The pre-spawn is on! The annual redfish reproduction effort (a no go in fresh water but they still give it a try) is kicking off right on schedule this year and we are hauling in good numbers of big fish. Your limit is waiting!
This is the time of year when redfish action kicks into high gear and we are already seeing the results of a good, healthy population of the millions of saltwater predators that have been stocked at Calaveras and Braunig Lakes. A recent trip resulted in a haul of more than 140 pounds of reds, some topping the 25-pound mark, with both downriggers and sight-casting producing battles with the big bruisers. The water temperature at Calaveras Lake is ranging between 85-90 degrees and should stay in that fish-catching range for several more weeks. Big schools of redfish are roaming throughout the lake, typically in water from 15 to 25 feet deep.
As most veteran redfish anglers are aware, the reds go through the motions of spawning about this time each year, but they don’t produce any fry in fresh water. We are finding the male reds brought to our boat have a limited amount of sperm and the eggs in females are not fully developed. We expect the spawning to continue for at least the next three weeks and that is when sight-casting to schools of the big fish can produce great action. This type of big fish action is a testament to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department stocking program that has been so successful in making both Calaveras and Braunig Lakes the places to go in the Lone Star State for some top notch freshwater redfish action.
The technique that seems to produce the best catches calls for gold or silver spoons to be cast as far away from the boat as possible, letting the lure sink for a count of 20. When the lure has almost reached the bottom, a slow, steady retrieve seems to entice the bite. If the casting action slows down, we can always rig up the old reliable downriggers for a few hefty hook-ups.
Action at Braunig Lake remains a little slower than at Calaveras, with water temperatures at the smaller reservoir remaining a little cooler than we would like to see for red-hot redfish runs.
We are anticipating some healthy catfish action at Calaveras later on this year, based upon the unusual number of big blue cats that have been snagging our downrigger lures throughout the summer. Both blues and channel catfish are cruising the lake in good numbers and as the weather turns a little cooler, the cats will start their bite. A little ball of CJ’s Punch Bait in both minnow and shad flavors on a No. 6 treble hook can be just the ticket for some solid catfish action. We are a San Antonio distributor of CJ’s Punch Bait and have a ready supply on hand for catfish anglers.
As always, our anglers will be offered a Fishing With Manny bonus of a free, emailed photo of your catch. All our trophy shots will be taken with our Cannon Model EOS Rebel T3i digital camera and, if requested, we will send a copy to your email address for a picture=perfect portrait of your day on the water. It is just another way for us to make each trip a memory of a lifetime!
We also feature Sirius Radio (about 240 channels) on our boat to help our anglers enjoy the day and to monitor the changing weather conditions. In addition, we provide a free I-Pod Samsung connection for our anglers to listen to tunes or check the web if they ever get a break in the action. Check out our calendar for available dates (a lot of weekends are already booked) and come on out for some hot action and good times on the water!