Stephen Geri | Hobbies | San Antonio, Texas

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

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Stephen Geri on Sergio Garcia

Sergio Garcia After the Masters and onto the US Open Golf

It’s no understatement to say that Sergio Garcia inspired golf players all over the world both professionally and lovers of the sport when he became champion of this year’s golf Masters. For more than 18 years in his professional career, Garcia has seen many ups and downs on his journey to 2017 where he would take the victory at the Masters. Now after the Masters, Garcia is chasing more glory as he goes into the U.S. Open on June 15th.

The Erin Hill’s layout will be his biggest challenge since the Masters. Garcia states that this year is his year and he hopes to continue his drive and motivation. Reeling in his focus now more than ever, Sergio Garcia hopes to become one of the few to win back to back titles at both the Masters and the U.S. Open.

At 37 years old, Sergio has had a pretty decent year. Early in 2017, he announced on his Twitter that he would marry former college golfer, Angela Akins. Although this Spaniard golfer hasn’t always had the best relationship with those who pay to watch him golf in the United States, he overcame his reputation of being “moody” and listening too intently to the crowd. At Augusta National, Garcia quickly became the fan favorite, gaining his first major title from competitor Justin Rose.

On the green in Wisconsin, Erin Hill’s will hold 2017’s U.S. Open. Before the Masters, Sportsline predicted the outcome with incredible accuracy. For the U.S. Open, the week of the tournament will tell how well their predictions will stand. Unlike Garcia’s confidence, Sportsline believes Garcia will take top 6, but no victory.

With skeptics not on his side, Sergio Garcia is determined to prove them wrong at this year’s U.S. Open, striving for another victory. This is not at all impossible, but is extremely rare. Within the last 44 years, the only men to ever receive victory titles at both the Masters and the U.S. Open consecutively are Tiger Woods (2002) and Jordan Spieth (2015).

Perhaps it’s an 18 year long professional career that’s loomed over Garcia’s shoulder, as he was long a professional player without a major. In the upcoming U.S. Open, Garcia feels he has much to prove.

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 mistakes new golfers make

3 Common Mistakes New Golfers Make

Golf is one of the most difficult sports to master. Many people have played golf for their entire lives, and every one of them is still working to improve their swings and bring their scores down. If you start golfing with bad habits, they become extremely difficult to break once you start playing more and recognize the flaws you’ve developed. The following mistakes are made by most golf beginners and typically slow their progress until the mistakes are corrected. You will be ahead of the game if you can avoid making these 3 mistakes when you hit the links for the first time.

Trying to Kill the Ball

If I could pass one piece of knowledge over anything else to new golfers it would be this: Hitting the ball 100 yards on a straight line is more beneficial than hitting it 300 yards into the woods. So many new golfers walk onto their first tee box with the mentality of hitting the ball as far as they can. You need to focus on striking the ball well and hitting it straight when you are first starting out. The distance will come in time as you refine your swing and make improvements. Focus on good fundamentals at first to set yourself up for success.

Using the Wrong Clubs

The size of your clubs is one of the most important parts of hitting consistent golf shots. If your clubs are too long, too short, too stiff, or not stiff enough, you will most likely be playing from the rough or the woods for the majority of the day. Do yourself a favor and visit a local pro shop to get fitted for clubs. It will make your life much easier in the long run when you know how long your clubs should be. Depending on the pro shop, they may also have you swing a few different clubs to analyze what stiffness you’ll need.

Going for the Green from Everywhere

If you are behind a tree, in the rough behind a dogleg, or don’t have a clean shot at the green, do not try to go for it. Beginning golfers often tend to try to go for the green as much as possible, and it usually turns into a few extra strokes on their scorecard at the end of the day. It also doesn’t teach you to hit the ball from a good lie. If you can’t hit the ball straight from the fairway, there’s a good chance you’re not going to hit the ball straight out of the woods. Lay up and get the ball to the fairway so you can have a solid lie and give yourself the best chance to get to the fairway.

 

When it comes down to it, you are not going to be good at golf for a while. You might as well give yourself the best chance of improving by avoiding the mistakes mentioned above and focusing on getting a little better every time you’re out.

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 Masters

2017 Masters Preview: Final Two Group Predictions

Of the four major golf tournaments, the Masters is by far the most exciting for golf fans and players alike. After a long winter layoff, golf gets back to full swing every April in Augusta, Georgia, and it couldn’t. The perfectly manicured course is one of the most challenging in golf, and the Green Jacket waiting for someone at the end of the 18th hole on Sunday is one of the most coveted trophies in sports. This year’s Masters is shaping up to be an instant classic with a star-studded field of competitors. The following eight golfers are my picks for the final two groups to tee off on Sunday, in no particular order.

Henrik Stenson

Coming in at number five in the world, Stenson has a legitimate shot at being a frontrunner on Sunday in Augusta. He was the embodiment of consistency at the end of 2016, and he picked up right where he left off this year. If he can drive the ball well like he has in past Masters tournaments and putt consistently he will be in good shape.

Dustin Johnson

DJ is a fan favorite, and plenty of experts are picking him to win the whole thing. He finished tied for fourth in last year’s Masters, and he has been showing improvements in his game each tournament since. He took over the world number one spot and played well down the stretch in 2016. Solid iron play will be the key to his success.

Rickie Fowler

It seems like Fowler has been on the fringe of excellence for the past few years, and he is poised to break out in 2017. His putting has always carried him at Augusta, but he needs to be able to drive the ball consistently and hit more greens in regulation to have a legitimate shot on Sunday.

Rory McIlroy

Rory has been nursing an injury that kept him sidelined for the majority of 2017 thus far. Augusta would be the perfect course for a return to top-tier competition as he strives to complete the career Grand Slam. He’s finished in the top 10 in each of the last three Masters, and if he can avoid any awful rounds like in 2014 and 2016 we could see him walk away with the Green Jacket.

Jordan Spieth

Spieth knows what it is like to win at Augusta(2015), and he also knows what it feels like to fall apart (12th hole in 2015) on Sunday. Nobody has played as well as Spieth over the last three months, and he is carrying that momentum from the West Coast to the Masters. Barring a meltdown or any bad luck, Spieth will be in the hunt on Sunday.

Phil Mickelson

Masters experience. Lefty has more of it than the majority of the field combined, and that alone could be enough for him to fly under the radar to Sunday. He hasn’t played well as of late, particularly with his irons. If he can get his midrange game together, Mickelson will be mixing it up at the top of the leaderboard.

Adam Scott

Scott hasn’t finished inside the top 10 at Augusta since winning the Masters in 2013. With the ability to crush the ball, keep it on the fairway, and play with extreme poise all weekend, he has the potential to tee off with the leaders Sunday afternoon. He will need to hit some challenging putts without his long putter to put himself in a position to win.

Sergio Garcia

There is no love lost between Sergio and Augusta, and this may finally be his year to contend for a Masters championship. He has not fared well at Augusta recently with only one top-10 finish in the last 10 years. His play has been streaky as of late, but if he can string together a few good rounds he will be playing as the sun is going down on Sunday.

Regardless of who is in the final two groups on Sunday, we are in for an exciting weekend of golf. Augusta National always has a number of surprises in store, and this year will be no different.

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