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Hell on Reels!
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Take me to the river....!

So what do a couple of fishing addicts do on Black Friday in Matagorda? We go trout shopping, of course! But first we need to start our report with our post-Turkey Day dinner fishing venture...we ate a fabulous dinner with all the trimmings compliments of Michelle's (aka reel love) sister and brother in law (both gourmet cooks -- more on them later -- the story gets even better) and assorted family members. Let me tell you, these folks know how to *eat*!

We needed to work a bit of those groceries off, so we took the boat down the Colorado (south of Selkirk) and set up a drift with the brand spankin' new trolling motor that Michelle's been putting off getting - after this weekend, I don't think she has any regrets. We'd been told by a friend that he'd had a good day fishing the drop-offs on soft plastics, so we gave that a whirl. Shortly after we got there, Michelle landed a solid trout on soft plastics. We goofed around on both sides of the river and out in the middle. An hour or so later, Michelle picked up a good sized sand trout while I worked on my skunk and watched a pair of osprey running back and forth to their nest. Probably out shopping for the osprey kids, visiting family, etc. The vultures were also feasting on a 4 ft dead gar, so at least I had something to do while the fish were ignoring me. At about 4 pm, Michelle noticed some bait working across the river near the shoreline and we decided to troll over. I am a topwater fiend, so I figured I'd give it a go with my favorite girl, a pink Top Dog, Jr..."come on, just one little decent blow-up, pretty please..." That prayer was answered on my second cast when I got a great, loud hit. I started laughing and said, "Did you hear that?" Michelle turned around right as the fish came back and nailed it, a 23 1/2 trout and my biggest to date (I've only been saltwater fishing since July, so cut me some slack, lol). I picked up another 20+ shortly afterwards, but we needed to get back to the crew to help out with Project Gumbo for the cook-off at the Harbor on Friday night.

We were really stoked that we might be about to hit a pre-front bite on Black Friday and decided to leave the bays to the other big trout shoppers and see what we could do with a full day on the river -- it really paid off! The doors opened at 6:45 am and those trout were ready for us. As we left Jeanine and Raymond's pier, we watched in amazement as the bait was literally flying out of the water, big mullet and lots of them. The noise was incredible. We couldn't resist and stopped off about a mile away long enough to see that there were little trout slamming our Super Spook, Jrs. (white with pink heads). After we let a few dinks go, we headed back to our previous spot, and it was ON, and all on top waters. Michelle's first 3 trout were 20 - 22". She left the dinks to me and had 4 big trout boxed before I had one. She limited out at 9:20 and I had 4. We both had the same lure on, but I guess they just liked her stuff better. Hmph. Damned fish. I'll show 'em. So I decided to try out a chart/black SS Jr. and in just a few minutes I had a nice 20+ trout. A few minutes later, I had a massive strike and saw that my lure was gone. Who hooo, I set the hook and we both realized from the noise and the swirl that I had a big fish on. Michelle reeled in and got the net and coached me on angling the fish in. We thought it was a trout but she never surfaced and ran way deep into the middle of the river. A few times it felt like she'd swapped a log out there on me, but then I'd feel a tug. When we finally got her to the side of the boat, it was just amazing -- a magnificent big speck swirling in the river. Michelle netted her and pulled her into the boat and we both shrieked like...well...girls! Then a boat went by, some guys we'd seen earlier who'd left and were coming back, and we thought, oh we'd better hide this one or we'll have 50 boats here in 3 minutes. Then we just couldn't help ourselves and held it up as they passed by...they gave us thumbs up and cheers. When we put her on the cooler to measure, she hung over the edge by 2 inches...we had ourselves a 26" trout! She weighed 6 lbs. (We did wind up keeping her, but anything over 24" goes back - hasn't been an issue for me). We needed to get back to help with Part 2 of Project Gumbo so we left at about 11 with 17 trout. After helping Jeanine, the soon to be famous Gumbo Queen, we headed back out to see what the afternoon would hold. We met up with a friend and fished until about 3 and left 'em biting to get ready for the big Gumbo cook-off and boat parade.

We arrived at Matagorda Harbor and got everything set up for the judging. There were 15 other contestants and it looked and smelled like some fierce competition for Jeanine and her Roux Brew Krewe (we all had team t-shirts, too). Michelle and I checked on friends at the cleaning table who were just coming off the bay...it sounded like most of them had some tough fishing, and we were happy with our river run. We had a blast spending time with Michelle's family waiting for the results of the cook-off, and she's sure got a colorful krewe. And a Gumbo Queen -- Jeanine (pictured with Michelle, Lela the dog and trout) and her Roux Brew Krewe took 1st place in seafood! Can't think of a better way to end a perfect day. And after the boat parade, we went home and had some "speck-tacular" fried fish.
 

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Awesome fishing ladies was that a bald eagle or a big osprey and did ya get to see it feed in the river they flat out can carry a really big mullet while flying.Ill see yall in a couple of weeks bring your waders lol.Later Ken
 

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Great job ladies. It was good seeing you two at the dock. Sorry that I was in such a big hurry to get out of there. The parking lot was filling fast from all the events going on. Next year I am going to stick around and see the light parade. Congrats Julie on your biggest trout to date. I wish you many more and even bigger ones to come. Great report.

Capt. Dustin Lee
Fish'N Addiction Guide Service
www.TexasBigFish.com
www.MatagordaBayFishingGuide.com

Team Brown Lures, Hookset Marine, Kubala Kustom Rods, Midcoastproducts.com
 

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Great Report

Yall made the right choice. We know some guides down there and they said head to the River but we still didnt listen.

We drifted near the tripod and some reefs just East of the Tripod in East Bay. We fished from about 8 to noon and scratched up a decent box of fish but no 6lbers. We had 11 keeper trout and 1 keeper red and probably 8 throwbacks.
 

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Dang Jules!!! Way to put the woopin on! You are giving Michelle a serious complex I am sure, lol. Woohoo!


And 1st place seafood??? I sure would like to have tasted that gumbo....mmmmm.
 

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Hell on Reels!
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Discussion Starter #20
Hot Head SS Jr (Pink head white/chrome)

Look like women to me.
Yes, and yes. Whew, I was starting to get a complex...:biggrin:

I neglected to mention that we took Jason (aka westexas) out on Saturday to see if we could show him a duplicate run, but we figured the front coming in would kill it, and it did. We saw about an hour bite from 7 - 8 and then pretty much nothing. Jason was the hot stick and we all picked up some smaller trout on hotheads again. Only 3 keepers from the river, then a few under the birds in West Matty for a total of 6. A nice red broke Michelle off under the boat or on shell, and I had a good red blow-up while drifting. Nothing like what we saw on Friday. Just hit a fantastic river moment on the pre-front bite Friday. What a day.

We'll make it up to Jason with a Noo Noo wading trip on Michelle/s b-day this month -- ya'll be sure to wish her a happy one on the 12th -- and we'll be sure to report back how that trip goes. Can you think of a better way to spend your b-day? Nahhhh, me neither. Man, I love me some Texas gulf coast fishing!
 
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