Nov
03

2023 – Fishing Trips Reports

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11/2/23 Chartered Crappie Fishing Trip

Four fishermen (including guide and FCS Member Kevin McConnell) had a good time on Lake Granger, even though it was a slow morning.  They caught 15 crappie with eight keepers, in 12 – 20 ft. of water, using Kevin’s handmade crappie jigs.

10/26/23 – 10/29/23 Self-chartered Bay Fishing Trip

Eleven FCS members and guests had a good time at Port O’Connor.  They fished from Randy Rowley’s, Daryl Shipper’s, and Wayne Weilnau’s boats and stayed in Wayne’s house and Burl Fulenwider’s travel trailer.  The fellowship was great but the fishing was marginal.  Fish of note were:
33″ Black drum (Roy Zengerle)
31″ Redfish (Brad Burgtorf)
27″ Redfish (Roy)
27″ Redfish (Wayne Weilnau)
24″ Redfish (Binh Chu)
21″ Redfish (Wayne)

In addition, they caught speckled trout, gafftop sailfish, sharks, jack crevalle, hardheads, whiting, mangrove snapper, ladyfish, toad fish, and a croaker.  The weather was good although we all got soaked at least once by random showers.  As usual we ate good, visiting Mama’s kitchen, Sharkies, Josies, Bubbas, and Speedy Stop.  Ted Lieb provided us with his smoked pulled pork and coleslaw for lunch on Saturday,which everybody enjoyed.

10/21/23 Self-chartered Freshwater Fishing Trip

Four participants had a good time on Lake Buchanan.   They hoped to catch hybrids and stripers feeding on the surface, but despite a glassy lake they didn’t see any schooling activity, so they fished down deep and caught 16 channel catfish.

Burl Fulenwider led the way with six, Chris Rowley caught four, and Almanza Monalisa and Randy Rowley caught three each.  Chris caught the biggest – a 20 incher.  Burl caught two 19 1/2″ and Randy caught two 18 1/2″.

The catfish averaged around 17″ long – perfect eating size and around 1 1/2″ longer on average than those caught on the 10/14/23 Self-chartered Freshwater Fishing Trip.

All but two fish were caught on minnows.  Burl caught two of his catfish on slabs – one while jigging and one that he just had sitting in the water (not jigging).

10/14/23 Self-chartered Freshwater Fishing Trip

Three participants had a good time on Lake Buchanan.  They hoped to catch hybrids and stripers feeding on the surface, but it was too windy (15 – 20 MPH) to see any schooling activity, so they fished down deep and caught 30 channel catfish and one big white perch.

Russ Gibbs, Jim McGee, and Randy Rowley caught around 10 catfish each and Randy caught the white perch.  He started with four catfish in the box before Russ and Jim decided that was a big enough lead and started catching fish to.

Most of the catfish were between 15″ to 16″ long – perfect eating size.

All but two fish were caught on minnows.  Randy caught two of his catfish jigging a slab.

10/09/23 Chartered Hybrid/Striped/White Bass Fishing Trip

Six fishermen had a good time with Seth Hobbs of La Belle Guide Service on Lake Buchanan.  They caught 24 keeper fish (11 hybrids, two stripers, seven white bass, two catfish, and two gasper goo).  A few undersized fish were returned to the water.

Russ Gibbs caught the biggest fish – approximately a 4 lb. channel catfish.  No one took the time to measure or weight it, as they were actively catching fish.

The fishermen chased schoolies for about two hours and caught most of their fish on slabs with two stinger hooks and a treble hook burned through schools feeding on the surface.  The rest of the fish were caught on live shad.

Russ brought Mr. Murphy with him – Burl Fulenwider’s coffee spilled on him on the way to the lake, and Russ accidentally threw a rod in the water and put a hook into his thumb while unhooking a bass.

Randy Rowley reported that Seth is a very good and easy-going guide.  He highly recommends him.

9/23/23 Self-chartered Freshwater Fishing Trip

Three participants mainly had casting practice on Lake Decker.  Randy Rowley had a bass on his Lunkerhunt Prop Frog for about four seconds, but he didn’t let it eat it long enough and it got off the hook.  He also had four near misses on his frog and had probably a perch tap his creature bait rapidly four times.  There was almost no schooling activity – only a couple of solo bass that hit the surface and immediately went back down.

Most of the other fishermen they spoke too didn’t do well either – one pair caught three before the sun rose, one pair caught one, and one couple was skunked.  However, another pair reported catched 20+ on an orange fleck worm.

The lake had the most hydrilla in it that Randy has seen.

9/9/23 Self-chartered Freshwater Fishing Trip

Four participants had a slower morning/early afternoon of chasing schoolies on Lake Decker than two weeks ago, but they managed a few, including a double!  Randy Rowley caught a heavy 18″, a 15 1/2″ and a dink on a Heddon Super Spook, Ryan Rowley caught around a 15 1/2″ on a Super Spook, and Chris Rowley caught a dink on a Storm Rattlin’ Chug Bug.  Randy had two other bass hit his Super Spook and manage not to get hooked.  Ryan had several bass follow his bass to the boat and Chris had a bass follow her bass to the boat.

They also rescued two disabled boats and almost rescued a third.  For one boat, their big motor conked out and they had no idea how to work their trolling motor and didn’t have any paddles (they just bought it the day before).  For the other, they had launched and couldn’t get their motor to start.  They didn’t have a trolling motor and the guy was trying to paddle back to the ramp into a strong south wind.

The boat they almost towed back couldn’t get their motor started at the back of a cove.  Then the captain got it started and he’d put it in gear, and it would die.  The Rowley’s were heading to them with their trolling motor when he got it going.  The Rowley’s saw them on the opposite side of the lake later being towed to the ramp by a bass boat.  The captain should have gone straight to the ramp!

They decided that they would just chase splashes so they didn’t arrive at the lake until around 9:00 AM.

8/27/23 Self-chartered Freshwater Fishing Trip

Three fishermen had another fun morning of chasing schoolies on Lake Decker.  It was tougher sledding than the 8/26/23 trip, as the bass wouldn’t stay up as long, but they managed two each, including a triple!  Russ Gibbs led the way with two 17 inchers, Randy Rowley caught a 16 3/4 incher and a 16 incher, and Burl Fulenwider caught two smaller bass.  Russ and Randy had different bass hit their Heddon Zara Spooks and manage not to get hooked.

They mostly fished the main lake between the hot water discharge and the power lines that go across the lake (as you head towards the dam from the discharge), but also found schoolies about half way between the power plant and the boat ramp.

They decided that they would just chase splashes so they didn’t arrive at the lake until around 9:00 AM.

8/26/23 Self-chartered Freshwater Fishing Trip

Four fishermen had a great time on Lake Decker.  Burl Fulenwider led the way with six bass and a big perch, Randy Rowley caught four bass, including the biggest three (20 1/2″, 18 1/2″ and 18 1/4″), and Russ Gibbs caught two bass.  Randy had three more bass come off the hook right at the boat, one bass missed his Lunkerhunt Prop Frog three times (along with five others missing it once), and had two schoolies knock his Heddon Zara Spook two feet into the air.  Randy’s Luhr Jensen Pet Spoon rig caught five of Burl’s bass.

The schoolies were on the main lake between the hot water discharge and the powerlines that go across the lake (as you head towards the dam from the discharge).  They moved around a lot!  They liked fleeing, fast-moving topwater baits (Heddon Zara Spooks) and Randy’s Pet Spoon rig. They didn’t like Heddon Baby Torpedoes and River2Sea Whopper Ploppers.  Burl also caught a bass on a Sexy Shad lipless crankbait.

7/15/23 Self-chartered Freshwater Fishing Trip

Three fishermen mostly enjoyed the scenery on Lake Belton.  Jim McGee caught a fat 17 1/4″ largemouth bass and Randy Rowley caught an approximately 11″ gasper goo (freshwater drum).  Both fish were caught on Bob Maindelle All-purpose Lures (MAL).  They saw three schools of white bass hitting shad on the surface, but they only stayed up top for a couple of seconds.

7/8/23 Self-chartered Freshwater Fishing Trip

Two fishermen mostly enjoyed the scenery on Lake Stillhouse Hollow.  Jim McGee boated the only largemouth bass (a dink) on a lipless crankbait.  He had another one on with the same bait but it got off on the way to the boat.  He had probably around a three pounder on with a Fluke, but it too got off on the way to the boat.  Randy Rowley had two hits on a swimming Senko (worm), but missed the fish (probably a bass).  They probably spent three hours chasing splashes, to no avail.  They also tried Whopper Ploppers (torpedo topwater baits), dog walkers, poppers, frogs, and squarebill crankbaits, to no avail.

6/8/23 – 6/11/23 Self-chartered Bay Fishing Trip

Ten FCS members fished at Port O’Connor.  For lodging, they stayed in Burl Fulenwider’s travel trailer and Wayne Weilnau’s house.  Randy Rowley and Wayne Weilnau supplied their boats.  They had more people than boats so everyone but the boat captains got a turn of fishing from shore or relaxing.  The weather was warm with winds calm at the start of the trip and up to 24 mph at the end.  In general, the fishing was tough with a few sharks, black drum, speckled trout, gafftopsail fish, a flounder, hardheads, and lady fish being caught.  Fish of note included:

  • 41″ bonnethead shark – Roy Zengerle
  • 36″ bonnethead shark – Randy
  • 33.5″ black drum – Randy
  • 33.5″ bonnethead shark – Randy
  • 32.5″ black drum – Randy
  • 32″ bonnethead shark – Burl
  • 31.5″ bonnethead shark – Jim McGee
  • 31″ black drum – Zack Tumlinson
  • 30.25″ black drum – Blake Lieb
  • 27″ Atlantic sharpnose shark – Randy
  • 24.5″ bonnethead shark – Randy
  • An approximate 24″ bonnethead shark (not measured, as Randy had already limited out)
  • 20″ speckled trout – Daryl Shipper
  • Just short of 17″ speckled trout – Roy
  • 16″ flounder – Roy (from a pier in Indianola)
  • An approximately 48″ Kingfish (lost at the boat) – Burl

We were blessed with great fellowship, a few fish, and wonderful weather.  A good time was had by all.

6/9/23 Chartered Bay Fishing Trip

Four fishermen had a good time with Captain Marty of Fish of a Lifetime Guide Service at Port O’Connor.  They caught eight redfish, five speckled trout, a black drum, and a shark (15 fish).

6/5/23 Chartered White Bass Fishing Trip

Four fishermen had a great time with Guide Bob Maindelle on Lake Belton, catching an FCS record 204 white bass (an average of 51 each)!  For comparison, on our 4/12/19 Self-chartered Bay Fishing Trip to Corpus Christi (our former best trip) about 95 speckled and sand trout, whiting, a redfish, a flounder, and a gafftop sailfish were landed.

Early in our half-day trip, we caught several white bass using Bob’s MAL (Maindelle’s All-purpose Lure) Mini Rig, which was specifically developed for topwater fishing when they are “boiling” and feeding on small, young-of-the-year shad.  However, as the morning progressed, Bob had us switch to his MAL Heavy lure, which we caught the majority of the fish with.

Bob also made extensive use of a splasher (fish attractor) and a Garmin Live Scope where we could see our MAL lures dropping to the bottom and then when we’d start to burn them back up, we’d see the bass rise from the bottom and smash the lures!  It was incredibly fun!

Randy Rowley tried to catch topwater fish using a dog walker and then Bob’s Cork Rig with Streamer, but had no takers.

Here is Bob’s incredibly detailed report – https://holdingthelineguideservice.com/fishing-report/.

5/27/23 Self-chartered Freshwater Fishing Trip

Three fishermen mostly enjoyed the scenery on Lake Stillhouse Hollow on a mostly-cloudy day.  Paul Irvin led the way with two bass – one caught on a Fluke and the other caught on a Brush Hog (creature bait).  Randy Rowley caught a bass on a Fluke and had another one on its way to the boat (on the same Fluke) when it got off the hook.  Jim McGee didn’t get a hit.  The group saw only one other fisherman boat a bass.

4/22/23 Self-chartered Freshwater Fishing Trip

Three fishermen had a good time on Lake Somerville on a mostly sunny and windy day.  Russ Gibbs led the way with seven white bass.  Steven Babin caught three white bass, a channel catfish, and a gasper goo (freshwater drum).  Randy Rowley caught only two white bass (he didn’t bring a light spinning reel – just his baitcasters).  They caught all but the goo in trees/bushes and all but the goo on minnows (the goo hit an inline spinner).  Russ also caught the biggest fish – a 16 1/2″ white bass.  No seagulls were hitting schools of minnows.  They found a school of largemouth bass at the back of a cove that were actively chasing bait fish, but Randy couldn’t get his boat within casting range of most of them, although Russ hit one on the head.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t interested in his lure.

2/20/23 Self-chartered Freshwater Fishing Trip

Four fishermen mostly enjoyed the scenery on Lake Decker on a sunny day.  Russ Gibbs caught the only fish – a 16 1/2″ largemouth bass on a crappie jig (as we were jigging for crappie).  Jim McGee had a smaller largemouth bass on at the same place on a Bettlespin, but it got off about six feet from the boat.  Hunter and Randy Rowley didn’t get a hit.  The group didn’t see anyone else boat a fish.

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Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

Kent Crockett’s blog – www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Mark Dillow’s blog – http://noclearline.blogspot.com/

Bible Verse of the Day

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, And Your glory above all the earth.