Monday, June 29, 2015

Lake Bastrop - North Shore

On Saturday the weather was a little sketchy.  Rain was forecasted to be at our normal stomping grounds so we decided to try something further away that we hadn't been before.  Lake Bastrop was finally the place of choice.

We arrived around 2pm with the intention of fishing all afternoon into the evening and trying to catch that evening bass. We'd read the TPWD page for fishing Lake Bastrop and knew that it would be a warm lake and that fishing during the day might be unproductive. But we decided to take the chance and see how hot "hot" is...  we weren't prepared for that level of warm water. I forgot to grab the fish finder but the water felt like it was 90 degrees for sure.  Almost too warm to be comfortable... made me want to look for Peacock Bass.  hah

What I feared was pretty much true.  We weren't equipped to do middle lake fishing so we fished the shoreline knowing that the fish likely weren't there.  After a while, the storms got kind of close and the clouds came over.  The storms never made it to us, but the wind died and the water calmed.
We ate lunch near shore while we watched the storm and listened to the thunder roll about 3 miles away and then we headed back out to the middle of the lake since it had calmed down.

I immediately noticed schools of fish swimming around with an occasional larger fishing ramming it's way through the school.  I tried using a silver Zara Spooks Jr. but I got no hits or strikes or anything.  Tried several other varieties of lures: Buzz baits, spinner baits, anything that looked like a small fish - nothing worked.  We finally gave up and headed to the middle cove on the north end of Bastrop lake.

We slid into the cove and started casting buzz baits because we kept seeing top water activity.  A bass would come up and swirl near shore and leave us drooling.  Sarah was wondering out loud about what they might be looking for and I said something about that we should probably switch to black buzz baits because the water was so darkly stained.  So she did.  I was too stubborn at first but after she got her first fish, I switched too.

Her fish was a bit of a wake up call.  Of course it was getting later in the evening and the trees were casting shadows completely across the channel by this point. I can only assume that the bass were moving in from deep water because there was now good shade.

We kept fishing and soon it was obvious that black was the new color as I caught a very nice fish as well. The fish was holed up in a little cove that was completely shaded over and dark.  This, of course, was the only fish I caught but at least it was a good one!

Sarah obviously had the touch because she got another one and beat my 18.25" bass by a whole half inch.  Which of course I pretended to be upset about.  ;)

After this we wandered around the cove some more until a bass boat showed up at the entrance of the cove and made it clear that weren't happy with our presence.  I guess they were probably embarrassed because they hit a log with their propeller on their way in.  It didn't help me to have much sympathy though when they made stupid comments as we left. Another couple of guys jealous because my wife goes fishing with me and theirs stayed home.  People are weird.

Fishing a black buzz bait near a dead tree.
Here are a few more pics of the beautiful cove we were in.

This was another picture of the beautiful little spot we were in.

Here is Sarah following the kayak fisherman's rule that states "No lure left behind!"....  Unless it is caught 20 feet up in a tree.  Though in this case she managed to stand up (makes me jealous) in her kayak and retrieve the $6 lure.

We pulled off the lake to a beautiful sunset once again.

After fishing Lake Bastrop, we realized that this lake will be an awesome spot to go in the winter and spring.  Yes, the lake is very hot and during the summer that appears to be prohibitive, but not entirely.  We still caught fish, but the window for catching was pretty small.  I imagine it would be better in the morning, but considering how far we live from Bastrop, we'd have to get up extremely early to get there in time.  Camping there would be more to the point.

I forgot to mention that when we arrived we found out that the boat ramp was closed for renovations.  This meant that we had to park in the campground.  No one said anything about when the park closed, but the sign said "Dawn to Dusk".  When we went to leave at 30 minutes after sunset, we found the gate closed and locked. I was rather surprised but realized that the locals were all familiar with it because on the other side of the gate was a line of parked vehicles off to the side,

Finally the park host showed up and after a few brief moments where they thought we were being argumentative (we were explaining our lack of understanding), they found out that we had an RV and suddenly they were very helpful.  When they found out we are full time RV'rs, well, we were best buds then!  We got a lot of useful info about how to reserve sites at both Lake Bastrop parks as well as info on how to work as full time RV'rs later when my career gets a face-lift.

We headed home happy and content that we had yet another successful day on the water and got to see things we hadn't seen before.  It was also nice to have confirmation that my instincts were correct on color but that I need to follow them sooner next time. I wonder now, if I had used a black buzz bait on those schooling fish in the middle of lake, would I have had more success?

Ahh well, there's always next time right?

Tight lines folks!


P.S.  I am finally learning how this blog should be setup.  You'll notice that comments are working now and that the pages are better organized on the main page.  Be sure to let me know if you have any suggestions - I'm always open to new ideas!  Thanks!

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