What To Do When You Can’t Fish

Winter weather is here and in full swing.  We’ve had consistent temperatures in the upper thirties to lower fifties for a few weeks now and fish are definitely into their winter patterns.  With that in mind I have reorganized my tackle trays exchanging wakers, popping corks, and several other soft plastics for corkies, suspending twitch baits, and trout killers.

Trout Tackle

I had high hopes of getting a lot of fishing in over the Thanksgiving break since I had nine days in a row off of work, but that was ruined by 20+ mph winds for several days to start off the week.  The wind slowed down on Thursday of course, because that was Thanksgiving Day, which meant no fishing for me.  I was finally able to get in a quick trip on Friday to East Matagorda with a couple of friends only to find thousands of small shrimp and no fish.


This picture shows the dead ones that were at the launch, but there were thousands of them throughout the marsh.  Several dozen birds were having a field day eating all the shrimp they could hold but there wasn’t a trout or red to be found.  On the paddle back in, Charlie stuck his net in the water while drifting and pulled about a dozen or so shrimp out of the water.  They were that thick.

A few days later I met up with Clint Barghi to see if we’d have better luck in the Galveston area.  We threw corkies all day working them nice and slow on an outgoing tide over shell and mud picking up a few fish here and there with most of them being in the 18-20 inch range.  Clint did end up catching this nice 7 lber.  Unfortunately the picture doesn’t quiet do the fish justice.  If you compare the corky to the fish you can tell that this was a nice trout.

Barghi 7 lb trout

Since that trip I have spent a lot of time learning as much as possible about building custom rods.  I’ve read lots of articles and have watched plenty of YouTube videos trying to understanding the process and equipment needed.  As a teacher, I have lots of free time over summer and winter break along with all of the other holidays we teachers are able to enjoy so rod building seemed like a good hobby for me.  I picked up my rod wrapper from FTU a week ago along with 3 different colors of thread to start with.

Rod Wrapper

I had an old broken rod in the garage that I figured I would experiment with before I touch the two 7′ IM10 blanks I have.  I decided to start with cross wrapping and chose the American flag pattern.  It seemed relatively easy and I had learned all I could learn from reading and videos.  The next step was to learn by doing.  I spent about an hour and half the first night getting about halfway through with the flag.  The only colors I have at the moment are maroon, blue, and yellow so the flag is not the appropriate colors.  I also forgot to start with red on top so its a good thing this is just practice.

Flag 1

I spent another hour last night adding the bottom portion of the stripes and you can really see the flag starting to take form.  At this point I’m trying to decide whether I should continue wrapping to close of the rest out the rod or leave it open and proceed with the actual rods I will be building.

flag 2

Christmas break will be here in another week so hopefully I am able to hit the water multiple times during my time off.  If the wind and weather can’t seem to comply then I guess I’ll be working on my first custom built rod.

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