Man oh man, what a day. Long story short, my wife (her name is Kristy) and I went fishing on the Angelina river south of Bevil Port, which is close to Jasper Texas. We caught some fish and had a great time.
Now for the rest of the story
Instead of getting up at the crack of dawn, Kristy and I decided to sleep late. A cool front pushed through Wednesday October 17, which dropped the morning temp down to 47 degrees. We did not want to deal with temps in the upper 40s, so we waited a little late in morning to head out.
Kristy got up and did our usual morning routine, which includes a shower, brushing teeth, getting dressed,,, just your typical stuff.
For breakfast Kristy fixed me a sausage, egg and cheese sandwich. The egg came from our chickens.
The boat was hooked to the truck and the gear was loaded up. For this trip I brought my Maxpedition Condor II, 2 closed face reels, one open face reel, 16 noodles, Igloo marine ice chest, tackle box, catfish bucket, collapsible cooler, and a pair of shorts for Kristy and I to change into when the weather warmed up.
Usually, Kristy and I will make a trip to a corner store down the road from our house to buy a couple of bags of ice for the Igloo marine icechest. Instead of buying ice, Kristy put our drinks, sandwich stuff and snacks into the collapsible cooler, then put the collapsible cooler into the Igloo marine ice chest.
Why bring two coolers? If we caught some fish, they would go into the Igloo cooler, then the cooler would be filled with water. This is a 36 quart cooler, so filling it with some water is not going to add “that” much weight to the boat.
The gas tank felt like it only had about a gallon of gas. Kristy and I left the house and went to the Shell station on hwy 63 just north of Lowes in Jasper Texas. While I added a few gallons of gas to the boat gas tank, Kristy went into the store, paid for the gas, bought herself a diet coke fountain drink, and got a large slice of peperoni pizza.
Kristy and I left the gas station, headed north on hwy 63, turned left on FM 2799 to Bevil Port.
We got the boat launched with no issues. Don’t you just love it when the boat motor fires right up instead of having to sit there and crank on it? That Evinrude 30 fired right up. I was a little embarrassed when the motor started putting out a smoke screen. I guess the gas had a little bit too much oil. I bet That Evinrude killed every mosquito within a 1/4 mile.
Just my luck someone was pulling into the boat launch as Kristy and I were heading out. The little girl sitting in the boat probably asked her daddy, “why is that boat smoking so much?” Her daddy probably said something like “that is the way those old motors run.”
After leaving the boat launch at Bevil Port, we headed south to Bee Tree slough, which is just north of where the Neches and the Angelina meet.
Juglines are to fishing, as trapping is to hunting. Its not “really” fishing, but its still a lot of fun.
I use a combination of noodles and jugs.
Noodles – the noodles are the swimming pool noodles that are found in just about any retail outlet during the summer time.
The center of the noodle is a 1/2 or 3/4 inch PVC pipe (I forgot which size) cut about 1 3/4 inches longer then the noodles. Most of my noodles are cut 8 inches long. So the PVC center is cut about 9 3/4 inches.
One end of the PVC center has a cap glued into place.
The other end of the PVC center has a 5/16 hole drilled through it, this is for the trotline string to which the hook is attached.
The State of Texas requires juglines to be white. The noodles are either blue or pink. To make sure the noodles follow Texas fishing regulations, the outside of the noodle was wrapped with white duct tape.
Jugs – these are bleach bottles that have been washed out.
String, white or green trotline string.
Hooks, I use Mustard circle hooks. Why circle hooks? So the hook does not get hung up in the stomach or gills of the fish.
The fish swallows the circle hook just like it does a J-hook, but until a J-hook, the circle hook comes back out and hooks the fish on the edge of its mouth.
Putting the juglines out
Upon reaching Bee Tree slough, the main motor was turned off and the trolling was put into the water. In the slough there are a lot of tree stumps just below the waterline. The make sure the boat did not high center, I moved to the front of the boat and used the trolling motor.
Kristy and I dropped a couple of noodles off in a stump field close to the entrance of the slough. This is the same stump field my sons and I caught a bunch of grinnell/bowfin during our December 2011 camping trip. I was hoping to catch some grinnell to show Kristy what they looked like.
As Kristy and I trolled through the slough we dropped off noodles and juglines at bends, around stumps,,,, anywhere catfish might hang out.
On straight sections of the slough, the noodles and juglines were set out along the weedline. This is where grinnell and other predator fish hangout. Texas state law prohibits catching bass on juglines. If I were to catch a bass, it would be set free. Luckily, I have never caught a bass on a jugline or noodle.
The distance from the noodle to the hook is anywhere from 2 feet to to 12 feet.
Some of the noodles/juglines have weights on the line, some do not.
Water depth was anywhere from 3 feet, to maybe 20 feet.
By the time Kristy did some perch fishing, and we got all of the noodles set out it was lunch time. We pulled up to a bank, tied off to a tree, then had a spam sandwich, chips and a softdrink for lunch.
One of the nice things about Bee Tree slough, it forks and opens up. Once you get through the tight area the slough transforms. Its as if you go back in time 10,000 years. Just imagine your boat easing next to a cypress tree, then seeing an alligator a few feet away. Seeing wildlife in its natural state is a majestic experience.
Picking up Juglines
After Kristy and I finished our sightseeing trip, we decided to turn around and start picking up the noodles and juglines.
The noodles in the shallow water did not have anything on them. Except, one of the noodles that was at junction with another body of water had a grinnell on it.
The next grinnell was at a 90 degree bend in the slough.
The catfish was at a bend in the slough close to a deep area.
In all, we caught two grinnell, one catfish, and Kristy caught two perch with rod and reel.