Eat and Make Babies for the Rest of Your Life — February 18, 2008

Now that I have your attention: The rest of the story!!!!!! Recently, we had Shane Bonnot of Sea Center Texas contact us about adding some LARGE Trout to the hatchery program for restocking the Lower Laguna Madre. TPW do not mix trout fry from one bay system to another. Currently, they only have smaller fish from the Lower Laguna Madre in the hatchery program for breeding purposes. By adding larger fish to the program they can produce MUCH larger quantities of fry for restocking. My answer: YOU BET!!!!

It just so happened we had Mark Davis of Big Water Adventures T.V. (Outdoors Channel) scheduled for a trophy Trout shoot early February; so, I paired the two up hoping for an incredible show where we could catch some big sows for restocking purposes and have it caught on film. Due to having camera men, the T.V. Host, TPW personnel, and tons of equipment, we had to use two vessels for the production.  Enter Capt. Brandon who also jumped at the chance to help our fishery.

The weather did not help us with high south winds but we did have cloudy conditions and a falling barometer. It was not long into our first wade Mark hooks up on a big red, then Capt. Brandon and both TPW people hook up on reds as well. With the reds showing up I knew it would not be long before we walked into a good trout. Well shortly Capt. Brandon and Shane both caught mid sized trout but that was not what we were after. No sooner had the fish gods shined on us than Shane hooks a LARGE Sow only to see her shake the hook just feet from him. OHHHH BOY!!!! You just don’t get a lot of chances with the conditions we were facing.

BUT! Shane’s next cast he hooks up on a 27” that did not get away. After a few shots and careful trip to the holding tank back at the boat we continued with our mission. Mark and I were catching reds but could not get the trout to corporate. Then I see Capt. Brandon bow up and I knew he was on a good one. As I and the camera man made a mad dash not only to help but to record the event I prayed PLEASE NO STINGERY HITS NOW!

As the kid carefully fought this beast ( 30” ) I knew we had another one to make babies for us and future generations to come. As I got my hands on her, Shane, the camera man, Brandon and I all did what any good fishermen would do: HIGH FIVES!

A careful trip to the holding tank and a few good shots for the show, Capt. Brandon and TPW personnel headed back to the Lodge and their big trailer mounted tank.

Mark and I continued on but could only catch Reds, just not my day! Its satisfying to not only get a great show shot but to add 2 large breeders to our hatchery program, it just doesn’t get much better than that.

We caught our fish in 2 ½ to 3 foot of water on Catch 2000’s and bombers along the edge of grass near soft dark bottoms. Colors of choice were bone chartreuse, white and silver.
FOOT NOTE!!! Back to my title, Shane called the next day to say both the fish were in the hatchery and doing well! His closing comment was: Now all they have to do is eat and have sex the rest of their lives.

Its time the big girls have shown up and to date we have a number above 9# no double digits yet but with the anglers we have coming in tomorrow that will more then likely change.