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Category Archive:   Texas Ponds and Lakes


Obsessive compulsive. That’s me in a nutshell. Which i was i fish the same spot over  and over hoping to get that fish that somehow got missed on the last excursion, and the last, and the last.

So i’ve been in a rut lately fishing the same old spots hoping for different results, although the challenge has been fun in and of itself.

But the other day i made it out to a spot that i’ve been pulling up on Google Earth over and over again for the last year, hoping to go check it out, yet always choosing more familiar waters instead. The park lies east of the ATX airport and is called Southeast Metropolitan Park and it’s a “diamond in the rough” to say the least. The beauty of this spot is that it has hills that allow you to catch some nice glimpses of Austin, some well laid out trails and a few ponds that hold catfish, bass, sunfish AND gar. However, the main reason that i’ve been wanting to get out there is that one side of this park is bordered by a pretty good size nature preserve and two of the other three sides are framed by Onion Creek

The hike down to the creek proved that it was just difficult enough that it would likely keep out the average fisherman that would be more apt to head for one of the ponds. It was flooded when i was there, this last Thursday after the storm, but after checking out the area, i think it will be an excellent spot to hit when the waters get back to somewhat normal levels.

After checking out the creek i hit the three ponds located on various trails within the park. The largest, the one on the east side, is obviously the one where the crowds, and i use that term loosely here, make a b-line for. As such it held little interest for me other than the photo at the top of this entry. It was at the middle pond that i had my real adventure, breaking off a few bass that were in the 3.5 pound and higher range as well as almost landing a few slightly smaller ones that consistently managed to throw the fly. Word to the wise, if you head to these ponds take something heavier than i whippy 2 WT, unless you’re REAL GOOD at setting little hooks in big mouths.

It was rough loosing the bass, but it was actually all the other animals spotted that made this so special, Otters, Green Heron, Blue Heron, a myriad of ducks, Cardinals, countless other birds i don’t know, and fish…so many selective fish. The highlight was this Spotted Gar that swam within inches of me while i was wading in the water. The videos bad and a little shaky, but it’s hard to keep your cool when something so exotic is swimming by your feet and you have your hands full with a rod and flies.

I’ll be creating a map soon and posting it on the “maps page” but for now enjoy the brief video, and check back soon for more details!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEVHRyISi_g&w=610&h=494]

Dang. Both the rain and my free time seemed to have dried up, i don’t think there’s a whole lot of either one in the forecast for the next few weeks. While it’s a true bummer for local water like Barton Creek and Onion Creek that are feeling the effects of less water/more fishermen, it’s been something of a rough yet intriguing change for me personally.

With limited time and options, i’ve found myself spending A LOT of time trying to figure out every nook and cranny of Town Lake (a.k.a. Lady Bird Lake and also often referred to as the Colorado River by yours truly) since it’s on my short commute home. In the process i’ve found myself on a lot of piers and docks, as well as quite a few precarious tree limbs extending haphazardly over the waters’ surface. I’ve also managed to stumble on to a couple of homeless camps, secretive carp fisherman, and the occasional perfect fishing spot that is laced with just enough poison oak and ivy to keep out all but the most dedicated fisherman.

But it’s all part of the adventure, besides, dealing with poison flora and the occasional homeless/meth camp is a small price to pay to have a fish on the end or your line. After all, fishing Town Lake is a whole different league than other  local water, there are some truly HUGE fish in Town Lake, so every cast holds the excitement that one can only experience when they don’t whether the next fish taking their lure/fly will be a 1/2 pound sunfish or a 60 pound plus leviathan. (To fully realize the scope of what is in that water check out the records as recorded by the TPWD for Town Lake.)

While i prefer the Creeks when they’re flowing, i have to say, the incredible diversity of what you could set your hook into on Town Lake is quite amazing. Fishing there can be sort of like playing the lottery, except that you can actually influence the outcome (somewhat), plus the odds of a smile are way better on the water.

So hope for a parking spot, tie something big on, and ignore the CONSTANT BARAGE of questions about what you’ve caught by many passer byes. Stay focused on the water and the fish, and while you’re pulling in the fish of a lifetime…pray for rain.

See you on the docks.

For a lot of people it seems that getting out of work early means sneaking off to enjoy half price appetizers and cheap well drinks at their local bar of choice. On the rare day that i’m lucky enough to get out and have 45 minutes of no responsibility, i prefer instead to squeal my tires and head over to one of my local “watering holes” which just happens to be a slab of concrete jutting out into one of the deeper spots on town lake. Like a true “watering hole” it can truly be hit or miss, sometimes it’s already overrun by drunk bums throwing half-ass punches at each other, and other times (like this one) it feels like it’s just me and the muffled “FUMP…FUMP” of joggers plodding along the dirt trail behind me.

It’s not a very productive spot, but it’s on the way home, has water, and MIGHT have a fish or two swimming along it’s bank. And fish or no fish, when the sun sets, and the trains plow their way across the bridge, it can be flat out spectacular.

As we all know, sometimes you just have to take what little time life, or the family, decides to hand you. Rather than see it as a limiting factor i choose (or at least try to) see it as being granted the odd hour or so to check out all the random spots that i would never hit with a full day off.

And so it was that i finally checked out Bullfrog Pond north-east of Austin. This spot has been on my radar for sometime since it’s the one of only two spots in Austin that the TPWD stocks with seasonal trout. It’s pretty hard to figure out exactly how to get there, partly because it’s new, but just as likely because it’s so remote. (video, information, fishing tips)

As i pulled into the park i was prepared for an experience and nothing more. This turned out to be a good thing because with a 7WT and any skill at all you could cast from one bank and take out a baitcaster on the opposite bank. Armed with an appropriate 3WT and size twelve streamers i made my way, 10′ rod in hand, past the leers and stares of bait chunkers until i found some quiet reprieve on the far bank that was devoid of fishers even though it was just an extra twenty yard walk from the fishing pier. I say quiet reprieve, but i guess that doesn’t make sense, i could hear EVERY word that people across the tiny pond were saying, as well as every word that the kids on the b-ball court were screaming at each other. For two hours every other word i heard was an expletive, and i’m by no means a saint, but really? EVERY OTHER WORD? Guess that’s why i like the kind of fishing i do so much, no people (usually) and no talking, it scares the fish newbie!

Anyway, within two cast i had a small 10″ rainbow on my line which everybody on the pond immediately noticed and pointed out to each other, i could hear it all. It felt so awkward that i didn’t even take a photo, instead i quietly slipped the pale farm raised trout back into the water, and listened to all the usual comments that a “catch-and-release” fisher hears when fishing waters like these.

“What the F! He could have kept that M-F-er! Five bag limit!”

I kept my head down and tried not to attract more attention than i just had, i knew this could be the one and only fish of the day. The fish that i had caught attracted so much attention from people that had obviously been there hours that i was sure the general rule of the day was “Nein Fische”.

Other than the smallest bluegill i’ve ever caught, this turned out to be exactly what the day had instore. Two small fish and a whole lot of awkward. But when you get the word from your loved one that you can hang your hat of responsibility at the door and check out for a couple hours, you do what you can, and you do it quickly…before things change.

I for one am glad to have hit a spot that’s been in the back of my mind for a while. No it’s not Eleven Mile, or even the Guadalupe, not by a LONG shot. But if we as people don’t get out and try new things now and then, we end up swimming in circles, with our souls looking sickly and pale…kind of like the Rainbow i caught at Bullfrog Pond today.