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Lake Amistad Fishing Report

 

 

Lake Amistad Report Winter 2014

The lake has been slightly creeping up the past few months and the level now is a little over 35 ft low. The water temps have been hanging around the lower to mid 50's.
The hydrilla on the lake is isolated to about a 4-5 mile stretch with some scattered areas lake wide.
 
The typical  Lake Amistad Winter  fishing patterns will prevail again. Targeting the center of the drains and creeks with crankbaits, suspending jerk baits, swim jigs, and sq bills will always be a strong pattern. The swimbait bite fished different ways, like in the drains and creeks and/or over ledges and channels can trigger some big fish that wouldn't otherwise be seen.  Don't forget to look at some off shore river ledges and channel swings, with jigs and c-rigs, this technique will also produce fish.
Later in Jan and early Feb there is also the potential of a few bass spawning if there is 5 or so days of unseasonably warm weather in a row. So don't be afraid to take a peak in some of the more protected canyons.

Late Spring - Early Summer 2013

As of April 27th 2013 the Lake was creeping up on 59 ft low and water temps in the high 60’s to low 70’s. I am hearing the water release should subside in a few days .  It really doesn’t bother me that we are at a near record low level, the lake always seems to rebound from being low. Long term it will be good for Amistad with new vegetation growing along the banks. When the lake does rise there will be new cover for the bass to live in and cover for the bait fish to hide in.

With the water temps warming we should start to see the aquatic vegetation take off especially with the new fertile soil and silt for it to grow in. Fishing lately with some deep cranks and carolina rigs I have pulled up some new growth of hydrilla as deep as 20 ft .  Also daily I have seen some green strands of hydrilla floating around the lake.  It will be just a matter of time before it will be everywhere again.

The months of May and June always bring some of the best top water fishing of the year. I have had good trips and got a few good reports of a decent top water bite already.  With the falling water, main and secondary points will be what I will look for. The usual Amistad top water baits will be working like Zara Spook type baits, chugging baits, and buzz baits.

Tx rigged big worms, medium to large swim baits, as well as, mid depth cranks can produce fish in the same areas this time of year.

You can even get out on some of the many main lake river ledges, points, and humps and fish Carolina rigs, football jigs, and deep cranks.

There has also been a shad spawn on the pea gravel points and banks. Look for such banks or points that have cranes standing in the water or birds diving close to the bank.  There will bass in the area…

The National Park Service has opened the spur 454 ramp and has added a shuttle service to haul people up and down the Diablo East Mountain which helps a ton after a long day on the water.

 


Fall 2012

 

Lake Amistad is 32.50 feet low and has been steady the past week or so. The water temps are slowly going down, It’s in the low to mid 70’s early and mid to upper 70’s later in the day.

The aquatic vegetation is still strong lake wide with the prevailing grass being hydrilla. There is still some duck weed/pepper grass in certain areas of the lake but most of it was left dry on the bank. The hydrilla in some places will grow out to 18 to 20 feet but most of the outside edge is 10 to 15 ft.

This lake is about to bust loose with some giant bass, I have and other anglers have been already catching these rouge giants almost on a daily basis. These are bass that have been out in the blue water for some time. Now with the lake level low enough, it has brought us closer to where those big fish live 90% of the year.  We might see several Share- a- Lunkers caught in the next 6 months here on Amistad.

The patterns working for me now are:

Cranking mid- depth crank baits in open water over grass flats, points, and into drains, also Tx rigging the same areas with a light Tx rig.

Flipping grass with a 1 oz Power Tackle Lateral Perch or a 1  1/4oz Reaction Innovations Beaver in the center of drains, and back in the major creeks and bays, the grass is 8 to 12 ft. in most of these areas.

Top water, Walking baits, frogs, Chug Bugs, around the shallow grass especially in the back water behind the hydrilla mats in the backs of the creeks and bays.

Weedless swim baits and swim jigs around the shallow grass in the same areas where you would fish a top water.

As always all for these applications Power Tackle has a rod to meet each one…

 

Thanks,

Ray Hanselman

 

 

Late Summer 2012 Lake Amistad Fishing Report


Lake Amistad is just over 28 ft low as of Aug 24th 2012 with the water temps in the low 80's early with it getting to mid to upper 80's by late afternoon.  The nights are starting to get longer and the mornings are a little cooler it won't be long and we will be looking at water temps dropping into the 70's over night.
It has been amazing how much the grass has grown the past month. There is more hydrilla in the lake than I have seen in several years. With all the new fertile lake bottom now with lower water levels it has enough nutrients to take off and it has. I am starting to see hydrilla growing out to 25ft is some areas. There is one problem with all the new grass growth... Many areas haven't seen grass in over 5 years, which means there hasn't been congregated schools of fish in those areas in over 5 years. Its going to take those schools of bass some time to relocate and find the new grass but when they do it will open up parts of the lake we haven't fished in a while. This will spread out the fishermen which will take some fishing pressure off the community holes.
 
I have been mainly fishing stained or dirty water  and also the steeper banks. These areas have a the bass in a tighter area... The dirty water won't let the hydrilla grow out very far and the steep banks fall off fast keeping the outside grass edge close to the bank. This tightens the fish up some making them easier to locate. Areas where the it is flat and clear, the grass just goes on for ever with no real defined outside edge YET. There are fish in those areas also but seem to be a bit scattered and harder to find groups of bass. Fishing the dirty/stained water and steeper banks is always something I do during the late Summer doldrums. As the grass in those flat clear areas hits their final horizontal growth and start to grow vertically making a solid defined edge, LOOK OUT...  Thats when you will be able to find schools of bass relating to the edge and easier to pin point.
The baits I have had the best luck with the past few weeks are Frogs over the duck weed/pepper grass, chug bugs at the edge, weedless swimbaits through the the grass, Sq bills also. When they won't hit a moving bait I will slow down and fish a light Tx rigged worm  snapped in and out of the top of the grass. A belly weighted fluke dead sticked at the edge of the grass can get some attention.  I have also fished a crank bait over some of the long flat main lake points and in the center of the flat bays and have caught decent fish. The areas where the grass has made a solid edge already I have been flippin' a 1 3/4 oz Lateral Perch through it with some success.
 
Thanks,
Ray Hanselman

 


Early Summer 2012 Lake Amistad Bass Fishing Report

 

Lake Amistad is 24 ft low and has been at a fairly steady level now for a week or so. The water temps are in the upper 70's in the morning and creep into the mid eighties by late afternoon. The aquatic vegetation has really taken off over most of the lake due to the new fertile soil its growing in. I have seen 5 ft tall hydrilla out to 19 ft in a few areas.  All  the different types of shallow grass are mixed out to 10 ft or so which make some incredible cover and ambush spots for aggressive bass. 


The bass are getting over the post spawn blues and are really feeding. There has been a lot of crawdads and baby carp and tilapia shallow which has allowed good numbers of solid 4 to 7lb fish to be on the bank and easy to catch.


The past week I have had some of the best top water action in a few years, fishing a top water all day catching 30 to 50 a day with most of the bass being between 3lb to 5 1/2lb with an occasional 7lber. The bass are also getting into wolf packs which makes for some wild action.


I have been fishing a 6" Black Dog Lunker Punker and a Amazon top water most of the day. Some bass are being caught on weedless swimbaits like a skinny dipper or a hollow body rigged with a weighted hook fished through the shallow grass.


The mid range crankbait and shallow square bill cranks have caught their share of bass also. Flipping some of the bigger bushes with a 3/4 oz tungsten weight rigged with a beaver in the off colored water is another way to get bit with the lake at this level.


Some of the main lake flats are set up for some good drift fishing with carolina rigs and Tx rigged plastics. This summer dont forget to try river ledge fishing there are several new ledges that are well in the range of bass to live on. Dont forget to throw a frog, its getting right for that technique with all the shallow grass reaching the surface.


With the deeper hydrilla strating to rise it won't be long we will be able to flip grass with the Lateral Perch and really have some fun Summer fishing on Amistad.


Thanks,
Ray Hanselman


 

Lake Amistad Spring 2012

Amistad is now about 21 ft low and expected to get down to about 35 ft low before the withdraw is done in May. I am actually happy the lake is going to get low for several reasons. I have seen this lake fluctuate from over full in the late 70's to to down to 40ft low in the 80's then back to full in the early 90's then 60 ft low in 1998 then a steady increase in the 2000's to over full again in 2010. I am the only one out here that has guided through the 90's to see the lake at its lower levels. This lake believe it or not fishes bigger and better when it is low. We will have more main lake flats, more drains and ledges to fish lake wide. Especially when the main lake hydrilla starts back. With all this fertile silt that has been covered up, it won't be long before we see some 25 ft plus hydrilla growing again. Another great reason for low lake levels is the lake won't get those giant rollers up the Rio Grande due to the long points that cut the wind and waves. There will be a lot of new growth around the lake such as salt cedars and other brush that will greatly help when it recovers the water and floods the new habitiat. The water temps are creeping into the low 60's and the spawn has really taken off the week. I have seen spawning activity for the past month or so but it has been just isolated and very protected water in the very backs of creeks. There is still plenty of last years' grass around, some of the deeper grass is out to 8 or 9 ft but the majority of it is in 4 to 5 ft. The baits I have been using are 6" and 7" Rago and Osprey Swim baits on the points and staging drains, 3/4 Revenge swim Jigs fished over and ripped through the grass, 1/8th oz belly weighted flukes dead sticked at the edges of grass and bushes, methiolate trick worms fished like a jerk bait shallow, Fury sq bills ripped through the grass, also flipping bushes with a Reaction Innovations Beaver, and sight fishing with a Zoom white speed craws tips dipped in orange dye. I have also just started catching some good fish on top water around the grass, this should only contiue to get better. Power Tackle Rods undoubtedly make the best rods for each one of these applications... Today the 12th of March we caught 70+ bass with several up to 6lbs most were on the belly weighted flukes but some on the best fish came on the sq bill, swim jig and flipping bushes. Thanks,
Ray Hanselman


Late Fall/Early Winter Lake Amistad

Fishing Report

The lake is about 8ft low and slowly falling, the water temps have dropped some with the arrival of the first few cold fronts of the season, as of early Nov the temps have been in the low to mid 60’s. With the colder temps, the exposed shallow grass has really taken a hit which has busted up the mats of duck weed/pepper grass as well as the exposed hydrilla. Most areas of the lake that had the deep hydrilla, it has fallen but has left those covered up bushes draped with hydrilla vines. This makes some incredible cover for the bass due to the fact that it will be isolated or the only cover left after the grass has fallen. They will really congregate around these “Magic Trees” through- out the cold months. As usual I can name about a dozen different patterns that may work this time of year, from over -sized top water fished slowly in the backs of some of the larger creeks to a football jig off a river channel ledge and just about everything in between. I have had the best luck lately on square billed cranks around the busted up duck weed, also a dd22 over and around the draping bushes out in 15 to 20 ft. There has been a decent grass flippin bite, hitting the isolated pods out on the corners and in the drains 15 to 20ft. As always a light Tx rigged worm or creature bait around the shallow and deeper grass catches bass. I have found a few schools of good fish off river ledges 30 to 50ft with a drop shot, football jigs and a heavy Carolina rig. Power tackle has designed and built its own rendition of the Alabama Rig. The rig is built with the quality of any Power Tackle Product. We all have read and heard how well the bait /baits work in Alabama, I will just say it really works in South West Texas as well… It’s a heavy rig which needs a rod that can handle the cast not to mention the weight of 3 to 5 bass you might have to pull in at a time. The 8ft Power Tackle Swim Bait Special is the right rod for fishing this rig, it has enough back bone for fighting potential multiples at a time, plus the extreme length of the rod for the casting ease. When the majority of the bass start doing the same thing, which means a Solid Pattern can be duplicated lake wide, in certain depths and on certain baits. That’s when the rumors and fishing stories really start up about how many giants were caught and the incredible numbers of solid bass per day…. This happens about 6 to 8 months out of the year. Folks, we are getting really close to that time of year… Thanks, Ray



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