|You Are Here:||Game & Fish >> Texas >> Fishing|
South Texas' Star Lakes For Freshwater Reds
Be prepared when you come after freshwater redfish at lakes Braunig or Calaveras. These are our state's top lakes for catching reds, and your chances of landing a monster are real! (April 2010)
The quest for big, line-stripping redfish so highly prized by saltwater anglers has a freshwater twist. That's especially true for those anglers familiar with two lakes less than 20 minutes from the Alamo City's downtown area.
For more than 30 years, the waters of lakes Braunig and Calaveras have been stocked with millions of redfish by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department; many of those fingerlings and fry have grown to be sleek, powerful monsters of the freshwater deep.
Although the underwater predators are more commonly sought by fishermen venturing into their saltwater domain along the Texas Gulf Coast, the freshwater stocked redfish action goes on year 'round at Braunig and Calaveras. Anglers fishing both from the shore and from boats bring home their share of reds, and big bulls in the 20-pound range are not uncommon.
Someone who knows where the big reds can be found in both lakes, and who has been cruising the waters for more than a quarter of a century, is veteran guide Manny Martinez of L&M; Guide Service.
Martinez holds the lake-record redfish at Calaveras -- a bruiser tipping the scales at 30 pounds and measuring 41 inches. It was brought into his boat on a warm afternoon on Oct. 23, 2008.
"I was fishing by myself, just killing a little time casting for reds that were trying to spawn in the shallows," he said. "I had been watching the area for a while and knew there were some big bulls in there.
"I saw a slick (a smelly film that comes to the surface when feeding redfish regurgitate bait) come up just off the dam and chunked my spoon right into it. The red grabbed that spoon as it hit the water. I set the hook, and he took off for a 50-yard run like blue smoke.
"When I finally got him close to the boat, he made another run, and then he did the same thing again. He made run after run after run. I wasn't sure he was ever going to get tired."
About 30 minutes into the fight, Martinez said he managed to work the now tired redfish close enough to the boat to attempt to guide him into his net. Because he was alone, he had to try to net the fish by himself.
"He was beat and I must have had the man upstairs watching out for me, because when I scooped him up, my net broke in half. For some reason, the red just didn't try to get away and I managed to get him in the boat. That's when I realized just how big he really was."
Photos of his record catch on 12-pound-test line can be viewed at www.fishingwithmanny.com.
The record redfish caught at Braunig Lake was also in October -- a 30.25-pounder measuring 35 inches caught by Jack Talbert of San Antonio on Oct. 14, 1989.
As Martinez points out, late summer and early fall when redfish are attempting to spawn is the prime time for hooking into big fish and big numbers of reds.
OUR NETWORK: IMOUTDOORS WEBSITES
|>> CONTACT||>> ADVERTISE||>> MEDIA KIT||>> JOBS||>> SUBSCRIBER SERVICES||>> GIVE A GIFT|
| © 2011 Intermedia Outdoors, Inc.|