Just because Central Texas boat ramps are flooded and parks are closed doesn’t mean the fishing stops. Anglers are some of the most adaptable folks you’ll find, and a lot of people are out on the water fishing shorelines, banks, and from small watercraft – in addition to those resourceful enough to find a spot to launch their boats.
Waco angler Keith Rodriguez reports a strong bite for both blue cats and hybrids on Lake Waco. “It’s been really good in the mornings until about noon on ghost minnows and cut shad,” he said. “There’s a lot of bait in the flooded areas and there are a lot of fish in there chasing them around.”
Rodriguez caught 40 blues one day last week on a trip that spanned from 6 a.m. through 2 p.m. while fishing from the bank.
Catfishing legend Danny King has also been cashing in on catfish in flooded areas, saying that submerged grasslands and farm fields are producing good numbers. “I’ve gotten a lot of reports of limits being caught in flooded wheat fields and just about any other out-of-bank flooded areas,” he said. Chicken livers, worms, Danny King baits, and just about anything you drop in will likely work, he said.
King reminds anglers that it’s catfish spawning season in many lakes and rivers, and urges people to put their big fish back so they can go about the business of making more baby catfish. “Anything weighing 10 pounds or more can mean thousands of babies for the future,” he said.
Lake Whitney striper guide Clay Yadon says his home lake is still about 10 feet high, but is dropping about a foot per day, making life challenging for a pro guide. “With the lake level falling, it’s got the fish a little scattered, but we’re still managing to get limits,” he said. His group’s big fish on Saturday weighed 13 pounds. “Once things settle out and the fish school up again, it’ll be on fire.”
Off-shore fishing looks good
For those of us heading to the coast, former Central Texas radio personality and current beach denizen Tyler Thorsen says the winds have finally let up after 10 straight days of battering the shore and the water is still high in the bays.
The fishing outlook is looking good, according to Thorsen, with calming seas predicted to be 2-3 feet by early week (down from 4-5 feet waves). That coincides perfectly with the opening of red snapper season, so offshore trips should be good to go.
He’s heard of decent catches of pompano, king mackerel, blacktip sharks up to 40 inches, and a nice 5-foot tarpon reeled in last week. Trout and redfish are being caught in the bays, and cuts are good spots to fish because all the water washing inland pushes shrimp and other stuff that sport fish like to feed on.
Earl Golding’s tombstone
Earl Golding’s words graced the Tribune-Herald outdoor page for half a century. His columns were the guide for anglers and hunters for generations, and he and his wife (and favorite fishing partner) Martha were an inspiration to many Central Texans.
Golding was a pioneer in the competitive fishing industry. Back in 1955, in order to settle the debate among area anglers over who was the best fisherman, Golding created the Texas State Bass Tournament. It was the first competitive bass fishing event, and the seed he planted has grown into a multibillion dollar industry.
I was fortunate enough to have been mentioned in several of his columns over the years, and his focus on highlighting local folks and places has guided my writing since I picked up the baton nearly 20 years ago.
Last week, I got a text from one of the Trib’s editors letting me know that after Earl died back in 2007, the date of his death wasn’t ever etched on his tombstone. He and Martha didn’t have children, and that final detail in his life wasn’t ever completed.
If you’re interested in helping complete Earl’s tombstone, tune in to next week’s Tribune-Herald outdoors for information on how to donate.
Pancakes are on the menu
Drop by the 32nd annual Stilwell Pancake Breakfast (benefiting retired teachers) on Saturday from 8-10:30 a.m. to enjoy a delicious breakfast served by area celebrities and bid on silent auction items, including a number of amazing fishing trips donated by area guides.
Cost of the breakfast is $6 per person. For more information on the event, call Bob Lauck at 254-299-7133.