They say "everything is bigger in Texas," and where fishing in Texas is concerned, that couldn't be truer.
Texas beaches offer some of the best surf-fishing opportunities along the Gulf Coast, while the Hill Country, north of San Antonio is the only place anglers can fish for rare Guadalupe bass.
Bowman and his team started their Texas adventure in the Hill Country where fly fishing the region's many small rivers provides opportunities for largemouth, panfish and Guadalupe bass.
Local outfitter, Marcus Rodriguez of The Guides of Texas
, has been fishing the hill country for more than 20 years and offers float trips down many of the local rivers.
Raye Carrington on the Llano River is a quaint local inn that caters to fly fishermen. For information, call 866-605-3100.
Visiting the Hill Country is like stepping back in time. Listen quietly and you can almost hear the voice of Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett, who fought in the great battle at the Alamo, which is only 90 minutes away.
The Hill Country is home to a wide variety of wildlife from lizards to exotic game animals (axis deer, mouflon sheep and turkey hunting are popular here) as well as excellent fishing.
Canoes are the best way for fly fishermen to explore the small rivers of the hill country. On hot afternoons, fish will seek the shade just under the vegetation along the bank.
Poppers dropped close to the banks brought almost instant strikes. Just a few twitches and it was 'fish on! '
The Llano offers some fun canoeing for fishermen. Eddies behind large rocks mid-stream produced fish, but the larger head and tail waters of pools was where the best action was found.
Here is a typical pool situation on the Llano with vegetated banks and rocks dropping off into deeper waters — perfect for bass.
The Guides of Texas prefer to use canoes on small Hill Country rivers. Shallow areas allow you to step right out of the boat to maneuver over rocks and canoes are easy to work in tight spots where the river narrows.
Redear sunfish ('shellcrackers ' to the locals) eagerly gobbled up Bowman's poppers. This is a laid back trip that either novice or experienced fishermen will enjoy. The hill Country is located just 90 minutes north of San Antonio, so access is easy and good fishing can be found year-round.
Springtime is a great time to fish the Hill Country. The fishing is great and visitors can count on seeing a spectacular display of wildflowers in bloom.
Just 6 hours south of the Hill Country, Bowman and his team discovered an entirely different fishing experience along the miles of beaches on South Padre Island.
Fishing is slow at midday — a nice time to hang out and tell a few fish stories under the umbrellas. Come evening, however, the action always picks up.
One of the fun things about South padre is that camping on the beach is permitted. Staying overnight on the beach also allows fishermen to be right in the heart of the action at dawn.
Bowman and his team discovered this fun art piece along the beach, dedicated (we assume) to the hardworking oilmen of the Texas coast.
Standard surfcasting rigs, spooled with 12-lb test, are all you need to cash in on the great fishing off of South Padre Island where fishermen will find jack crevalle, sheepshead, black drum and more.
Kayak fishing is huge along the beaches of South padre as surf is rarely very large and beaches are gently sloping in most places.
The nice thing about fishing at South Padre is that it's laid back. Local charter boats are available, but many fishermen prefer wading for species such as red drum, black drum and speckled trout that will work right in close to the beach on incoming tides.
While larger lures imitating baitfish work well here, smaller jigs, resembling shrimp, are almost guaranteed to bring strikes here.
Johnny Quiroz, of The Guides of Texas, has something on. The fun part about fishing here is that you never know what you're going to catch.
In Johnny's case, it was a small sandbar shark. Holding the fish down enabled Conway and Johnny to quickly remove the hook and release the shark.
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