Monthly Archives: January 2015

2015 Texas Rainbow Trout Stocking Schedule

So admit it, you read this blog headline and thought “What? Rainbow Trout in Texas?” 29933_401555468446_5417849_n (Mobile)Yes, there are Rainbow and Brown Trout in Texas. The “2015 Texas Rainbow Trout Stocking Schedule” is out!!! Most people outside the state have no ideal. It is one of the best kept secrets in Texas. TPWD did a study before starting the program back in the 80’s. They wanted to know if these feisty little fish might survive somewhere in Texas. The answer came back, yes! The places were McKittrick Canyon and the Guadalupe River (Canyon Tailrace Section). The Guadalupe was right outside New Braunfels, a favorite hotspot for native Texans. Texans were excited, yet understandably skeptical about this new program. All except for a few ardent fly-fisherman had their doubts. The supporters felt that the fish would eventually adapt. They seem to have done just that. Although the trout still need their cold temperatures; the minimal holdover survivors find suitable habitat while continuing to grow their numbers, year after year.

Gruene Tx (Mobile) (Mobile)Near Gruene, Texas everyone enjoys tubing down the Guadalupe River and visiting New Braunfel’s Schlitterbahn (Travel Channel’s #1 Waterpark in the World). They also love to meander there way through the famous little town of Gruene shops, restaurants and Hall (“Michael” and “Hope Floats” filmed there). Hollywood actors to Country Music superstars frequent the place. Well, it just so happens that the Rainbow Trout like it too! The longest surviving Rainbow Trout population resides there. According to TPWD ” In Texas, high temperatures prevent reproduction or even over-summer survival in most areas, though they survive in tailrace areas below large dams such as Canyon Reservoir.”

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. stocks about 136+ state and city parks, lakes, rivers, ponds, canals and creeks with 280,000 Rainbow Trout (around 12” in length) from November through March every year. However, the only ones to thrive are New Braunfel’s Guadalupe River trout in the Canyon Tailrace, near the dam. There are now spawning native Texas Rainbow and Browns OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthere, since the program began 30 years ago. It is not just the TPWD that are stocking these waters, either. the Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited organization also stocks theses waters with trophy trout only. This river produces some of the best quality large girth trout you can find just about anywhere. The GRTU release section of the Canyon Tailrace is a well-kept secret. But, if you talk to some of the local fisherman they can point you in the right direction. You need a kayak for that golden stretch of river. They regularly pull up 3-8 lb. trout there. These waters produced the state record back in the 90’s, when a 10 lb, 28” long Rainbow trout was caught. For more information go to the website of these dedicated anglers: grtu.org or check out their video below:

Trout fishing the Canyon Tailrace Video………………………Click Here

TPWD Rainbow Trout Restocking Video………………………Click Here

Salmon Eggs (2)How do you fish for these tasty little morsels, you ask? By far, the simplest and fastest way to fish for these little guys are with red Salmon eggs. They love Salmon eggs; like kids love candy. You can use a fly-fishing rod setup, just to give it a whirl, but you don’t have to. When the TPWD stocks these fish it is usually in small water bodies, such as city parks. Therefore, you can even use a bobber to help children enjoy a successful fishing experience. Bait two eggs on the end of a small hook and go for it. Also, don’t be intimidated because it is a new experience, try your hand at fly-fishing. This is one of the most popular ways to fish, in the rest of the nation, for a reason.Guadmap51

Local Winter Trout Release Areas:

#1 TOP SPOT
Canyon Tailrace, Guadalupe River, New Braunfels:
17,750 Trout Released

 

Beaumont Area
Nederland-Doornbos Park: 500 Trout Released
Vidor-Claiborne West Park (Beaumont Area): 1000 Trout Released
Beaumont-LNVA Barrier Pond: 3845 Trout Released
Jasper-Jasper City Park Pond: 1800 Trout Released
Woodville-Magnolia Ridge Pond: 1800 Trout Released

Conroe Area
Conroe Area Conroe-Burroughs Park: 2600 Trout Released
Conroe-Carl Barton Jr. Park Pond: 2400 Trout Released

Seabrook/League City Area
Houston-Sheldon State Park Children’s #1: 1028 Trout Released
Houston-Tom Bass I & II: 5500 Trout Released
Houston-Bane Park Lake: 2200 Trout Released
Houston-Eisenhower Park Pond: 3300 Trout Released
Houston-Mary Jo Peckham Park: 3160 Trout Released
Pasadena-Burke-Crenshaw Lake: 1000 Trout Released
Sugarland-Eldridge Park Pond: 750 Trout Released

Other Popular Areas
Austin-Bullfrog Pond: 896 Trout Released
Austin-Camp Mabry: 1400 Trout Released
Austin-Mueller Lake Park: 2000 Trout Released
Bandera-Bandera City Park Lake: 978 Trout Released
El Paso-Ascarate: 6000 Trout Released
Georgetown-San Gabriel Park: 1250 Trout Released
Georgetown-Blue Hole Park Lake: 1250 Trout Released
Mathis- Lake Corpus Christi: 1700 Trout Released
Midland-Beal Park Lake: 1500 Trout Released
Mt. Pleasant-Bob Sandlin State Park: 2750 Trout Released
Round Rock-Shirley McDonald Park Pond: 300 Trout Released
San Antonio- Miller’s Pond: 3792 Trout Released
San Antonio- Live Oak City: 750 Trout Released
San Antonio- Southside Lions Park: 4740 Trout Released
Tyler-Faulkner Park Lake: 2100 Trout Released
Tyler-Tyler Nature Center: 2000 Trout Released
Tyler-Tyler State Park: 4030 Trout Released
Waco-Buena Vista Park Lake: 1896 Trout Released
Waco-Nora Pond: 500 Trout Released

Stocking Occurs November-March

For More Locations See Link Below: http://tpwd.texas.gov/fishboat/fish/management/stocking/trout_stocking.phtml

Fishing on the Dock of the Bay

So, for all you music fans out there here is an oldie but goodie to listen to, while you contemplate this “Fishing on the Dock of the Bay” blog on how to fish a bay!  Sitting on the Dock of the Bay Music Video

Locating a great fishing spot inside a bay takes some skill but with a GPS, or Fishfinders, it can  be a lot less tedious than you imagine. When searching for a spot try to locate reefs, hills, humps, channels, holes, shallow shoals or convergence zones, just about any kind of terrain variation could turn into a hotspot for any angler.

A bay reef is really any solid form of structure under the water. Look for rocks shooting out from the shoreline, an oyster bed or even coral reef. There is also such a thing as artificial reefs like a boat wreck, bridges, jetties or that type of thing. They are also very good fishing locations. When fishing these areas keep in mind what type fish are inhabiting this territory and target them. Predator fish will usually circle the outside perimeter of the structure, while the baitfish remain close for safety reasons. Drop you bait near the structure and work it outward to the perimeter to catch the big fish, just like the reefs smaller residents do. If the reef is beg and deep enough it can have large species that live deep within the recesses of the reef, such as grouper. To catch these fish navigate your fish over the reef and drop a line with bait down deep to the fish which are lying in wait. You must keep steady pressure on the line when reeling in a fish that is near the reef so that it cant swim back inside the reef and cut or snag the line.

When fishing a hump or hill on the bottom you need to remember to drift while you are dragging baits across the bottom of this area. You can also swim live bait at different depths over the area to attract your prey.  Trolling the area with lure is another popular method for these type situations. When you hook a fish this way, know that other fish will be there also. Be sure and mark the spot on your GPS if you have one and continue to go back over the same location in the same fashion for even better results.

When you find a depression on the bottom of a bay it will either be a hole or a channel. Fish love to hide in these places. They offer some relief for intolerable conditions elsewhere in the bay, such as harsh temperatures, high salinity, fresher cleaner water. When attempting to fish a channel hole try to drift bait using a two-hook bottom rig. Keep your bait on the bottom. Don’t be shy about trying different directions because fish will move with food sources and current.

If you happen upon a shallow shoal know there is an abundance of bait fish in that area. Look for a variation of terrain in that shoal. These are great night fishing spots. The fish move into these areas at night because they are hidden from the sight of predatory birds, by the darkness. You can easily troll, drift or anchor as an effective technique for fishing a shallow shoal. Many anglers love to actually get out and wade or pole their boat in these areas, but be careful not to run aground.

Most anglers know about convergence zones because they are such a great spot to locate fish. They work the same everywhere, fresh or salt water. You find an area where two bodies of water convergence and fish that area. In a bay convergence zone you will find that the variation of water salinity levels will also be an added benefit to fisherman. It attracts saltwater fish for feeding and breeding. The border of these two bodies of convergence may only be noticeable by some ripples or a change of water color it acts like a structure or wall to the fish. They become feeding stations where they can locate and round up baitfish.  Always explore both sides of the convergence zone when picking a spot. Trolling is a great way to cover a lot of ground in these locations. You could also drift bait or at it towards the breaks.

Bay fishing is fun, challenging and can be the best of both fresh and saltwater worlds. You are close enough to shore to enjoy the land, birds, nature and convenience of a freshwater experience, while still being able to nail some pretty large tasty predator fish and relax to the sound of waves crashing the shoreline. If you have never experienced the amazing surroundings of bay or estuary fishing you don’t know what you are missing. Give it a try and you will be the richer for it.

Surf Fishing

Surf Fishing is one of the most enjoyable forms of fishing you will ever experience. The wind is blowing in your hair, the surf is rolling in, your toes are buried in the sand while the birds circle above as curious bystanders cheering you on. Back your truck onto the beach, near the surf, so your music and cooler are nearby then wade on in.

10530800_10203749135865041_6084024935954478195_nThe easiest way to pick a spot is to watch the locals and go where they go. Look for clusters of rods stuck in the sand spikes. If your at Port Bolivar in Texas, there is no place better than near Rollover Pass, but near any jetty or pier can be a wonderful spot for beginners. The most important thing you can learn about Surf Fishing is to be extremely careful for Rip Tides. They can be deadly and many unsuspecting swimmer has drowned from falling prey to one. They are usually formed somewhere between where a second and third deeper sandbar is located. Look for where the water washes back out to sea. While dangerous to be caught in one of these guys, its a great place to locate your bait. Its current draws natural food back out to the waiting fish. Also , watch the birds. If you see birds diving into the water they have found schooling fish, which means larger fish are lurking nearby.458392_2851363063072_1585239577_o

Early morning is a great time to Surf Fish; Gamefish are on the prowl close to the beaches. You will need a long heavy duty rod, usually between 12′-15′ long, spinning reel and 25 lb. line. To be successful you have to get your bait as far out as possible. Some use canoes, surfboards or even swim their bait as far offshore as they can. Fresh Mullet, shrimp, squid or cut bait often work extremely well when Surf Fishing. If your an artificial bait angler then try spoons, topwater plugs or mullet imitation lures. Once you get your bait offshore, in the right location, use a sand spike or 4′ long pvc pipe sharpened at one end to secure your rod onto the beach. Be careful to stay nearby, keeping your eye on the line, because the fish hit quickly and you have to react fast in order to set the hook. In Texas a 6 oz. pyramid sinker is mandatory, designed for this type fishing, because they dig deep into the sand to hold the line. In a seriously strong Texas current these type weights become invaluable.

One last consideration, when Surf Fishing on the Gulf Coast be aware of our spiny little catfish friends. There spikes are so sharp they can flatten a tire or draw blood from an angler, who is simply trying to get them off their hook. Needlenose pliers and a medical kit are always advised when Surf Fishing in Texas and Louisiana.

Oh…don’t forget your tow line either.


How To Spot A Rip Current Video

The Basics of Boat Buying

The basics of boat buying is quite different than purchasing an automobile, basically a mandatory item, boats are usually the fulfillment of an owners dream. They are more than just a mode of transportation; they are a special form of recreation designed for sheer pleasure. When purchasing your first boat its good to keep in mind that it will be a part of your life and family for possibly a decade or more. This purchase does not need to be based on price alone. Sometimes, just looking for the cheapest deal will cost you a whole lot more in the end. Here are some great tips to help with the purchase of your first boat.

Type of Boat

First examine what you are imagining when thinking about owning a boat. If you are wanting to go on those early morning fishing excursions with buddies, then you will obviously gear your purchase toward a boat with amazing fishability features. If its entertaining and lots of guests, your going to want to look at a luxury model pontoon. Once you choose your type of boat there are still others issues to consider. Does your family need a swim platform, water skiing capabilities, grill, refrigerator, plenty of storage and restroom area or would rod holders, livewells, trolling motor and fishfinder be better utilized. 

New vs. Used

First determine your budget for purchasing a boat. As most boats are purchased with loans be sure to check into the loan terms and conditions. Then make sure that you can afford the payments trying to keep all debt below a comfortable 35% of income. At this point, keeping in mind all boats are negotiable, you should be able to purchase the vessel you want with some homework. If you decide to go the used boat route, to get a little bang for your buck, be sure and ask some questions. Here are a few good ones to get you started:

  1. How many owner’s has the boat had?
  2. When did the last owner purchase the boat?
  3. How many miles are on the engine?
  4. How often was it serviced and when was the last time?
  5. What problems has it had in the past?
  6. Why are they selling the boat?
  7. Do you trust whom you are buying the boat from?

 Size of Boat

 This is one of the most important aspects of boat buying. Nailing down the correct size boat for you and your family, more than any other item, will insure happiness with your purchase for years to come. A good rule of thumb is buying the biggest boat you can afford, especially with a growing family. Buy within your budget, but with that said, buying big is something you will never regret. Boats attract friends and entertainment is one of the highest functions of boating. Also, the more storage space the better. There are so many items you will find yourself wishing you had room for if you purchase to small.

In conclusion, when purchasing your first boat, figure out what you can comfortably afford first then purchase for type and size. After that, it is best to decide if you want new or used. With all those considerations out of the way, you will be in a better position to determine what you can afford when it comes to all the bells and whistles. Using this method you can’t go wrong and will enjoy your boat for years to come. Happy Boating!

The All New Chaparral Suncoast

This boat fills the need for a luxury outboard in your life. Chaparral has earned a reputation for luxury boat building and this new boat is an example of all of the reasons why. It is by far the widest bow entry in their 2015 fleet and it features a forward compartment with flush mount latches, easy-access ladder and anchor cradle. The deck gently tapers into a wide and roomy bow area, the largest you will find in the 25’ class, for easy entertaining. Stainless steel drink holders, enormous storage compartments and top-mounted rails highlight the bow with a side mount table also built in.

The cockpit also has a side mount table and digital gauges with accurate real-time stats on the boats systems and operating condition. There is a non-glare dash, full height windshield, padded armrest and angled footrest. Garmin electronic technology for a sophisticated navigational experience is also optional. This boat has state of the art water resistant circuit breakers. No more fumbling with fuses while trying to fish just reset the breaker and you are back in business. As if all that wasn’t enough the designers have also incorporated an enclosed head with lighting. A vanity cabinet can easily be obtained as an optional feature. This new boat design will not leave anything to the imagination; it’s all there ready for its new owners.

Here is a test run on the 250 SunCoast from the folks at BoatTest….……..Click Here For Video

 

Engine Fever

The Yamaha T50 Engine is a high thrust 4-stroke powerhouse. Its large diameter, low pitch dual thrust propellers are designed specifically to harness the high thrust outboard. Designed with maximum muscle and top performance making the consistency of this model popular with boaters everywhere.

Yamaha T50

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Yamaha F90 is a versatile inline 4 stroke with incredible efficiency. Nothing beats a day on the water with family and friends. And nothing powers those moments quite like this midrange outboard.  It offers just the right amount of power for a variety of applications. This little dynamo is extremely quiet, clean-burning and reliable. But that’s not all, it features a 16-valve, double overhead Camshaft (DOHC) design for incredible acceleration, and Precision Multi-Point Fuel Injection for reliable starts and outstanding fuel efficiency.

F90

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Yamaha VF 150 is the first 150hp 4-stroke worthy of the V MAX SHO® name. The streamlined V MAX SHO 150 delivers the exhilarating hole shot and impressive top speed of a two stroke with the efficient advantages of a four stroke. Weighing in at just 480 pounds, it’s the right fit for smaller bass boats, flats boats and other performance hulls. Bringing V MAX SHO performance to the 150hp crowd—that’s how Yamaha is changing the game again. From the four-cylinder DOHC powerhead with four valves per cylinder, to the twin counterbalancing shafts, every feature of the V MAX SHO 150 is efficiently engineered for smooth, quiet performance.

 


VF150

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yamaha’s legendary V6 3.3L 4-stroke F250 sets the course for today’s offshore power. When it first hit the water, it brought with it several innovations that radically improved low-end and midrange torque, acceleration and top-end speed. This technology was so revolutionary that it garnered not only a BoatingWeek Innovation Award, but also an Editor’s Choice Award from MotorBoating Magazine. At 3.3 liters, these outboards continue to trump the displacement of comparable competitors. All Yamaha V6 3.3L outboards are mechanical control compatible, for easy repowers on boats already rigged with mechanical control boxes. It has ultra-low emissions making it an all around winner in its class.

 

250 Offshore

Texas & Louisiana Winter Fishing Hotspots

Louisiana

If spending you’re winter months watching fishing shows and tinkering with your boat just wont do, then don’t do it! Hit the road Jack! Check out one of these incredible fishing spots to get in on some action. If you can take the weather above ground, the fish are more than happy to accommodate you below the surface. Who said you can’t fish in the winter. Remember the old cliché “Where there is a will, there is a way!” It couldn’t be more true when it comes to winter fishing for any determined angler. If you are winter fishing in Louisiana, near Venice, try a favorite local hotspot there. Just on the NW corner of Trinity Barrier Island (Lake Pelto side), offshore from the beach, resides a couple square miles of a fisherman’s paradise. Be careful getting there because the seas are normally choppy and there can be quite a lot of fog. The local charter captains call it “Horse Shoe Reef.” It is filled with a virtual smorgasbord of edible species. The entire area between Wine Island Pass and Whiskey Island, on the lakeside, is extremely productive fishing. The closest jumping off point would be Boudreaux’s Marina off Hwy 56, near Cocodrie. Two of the more popular game fish are Yellow Fin Tuna and Wahoo. They can be the most fun to catch; however, a tasty 300 lb Mako will give any angler a run for his money. The Yellow Fin average upwards of 110 pounds and the Wahoo are around 75 pounds. If you’re not in the mood for these two species, there are numerous Amberjacks, Black Fin Tuna, Mackerel, Grouper and Snapper (check seasonal restrictions).

Here are the actual coordinates for Horse Shoe Reef: Horse Shoe Reef Map Entergy Fishing Plant

Texas

There are some exciting winter fishing opportunities in the form of lakes used to supply cooling water to electrical generation plants in Texas. These 20+ unique areas furnish tremendous prospects for anglers. A Southeast Texas favorite is the Neches River Canal near the Entergy Power Plant outflow on the Bridge City side of the Rainbow Bridge (above). The unintended benefits of these areas are that the water stays warm year round, attracting fish like magnets. Some of these lakes have tournaments, so you can fish them during the week if you prefer less traffic. The warmth is usually highest at the outfall of the power plant and will get colder the further away you get. Be sure to pay attention to your boats fishfinder with its temperate readings. Also, the output and intake creates a current. It would be to your benefit to locate it. If its freshwater, Bass love hanging out on the edge of the current. The trick is to find the fish’s comfort zone; that is where they will congregate. Remember just because there is a power plant on a lake doesn’t mean it is running. Many power plants only run when the demand is greater; in Texas that is summer. In the case of the Entergy Plant above, it may also be closed during a hard freeze. Its cold out there so you may want to check before you head out. Here are a few of the Texas lakes you may want to try. Martin Creek Lake Lake Fairfield Lake Welsh Lake Bastrop Lake Monticello Fayette County Reservoir Calaveras Lake Braunig Lake Coleto Creek Reservoir Lake E. Walter Long Gibbons Creek Reservoir Lake Graham Brandy Branch Reservoir Squaw Creek Reservoir

Texas Marine Sales Team At Chaparral

Texas Marine sales team attended the 2015 Chaparral dealer meeting last month. They were hanging out with the best in the business, Buck Pegg, the Founder of Chaparral. Chaparral is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year. Buck is still as passionate as ever about overseeing the large manufacturing side of Chaparral in order to insure the highest quality boat on the market. He also happens to love dealing with the boating community on a regular basis. Chaparral is the #1 18-35’ Sterndrive boat manufacturer in the nation.

One of the reasons Chaparral continues to be a leading manufacturer in the boating industry is its consistent exemplary management team, which provides invaluable training to their nationwide dealers. This year they were trained on the new and exciting products being introduced by Chaparral for 2015! These include the all-new Vortex jetboats and the 250 SunCoast. They also participated in role-playing and product knowledge quizzes where Texas Marine took 1st and 2nd place. The highlight of the meeting was when Texas Marine team members got to participate on sea trials in the new model lineup for 2015. Texas Marine is gearing up for an amazing 2015!