Monday, November 5, 2012

Lunker Largies on Falcon Lake, Texas

Fishing Time: Sunday – Tuesday
Weather:  Clear skies, no wind, T-80s
Moon Phase:  62% Moon
Location:  Falcon Lake, Texas
Bait:  Texas rigged plastics (flukes, senkos, lizards)
Who Went:  Rick, John, Hunt and his family, Me
Our Texas bass fishing trip finally arrived and started by landing in Austin, Texas on Friday night.  Hunt picked us up from the airport and we went back to his place to get settled for the night.  Hit up Sixth Street in downtown Austin for some amazing Texas barbecue and then cruised the night life for a couple hours with Hunt.  Woke up early on Saturday and met Hunts dad, grandpa, uncle, and two cousins in San Antonio, then all drove down together to Zapata, Texas which is the border town near Falcon Lake where we fished for the next three days.  We stopped to look at the Rio Grande River just outside Zapata.  The river is the border between the United States and Mexico.
We stayed in a duplex rental home with Hunt’s family on one side, and me, Rick, John, and Hunt on the other.  The owner of the rental home (Billy) also rented us his 20 foot Skeeter bass fishing boat for the 3 days we were there.  The plan was to go on the water with him for a few hours in the morning to learn his boat and then drop him off at the docks and fish for the next 3 days.  Hunt and his family paid for a guide each day and did not fish with us until the last day when Hunt’s family went home and he joined our group.  Here's how it all went down...

Sunday - We launched the boat about 30 miles south of where we were staying down near the dam on Falcon Lake.
Billy decided to fish with us for the day and took us to his best spots where we began fishing by Texas rigging large flukes, lizards, and senkos in dark colors.  We used 3/8 oz tungsten bullet weights and 6/0 Gamagatsu hooks.  Billy owns his own tackle company so we just pitched in and bought some of his supplies.  The targeted structure was rocky bottom in 10 to 20 feet of water.  The more rock we found, the better our success rate was, but also the more tackle we lost!  We mainly fished near the damn and a little on the Mexico side of the lake.  We found a great rocky bottom near the damn that ended up producing most our fish.  The first day we landed quite a few fish in the 5-6 pound range, which had us pretty excited, but Billy wasn’t impressed and wanted us to land the monster we came to Texas looking for.
Monday - More of the same and Billy joined us again for the day.  Rick landed the biggest fish of the trip with this 7 lb 10 oz beast!
We were all excited about the fish, but again Billy was not impressed!  John and I both landed fish in the 5-6 pound range, but never did put anything in the boat over 6. 
The best part of fishing on Billy’s boat was the banter back and forth between him and us (mostly John).  He made fun of our flimsy Utah rods and tackle the entire time.  Even went as far as making fun of the way we netted our fish!  Then when John told him he would rather catch an Alligator Gar over a 10 pound bass, Billy about lost it!  It was fun giving Billy a hard time and receiving it back 10 fold, but I think by the end John was at his wits end.  All in all I thought it was nice to have a local to show us the ropes and some of the best areas to fish.  I learned a lot, and fishing deep water structure is something I’m not used to, so I felt like it helped me add one more technique to my repertoire for bass fishing.  Thanks Billy!  We were laughing as we looked at pictures of the trip and found the one below.  It pretty much sums up Billy and John’s relationship.  Billy just couldn't quite figure out the Bobber!
Monday night at dinner we were swapping stories with Hunt’s family about our day fishing and they invited their guide to dinner with us.  Their guide (Mark Diffee) had them fishing a lot of different structure and a totally different area than we had spent the last 2 days fishing and it had us daydreaming a bit.  When he offered to take us out the next day for the same price as our boat rental, we decided to take him up on it.  Turned out to be a great move, and not for the fishing…
Tuesday - We were on the lake with Diffee early, and fished a completely different area than the first two days (Diffee on the left).
We fished shorelines and hardwoods in shallower water, which is more what us Utah boys are used to.  We started off catching fish in the morning, but none with any size.  The biggest was a 4 pounder that I caught in what Diffee called 10 pound bay.
Hunt earned the nickname “Jersey Shore” on this trip and his dress attire should explain why…
Somewhere in this time frame of fishing we entered Mexico and that’s when the Diffee stories started getting good!  Diffee is nuts (in a good way) and has been all over the world chasing fish.  He had some Mexico stories that would blow anyone’s mind, and even had the pictures to prove it!
By mid-day we were hungry and ready to find more fish.  We loaded the boat, grabbed a bite, and stopped by Diffee’s place to pick up some baits.  Once we got to Diffee’s the day seemed to take a turn for the better, but again, not for the fishing.  Diffee really started to open up and the stories were hilarious!  This guy could be a standup comedian and he doesn’t even know it.  He’s just a hillbilly from Arkansas with a deep southern draw and never stops talking!  Normally that would drive me nuts, but not Diffee.  The guy had us rolling the entire day and didn’t even realize he was funny.  John and I hit the wall at Diffee’s and both fell asleep for a few minutes.
John just wandered through Diffee’s fifth wheel (yes he lives in a fifth wheel) and found his bed.  Only the bobber!  I zonked on Diffee’s couch.  
The short nap revived me and we left Diffee’s place and drove down near the dam where I layed into a good fish that may have put me on the lunker board, but it popped off near the boat.  I still haven’t forgotten about that one.  Soon it was dark and our Falcon Lake fishing was over, but the Diffee stories were only getting better the more we got to know him.  We drove back to Billy’s place and Diffee dropped us off.  Thanks Diffee, money well spent! 

We decided not to stay the night in Zapata and hit the road for Austin around 9 p.m.  Got to Hunt’s house at 2 a.m. and hit the sack.  Flew out the next morning and were in Utah by late afternoon.  This was definitely a different trip than what Rick, John, and I are used to.  Usually we fish from sun up until sundown and well into dark, then crash, wake up, and do it all over again.  This trip we were a little more relaxed and enjoyed just hanging out.  We still did plenty of fishing, but chilled a little more than usual.  It was probably the most fun out of state trip I’ve ever been on and we are already talking about where to go next.  Until then, it’s back to winter and ice fishing in Utah.

Falcon wasn't the prettiest lake I've ever been to, but it did have its moments, and the sunsets were killer.  Below are more pictures of the trip and all our scenery pictures…

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