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San Gabriel and Lake Georgetown #14040265 06/22/21 08:03 PM
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LouC Offline OP
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Hi folks. I'm new to the forum, and looking for some help.

My family and I moved from the Pacific Northwest, and caught plenty of channel cats, crappie, bluegill, yellow perch, and smallmouth bass in Eastern Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. The Snake River mainly.

I have recently discovered Lake Georgetown and the San Gabriel River. I went out last last Saturday, and fished in the spillway below Lake Georgetown. We got a few small channel cats (12-15"), a few bluegill, and about a dozen crappie. The crappie ranged from 8-14". In addition to what we caught, we saw two 3-4 foot gar, several 10-16" largemouth, a whole bunch of turtles, and a couple of crawdads.

I don't have a boat, so we do all our fishing from the bank. I estimate water depth in the middle to be about 25 feet. Within 203 feet of the waterline, the water depth drops to 8-10 feet.

The time I have available, and spend with the kids is during the Summer. Between school sports and club sports, I don't have much of a chance to get out during the Fall, Winter, or Spring.

Here is where I need some help. Our target fish are crappie and catfish. My boys want to catch a gar, but we realized that will be more luck than anything.

Crappie - We used minnows and jigs. The crappie are definitely down deep. The first fish was caught on a jig, just dragging it slowly along the bottom. The others were caught on minnows. Not knowing the fish depth, we fished the minnows about 5 feet below the bobber. After 45 minutes without a bite, I moved the bobber up to about 10 feet above the hook. This setup made it extremely hard to cast, but we got them out there. I didn't have any slip bobbers then, but now I do.

First Question - What are good alternatives to using minnows below a slip bobber? Minnows are too expensive, and die quickly. I don't want to invest in an aerator along with the cost of $5.00 a dozen for minnows.

Catfish - We caught 3 small catfish, all using nightcrawlers. I had 3 heavy rods rigged for catfish, and used cut bait (bluegill) as bait on all 3. I got several good strikes, but could not hook them. On 2 different occasions, I watched my move upstream (not really any current) approximately 30 feet from where my cast landed. I attempted to set the hook, and nothing. I know there must be larger fish out there, but could not get them to bite. I wonder if the turtles were grabbing the bait.

Next Question - What are good baits to use for larger catfish in the Austin area? Any advice for specific rigs?

Any help would be appreciated.

Last edited by LouC; 06/22/21 08:34 PM.

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Re: San Gabriel and Lake Georgetown [Re: LouC] #14040318 06/22/21 09:04 PM
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Donald Harper Online Happy
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Invest in a throw net to catch your bait. Gut the Shad and use the liver and heart in one big wad on a solid catfish hook. Fish on the bottom with a Bell Weight and hook tied about 20 inches above the weight.

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Re: San Gabriel and Lake Georgetown [Re: Donald Harper] #14040820 06/23/21 01:14 PM
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LouC Offline OP
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Thanks for the advise. We do have a cast net, and one of the boys is getting pretty good with it. We are having a hard time finding minnows to catch.

Regarding catfish hooks. Does the style/type make a significant difference? I have read a lot about circle hooks, but never used them. I have a bunch of 4/0-5/0 salmon/halibut hooks I acquired when I lived in Oregon. We used them for catching channel cats on the snake river


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Re: San Gabriel and Lake Georgetown [Re: LouC] #14042251 06/24/21 07:46 PM
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Hookem Online Content
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We call Lake Georgetown the beautiful, barren bitch.

It can cough up some kinda like the almost 7 caught this spring but rare. That was a 13 fish day for two of us. The rest were dinks.
[Linked Image]

We have never fished for cats and have not caught one in all the years we have fished there. Crappie is good (in a boat).

Be careful of the zebs. They like to nick/slice lines and bare feet.


Re: San Gabriel and Lake Georgetown [Re: Hookem] #14045425 06/28/21 03:33 PM
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LouC Offline OP
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Nice fish.

Thanks for the advice.


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Re: San Gabriel and Lake Georgetown [Re: LouC] #14053846 07/06/21 05:09 PM
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For the gar, try using a piece of frayed nylon instead of a hook or lure. They'll hit the nylon if it's cast slowly, then their needle teeth get tangled.

Otherwise they'll carry a piece of cutbait at the end of their beak for five or ten minutes before swallowing, so it's hard to get a hookup.


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Re: San Gabriel and Lake Georgetown [Re: LastCastPodcast] #14056207 07/08/21 08:08 PM
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LouC Offline OP
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Thanks for the tip LastCast


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Re: San Gabriel and Lake Georgetown [Re: LouC] #14056608 07/09/21 03:47 AM
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For catfish, buy the large Canadian worms at Walmart and put the whole worm on a hook, and cast out with weight. Watch out for snags. You may also catch a carp. If you get chicken livers, dry them out for 10 minutes then hook on a small treble hook. Then cast out without a weight. Hold on. You might hook a giant Hybrid. They have a light bight on livers but fight hard. If you want to catch White bass, jig a while or silver 1/2 or 1 oz spoon of the bottom. Watch for snags. Right now, for black bass largemouth, throw a topwater when you see the water breaking.

Re: San Gabriel and Lake Georgetown [Re: snagola] #14061403 07/14/21 01:42 PM
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LouC Offline OP
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This is great info Snagola. I appreciate it. Sorry it took so long to reply.


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Re: San Gabriel and Lake Georgetown [Re: LouC] #14061493 07/14/21 02:45 PM
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LouC Offline OP
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I took the boys out to Granger Lake this past Friday (7/9/2021). We fished at Wilson H Fox park about 5 years ago, and caught a couple of crappie and some small cats (12-14").

This time we went to the spillway first. The temperature stayed around 75-80 degrees, and it rained on and off all day. The first thing we noticed was the ridiculous number of gar that were breaking water. There were dozens of them.

We started fishing from on top of the spillway walls, with minnows, worms and jigs. The first fish caught was on a worm. It was a juvenile bass of a species I didn't recognize (not a largemouth, smallmouth, white bass, hybrid). that was the only fish caught on worms. All others were caught on minnows.

We ended up with 3 drum, 5-6 crappie (less then 10"), 3 white bass (less than 10"), 3 cats (less than 14"), and 2 gar. both of the gar were about 30" from tip of snout to end of tail. The first took a minnow, and the second struck my bobber and ended up foul hooked under the jaw with the line wrapped around the snout.

We fished for about 4 hours. There was definitely a lot of fish there, but I feel the abundance of gar prevented us from catching more crappie and white bass.

Next time we go, I'll throw out a catfish rig and hope for a few 3-5 pounders. I think they are there, but I am concerned about snags on the bottom.


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Re: San Gabriel and Lake Georgetown [Re: LouC] #14061801 07/14/21 06:11 PM
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Look at using slip bobbers. With them you can set the depth where you want, and the bobber stop will cast thru the rod eyes. Google slip corks.

Here is a good video, and CJ makes a fine catfish bait.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9Bcw1cd3qw


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