Trout and Genetics — November 5, 2008

What have you done to support your fishery and the future generations of fishermen to come? Before you stop reading this thinking it is merely a conservation message or a rant, I promise there is a fishing report section too.

We were approached by T.P.W.D. personnel and asked if we could help them in taking DNA samples of Trout we catch. My answer: ‘You Bet!’ They are currently doing a DNA study of existing fish as well as hatchery fish released in our bay system. The focus of this study is to validate if there are genetically superior trout and what percentage of released hatchery fish make it to maturity.

There are two forms of samples being taken:
1. A small sample of the fin is removed and placed in a vial.
2. A small drop of blood is placed on a DNA card.

We record the fishes’ length and the GPS location where the fish was caught. Sounds like a lot of extra work, along with guiding, but our guests really get into the action and all agree it is the best for the future of our fishery. This study will be ongoing for quite awhile but it’s not much trouble to put 3 vials and 3 DNA cards in your pocket while wading and getting samples as needed. The information from this study will help to assure better fishing for all.

Now to my report! What can I say? ‘Wow!’ We continue to catch good solid trout 17” to 23” average with a number of 25” plus thrown in for good measure. I know this sounds like a broken record but WOW the fishing is just getting better! PLEASE NO FREEZE THIS YEAR!

The past few days we have caught 6 trout over 25” with the largest being 28” plus. Pictures on site. Best baits have been small top waters on calm days and larger when the wind gets up in the afternoon. Red head white, chartreuse with silver sides, and my old stand by PINK/SILVER.  Spook Jrs. and bomber long A’s.

Soft plastics have been Cajun/pepper or pure white. The bay is full of shrimp now and the birds are working every where. There are tons of trout working under them. A lot of these fish are small so I suggest you bend your barbs down on your jig heads as not to kill too many. Find the birds working the water or sitting on the water and catch all the trout you want. Not rocket science!!!!!

Our other primary structure continues to be sand pot holes in large grass beds. Find the bait with this structure and I dare you to throw top water into the pot hole. You can go just about anywhere north and south and duplicate this structural tactic.

Now you ask what about reds? Well its fall and they are stacked up in the shallow water. A few days ago Capt. Ted. and I had the same day off so we went looking around and found one of the largest schools we had seen in years. One short wade we caught and released 25 or more reds all on top water. The fish were over sugar sand in about 1 foot of water. As Poppie was getting ready to go chase Bambi he wanted to take a few for the grill. When we got back to the dock and I started cleaning them one had a LARGE BULDGE in its stomach. I opened its stomach and what did I find? The fish had just eaten a small Rat. (See picture in photo section) It still had hair on it and was not digested. Guess I need to pull out the old bass fishing baits. Heddon Rat might work. Just goes to show they are predators and will feed on what ever is available.

Finally, folks the ducks have arrived and we have a few openings left if your interested in chasing ducks in the morning and chasing BIG TROUT in the evening. I am going to pickup our duck skiff within a few days. Interesting the way we will be rigging it. Had Dolly not trashed us I would have had it complete before now but we had bigger fish to fry at the time.