Stephen Geri | Hobbies | San Antonio, Texas

Golf, Tennis, Fishing and other things Stephen Geri loves to do when he's not at the office.

Category: Fishing (Page 1 of 2)

Stephen-Geri-Texas-Lures-Fishing

Best Lures for Texas Lake Fishing

Everyone knows the saying “everything’s bigger in Texas”, but are the fish? Whether you consider yourself an angler or just have a love for the sport and being out on the water, here are a few great lures you should keep stocked in your tackle box.

Jigs

Jigging is a type of fishing with a lure called a “jig”. As the jig goes through the water, it creates a jagged, vertical motion. Many fishermen would argue that jigs are the most versatile lure to use, making them widely popular. Jigs are fairly productive and light bait.

Many jigs can be made from lead or tungsten, giving the lure it’s weight. They come in many colors such as metallic or natural for example. The color choice for jigs and all lures in general will depend on the type of water and fishing conditions.

Crankbaits

Crankbaits are great for bass fishing because they are made for various depths of the water. The three water level crankbaits are specifically designed for are shallow, medium and deep water. Although you can use this type of lure year round, your best chances of catching bass with a crankbait are late spring, summer and early fall.

Spinnerbait

As many fishermen believe jigs to be the most versatile, others will argue spinners are the best because they can be used in any season and almost any water condition. Spinnerbait glides through the water in a horizontal motion. The metal on the spinner mimics the motion of small fish bait and attracts the larger fish, mostly bass in this case.  

Deep Diving Crank

As mentioned before, crankbaits are made for various water depths. Deep diving crankbaits get down to where the fish are and work well for easy bites. Deep cranking technique is different than shallow cranking which most fishermen are used to. The longer the cast using deep crankbait, the more time it has to dive. Another tip when using deep diving crankbait is to change the hooks every now and then to ensure they’re not dull.

Finesse Worm

There is much debate on whether or not “real” fishermen should use the finesse worm because it’s a fake worm, but many fish with this bait regularly. Some fishing techniques use a finesse worm as bait on top of other lures. For example, you can use a finesse worm and a jig. The old styles that always do the trick with finesse worms are the Texas rig worms and the “wacky rig”.

 

Fishing in Unfavorable Weather: Part 2

Stephen Geri Fishing Weather 2

In part 1 of this blog, I spoke about unfavorable weather conditions that you may face during your outing. To follow up with weather conditions, you need to make sure you’re prepared gear wise. You can one-up your fishing friends on your next outing with these tips and tricks.

Water Temperatures:

Most species of fish you’re going to catch are cold-blooded which simply means that they can’t control their inner body warmth. Thus, the temperature of the water has a lot to do with how the fish will bite.

Take a look at this fishing chart to see the optimal water temperature for certain fish. Note the largemouth Bass, with a range between 60-77 degrees. Near Houston, Lake Conroe is one of the best spots you’ll catch largemouth Bass, and is also known to have the biggest largemouth bass ever recorded to be caught in Texas Parks. In this water temperature, bass can be found in shallow beds.

Fishing Gear:

Some of the best baits to use in unfavorable weather are

  • Crankbaits
  • Jerkbaits
  • Spinnerbaits
  • Swimbaits


These lures can help you determine where the fish are in a general location, which then will allow you to switch baits. If you are fishing with a friend, be sure to use two different baits. This will allow for a better chance of finding the fish.

Wearable Gear:

When it rains, you have to make the best of it. With the right clothing, it’ll make your life a lot less miserable in the rain. Frogg Toggs is great waterproof gear, but some fishermen complain that they still get wet. Another option would be to buy from Cabela’s when there’s a good sale or gear goes on clearance. Waterproof gear is essential to fishing on a rainy day.

In hot weather and sunny conditions, wear a hat or visor, as well as sunglasses to protect you from the sun. Don’t forget sunscreen as the rays reflect off of the water and shine right on your skin.

No matter what weather condition you’re in, keep a plan of action. Break down your strategy if you don’t want a lousy day on the water. Always make sure you’ve got your gear too. A tacklebox, the right clothing and strategically picking your location could give you a great day of fishing.

 

 

Fishing in Unfavorable Weather: Part 1

Stephen-Geri-Fishing-Weather1

There is an old fishing wise tale and it goes a little something like this:

“If the wind is from the east, the fish bite the least.

If the wind is from the west, the fish bite the best.

If the wind is from the north, don’t go forth.

But if the wind is from the south, the bait jumps into their mouth.”

Weather conditions affect fishing more than one might think. Now, if you’re an expert fisherman, you probably know when to sit and wait, and when to reel in and call it a day. Or perhaps you check a weather app that tells you when fishing weather is excellent, good, fair or poor. However, if you love to fish simply for the hobby even when they don’t bite, take the weather into consideration and maybe you just might get a nibble.

In the Heat:

As the temperatures get hotter and the sun rises in the sky, many think that the bass won’t bite. Although no fisherman wants to sit in the hot sun all day when there’s nothing to catch, you can try a few tricks.

Find a shaded area and let your bait free fall just off of the edge. Fish will retreat from the sun and find cover closer to banks where it’s cooler. Use a big weight to allow the bait to sink quickly. There is no guarantee to catching fish, especially bass, once summer rolls around. Keep an eye on your line and you just might get a bite.

 

When it Rains:

Fishing in the rain is less than ideal for many fisherman. No one wants to stand in the rain and get wet if nothing with bite. Consider the type of bait you use, whether that be jigs, lures, worms or minnows. Some fisherman prefer to fish right before or after a rainstorm, and swear that it’s the best time to fish.

 

In the Wind:

Fishing in the wind will take strategic planning. Be strategic when selecting the location of your outing. Plan to fish in an area that may shield you from windy conditions. You can also do the old thumb trick to see which direction the wind is coming from. Don’t forget, “if the wind comes from the west, fish bite the best”.

Although there are many other weather conditions you might face when you fish, knowing where and how to fish in those conditions is critical to a good day on the water. Sometimes the fish don’t bite, and that’s okay. Head over to part 2 of this blog to continue reading on how to best prepare for unfavorable weather on your next fishing outing.

 

Stephen Geri Safe Fishing

Safe Fishing is Smart Fishing

San Antonio, Texas is home to a myriad of lakes and rivers, abundantly stocked as a fisherman dreams. Some of the best fishing spots in Texas are settled in the suburbs of San Antonio. You won’t have a hard time finding a place to fish. Fishing can be enjoyable and relaxing, but you always want to be cautious and follow standard safety tips.

Basic Boat Safety:

Never get your boat in the water without a first-aid kit. You never know if an unfortunate event would happen, and it’s best to be prepared. Fishing hooks as well as other tools are dangerously sharp. It’s not uncommon that fishermen get hooks stuck in their body. With a stocked first-aid kit, you can prepare to handle an emergency if anything happens while you fish.

Weather Watch:

In a recent blog of mine, I wrote about how to fish in unfavorable weather conditions. Mother nature can be cruel to fisherman, both on land and out at sea. Use standard fishing safety rules and don’t fish in harsh weather. For example, your fishing rod is made of metal. No one should be fishing in a thunderstorm. Plus, if you’re in a boat on a lake, river or on the sea, you’re in danger. Always play it safe when fishing and keep track of the forecast.

Gators in Guadalupe:

Alligators are no strangers to Texas, in fact, it’s not uncommon to spot on in this state. The American Alligator population in Texas has grown since being removed from the endangered species list in 1987, to a conservative estimate of 500,000.

This time last year, in May of 2016, an alligator was spotted by kayakers in the Guadalupe River, just outside of San Antonio. Although gators are not common in the surrounding San Antonio area, if your fishing outings stray closer to the coast, be cautious of the alligators that are much more common to those areas. If you do spot a gator, keep your distance. Whether you’re on land or in a boat, you don’t want to scare the alligator, which could cause an uproar. 

Safe fishing is smart fishing. No matter if you fish for the sport or fish for pure passion of the hobby, be smart in your actions and you’ll ensure yourself a safe fishing trip.

Stephen Geri blog header for fishing items

3 Items to Take on Every Fishing Trip

Fishing is simple, right? To the outsider who doesn’t do much fishing, you just show up with a pole and some worms. In reality, fishing is much more complex than that. Seasoned veteran fisherman study a number of things that influence how the fish react and what lures they’re going to be most attracted to. While it’s a good idea to “pack the worms” and make sure you have the lures you’re going to be using for the day, there are also a few items you should be taking with you every time you go fishing. The following three things may not seems like they’re important to a fisherman until you fish with them once. You’ll be wondering how you ever fished without them.

Fingernail Clippers

This may be the most used tool in my tackle box. Think of how many times you change lures when you’re out on a day trip. If you do what most anglers do and bite the line off with your teeth, there’s a good chance you are leaving the knot on all of your lures. This becomes problematic the next time you need to use that same lure. Instead of biting the line, clip the knot with a fingernail clipper so you don’t have to worry about taking the knot off later. It will also help preserve your teeth, and you won’t have to the taste of lake water in your mouth after you change your lures.

A Disposable Poncho

Fishing in the rain is a lot of fun if you’re not getting soaked. A disposable poncho can be rolled up and kept in your tackle box or fishing vest. Many times, when it starts to rain is when the fish become really active. You don’t want to have to pack it in and head home just because you are getting wet. Throw a poncho over your head and keep fishing in pursuit of the biggest fish of the day.

A Multi-Tool

A multi-tool with a knife, file, corkscrew, miniature saw, bottle opener, and can opener will take care of almost any task you can think of. Whether you need to open a can of corn or cut down some branches that are in between you and the honey hole, the multi-tool will take care of it. You can purchase one at any outdoor store, and they’re small enough to carry in your pocket wherever you go.

Fishing without the proper tools can ruin your day. If you remember to pack the previously mentioned items, you’ll have a great day on the lake regardless of how many fish you catch.

Stephen Geri header for spinning reels blog

The 5 Best Spinning Reels on the Market

If you’ve been fishing as long as I have, you know there is a distinct difference between a good reel and a great reel. The amount of feel and action you get from a great reel will leave you wondering why you weren’t fishing with one since you started. There are a number of great reels on the market right now, but the following seven are a cut above the rest.

The Okuma Avenger

The okuma Avenger is the lightest reel on the list. It’s graphite construction is designed to provide a solid reel without any extra weight. The drag system is ultra-responsive by incorporating the Japanese oiled felt drag washers. Six ball bearings in the spinning mechanism of the reel and one quick-set ball bearing in the crank provides some of the smoothest hooksets you will experience.

Penn Battle II

If you’ve ever purchased a Penn reel, you know what you are getting into. The Battle II is the latest installment in a history of tried and true reels from Penn. Carbon fiber drag washers along with various carbon fiber components create a light yet sturdy reel that can brave any element. Five stainless steel ball bearings and an anti-reverse ball bearing provide a great experience from the cast to the catch.

The Pflueger President

Pflueger really outdid itself with the construction of the president, and it is aptly named considering it is my favorite reel on this list. Another graphite construction that comes in just an ounce heavier than the lightest reel on our list, but when you put it on your hand you can’t notice at all. The drag provides consistent pressure, and every component was constructed to withstand the elements to avoid corrosion.

Lew’s Speed

There’s no better way to describe this reel than by using it’s name. If you like to fish fast, then this is the reel for you. The faster you reel, the better it responds. The aluminum design with carbon inserts allows you to save weight when you need to while still feeling like you’re holding a sturdy reel in your hand. This may be the only reel that makes it seem like you can outreel the fish before they get to your lure.

The Sougayilang Metal Spool

This flashy reel is CNC machined to perfection. If you’re not catching fish, you’re at least going to stand out in the crowd with this anodized gold gem. The s-curve oscillation system allows for flawless line widening and constant tension without activating the drag unless you absolutely need it. 13 total ball bearings, a one-way clutch, and an anti-reverse bearing in the handle makes it hard for you to blame a missed fish on this reel.

Stephen Geri Bedded Bass

The 3 Best Bedded Bass Baits

There are few things more exciting than spring bass fishing in Texas. While it can be challenging to target bass while they’re bedded down, there’s nothing like hooking into a lunker in the crisp spring air. Over the years I have experimented with dozens of tactics and baits for springtime bedded bass. I have had the most success with the following baits in the spring when I’m targeting those big bedded bass.

Tubes

Plastic tubes have been my go-to bait for years, and they’re especially effective during the spring when the bass aren’t as mobile and are in defense mode as opposed to predator mode. Make sure you use a hook that is close to the same length as the tube. The reason you should do this is because the bass will often not be as interested in eating your tube as they will be in moving it off of their bed. When they grab the tube by the tail, like they do with anything else on their bed, they will still be grabbing your hook.

Plastic Lizards

Lizards and bass don’t typically get along, but in the spring there is no love lost between the two animals. The lizards want the bass eggs, and the bass will do everything they can to keep the lizards at bay. Plastic lizards are the perfect bait to take advantage of this feud and allow nature to have a say how your day on the lake will go. Drag the Texas or Carolina rigged lizard across the bass beds and you’ll garner plenty of attention.

Rat-L-Traps

Rat-L-Traps are my favorite brand of lipless crankbait, but in reality you do not really need to use that brand. I just found that the added rattle from the beads inside the bait tend to draw more strikes than a traditional lipless crankbait. A simple cast and retrieve that just grazes the tops of the weeds above the beds is usually enough to trigger plenty of strikes throughout the day. If you want to mix it up, you can let the bait drop into the weeds and bring it back to the surface, which I have to work well in colder waters when the bass aren’t moving to the top of the bed.

Spring is probably my favorite time for bass fishing. The weather is beautiful, and not too hot, and it takes a certain set of skills to be able to locate and entice bedded bass to strike. It’s not something that happens overnight, but with enough practice you’ll be pulling plenty of bass from your local lake this spring.

Stephen Geri - Bass Lakes

5 Best Bass Fishing Lakes in Texas

Texas is constantly at the top of the list of best bass fishing states, but Texas is a huge state with many bodies of water. There are so many great lakes, rivers, creeks, and ponds throughout the state that it can be difficult to decide where to go if you are fishing in Texas for the first time. I love taking my grandchildren out on my boat to various lakes around the San Antonio area, so naturally I gravitated to breaking down the best lakes. There are a lot of factors that went making this list, and I don’t want to bore you with the details. Just know that you will have the best chance of catching bass if you fish these 5 lakes.

Amistad

Amistad is a giant reservoir located at the northwestern tip of South Texas Plains. The reservoir is fed by the Rio Grande River, which is an extremely fertile stream providing Amistad with a plethora of baitfish for bass to feed on. Most anglers have a lot of success with topwater lures in the spring and fall seasons. Crankbaits are also a popular tackle and have been shown to bring in some giant bass when they are run shallow through submerged vegetation.

Choke Canyon

This is one of my personal favorites as it is close to home. Choke Canyon is a 25,670-acre reservoir between San Antonio and Corpus Christi, and it is home to some of the biggest bass in the state. The fish have a diverse menu of bluegill, crawfish, and shad to choose from, which is why they grow so big so fast. Plastics, crankbaits, and topwater all work well at Choke Canyon depending on what time of year you hit the water.

Falcon Lake

This reservoir on the Rio Grande River is located just 40 miles east of Laredo. At 83,654 acres, Falcon Lake is not to be taken lightly. Do some research on the lake before you head out, but rest assured that the largemouth fishing in the spring and fall is phenomenal in most locations. Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and plastic worms with Carolina or Texas rigging have seen the most success. Try to avoid Falcon Lake, along with most other lakes in Texas during the summer as the heat can really put a damper on the fishing.

Sam Rayburn

Located about as far east as you can get in Texas, Sam Rayburn has been at the top of bass fishing lists since I can remember. It is a destination for anglers from all over the world. You will be seeing a lot of traffic on the weekends since it is so close to major metropolitan areas and is a great boating lake. Even at its busiest times, the 116,000-acre lake is never actually crowded and you will always be able to find your own spot to fish. The abundance of structures, natural bait, and arms fed by creeks creates an angler’s paradise.

Toledo Bend

While part of this 185,000-acre lake is in Louisiana, you cannot leave it off the list of best bass fishing lakes in Texas. Giant schools of bass will cruise along the river and creek channels of the lake feasting on shad. There is no shortage of down structure throughout the lake, and you can practically throw anything at the bass hanging around the structure depending on what time of the year it is.

All of the lakes in this list have the ability to produce state record bass on any day. Try to visit in the fall or spring for your best fishing weather, and make sure you check the fishing reports before you head out for the day.

Stephen Geri - Knot Tying

Know Your Knots

The number of knots you can use when you are fishing is staggering, but most of them have a specific use. By understanding different knots and when to use them, you can minimize the amount of fish (and lures) you lose because you didn’t tie your lure on correctly. These are the most common knots used by anglers along with instructions for each knot and when to use it.

Palomar Knot

This is a strong knot that is easy to tie. Use it to attach a hook or lure directly to your braided fishing line.

  • Double up six inches of line and pass it through the eye of the lure or hook.
  • Tie an overhand knot in the doubled line while letting the hook or lure hand loose.
  • Pull the loop down over the hook.
  • Draw up the knot slowly.

Uni Knot

Use the Uni Knot to tie on a hook, a leader, or to attach your line to your reel. It is one of the most popular knots due to its simplicity and versatility.

    • Run the line through the eye and double back to form a circle.
    • Wrap the tag end around the double line and make six turns before bringing it back through the loop.
    • Pull the main line to slide and tighten the knot.

Surgeon’s Knot

This knot is great for joining two lines and is a go-to for most anglers when tying on a leader.

    • Place two lines next to each other.
    • Pass the long end of the leader and tag end of the mainline through the loop to form an overhand knot.
    • Pass the same ends through the loop to form a second overhand knot.
    • Tighten by pulling all four ends slowly and simultaneously.

Improved Clinch Knot

This is probably the most popular knot among anglers. Use it to attach anything to your line including hooks, lures, and swivels.

  • Pass the end of the line through the eye of the hook, swivel, or lure.
  • Pull six inches of line through and double back.
  • Twist six times and pass the end of the line through the small loop above the eye.
  • Pull the tag and main line simultaneously.

Catching Big Winter Bass

Stephen Geri Big Bass Header

Texas is home to some of the best bass fishing in the world, and just because the water is getting a little cooler doesn’t mean you should stop going after monster bass. The fish tend to be less active and are found in deeper waters, but that doesn’t mean they have stopped eating. Winter is one of my favorite times to fish because so many anglers are hanging up their rods for their rifles during hunting season. There are a few tactics that can go a long way in helping you land your biggest fish of the year this winter.

Use Bigger, Slower Lures

It is pretty standard knowledge that bass slow down and move far less when the water gets colder, which is why it is important to use a slower bait when fishing in the winter. What most anglers forget is that a bigger bait is also essential for landing winter bass. Since the fish do not want to move as much, they seize every opportunity they get to take down a large meal. Big spinners and crankbaits will attract the bigger bass that are in search of hunting one large meal instead of chasing small baitfish all day.

Find Warmer Water

It may seem like a no-brainer, but bass are attracted to warmer water during the winter. Look around for warm water sources like shallow areas, small creeks and rivers running into the lake, or power plant discharges. If you can’t seem to find any physical signs that there is a warm spot, keen your eyes peeled for baitfish on your fishfinder. Baitfish will flock to warm water areas despite the fact that they may become dinner for a predatory species.

Go Deep

If you can’t seem to find warmer water and are not having any success using big, slow lures, you may not be going deep enough. I always keep a deep-diving crankbait in my tackle box for when nothing else is working. Bass tend to go deeper when the water gets colder (except for when they find a hotspot) resulting in many anglers retrieving their baits right over top of the fish. A deeper diving crankbait may be the answer to your winter fishing woes.

Live Bait

When all else fails and you are at your wits end, try switching over to live bait. Although many anglers vow to never use live bait, there is nothing wrong with throwing a minnow or a nightcrawler onto a hook and seeing what happens. Make sure to keep your bait warm before you tie it on to ensure that you maximize its movement.

Winter bass fishing is something that many anglers seem to put off for any number of reasons. Once you hook into your first winter monster, you’ll understand why it is my favorite time of the year to fish. Keep these tips in mind when you head out for your first cold-weather trip.

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