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Last two trips to Fairfield.

3026 Views 22 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Bill Fisher
I wasn't sure where to post this as Red Drum are saltwaterfish but I did not catch these in the salt. I caught these fish at a PowerPlant lake in Fairfield Texas. I have been a little behind on posting my fishing trips but my last two have been very successful. A few of you know that I like to fish fairfield in the winter and the pics will tell you why! The TXPW guy at Fairfield said the redfishing has been slow and it is best in the spring. Well, I have found that winter is the most productive!! I have fished the lake since I was a boy and the winter has always been kind, with November-may being most productive.
I started my day at about 5:30 a.m getting bait(which I only used a few) and then headed to my first hole to give it a shot. My first cast made was with a RatLtrap and I hooked up imediatly but this fish didnt feel like a red. Turns out, I brought in a 7lb blue cat. I took a few more cast to see what would happen and hook up again. This time a 5ft gar!!!!!!! I shake him off at the boat and am happy he is gone. I decide to finally lay the rod down and put a tilapia on(BIG TILAPIA, bigger than my hand) my 8ft loomis and chunk him way out. Soon enough, boom!!! I reel and fish is gone, turns out a big blue had just grabbed him right behind the hook and let go. I did let him run with it for a while too, I opened the free spool and let him run. Oh well, missed fish. To make a long story short, this happened over and over for about an hour and finally, I decided that there was nothing in this hole but a ton of blue cats. I figured the reds would be in with the cold front and they were not. I did catch a few small reds here(at first stop) and did catch a few more cats but that wasnt what I was after. I think the blues were so thick that they chased the reds out!!!!
WEll, hit up my next hole with a drift and this is where the fun began. I am trying to keep this story short. We drifted the red hole, which is on the west side of the lake and litterally caught around 40 reds with the largest being 22lbs. I lost another one(20+lb fish) after I got him to the boat and he decided to take another run. I put a little too much pressure on him while he was running, he came to the top still burning line and did a few head shakes and the lure came out. I was SOOOOO sad. It happens. Too make a long story short, all reds were caught on RatTraps in the 1oz-mag trap size and all were let go but 6. Was a heck of a trip and cant wait to get back out and slaughter the reds again.
Sorry if the report is tough to read but the wife is hurrying me and I have a bunch to do.
Also, for those of you that dont think reds have teeth, I took some pics to show just how sharp their teeth are!!!

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Most of the cats came on Traps and all the reds came on traps. Fishing for reds was a lot like catching sandbass, you would catch on almost every cast and if you didnt catch one on the third cast, you started wondering where they had gone. Talk about being spoiled! I did have to replace the hooks a few times while out and went through a few traps because the reds were crushing them, breaking the hooks and chipping off the paint.
sounds like some fun fishing.. nice report and nice mess of fish too...
cool, those freshwater reds are interesting.

You are the king of Fairfield. That avatar proves it. I was looking at your pics and thought the cats looked like big channels to me. I don't see they ever stocked blues in Fairfield. http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/fish/action/stock_bywater.php?WB_code=0073
I did see they stocked nile perch in 83. I sure wish they had taken.
They are blues!!!! We did catch some nice channels too that are in the pics but most of the fish are blues. We have caught quite a few around 20lbs and the channel record for the lake is 14lbs and the blue record is 38 or something like that. Here is a link for you. Also, the blues were caught under the POO if that tells you anything. There is a place where HUNDREDS (litterally) sit and we just toss a tilapia under them and boom. Fish on... Here is the link for you.
By the way, the record blue was just caught 3 years ago.

Excuse me, the blue record is 26 lbs... We have caught them to around 20 or so. We weighed all those casts and the largest was 12 lbs and most were around 7-10lbs. The bass in the photos weighed in at 4 and a little over 6. Dont know about the little reds, they were just over keepers. That was from two or three weeks ago. This last week, all the reds averaged around 6lbs or so with quite a few large ones in the mix.
Another note, They no longer stock hybrids in the lake. We talked to TXPW on the way out and they will no longer stock the hybrids and have not since 2004. The only fish that doesnt breed in the lake that is stocked is now the redfish. The tilapia breed like crazy and they are not stocked anymore either.
I looked for blue stockings and cant find anything on stockings period, tough to find but I know they are in there and yes, I did catch some channels and some nice ones at that.
Pope, I do see at least five BIG channels in the pic.
I guess they got introduced somewhere alongthe way. I get minnows in my pond every once in a while that I didn't put in there either. Man we have got to get down there. I am dying. I was planning to duck hunt next Monday, but I might drag my boat down there instead. I would load up on the tilapia too. Catfish, reds, tilapia...man I would be in the eats forever. What are the size and bag limits for the reds? Do I just cast net my way to heaven for the tilapia? I will bring a cooler especially for their tails.
You have me all checking my other pics to see how many other channels I got and if I did break the lake record. After looking at that pic again, I only see one fish that looks like a blue. Most of the channels we catch that are big have the little spots on them or they are dark in color. I use that and the forked tail to tell the difference in the blue and channel. Is there any other differences I am missing? THe blues tend to come out blue gray in color with fat bellies and their tails are not as sharp forked like a channel. You make me wish I could check them all but I know that is not possible. Anyways, they are in there and I caught a few but as you said, i also caught some nice channels.
I will send you a PM on the Tilapia. They are easy to catch if you know where they are and I always catch about 10-20 that are larger than your hand and catch a few a trip that are GIANT. LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION!! If you know where they are, you can load the net up on a few cast. I would have the net so loaded up that I could barely lift it and you couldnt see through the net.
Reds, you can keep three a person with a minimum of 20 inches and they encourage that you keep the reds because the stocking have been heavy and they are affraid that it is going to limit the size of the adults. The park ranger talked to us about that for a while. Not many people have been catching the reds and he was talking about how people need to keep them so that the stocked fish will have room to grow. The fishing was insane last weekend and will only get better. The fish are on the same pattern they have been on every winter and that makes them very easy for me to find!
If you go and need a partner, hit me up. The only lure that you need is a 1oz-1 1/2 oz trap and that is it. If you want channels or blues, tilapia will catch them as quick as they hit the water.
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Excellent report and thanks for sharing!

One of my resolutions for 2007 is to fish more days regardless of water type.

If you guys ever need a person, please let me know!
I was thinking of going Monday, but the weather looks to be bad! High of 33!
A little nippy?

I was in NY this past week and it was in the 70's!

Everyone thought we were nuts to have an Int'l sales conference in Manhattan in January! :p
Man we have got to get down there. I am dying. I was planning to duck hunt next Monday, but I might drag my boat down there instead.

Pope, where do you duck hunt?

the reason i ask is i used to live in your area, and will prolly be moving back somewhwere south of there enventually

when/if i do, i'd be interested in finding folk like you and PiePuncher that fish/hunt some of the same areas i used to hit

i lived over there when fairfield was first flooded, and can attest to quite a few magnum rattle traps getting bitten in half

PiePuncher, i have a fisher friend that just about fishes fairfield exclusively nowadays......... i told'im about your report, and he responded with this:

Thanks I'd like contact information for this guy, and please send me a PM where you found his report.

Sunday Fairfield fishing report.... Front came through two days before, heavy rain. Sunday we had a 39 F push off temp. lake was 74 F at the hot outfall. The winds were supposed to guts to 30 mph and temperature peak at 50F. Moon was just past full, bright night, and the moon was visible until about 1 PM.

We first sank our third boat load of brush piles until about 8:30 AM, (had to do this since there was no place to stand. sit, store rods or fish). The brush was piled so high the boat looked like a duck blind, as we left the ramp. That load made 10 brush piles we have sank inside of 45 days and marked all of them on the GPS. (The neighbors who see me pick up their curbside bush cutting probably think I am nuts by now.)

We then fished honey hole #1 nothing, chased some circling gulls -nothing, tried honey hole #2 -nothing, tried an east side drift that included the cut where the 15# was caught Dec 17 and nothing, tried a west side drift near the bank (shallower) than this above guy described -nothing, We even retried honey hole #1 again, now with gulls circling and diving all around us the whole time we were there and got nothing. Then we tried honey hole #3 -nothing. At 3 PM I am now facing my first potential Fairfield skunk in over three years of going there at least every other weekend. We had not even had a nibble bite. Fishing was so bad we decided to do a little accident prevention by marking some navigation hazards I had come across with the lake being down so low. While doing this I finally realized there was boat sitting in the same position since the stops at #2 or #3 honey hole. They were fishing Ye-Old Honey Hole Serial Number O, (HHS#0) but seemed to be doing it on the wrong side. I never saw them catch a fish but they hung in there the whole time. I had not fished HH#0 for over two years.

So I motored up to the "correct side" of HHS#0, set my position holder, and noticed surface action while doing this. This was now about 4:30 with one hour until sundown. Speaking with the other boat on the "wrong" side of HH#0 they had been chucking shiney slabs and caught just a couple of Red fish. We set up our Carolina rigs with the correct bait for bass and red fish, and I had a hit on my first cast. We caught more in 15 minutes they they had in what had to be 3 hours. In the next 2.5 hours we boated 11 red fish, one small black and one catfish all on the same bait. Each of us had 3 to 5 get offs, and about an equal number of missed strikes. The smallest red fish was 19" and the largest was 20.5".

The mind boggles at how many could have been caught had we been there all day with the correct bait. I had not fished HH#0 for over two years, that is going to change pronto! The Fairfield winter/spring carnival is just getting started, wild life everywhere. I can fish that spot for more than one half year using just one tank of boat gas.

i'll give'im a link to your report here....... sounds like he'd love to compare notes with you....... so-to-speak

btw, nice to hear you're having successful trips

good report
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Thanks for posting that Fairfield report. A buddy of mine, who I believe is a regualr here referred me to your report. I am not sure what ID he uses here. Three of us have been trading fishing and investment stories for almost five years now.

I fish Fairfield on a very regular basis, at least every other weekend for at least one day each. I have yet to be skunked by Fairfield in well over 48 trips to that lake. I have about 5 honey holes that used to produce Black Bass but with the stocking these past two years have transitioned to a Red Fish population, as have my fishing interests. I believe the Red Fish population has hit a damaging level for the Black Bass population. At the very least they are displacing the Black Bass in my old Honey Holes.

I am starting to get the feel for main lake red fishing but not yet producing anything like you have described. Best we have done so far is 15, 12 and 10 lbs. That 15 was caught Mid December in an east side cove between the camp ground ramp and the next major point. The longest was 34". I lost 8 big fish this spring and summer trying to force them to come to me using heavy duty bass tackle. Had my thumb burned several times trying to slow some runs down. I finally learned to set the drag looser and just wait them out. We have caught well over 100 Red fish in the last 18 months, and harvested just 9 so far.

I have favored the hotter end of the lake for the past few years, and have not run down the lake early in the morning for well over 3 years. May be we can trade some information. I have an artifical bottom bait combination that will guarantee Reds, Blacks and Catfish will hit it. I think it would work as a substitue for netting Talopia in this colder weather. We also believe we have a plug color and style that works very well at the hotter end of the lake, again it catches both specie.

I'm running a 20 ft Dark red flake, black hulled single console Charger boat, with a 200 EFI Merc. towed by a very dark red older model Yukon. The truck has a TP&W "I belong" sticker in the back lower left corner of the rear window. I'm usually there at first and last light. If you see my truck/trailer rig at the ramp or the boat on the water give me a holler. What are you running out of, and what direction are you running to get to the lake?

The lake has come up some from the early November low, but a lot of folks have had problems launching and retrieving. The lake level is still pretty close to too low. Tandem trailers usually have to drop one axle off the ramp edge to retrieve, even now. The single axle trailer are still at serious risk even at this lake level. Beware there is a large berm, layered with propeller and lower unit breaking, rocks only about 1.5 boat lengths out from the edge of the concrete ramp lip. I have a launch method, and a ramp approach route that makes it pretty safe and easy and avoids that rock pile. I have also seen a weld-on trailer modification that assures you can get out of any problem. If we loose 12" of water most trailers will need that modification.

What two days did you fish Fairfield recently? Are you fishing weekends or weekdays? You are the second to tell me about using 1oz-mag traps. What Color 1oz-mag trap do you favor, and where are you finding them?

Are you casting or trolling for those red fish? I find trolling a bit boring but for a 20 lb fight, I could find it interesting enough.

Have those Red fish been on the surface in that west side red hole for the last two trips, and if so at what time of the day?

How about at least some information trading, if not a back seat trip sharing?

That has to be enough questions for now.

Bill Fisher has already posted my Sunday report
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I was out on Saturday and as stated, the fishing has been strong. Water temps are very important this time of the year. At the hotwater discharge(the rope) we were getting 82 degrees but this is not the temp I key in on.
I sent you a PM on the rest, check it out. Nothing too important but a few things that I have learned over the years.. OH, I DO NOT TROLL and hate trolling. Drifting is the only way to go on this lake as the reds in fairfield are very skittish to hull slap. The trolling motor would cause enough hull slap that we would not get bit. Sounds crazy I know but it makes a difference. I cast and cast till my arms are ready to fall off!!!(not really but I do cast non stop all day)

Traps, I bought them at cabelas and they actually dont have any left at the cabelas in fort worth. I bought them all today!!! lol I also bought all the yozuri lures they had clearanced out(all but the tiny ones). my wife is going to kill me if she finds out. I picked up about 30 or so mag minnows, crystal minnows, tobimarrus and a few poppers. They were all marked down to 3$ when usually 14.99. They tend to also work well on fairfield but not as well as the trap. Good to hear from another Fairfield fisher.
One more note, if any of you use Saltiga lures, they too are marked down but as of now, they are 8.88.
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