August is usually the hottest month in Texas. But today, the weather was unbelievably nice.
We were up at 5 a.m. this morning. Weather.com had predicted light winds for this morning and they were right on target. I did not pay any attention to what they said the temperature was going to be so I was really surprised when I walked out this morning to find “cool” air. I think the dogs liked it, they were still asleep on the carport. The old “Big Dog” was sawing logs.
The stats at 6:30 a.m. when we hit the lake were:
Air Temp: 67°
Water Temp: 82°
Water Clarity: The water was clear in some locations and dingy in others; it just depended upon the location.
Lake Level: 521.67 or about 11 feet 2 3/4 inches low
Weather: Light clouds and 2 to 4 mph winds
The ramp at McCown Valley Park was in good shape. We launched without any issue and we were the 3rd or 4th boat in the water. In fact, there were only 3 other rigs on the ramp when we headed down the lake. We also noted that at least one other boat had launched at Cedron Creek Park and then we saw 3 or 4 more launch from there during the morning. The ramp at McCown had another dozen or so rigs on it when we returned to the ramp so there are no issues launching at either McCown or Cedron Creek Park. The Corps sliding docks were in place and functioning on both ramps.
For a Saturday morning, there were relatively few boats on the water in the McCown Valley area. However at 10:30 when we left, the wake boarders and ski boaters were hitting the water. But from 6:30 til 10 a.m. we fished anywhere we wanted and were not bothered by anyone or any boat wave issues.
Fishing was another story… We had some bites, or I should say, some fish picked up our worms and were easing off with them. The “bites” were very light. There were no tap-taps and we had a really tough time getting hooks into the fish. The Boss finally got one, but I missed 4 or 5. I am going to say that it has been about 3 weeks since we have been on the water.
We saw a few birds working. One white crane worked about a 1/2 mile of shallow shore line, but we never saw any shad or bigger fish breaking water around him. There were a few blue herons “resting” on stumps, but we never saw any feeding.
We found a few fish with the sonar. For the most part, they were hanging on ledges of shallow flats dropping off into 18 to 25 feet of water. This was the kind of area that the Boss picked up her fish. It was a keeper, but only just barely.
We gave it up at 10:30. We had fished the Cedron Creek and Bee Bluff areas and the wind was picking up a bit along with the boat traffic so we called it a day. I hated to let The Boss “whup me again” but that is the way it goes some days. The water temp at 10:30 had increased to about 85°.
I would like to pass along a suggestion or two to boaters in general… I know these don’t apply to the guys who fish, but really to the ski and wake board folks….
- How about getting your boat ready before you get on the ramp? Other folks might not like waiting for 15 to 30 minutes while you load your stuff into the boat or try to get it started…Why don’t you stop back in the parking lot and get your boat ready so that you only have to back down and drop the boat off.. then get out of other folks way.
- How about checking your battery and such at home or back in the parking lot? And NO we don’t got no jumper cables!
- How about putting someone in the boat back in the parking lot and letting them drive your boat off the trailer as you back it down? They aren’t going to fall out in the parking lot.. most of them anyway.
- When you get that boat in the water, how about backing it off 25 or 30 yards and waiting out on the water until your partner gets the truck parked? Parking your boat length ways along side boat dock, especially on the ramp side just isn’t cool… other folks might actually like to use the boat dock as well.
- When you park that pickup and trailer, how about trying to find a slot that has a little room to it… parking 3 inches from my pickup and trailer might demonstrate your parking lot skills, but you have to remember that the guy you are parking next to might not be as good as you… you could end up with pieces of your trailer lying on the parking lot… just saying, I don’t bring a can opener with me and you didn’t leave one so I could get into my truck. When the ramp is only a third or half full, you don’t have to squeeze in so that you will not have to walk an extra 15 or 20 feet to the ramp….
We saw and experienced all of this stuff today…. I guess it is Saturday and the folks who only use their boats once or twice a summer must have been out… And, I guess we are used to fishing on the week days when we don’t have to content with this kind of stuff…. And, for those of you who want to avoid this stuff, remember that Labor Day is coming up soon.. you may want to find some ramps that are not so popular with the occasional boater…. You know you might want to head off to Aquilla or one of the other lakes and areas not frequented by the “infrequent (as inexperienced) boaters… just saying. I guess it is a good thing that fishing is such a relaxing sport and puts a person into a really good mood no matter what is going on around them in the world.
And, on another note…. don’t forget your fishing licenses may be coming up for renewal… Time was when all the fishing licenses in Texas expired on August 31, many of us still renew then even though you can now get licenses that renew on the date of purchase, whenever that might be…. If past experience is any indicator, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Wardens will be out checking folks on Labor Day weekend.