July 2001



The first cast revealed a 31 lb, 44 inch, very old fish. We hooked into another good fish on a mooneye, but pulled the hook out after about 10 seconds of battle. Heavy rains last night had the river up and muddy, but we were able to find some clear water. It rained for over two hours, mostly monsoonal, probably bringing the rain gauge to over 2 inches. Wet wasn't the word for it. With the water up, we ran a few miles upstream and pulled some bait. We had 3 major hits and no hook ups. The rain ended and the river continued getting muddier and rising. We managed a few more killed baits down in the deeper holes and muddier water, but only one fish for the trip. Water temp: 70.5, clarity: 2 inches to 3 feet.....extremely variable. Air temp: low-mid 70's, mostly cloudy, RAINNNNN, and mostly cloudy when we left at about 3:30. Mooneyes are getting more available.



Got gizzard bait and headed for the rio. The fish wound up just chasing the gizzards around, not eating them. We managed a couple of mooneyes and right away, I could tell this was the choice bait for the day. Immediately caught a 24.5 lb stripe backed by a 28 lb chunk. Third and final fish did come on a gizzard...the fish hit the bait 5 times before getting stuck. It was 24 lbs. It threatened storms, but only rained enough to cool us down. Mostly cloudy, no wind, temps in the low 80's. Water temp: 72, clarity 2 feet. Good day of catching.



Rode with Allen below Melton Hill. It's not super. Caught two smallish stripes. It poured heavily for about an hour filling my boots with water. They were running one generator and the fishing was a bit slow. We only fished a couple of hours. Temp: 66, clarity, 4 feet. Weather was wet.



Caught one stripe from El Rio, hooked in the belly. We had lots of action, lots of nervous baits, but they just weren't as aggressive as usual. Mooneyes are beginning to show up again. They're tough things to acquire. Water temp was 75, clarity 3 feet. It was low 80s, high humidity, some clouds, no wind at all. Nice evening on the rio.



Bank fishing below Melton Hill.....hmmm, might as well not gone. I fished enough to break a lure off and decide that it wasn't worth my time to fish anymore. Allen caught one fish about 20 lbs (or so he claims). They were running the far generator like the dickens, and the near one about half throttle. One boat was getting the job done, catching 4 or 5 fish while I was there from 5 until about 7pm. Nice weather though, low 80's and good breeze.



I lied about not taking the PK out again. The silicone worked it's temporary magic once again and Jason and I were Loudos bent and hell bound in the Polar Krap. By the way, if anone reading this journal knows how to contact the Polar Kraft factory, drop me an email, thanks. It was a good night, we boated 9 stripes and missed 2 other solid hookups. Big fish would have had to gain a couple of lbs to break into double digits. It was fun though, all fish caught on artificial. I nearly had the rod ripped away from me once. Water temp was 73, clarity 2 feet. They were running 30K cfs of water, the most I've ever seen short of flood gate flow.



Recovered from the night shift just in time to fish all day today. Bait was no problem below Das Dam in the form of 6-9" gizzards. El Rio succumbed only one fish on the gizzards, about 20 lbs. A few more slammed baits, but not too much action. Surface temp was high, 78, clarity was 3 feet. Varying breeze kept it a nice clear day. Pulled out of the Rio at 7:30 and was Los Loudos bound for some boil action. Jason piloted the Whaler while I reeled in two stripes and a couple of skipjack. We saw no other fish caught. Temp was 72, clarity 2 feet.



Yes, it's been 5 days. It's called working the night shift from 7pm-7am, sleeping until 1 or 2 in the afternoon, getting a few things done, then going back to work 12 hours straight again. Maybe the proceeds will fund the welding that I'm going to need to keep the Polar Kraft from ripping in half. Piddled some below Melton Hill today from about 3:30-4:30. They have only been running water for a couple of hours each day. I didn't do anything, but saw 3 or 4 fish caught out of boats. One guy on the bank hooked up, that was it. Water was murky brown, clarity about a foot; temp, ?. Air was perfect, about 80 degrees, low humidity, blue sky, good breeze, it felt like October today.



Started out below Melton Hill. Temp: 66, clarity: 4 feet. Got bait and fished a little. Had a blow up, but no catchy...it was a 10 lber. Went below Ft. L. Water was murky, 1 foot clarity and temp was 70. No fish, saw one boat out of the 6 catch a fish. Traveled back to the Rio. Skipjack were somewhat reluctant today. We managed a full load and ran up to utilize their skills. Couldn't get a hook up....lots of action and looks, but no hook up. Saw stripes up over 20 lbs, but no hook up. They even beat and banged the baits, big and small, no hook up. Water temp: 73, clarity: 3 feet. Air was nice most of the day, around 80 and overcast, one breakout of sun caused some sweat, but it was bearable. No boated fish, it happens.



Skipjack were prevalent on El Rio. We hit a quick 6 and ran up to the holding area. Caught 2 good fish, 38 and 38.5 inches and 22-25 lbs. Made another bait splurge and hooked up on a massive fish. I turned the fish before it got into cover and loosened the drag, but something went arwy and the line still broke. New 25 lb big game...makes you wonder sometimes. It was nice, about 80 degrees, no wind. Water temp: 71, clarity 5 feet.



Back below das dam tonight with artificials. Caught 6 fish from 3-15 lbs. Not shabby. It rained the entire time. That poor guy in the bass boat didn't catch anything, but I let him watch me catch those 6 fish. Wasn't that nice? Water temp: 70, clarity 1.5 feet.



Fished Los Fort Loudos with Jason tonite with artificials. The generation wasn't right but we still managed 5 striped fish. The smallest was a 1.5 lb white bass, then about a 4 lb stripe, then I had three fish from 7-10 lbs. I caught those three on my NEW SUPER DUPER 1 1/2 oz shad head jigs. Order yours today. You can really cast these a mile too. Water temp was 73.3, clarity was 2 feet. Air was actually in the mid 70's due to storms in the area. It started to rain right as we were leaving. Good fishing.



El Rio was beautiful as always, but mean today. No boated fish, we went through 4 loads of skipjack and only managed 3 or 4 convincing hits. Water temp started out 63, ended at 66, clarity was 5 feet. They just weren't in the feeding mood. I've got a feeling that most of our hits were territorial actions. Air was low 80's with a steady 15-20 mph breeze from the SW. Mostly cloudy in the am to mostly sunny in the afternoon. Tough day, but they happen too.