10 July 2013

Amistad 2013, Castle Canyon

Our last day of fishing was delayed, because we had a second flat on our boat trailer.  Fortunately, after Monday's flat, Cody ordered two new tires from the Goodyear place in Del Rio.  Unfortunately, while on our way there, the tire blew about two blocks from the store.  We gimped in, and went to lunch while they put the two new tires on the trailer.  The tread was still quite deep, completely hiding Lincoln's head, but they were old, nine years old.

Having taken care of that minor problem, we set out for Diablo East to go to Castle Canyon.  Cody had many dive spots that are now exposed, and so he wanted to visit them.  After seeing an old ranch, we stopped and fished off of a protruding rock.  Cody snorkeled the area and saw a few fish, and several crashed the surface, but there were no takers on our flies.

We purchased Mexico fishing licenses, so today we put them to use.  We fished the Burro, and while the waters were deep, nothing took our flies.  Nothing came out of the many caves, nothing from fishing heavy sinking lines, nothing from fishing top water poppers.  We moved farther back into the cove, and we finally saw some fish, small ones hanging near hydrilla beds.  We fished those quite heavily, and finally it was FishOn!  I had a carp, which spit my fly about 30 seconds into the hook-up.  Unfortunately, that was the only fish of the day.  With Mexican regulations allowing for the trolling of bass, it would probably be better to fish the Mexican side farther up river.

09 July 2013

Amistad 2013, Good Enough Springs

It was a long day, today with lesser than usual time to fish.  To access up river, the Diablo East Ramp,
et. al. are the put-in points, since the Box Canyon Ramp is now closed. We wanted to go to Good Enough Springs and check it out, curious as to what we would see.  Along the way, Cody GPS waymarked each channel marker he had not previously marked.  We discovered a rancher's stock pond, and of course, the old Catholic Church on the Mexican side.  We had a strong tail wind, which meant it was going to be a rough headwind on the return trip.

While nothing like it was prior to the lake's filling in 1969, Good Enough Springs provided some excellent fishing.  At the Single Buoy Mooring (SBM), the water depth was 81 feet with the immediate surrounding area 76 feet.  We fished big rods (7, 8, and 9 #s), heavy sinking lines, size 12 flies in brown colors with red eyes, and fast retrieves and caught lots of Stripers and some Largemouth Bass.  Often times, the Stripers schooled and some of the LMBs joined them.  However, it was a very tight, concentric area around the spring that was fishing well; move more than 17-20 feet away from the buoy in any direction, and the fishing dropped off completely.

While the fish never wizened to our presence, their schooling dropped off, and so we moved to the cove just south of Good Enough Springs.  It was difficult to control the boat with the high tail wind in the cove, but we pulled some nice Largemouths out of there.  Leaving the cove, we saw the birds dive-bombing just east of the SBM, so we fished the area for more hook-ups.  Even though there was plenty of daylight, we had to leave the fishing to give us time to make the long ride back.

We stopped and fished Sugarhead Creek (across from the old Catholic Church on the Mexican side near marker 15), where Cody pulled out a nice Largemouth Bass.  Acting like an old cabin's dog run, the cove walls funneled the winds making controlling the boat and fishing difficult, so we traded out guiding.  Running the trolling motor allowed me to watch Cody's hook-up, which was a blast from beginning to end.  Regrettably, I had no video rolling, but seeing that fish spot Cody's frog from 20 feet away, and then watching that fish aggressively launch itself from underneath the rock cover and inhale the frog proved to us that our fishing strategies have merit.

08 July 2013

Amistad 2013, Rough Canyon

Well, the House Boats have moved away from Rough Canyon, and a trip up the Devil's River arm made
it obvious as to why they moved to Diablo East.  We visited the NPS office on Sunday and had a really enjoyable talk with the rangers. Based upon information they told us, we went on scavenger hunts each day prior to fishing.  We found the old CP&L Steam Plant (usually completely submerged) and climbed all over it taking photos and even discovering the high point benchmark.  As in the years following the 1998 severe drought, the lake will once again fill up, and taking the pictures and exploring the places that are exposed currently will make us better fishermen, I think.

Okay, excuse the corny irony, but...on the way to Rough Canyon, we had it rough when the flats boat trailer had a flat.  Fortunately, we got it fixed quickly, but not before we had three different offers of assistance--God Bless Texans!

We put in and began heading north, to see:  1) how far north we could boat and 2) where exactly, we were going to fish.  Let me just say, my jaw hung slack, because the low water levels left me dumbfounded and amazed.  On the bright side, the goats and sheep will probably be some of the best livestock in years due to the new, lush green grass on which they gorged themselves.

Rough Canyon kicked my tail.  I caught no fish, had only two hits, and one hook-up.  Cody Bell fished a five species day with two more hook-ups--a Striper, a Hybrid Striper, a Redbreast Sunfish, a Largemouth Bass, and a Blue Catfish, a first for CB3.  Unfortunately, we could not find our Smallmouth Bass. We found the area, but no Smallies--a first for us.  Winds were high and made trolling difficult, so after fishing a few coves on the west, we fished the river walls on the east with much calmer waters.

So, how far north did we make it?  In a 15 ft. flats boat, we could safely travel no farther than 29.36600 North and 100.57500 West, which put us in 2 ft of water.  Bonsai Island and Cove (our names for the geography) were completely dry, and Cody hiked back in there to snap photos and see what it is we're fishing.  I tried fishing, but the buzzards began circling on my third cast.  It's pretty bad when they're circling looking to take the fish from anglers.  Amistad really isn't a lake here, it truly is the Devil's River.  Lowrey Springs Canyon--dry.  Slaughter Bend Cove--dry.  Indian Springs--could hike to it on dry land and then climb 7 ft. above the water column.  Satan Canyon--dry.  SAD!

06 July 2013

Amistad 2013, Spur 454

Cody and I headed down to our favorite lake, but this year, we visited in July instead of May, and we brought our RV and stayed at Broke Mill RV park, which was an excellent place to stay.  We had a total of four vehicles--two autos, one boat, and one RV, and we only paid for the one spot AND were purposefully given an end space so we would have a place to park the car and boat.  Highly, highly recommend Broke Mill RV Park.

Amistad is a different lake every time I visit, but this year, due to the 54 foot drop in levels, in areas it appears more like the confluence of rivers it once was than a lake.  With that said, near the dam, we were finding places that were over 100 feet deep.

Finding fishing sites was a little challenging, since all of ours were not only dry, but at least 10 feet above our heads.  We fished the first day out of a Nitro Z9 bass boat belonging to our brother and sister-in-laws, and boy did we scoot around the lake.  We put in at the Spur 454 boat ramp and fished the area most of the morning, all to no avail.  We fished points, walls, grass beds, floating lines, sinking lines, sinking tips, and the in-laws were varying it up with baitcasting--no fish, two hits, time to move. Cody and I suggested a spot on the Texas side northwest of the dam.  Finally, Denson caught the first fish of the day.  Eventually, we moved up to Cow Creek and took the left fork.  The rest of the boat caught fish with Kristi catching two bass--a largemouth and striper.


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