I'm still trying to decide how I feel about the State's Master Plan. It's not easy to be on one side or the other. I know that whenever you mess with mother nature you ultimately lose.
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Troutzilla Caught and Released
This will probably be my “big fish” story of the year. Capt. Lee Warmke out of Matagorda Bay, TX landed this monster 31” trout while wading in 3 ft of water. “I had a 10lb scale and the scale immediately pegged out so I couldn’t get an accurate weight. The current record in Matagorda Bay is 10.8lbs. I have no doubt that she would have shattered that record,” says Lee. “Her belly was really full and I could feel 2 hard fish in there. They could have been mullet, but I would have to say they were reds based on what I saw. Her girth was over 20 inches,” said Lee.
He was standing on a mushy, mud bottom and throwing a sub-surface, corky bait. They had been putting 7 lb’ers in the boat all day, but when he set hook on Troutzilla he shouted, “She’s a giant!” Lee had hooked into the trout just after tangling lines with a customer and had to cut the customers line off of his. As he turned his reel he could see the leftover knots from the mess sliding through his eyelets. “I was real nervous that the line was going to break.” said Lee.
After a 15 minute fight, she was within reach, but Lee’s hands weren’t big enough to grab the filly by the back! “Her back was so wide that putting my hand on it was like trying to shake someone’s hand. One of my customers had to wade over with a net.”
Lee was catching 14” redfish all day in the same spot and believes his trout was feeding on them. “Her belly was really full and I could feel 2 hard fish in there. They could have been mullet, but I would have to say they were reds based on what I saw. Her girth was over 20 inches,” said Lee.
Over the last 30 days, Lee and his customers have landed 37 trout over 7lbs in Matagorda Bay and has broken the 10lb mark twice this year. “This is the right time of year for these sow trout. By far my most productive big trout season is from December through March. The water is cold so they burn less fat than in the summer months. Also, they eat everything now to start producing roe for spawning.” says Lee.
Lee released Troutzilla and since then has seen her “cousins” swimming around, but not her. “This is the kind of fish you want to release. She’s big, healthy, and will produce fish with same genes.”
After a 15 minute interview with Lee, I can tell that he is still struggling with his decision to release her. However, I think most of us would have done the same. Fair Winds and Following Seas Troutzilla!
Contact Half Breed Guide Service today (281) 924-3941
Or visit them at http://www.fishingwithlee.com/index.html