Mexico fishing license whether fishing or not. A current Texas Certificate of Number for a Boat is required in order to secure a Mexican Boat Permit.

For all your tackle, marine supplies and fishing/hunting theme gift requirements, check out the Falcon Lake Tackle On-Line store at www.tackleandrods.com We have thousands of items listed available for immediate shipping. To post your Falcon fishing reports and view boats for sale or enter a free listing of a boat you have for sale, visit our other website www.falconlake.com

February 23, 2004 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman -Water is clear-to-stained overall with considerable yellow Huisache blooms on the surface primarily in wooded areas. The lake level is 278.71', which is 22.49 ft low. Water temperature is in the mid 60-degree range. A few fishermen found water as warm as 66 degrees. Small black bass are good when you locate the fish you can usually catch 10 or more in a short time. Action on large black bass has been fair-to-good, but as the lake water temperature continues to rise, fishing is improving. A number of 6, 7 and 8 lb fish were caught this weekend as the larger bass started to move in shallow and begin working the beds. Fish were caught from 1 to 12 ft and plastic watermelon red baits were best followed by white spinnerbaits with twin gold willow blades.

Catfishing has been fair-to-good with small-to-medium size cats being caught from the bank as well as from boats. Shrimp, live worms and stinkbait are all working well. Crappie and white bass do not exist in adequate numbers to be considered fishable species. Striper action is poor. Zapata is in close proximity to several Northern Mexico lakes where fishing has been running good-to-excellent. Fishing reports and pictures are now available on-line at the Falcon Lake Tackle website http://www.tackleandrods.com/lake/murray.htm

The three major tournaments scheduled for Falcon in February are history, i.e. the Tommy Gray Memorial, Bass Champs and B.A.S.S. Federation Bass Tournaments. Jimmy and AR Johnson weighed in a two-day six-bass catch of 26.54 pounds for the Tommy Gray first place heavy stringer. They also had the Big Bass of the tournament weighing 7.09 pounds. The winners of the Bass Champs Tournament were Charles Haralson and Jimmy Steed with a 5-fish limit weighing 26.17 lbs. They won a new fully-rigged Skeeter bass boat and a $5000 bonus for having a Skeeter (Charles had just placed an order for a boat before the tournament). Big bass of the tournament and for the weekend weighed 8.62 lbs and was caught by the team of Pace and Lottman.

B.A.S.S. Federation's Jimmy Johnson claimed first place heavy stringer with 20.96 lbs. He also had second big bass of 7.55 lbs. Forest Wilson took 2nd heavy stringer honors with 11.87 lbs beating out the senior AR Johnson's 3rd place with a little over 9 lbs. B.A.S.S. Federation Big Bass winner was Roberto Abrigo who weighed an 8.42 lb fish, which also qualified for 5th place heavy stringer. The fish were moving in shallow as the day progressed and by mid-afternoon's weigh-in a number of all sized fish were begging for the watermelon red plastic baits. Three to 6ft of water depths produced the most fish but Roberto's 8.42 lb fish came off a Carolina rigged bait in the hardwoods with 8 ft of water.

Launching at Falcon is not a problem as the State Park and Zapata County Ramps are both working. Most of the Lodges and RV Park ramps on the water are operational also. The ramp at El Tigre Island is closed to the public. Last report was that the San Ignacio Ramp is working only for small boats. It is recommended you call and check before planning a trip to San Ignacio. Beacon Lodge has developed into a first class tournament facility and their launching, dock and pier facilities are excellent. They can accommodate club tournaments of small to 300 plus entries. The improved security for your vehicle is worth the small charge they levy for launching and it costs nothing if you are their guest.
Launching below the dam on the Rio is best accomplished at the Salineno access point. Fishing in the River varies from day-to-day based on a number of factors. The amount of water being released seems to have a direct impact on the fishing (and launching), but for the last few weeks fishing has been reported as fair-to-good. A couple locals made a trip to the river this week after checking the website and finding they were releasing a volume of water. They caught 3 big fish weighing 7, 7 and 11 lbs.

Mexican Licenses and Boat Permits are required for boats that carry fishing equipment into Mexican waters and are available locally from Falcon Lake Tackle's retail store in Zapata or by mail (call 956-765-4866 or e-mail lbridgeman@starband.net). Everyone in the boat must have a Mexico fishing license whether fishing or not.

For all your tackle, marine supplies and fishing/hunting theme gift requirements, check out the Falcon Lake Tackle On-Line store at www.tackleandrods.com We have thousands of items listed available for immediate shipping. To post your Falcon fishing reports and view boats for sale or enter a free listing of a boat you have for sale, visit our other website www.falconlake.com

Courtesy of Falcon Lake Tackle www.falconlaketackle.com

February 10, 2004 - Falcon - Submitted by Larry Bridgeman - I was out on the lake yesterday shooting some waypoints for the new Texas Fish and Game Lakes and Bays map. The water in most areas is in good shape with 1' to 2' visibility. Some areas are showing a lot of floating yellow-green juisache blooms. Overall, the water is in good shape. Several areas of the lake I checked got up to 63 degrees in the afternoon. The Veleno was at 59 degrees midmorning. Another northern is forecast to hit us tonight with some rain and cooler temperatures. This is going to set back the bite that has really failed to recover since a fair level of activity and several double digit tournament stringer in mid-January. Fishing has not been good for black bass since then when the lake temperature dropped to the 58- 60 degree range. The fish caught in the Uvalde Bass Club tournament last weekend came from shallow water on a combination of plastics and sinnerbaits (see Tournament Reports).I talked with several folks here pre-fishing for February Tournaments and I failed to find anyone who bragged much about their success. In fact, most of the folks I talked to were zip on fish over the 14" legal length limit. This has been petty much standard results last month with one - two fish being a high average.
Cat fishing has continued fair to good for most species of catfish on shrimp, stinkbait and live bait. Cat fishermen have reported some good to excellent results off the shoreline as well as from boats. We had a report of a 23 Lb fish being caught in the Veleno. We saw an abundance of roosting water turkeys in the Opec Creek and Tigers areas so these might be good areas to checkout. No reports have surfaced on stripers, but populations of crappie and white bass remain below the levels required to be considered fishable species.

February major tournaments scheduled for Falcon include the Tommy Gray Memorial being held this coming weekend February 14 and 15, Bass Champs on February 21st and B.A.S.S. Federation on February 22nd. Since Bass Champs will be off limits for the week following the Tommy Gray Memorial think about fishing the Tommy Gray and picking up some good door prizes, possibly some cash ($3,000 1st place for 75 teams) and always some good food and fishing information. Entry rules and forms can be downloaded from the tournament front page at www.falconlaketackle.com.

Courtesy of Falcon Lake Tackle
www.tackleandrods.com
www.falconlake.com

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