FLT FLASH FISHING REPORT
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all state records at TPWD
Record: 52.90 lb. Brazos River 1999
A pair of pleased anglers with 10.3 lb striper caught 03/31/01.
February 2004..For a few years, back in the seventies and beyond, stripers were caught in large quantities and the size was in the 20 to 30 LB range. Many of the stripers stocked in early years died during a summer O2 depletion episode. Striper stocking in Falcon was accelerated in the last several years and fish over the 18" limit were being taken in fairly good numbers. Location of fish varies with the time of year, but generally those fishing in the summer and early winter will find fish in the lower end of the lake up as far as the Tigers. During late winter, fish seem to migrate into the river for a doomed effort in spawning. It is was not uncommon to catch these fish in the river around Zapata and even farther North depending on the amount of water available in the river.
The price of having stripers in the lake proved to be very high in terms of the impact on several of our other species. Harvesting by U.S. fishermen, Mexico's chimerical netters and the stripers (in addition to loss of habitat due to extended drought conditions) depleted the white bass and crappie populations. Now the Mexican netters have proficiently and systematically eliminated virtually all the stripers. Considering the multiple millions of stripers stocked compared to only a couple hundred thousand black bass during the same period, most of us considered the process pretty much a waste of money and effort (see below chart). We have therefore encouraged the TPW to abandon striper stocking and concentrate on a revitalization of the catfish, crappie, white and black bass fisheries.
Record: 5.56 lb. Colorado River
Mr. Bridgeman Sr. Deceased with a stringer of Falcon White Bass..
February 2004.. Like many of the Winter Texans, my Dad and I always enjoyed our treks up the Rio Grande to catch white bass and an occasional black bass or striper. Thanks to the efficiency of the Mexican Commercial Fishermen the white bass no longer exist in fishable numbers. The once prolific species, that was evidenced by large schools of white bass working shad under birds, has been virtually obliterated. In October 2001,2002 and 2003, the O.P.E.C. Tournament offered a $100/day prize for the big white bass, but not one was weighed in. In recent "shock and net surveys" by TPWD, not one white bass was taken. Lack of enforcement, greed and low water conditions apparently achieved what years of overfishing failed to accomplish; an obliteration of the species. Efforts are being made to repopulate via catch and transfer, but the jury is out as to the ultimate success.
February 2004: Picture 26 LB Blue Cat taken by Greg Kempf 11/00 on Red Bug Brush Hog (above). Many of the large blue cats are caught by bass fishermen in the hardwoods during the winter months on Falcon. Large cats (yellows and blues) approacing 80 lbs in the past were often taken from the Rio Grande on live bait. Due to the continued exploitation of these fish by Mexican netters and trappers, the size and frequencies of catches have continued to decline. Enforcement, although better than in the past, continues to be largely ineffective especially against illegal netting and trapping on the US side of the lake.
Gar & Carp
Several species of Gar are found in good numbers in Falcon Lake and the Rio Grande River. The largest gar is the Alligator Gar. This one weighed 200 lbs after lying in the sun for 3 hours and probably would have topped 220 lbs when caught by Oliver Talamante 04/13/01 on the Rio Grande River below Falcon Dam with a bow and several arrows. Texas has no shortage of big gar, as TPWD shows a 302 LB state unrestricted tackle state record taken on a trotline by T C Pierce Jr. in the Nueces River 01/01/53. The rod and reel record is 279 lbs, taken on the Rio Grande by Bill Valverde 01/01/51.
are very common in the Rio Grande River and in Falcon Lake, often foul hooked
by a crankbait or similar lure. Rarely will a carp bite an artificial bait, as
they prefer dough bait, corn, or multiple other concoctions. This carp weighed
over 25 lbs. and was taken by Oliver with a bow on the same day he took the above
monster alligator gar.
In May 2005, Alex Gutierrez pulled this spotted gar weighing 5.24 lbs out of a net on Falcon Lake. Texas Parks and Wildlife lists the unrestricted State record as 5.9 lbs taken in Houston in 2004.Falcon lake record: 213# Jorge Gutierrez Arrowhead Ranch May 2004
See Pic below left
See picture right taken in front of Falcon Lake Tackle on May 6. 2005.
Falcon is one of the top big gar lakes in the country and hunters from all over the US make treks here to seek out the big fish. See additional pictures in our Big Fish Gallery
LIST OF SAMPLED FISH SPECIES FOR FALCON LAKE
FROM 1990 TO PRESENT COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME Courtesy Randy Myers, TPWD Falcon
Lake Biologist 12/2/05
Lake, voted by Bass Clubs as the number one bass fishing lake for several years
in the nineties has endured a number of hardships during the last decade. The
once excellent fishery has suffered many abuses and injustices. Unfortunately
drought conditions together with abuses of our fishery by Mexican Commercial netters
have eliminated multiple species and significantly impacted the great black bass
fishery. In addition, she has been virtually ignored as far as any TPWD involvement
in stocking, management, facility development and enforcement. We have initiated
a restoration awarness and action program intended to revitalize our fishery and
restock a number of these species. Stocking of fish in 2003 include 313,000 Florida
Bass, 200,000 Blue Gill, 28,000 9" Blue Cat, 1,500 mature Crappie & fifty
two (52) White Bass. A good spawn in 2003 has greatly increased our fish population.
We are in line for another good 2004 spawn and with the lake level well above
the weed cover line of 257' elevation, 2004 should equal or exceed 2003 spawn
production. Unfortunately, neither the office of the President, The State Department
nor the Secretary of State has responded to our appeal for intercession in Mexico's
continual disregard of Falcon Lake, the International Water Treaty and the seriously
declining status of our fishery. In 2004 some largemouth bass were stocked, both
Florida and Northerrn Strain
Black Bass stocking records, and many others, are not yet updated by TPWD. See TPWD website for latest stocking reports.
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