I've decided that when there's a postseason going on and you're not in it, going to Lake Falcon is a good way to spend a few days. It helps to take out your frustration. I want to say kudos to KVD and a heartfelt "I've-been-there-before" to Skeet. You've got to take your hat off to both of those guys. KVD has been getting it done when it has to get done, and Skeet had the most amazing season I can ever remember. It was frustrating not being there myself.
Little Alton and I headed down to Falcon for our first trip of the offseason. It's also our first trip since the lake has been re-opened from the flooding left by hurricane Alex. The lake was about 2 feet high most of the time we were there, which is about where it's still at. I've never seen it at full pool before; it's a much different lake. It's in south Texas' flat, brush country and high water really increases the size of the lake. Where you're used to seeing islands, there's nothing. It's normally between 10 and 20 feet low, and you see big trees standing out in the water. This time, there was none of that. It's a big, open lake with brush all around the shoreline.
The high water makes it easier to maneuver and run around on than any other time, and it made the fishing pretty easy, too. Basically what you have is that rim of brush near the shore. It looks like you're fishing the outside bushes, but you're not; they extend out into the water behind you. It's a little deceiving. When you think you've got 'em figured out on an outside bush pattern, there are more behind you.
The submerged trees down there are 12-14 feet tall, and we were flipping down into the farthest out trees. We found most of our bugger fish there. You can catch fish all the way up on the bank, and we were catching about 50 a day; so it was pretty good, but the bigger ones were out in that 10-14 foot range. They'd be out in the bushes early, and in the middle of the day they'd be in the middle of the tree. You'd have to thread that Yum Wooly Hawg Tail through the top of the tree. Even if you got a 4-pounder to bite, you're not going to get him out through 14 feet of tree.
The biggest fish we caught down there was the 9-pounder you see, and Little A had one that was close to nine. In the two days we fished, we had six heavier than seven, and both of us got railroaded. You get that every time you go to Falcon. It seems you've always got a story of one that has a hold of you, you didn't have him. That happened to both of us. I pitched next to a little bush with a Mighty Bug and I felt the line go 'tick.' I had just caught a few small fish, so I didn't think much of it. When I set the hook, that thing took off the other direction! He was in open water, too. I never saw the fish. Sometimes you just want to see the fish, even if you lose him so you get an idea of how big it might have been. But, this one was too strong. I have no idea how big it was, but I had caught a 9-pounder about 30 minutes before that and it pulled hard, but nothing like this thing did. I could feel the head shaking down there and I was expecting to see this behemoth come up, but it pulled off.
Little Alton had one that grabbed his Wooly Hawg Tail, and when he set the hook, the fish swam under a barb wire fence. It came up on the other side of the fence. I think it was a 10. The line was cut on the fence, of course. That's one of the great things about going to this place. Every time you go, you have a story of a huge one that got away. You remember those stories just as much as you remember the 9-pounder you caught.
I also talked to a bunch of folks down there about the piracy issues, and there haven't been any issues in several months. Rumor has it that those issues were taken care of, if you know what I mean. The other drug cartels didn't like the extra law enforcement attention those incidents drew. That's rumor, now, but that's what the folks are saying. It seemed very safe to me on the water. You've just got to be vigilant. If you see a boat approaching on the Mexican side, it makes sense to pull the trolling motor up and leave. We didn't see anything out of the ordinary, had a great time and ate some of the best Mexican food in the world.
On another note, tomorrow I'm speaking at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens, Texas. I'm looking forward to that. On Sunday, I'll be teaching Sunday school. It should be a great weekend!