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 How to Be a Better Fisherman

How to Become a Better Fisherman

Fishing is a fun and relaxing sport that allows you to experience mother nature up close and personal. But let’s face it, fishing is always more enjoyable when you actually catch something. If you’re tired of going home empty-handed, consider the following tips on your next fishing excursion.

#1) Set the Hook

When you feel a tug on your line, set the hook by pulling up on your reel. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and won’t need to set the hook. Other times, however, fish will simply swim away after biting your bait or lure. Setting the hook secures the fish to your line, giving you a better chance at reeling it in.

#2) Use Native Live Bait

When fishing with live bait, choose bait that’s native to the lake or body of water in which you are fishing. Some anglers assume that all minnows are the same, but this isn’t necessarily true. Different waters, for instance, have different minnows living in them. Whether it’s creek chub, golden shiner, red shiner, crayfish, etc., use bait that’s native to your fishing hole.

#3) Fish Shallow Waters During Spring

Fishing in shallow waters during spring can increase your chances of success. Catfish, carp, crappie, bream, bass and other common species typically move to shallow waters to spawn during this time of year. This is actually an instinctual habit that’s triggered by spring’s warmer temperatures and longer days.

#4) Use Jigs for Bass

When it comes to bass fishing, few lures offer the same level of versatility and effectiveness as the jig. Featuring a weighted sinker with a hook, jigs live up to their namesake by “jigging” through the water. This motion mimics the behavior of bait fish, making them particularly attractive to bass, both smallmouth and largemouth.

You can use jigs to fish for bass year-round, and in both saltwater and freshwater. Jigs are also available in countless colors and color combinations. Feel free to experiment with different colors to see which jig color yields the best results.

#5) Use Top-Water Lures During and After Rain

Some anglers call it quits and head home when it begins to rain. If you’re not afraid of getting wet, however, you can actually use this weather to your advantage by fishing with a top-water lure. Rain typically brings out insects, which in turn attracts fish closer to the surface. By using a top-water lure during or shortly after it rains, you can target these fish looking for an easy meal.

 

Stephen Geri Fish without the Fine

Fish Without the Fine: Why You Need a Fishing License

If you’re under the age of 17, then you don’t have to worry about fishing without a license, however if you’re reading this blog, it’s more than likely that you’re over the age of 17 and required to have a fishing license– If you’re serious about the sport, that is.

Anyone over the age of 17 is required to have a registered license if they wish to take fish, clams, crayfish, or other aquatic life from both freshwater and saltwater in the state of Texas. In any case where you’re looking to take frogs and turtles, then you need a hunting license. The only exception to obtaining a required fishing license is on Free Fishing Day, which takes place the first Saturday in June annually for Texas.

For residents under the age of 65, you can purchase licenses at varying prices:

  • Freshwater: $30
  • Saltwater: $35
  • All-Water: $40

Seniors receive significant discounts for their license packages:

  • Freshwater: $12
  • Saltwater: $17
  • All-water: $22

Compared to the fines you receive when fishing without a valid license, this Texas fishing licenses are not a high price to pay. You can find other fishing license information for the state of Texas on the Texas Parks & Wildlife website.

In addition to a fishing license, you are required to have a fishing endorsement for both freshwater and saltwater if you plan to take fish from public waters. This is essential for anglers to know and follow responsibly to ensure they won’t receive a fine if caught without a license or endorsement.

Fishing Fines & Penalties

If you’re a true, respectable angler, then you follow the Texas Parks and Wildlife code. ANyone caught engaging in activity that breaks this code will face penalties, and can expect fines to come along with those penalties.

For a Class C offense you can face fines anywhere between $25-500. For $5 more, you could have simply purchased a license. Class B or higher offenses have potential jail time, and fines ranging between $200-1000 depending on the class and the crime.

At that point, you’re better off following the rules and fishing with a license so you can ensure you won’t be fined. In addition to fines, you can also face penalties when breaking the Texas state fishing laws. Even if you do carry a registered license, that could be suspended for up to 5 years.

It’s pretty clear that the state of Texas takes their fishing laws seriously. Follow the Parks and Wildlife code– Ensure that you’re fishing without the fines.

Stephen Geri Top Fishing Kayaks

Top 3 Fishing Kayaks for Any Budget

In Texas, lake fishing is widely popular but every fisherman knows that sometimes you have to get out on the water for a good bite. That’s when kayaks and canoes come in handy. Some fishermen prefer canoes for their stability, and due to the ability of having more than one person on board. Canoes are also useful for teaching children or grandchildren to fish. However, the trend in fishing lately has been kayaks, and for good reason. Here’s a collected list of the top fishing kayaks, no matter your budget.

Jackson Cruise Angler: $999 to $1,200

The Jackson cruise angler comes in two versions, the Cruiser Angler 10 and the Cruiser Angler 12, given the numbers based on the length (10 ft or 12ft). In any kayak, a longer length provides faster speed. The Cruise Angler 12 comes with all the bells and whistles a fisherman could possibly want. The adjustable seat made with a mesh fabric allows you to sit both comfortably and securely. This kayak is perfect for lakes and rivers, making it an overall fisherman’s choice. You’ll even have the stability to stand when necessary if you’re reeling in a big catch.

If you’re looking for plenty of storage, comfortable seating and a high quality kayak for a great price, you definitely want to check out a Jackson cruise.

Feelfree Move Angler: $499.99

This is a very versatile kayak for any fisherman with a tight budget. The Feelfree brand has plenty of great fishing kayaks, but the Move angler is the cheapest you’ll find. It is a smaller kayak, making it a great fishing kayak for kids. Anyone just starting out in the sport of fishing from a kayak should use the Move angler to learn the ropes. If you’re a tall fisherman and the Move is just too small for you, Feelfree also has a larger, yet still affordable kayak – the Feelfree Moker 10.

Ocean Kayak Tetra 12: $699-950

For a small to medium build, the Ocean kayak Tetra 10 will do just fine. However, for maximum efficiency on the water, the 12 is top choice. Although it’s long in length, it’s still an easily transported kayak. Given the brand name, you know you can use this kayak in freshwater lakes, rivers or in the ocean. The center console on the Tetra 12 offers a modular fishing pod, giving anglers ample amount of room. This is a great fishing kayak for Texas as lakes and ocean fishing are widely popular.

Stephen Geri 2018 Elite

Tournaments in Texas: 2018 Elite Series Schedule

Bass fishermen all over the country have heard about the Elite Series. This unique, traveling tournament has a rich history in the angler world. Visiting venues that are new or familiar open opportunities for bass fishermen local to the tournaments. As the schedule for the 2018 Elite Series was recently released, anglers are anticipating an outstanding lineup.

The Bassmaster Elite Series is a tournament that has brought fishermen together over an expanse of states, reuniting old friends and igniting new friends with mirrored passions. As bass fishing is explored all over the country, dipping into new regions, it brings together those who love the sport but also take it seriously.

As the tournament will kick off in February, in Alexander City, Alabama, fishermen can expect an array of weather conditions. Although it starts in the southern states, moving from Alabama to Texas, anything from icy sleet to warm and sunny weather should be anticipated. Other states on the schedule hosting venues are Oklahoma, Tennessee, New York, and more. You can see full details of the schedule on the Bassmaster website.

Sabine River in Orange, Texas

2018 won’t be the first year that elite fishermen make their way to the Sabine River. Running through Orange, Texas and also through Louisiana, the river empties into Lake Sabine. Highly known to fisherman in both Texas and Louisiana, the Sabine River water body records show just how flourishing of a fishing venue this river is.

Largemouth, white, stripped and paradise bass are all found in the Sabine. Previously, this venue during the Elite Series has drawn in over 33,650 people during the four day event. Recently in June, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open shed light on the tournament to an impressive turnout, making elite fishermen aware that the Sabine River venue may break the one-day attendance record once again as it did back in 2013. This would take the reigns back from Waddington, New York, which has held the attendance record since 2014.

Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest

After traveling through states over the course of the tournament, elite fishermen will return to Texas for the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest in mid-May. This event will benefit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. You can see the tournament standings from 2017’s Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest with elite fisherman, Brandon Palaniuk taking the win with over 93 pounds during the four day tournament.

The elite series is scheduled to go on from February through August, which will then be followed by the AOY Championship and Classic Bracket taking place in late September.

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.

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