Falcon, floods and flying

Photo courtesy of Alton Jones
Alton Jones poses with an 8-pound-plus largemouth from Falcon Lake.

My friend Pat Curry and I are down at Falcon right now, and it’s unbelievable. It’s as wide open as I’ve ever seen it. One thing that it reminded me of is my quest to catch my personal best bass ever. With the way that things are going, I like my chances.

We fished yesterday afternoon, will fish all day today and tomorrow as well. Jimmye Sue says I’m a workaholic. Yesterday, the first fish that I caught on the first spot I pulled up on was a double-digit fish. But, like so many other Falcon bass, it came off.

I don’t know if it was my personal best bass, but it was a monster. That was the biggest bite we had all day. We had a total of 85 bass yesterday, with our 5 biggest weighing 39 pounds or thereabouts. The one in the photo is 8 1/2 or so. It’s absolutely crazy. Anyhow, it seems like every spot you pull up on has bass on it.

When you handle these fish, your thumbs don’t get scratched up, your palms get wrecked. I may nip the problem in the rear and wear some Band-Aids in a preemptive strike. Also, if you like Mexican food, Zapata, Texas, is the place to be.

On another note, I had a great trip last week to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens, Texas. We caught more than 200 bass that day. The fun thing about that trip is the fact that most of them were topwater bites. You could catch fish doing anything, but once we figured the topwater bite was strong, we all tied one on. Spooks and frogs were the ticket. Now, 200 bites a day is a lot, but 200 topwater bites is indescribable. It’s a different kind of fishing than here at Falcon. While you won’t get the number of bites at Falcon that you will in Athens, you’ll get better bites here. The fish are just plain larger.

As a bass pro, there’s no better preparation that you can do than just going fishing. When you’re in an off-limits period, it’s good to just go someplace where you get to practice catching fish. The one thing about going to Falcon is that you get practice hooking, playing and landing big fish. So, if I catch a 5-pounder at the Arkansas River tournament, it won’t be a big deal. I’ll know how to handle it because most every fish here at Falcon is that big. You get pretty good catching that kind of fish down here. I guess my excuse for being down here is to practice my execution.

Also, I got to fly over the Arkansas River last week. Though you can’t be on the water in an off-limits period, you can be over it. I felt like after the floods, it was important for me to get a good look at it. I wanted to spend a morning seeing what I could see, especially in the areas that had a lot of flood water. It was neat seeing how the current flows in different parts. Since I’m not very familiar with that part of the river, I snapped up the opportunity to understand the waterway better. You can learn things from a bird’s eye view that would take you weeks to do in a boat. If you see a hole in a levee, you can see what’s back there instantly, whereas you would have to idle through in a boat. It’s easy to see if something’s worth checking out.

Hopefully it’ll make me more efficient in practice so I know where I should concentrate. Well, with a little luck, I’ll have caught my new personal best bass by the time my next entry comes around.

Stay tuned!