Category Archives: My Blogs

Tips on catching late summer lunkers.

Hey everybody thanks for swinging by Apto Outdoors for today’s article. Today I’m going to be discussing how to work bass off late summer structure even in the heat of the day.

What rig and lure should I use?

My go to setup for late summer bass fishing is a Penn Squadron 7’0 Mod-Fast spinning rod with a Penn Fierce 4000 reel. I run 10.lb test and 12lb leader on my Carolina rigs.

What lure should I use?

My lure choice for hot summer days is mostly going to be trick worms, or worms that have a straight shaft body. Colors will vary depending on your water conditions but always remember to match the water color, the darker the water the darker your color should be…etc. But don’t confuse chartreuse or hot pink with that rule; those are unnatural colors that can produce anywhere.

Where should I fish?

During the dog days of august and early September it’s always a good idea to stick to structure. Docks, bridges submerged brush, and fallen trees should be your primary targets with your backup spots being primary and secondary points with quick access to deeper cooler water. A common thought is that when it gets unbearably hot the bass go deeper, and while most of the time that is the case I will use yesterdays example to prove that’s not always how it works out.

Yesterday I was fishing the river near my house and for the last 3 weeks I have been pitching and flipping structure along the river banks and it has produced good sized bass ranging from 10 to 17 inches. I pitched up against the bank and saw a large fish move in and take the lure, it was so shallow you can see the fish hit the worm if you look close enough. I thought I had hooked a big bowfin and was excited to have a fish pulling drag. When it jumped I freaked out because I realized how big of a bass it was. It ended up being 24.25 inches and just over 10 pounds! My biggest bass so far and I released her as soon as I could because a large healthy bass can really impact and keep the local population of bass in great shape!

Thanks for swinging by Apto Outdoors and check back in for updates on the tournament as the week progresses.

KayakTournaments.com Day 1 Fishing Report.

Hello everyone and thanks for swinging by for my first KayakTournaments.com August tourney fishing update.

Today was a very slow day. The moon was bright and shining all night which means the bass were feeding all night. Long story short I was throwing lures at bass with full stomachs, but I still managed to get two pretty decent bass for a quick bluebird morning trip. Both were on a bone colored topwater in 3 feet of water.

Stay Tuned to my blog for an update on tomorrow mornings trip to a different part of the river!

Targeting fish on hot summer days

Hey everyone and thank for swinging by my blog. This weekend I fished some heat indexes of over 100 and figured this weeks blog would be about how I target fish in the heat. Below are my four keys to catching fish during the dog days of summer.

#1 Shadows are the key to bass

Bass will congregate along structure and overhangs that provide large shadows. The predatory fish use the shadows to stay a little cooler and also as an ambush point to feed on smaller baitfish and insects. A good technique to target these bass is with small crank baits or plastics.

Crappie also follow this habit and will concentrate around bridges and submerged structure in 5 to 10 feet of water. My main method for catching crappie in the summer is jigging light tackle curly tail grubs and minnow like plastics along the structure.

#2 Mid day fishing is sometimes crazy  good

You would think that mid day temperature periods during the summer would be dead, but my trip on Sunday showed my that even in 100 degrees and at high noon, the topwater frog bite was insane. I ran out of my Stanley Ribbit lures before I even got to the good fishing holes. After summer rains look to target bass as high up on the bank as the water rises, it always blows my mind how many bites I get in water that has flooded into standing grass and weed lines. I throw a weedless Stanley Ribbit in the watermelon red color to target the bass. Just remember if the water rises so do the fish.

#3 The good old fashioned Super Fluke

My favorite and most effective bass fishing method has and always will be the Super Fluke. My go to color is watermelon red flake but I have also had success with the Arkansas Shiner color as well as the Mardi Gras color. I usually fish the fluke with a weightless setup but sometimes a 1/8 ounce bullet weight gets it deep enough to work the structure the fish are holding on. 90 percent of your strikes will be as the fluke is falling through the water column so be patient with your lure action and let it sink.

#4 Finess fishing worms

A texas-rigged worm is the most widely used method for summer bass. When bass are lethargic and don’t want to chase fast moving or floating baits a slow moving worm dragged in front of their face is hard to resist, My main colors I use are pink, purple, june-bug and watermelon red. a 1/8 to 1/4 ounce bullet weight is all you will need in most situations. Once again, in the early morning and evening hours don’t be afraid to literally throw your lure onto the bank and work it into the water. My biggest bass the summer was in less than a foot of water when he hit my worm.

I hope this short post will help you catch some more bass this summer and remember, snakes also like shaded areas so be careful when you fish and always keep an eye out. Good luck and stay safe!

Sometimes the best soft plastics can’t beat a bucket full of minnows.

My love for bass fishing is rooted deeply in my ability to fish soft plastics and consistently catch bass using them. It’s been unbearably hot here the last two weeks and my production with plastics has dropped dramatically, some days they don’t even hit a beetle spin which is very very bad.

So for this trip I decided to go old school, I threw on a red and white bobber, bought two dozen minnows and set off in my kayak. The heat index was still over 100 so I settled in the shade of a bridge and threw my first cast, I had my first fish on the line before I could even turn my camera on to start the trip. My First fish was a keeper largemouth measuring 15 1/2 inches. I was still skeptical as maybe I caught the one bass that was eating but sure enough my next four casts all yielded fish within 5 seconds of that bobber hitting the water. i ended up catching a few bass fishing my plastics while my minnows worked the drop offs and structure but the minnows stole the show yesterday. I ended up catching over 15 bass, 2 catfish, a small rock bass (I think), and four gar including on monster at the end of the video who broke my line.

One piece of advice for this blog is when fishing around or under bridges in my kayak i prefer to use my light tackle rod, due to its shorter length and compact reel I can maneuver easier in tight spaces and have a less chance of losing the fish due to improper rod placement. As always be safe, have fun outside and don’t forget to take someone with you on your next trip, it just might be the highlight of their summer.

WARNING! – NOTICE 3/4 THROUGH THE VIDEO A 5 FOOT PLUS SNAKE DECIDES TO CHECK ME OUT. I GOT THE HEEBIE GEEBIES WATCHING IT SWIM BY

This weeks fishing report 05-29-15

Hey everyone sorry for the lack of material lately i was out of town for two weeks for work and i was able to get a quick trip in last night to get some video to you guys.

Where to fish-

The report for this week is consisting of the bass hanging around major drop-offs and loosely scattered around structure from 5-10 feet deep.

What I’m using-

The main baits have been soft plastics in the watermelon red flake color pattern, On the fly rod I have caught good fish on both the my versions of the gertrude gurlger topwater flying blakc and yellow as well as some homemade clouseres in dark olive patterns and chartreuse feathers for the tail.

Air temperature has consistently been inn the 80’s and water temperatures are rising every day.

Here is a video of some action from last night’s quick trip. If the weather cooperates I will be making a early morning river trip tuesday and will have the report and video posted by tuesday afternoon. Thanks for swinging by Apto Outdoors and swing by later this week for some more summertime bass action.

This Week’s Fishing Report.

Hey everyone and thanks for swinging by. This weeks freshwater fishing started off with a bang and slowly tapered off into a lethargic day yesterday. Below I will cover where fish where caught, what lures, and what presentation.

Where they were caught-

95% of the fish caught this week where in two feet of water or less with a drop off close by, once again most fish where under the overhangs or right up against structure such as stumps or fallen trees. Last weeks bridge fishing action wasn’t happening as the only fish I caught on the bridge pillars was a massive bluegill on a rattle trap. Another hot spot this week were canals leading up to private launches and boat houses.

What was i using for bait?

Almost all fish caught including the Largemouth and Bowfin were caught on a Watermelon red flake super fluke with a paddle tail. the presentation was almost always a weightless fluke on a 3/0 wide gap worm hook in red color. every now and then i put a 1/16 bullet weight to help get it down a little deeper in the water column. Other fish caught consisted of a chain pickerel while trolling a small crank bait for crappie, two catfish on worms targeting crappie, and a big water moccasin that wanted to be in my kayak but i paddled like the wind to get away from him. Always be weary of drifting near overhanging branches and tree limbs because that’s where the cottonmouths and copperheads like to sunbathe.

Thanks for stopping by alto outdoors and come back next sunday for pictures and videos from the White River in Arkansas.

Pictures and videos form this week’s fishing trips.

bass 5:7 Big bowfin 5:5 big bpwfin 5:7

Kayak fishing 101

Hey everybody and thanks again for checking out the blog, today’s post will be covering  Kayak Fishing 101, my 7 steps and tips to becoming a better kayak fisherman and also touching on some safety issues.

#1  Keep your rig simple,don’t do this…

Courtesy of www.tenthousandislandskayakfishing.com
Courtesy of http://www.tenthousandislandskayakfishing.com

A crowded kayak is no friend to a fisherman, snag hazards and frustration can set in quickly, and if there is one thing I have learned form kayak fishing over the last 8 years it’s that if something can catch your hooks, it will. If something can go wrong during your trip, it probably will.  I have hooked myself, bird-nested bait casters to the point of cutting all my line off, and broke rod tips by hooking my rod behind me. A simple less crowded kayak will result in less gear but pay off in the quality and enjoyment of your fishing trips.

#2 Have a float plan with a friend or family member-

A USCG float plan might sound stupid , but in my 7 years of serving the the Coast Guard performing search and rescue nothing helps in a speedy recovery more than properly filled out float plan. A float plan consists a complete description of your vessel/kayak, the equipment you have available to you, but mainly focuses on your planned route and stopping points. When you fill one out you leave it with a family member or friend and if you haven’t returned by a certain agreed upon time they call the coast guard with the information given on the float plan. Below I have filled out and example and there is a page on my main menu with a blank float plan you can save to your computer.

Scan 4

#3 Safety equipment-

The most important thing to have on your kayak is a handheld VHF marine radio set to CH 16 or 156.8 MHZ for distress signals. You might not be the person who needs help another kayaker could be close by and having an emergency and you could be his or her saving grace.  The safety equipment I have on my kayak at all times consists of the following. An Atlantis VHF handheld radio, a Orion marine emergency signaling kit, a Firefly strobe light, my PFD, emergency water and next month I will be purchasing a 406 MHZ personnel locator. A good trick I learned form watching Ty Southerland on his  30Milesout Youtube Channel is I use frozen water bottles as my ice , it cools my catch and also serves as my emergency water rations.

Courtesy of www.farmandfleet.com
Courtesy of http://www.farmandfleet.com

#4 If you’re new to kayak fishing, try to reach out and go on trips with more experienced yak fisherman.

A beautiful factor of today’s technological world is the availability of kayak fishing forums on the internet and group pages on Facebook. If you are new to the sport its best to learn and shadow other fisherman you can go fishing with or meet on kayaking forums. Make no mistake their experience will teach you everything they have learned not to do over the years, saving you from making some of the mistakes and learning hard lessons along the way. Plus you might be able to get a couple of spots to fall back on during slow days.

#5 Wear protective clothing-

Sometimes people look at me funny when its 80 degrees outside, and I’m wearing full fishing pants , a long sleeve fishing shirt, a hat that covers my neck, a buff that covers most of my face, and Buffusa.com’s performance gloves, but at the end of the day I’m more protected from the sun, not burnt, and have a less chance of developing skin cancer from my kayak fishing trips. Every male member of my family has had melanoma skin cancer from fishing ,so I take it very seriously.

Courtesy of www.Tackletour.com
Courtesy of http://www.Tackletour.com
Courtesy of  www.BuffUSA .com
Courtesy of
http://www.BuffUSA .com

#6 Be versatile in your species targeting- 

My love is saltwater fishing, whether I’m fishing the flats or paddling offshore for some larger species I love saltwater fish. But there are plenty of days where I can’t drive to the beach 45 minutes or I can’t dedicate a long period of time for a trip. If I can’t fish saltwater I will immediately target bass and panfish in the creeks and rivers by my house. My favorite way to target bass and panfish is with topwater or floating flies. I even fish large ponds in my kayak when I can’t make a big water trip. Be very adaptive and try new places and styles of fishing. There are many days where your primary target species isn’t going to bite and you have to adapt. There is nothing wrong in my book with spending a day catching large ladyfish and jack’s or false albacore. Although they are considered trash fish by most people, large Lady Fish are some of the best fighting fish you can catch inshore.

#7 Should I use a GPS/ Depth Finder?

A good GPS/Depth-finder is one of my favorite things about my kayak, I don’t have to guess the bottom features of my surrounding areas, I can easily target structure listed on navigational charts, and I can view the depth fish are active in when fishing structure or even drift fishing along in my kayak. My GPS unit is a Lowrance Mark 4 HDI, I used it in my aluminum boat for duck hunting and fishing before I sold it with the arrival of my daughter in November 2014. My favorite way to utilize my depth finder is when targeting fish around bridges and submerged structure, I can clearly see the bait suspending and can adjust my rigs and presentation accordingly to better target the predatory fish on structure.

Courtesy of www.Lowrance.com
Courtesy of http://www.Lowrance.com

I hope these tips better help you understand some basics on kayak fishing and I will have more posts on different types of gear and homemade items for kayak fishing in the future. Thanks for stopping by and good luck out there. Always remember to be safe, no fish is worth putting yourself in a dangerous situation or jeopardizing your safety.

Please leaves comments below to help me on my future posts.

Fly fishing the Guadalupe River

The Guadalupe River is the southern most river in the United States that can sustain a trout population year round. The spring fed river runs through Texas and stays around 73 degrees Fahrenheit year round despite the Summer air temperatures exceeding 100 Degrees regularly.  I scouted around the river looking for good spots to enter the river to wade, Whitewater amphitheater in Gruene, Texas offers a very good access point with hundreds of yards of good wading located upstream. One thing one should always do is visit a local fly shop for advice and fly patterns, Gruene Outfitters in Gruene Texas was very helpful in showing me how to target the bass around the river. I even got a pair of Simms Wading Boots 25% off because one of the boots was a different shade of grey than the other.
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My tackle for the day was a TFO 9′ 5wt rod with a 9 foot 5X trout leader, and 5X tippett with my strike indicator 1.5X the water depth of my spots. The fly setup was a 2 fly rig with #8 split shots 30 inches above the  san juan worm with 18 inches of 5X tippet going  to the prince nymph

Fishing proved to be slow, even the guides upstream of us were having a hard time getting good hook-ups on the trout. Trying to discern the bottom snags from trout bites was proving to be difficult but it was a beautiful river and it was the first time I had been able to fly fish with my dad. I had made a cast upstream and set it to drift past a rock and tree in the middle of a deeper section of the bend, my indicator went under and I set the hook yet once again nothing. A few seconds later on the same drift it did the same thing, I strip set the hook and raised my rod slightly and realized I had hooked my first rainbow trout. The first fish of my bucket list this year was in the books and I had caught my first rainbow trout with my father by my side in a beautiful river.

wpid-wp-1426859937093.jpeg

One thing that was very apparent to me this week was it’s not always about the fish you catch, I enjoyed this trip because I was with friends and family in a beautiful place, making memories with my father. In the end I will not cherish the fish I caught or the wild game I have taken, I will cherish the memories of enjoying nature with my family and all the little things that happen during trips other than the fish being caught.
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I hope you all are enjoying your spring breaks and warming weather. Be safe have a great week and thank you for stopping by.

Getting ready for a new season of fishing.

Hey everyone and welcome back to AptoOutdoors, Today’s blog is going to cover getting your gear ready for fishing after a winter of sitting in the garage.

#1 Check your line-

Braided line has a tendency to weaken and fade after a season of use. An easy trick to avoid 45 dollars of new line for each spool a rod using the braided line from another . You are essentially putting the old line at the base of the reel and utilizing all the perfectly good line that was buried the previous season.  For fly fishermen and mono users  go over your line very carefully, if you think it could be replaced it probably needs to.

#2 Re-Stock on tackle and gear-

Make sure your tackle box is stocked again with what you use the most. For me what I go through the most is saltwater hooks, bottom rigs and popping corks. Go over your lures and see if any treble hooks need to be replaced. A common practice that has been hitting big with saltwater fisherman is to replace the treble hooks on topwater lures and suspending lures with circle hooks, providing an easier hook removal and survival probability for under-sized fish.

#3 Buy some Fish Grips-

A set of Fish Grips is something I consider an essential item. It doesn’t matter if I am fishing Freshwater or Saltwater, Inshore Or Surf, I will always catch something I don’t feel like touching or putting my hand near its mouth. Fish that come to mind are Pickerel, Bowfin, Snakehead, Rays, Speckled Trout, Flounder, Sharks  and other species make you cringe and really wish there was a way to get your favorite lure back. Fish Grips make that happen by providing a great way to firmly grab the lip of a fish and remove the hook or lure with ease.

Courtesy of Yakoutlaws.com
Courtesy of Yakoutlaws.com

#4 Safety Items-

If you don’t own a good first aid kit buy one, if you don’t have a CPR Mask or device Buy one, if not for the safety of the people on your boat do it for the other boaters who you will find having a bad day. We are all out on the water together regardless if someone is in your spot or acting a fool when bad things happen its better to be prepared. I can’t count how many times we have pulled our boat to someone flagging us down to find a wade fisherman stung by a stingray , and old man who hooked himself, my dad even pulled up to a drifting boat to find a 70 year old man clinging to the other side of the boat’s rails. His anchor had broke free while he was wade fishing and by the time he grabbed hold of the rails he hit a drop off and his waders filled with water. Always be prepared to help out other  fisherman. if something on the water does’t look right it probably isn’t right and you should always go check it out.

In conclusion one of the most important things to do is get out and fish. New structure is waiting to be found, new honey holes ripe for the taking, and good memories are waiting to be made this summer. So go out have fun, catch fish, but most importantly remember to be safe. No fish is worth risking putting yourself in a sketchy situation. Thanks for reading and come back next week.