Early Summer?!

Don Alcala Spanish mackerel fly fishing

After a late night of drinking with Adam and our significant others, I decide I want to go fishing, but the winds still aren’t in fly fishermen’s favor so we decide to go chase gar. The following morning I wake up around 9 am and as usual the first thing I do is take a look at wind and surf forecasts. Much to my surprise the weather man had lied the night before and the surf was flat and winds nil. Being hungover I decided to not make the 40 minute drive out Mathis and instead take the 5 minute drive to Packery South, not expecting much.

Whenever I fish the jetties I usually throw sinking lines. In my experiences with most fish at the jetties you usually want to get down pretty deep, so I decided to try something different then the usual intermediate fly lines I throw. I got word of Orvis Online selling depth charge fly lines for $24.99 I decided to pick up a couple in 8wt (300g sink rate: 6-8ips) and 10wt (400g sink rate:8-10ips).

As I get to the beach I was welcomed by calm seas and blue water clear onto the beach. I rigged and made my way down the jetty to find spanish mackerel working really close to the rocks and bonito working right out of casting range. It was also toward the end of the sheepshead run so bait fishermen were catching them in the channel on live shrimp with the occasional redfish mixed in as well.

After 3 fish I decide to give Adam a call and let him know about the bonito. He calls bullshit and decides to come check for himself. The bonito were being pretty spotty, they would come up and go down any from right in casting range to 200 yds away. We both get quite a few shots at the schooling fish, but can’t seem to get an eat. After a few hours the heat is starting to get to us so we decide to call it quits. Fish totals are me 4 smacks and Shauna 4 fish as well. Continue reading…

White bass and Gar

Don Alcala Crappie Fly Fishing Nueces River

It seemed to me about two weeks before duck season ended, the birds stopped coming into the decoys. It didn’t help that most of the flats had thousands of redheads on them. Kind of hard to compete with thousands of live ducks. For the fishermen/outdoorsmen this means just a change of game plan.

With unusally warm weather and water, Adam and I decided to run up to the Neuces River outside of Mathis for some gar. I have had a lot of luck in the past at this spot, I don’t think I have ever been skunked here.

Fishing for gar is a lot like fishing for tarpon. It requires a lot of patience and willingness to hook up on multiple fish, but only catch a few. Like tarpon, gar have have incredibly hard mouths. Unlike tarpon, they also have a mouth full of sharp teeth. Between the the teeth and hard mouth, getting a good hookset is tough, and even if you do get a good hookset, there is no telling if the fish’s mouth or teeth will still cut your line. Another good thing about gar fishing is you can sleep in late because they like the water warm. The longer the sun has been out, the more active the fish will be.

Since the drive to Mathis is about an hour, Adam and I get on the road around 9 am. After a couple of tacos and coffee at La Tapatia we are on our way to Mathis. We arrive around 10 am to windy conditions with the sun high. When we get down to the river we instantly see gar rolling. After dozens of casts and a few missed fish, I start getting frustrated and decide to put the rod down. Adam brought his new DSLR, and I decided to play with it. While I was toying with Adam’s camera, he hooked up on a longnose. Continue reading…