Kurt Dove is a former Elite Series angler who guides on big-bass factories of southwest Texas such as Lakes Amistad, Choke Canyon and Falcon. His passion is guiding anglers and teaching them the intricacies of bass fishing, whether it’s a single client or corporate client. To book a single-day trip or even a multiday / multilake trip he can be reached at:
He will also take care of all your travel arrangements and pick you up at the Del Rio airport upon arrival.
Through by Optimum. Jigs can also be very effective when you find a concen- tration of fish. To be successful, search out the cuts and pockets that have a lot of bait in them and if they’re windblown, that’s even better. For most of my fishing this time of year, I’m throwing mainly 15-pound test Toray Solaroam Superhard fluorocarbon line. The only time I use anything else is when I’m throwing topwater or jerk baits and then I use 16-pound Toray Solaroam Superstrong nylon line. I use the nylon because it floats better with the topwater baits and it gives my jerkbaits much more movement and a wider action than fluorocarbon line does. Because the fish are so bait-oriented this time of year, the Scrounger heads have also been a mainstay of my arsenal the last couple years. I rig this bait with a small soft jerkbait like a baby fluke but when the fish want a bigger bait, I’ll also put a small swimbait on it too. For this, I use 14-pound fluorocarbon line. When winter rolls around, that’s when I change tactics altogether. This is the time of year the fish go deep and you have to compensate by slowing down your presentation. This means methods like drop-shotting, spooning, blade baits and any other bottom bouncing technique is what you want to be throwing. Because a lot of my presentations are vertical this time of year, the drop-shot is hard to beat. For this I’m using 10- to 18-pound test Toray Bawo braid as my main line and connect a 10-foot topshot of Toray Solaroam Superhard fluorocar- bon line with a double uni-knot (between 7- and 10-pound test) as my leader. Be- cause of the depth I’m fishing at, I use a 1/2- to 3/4-ounce drop-shot sinker – the heavier weight for when the wind is blow- ing hard, like it does this time of year in southwest Texas. These may seem like heavy weights to use but in my eyes, the first one to the bottom wins. My key baits for drop-shotting down here are an Optimum Wacky Shad and a 4-inch ROBO worm – especially in bold bluegill. I’ve found that it’s best to down- size even here in Texas during the winter months. You don’t want to fish a 5- or 6-inch Tequila worm for example. Smaller is better.
For spooning, I’ve had my best luck with spoons that flutter well on the fall. Baits like the Hopkins in 1/2 ounce work very well when rigged on 10- to 12-pound fluorocarbon line if you’re not over bad cover and 16- to 18-pound if you’re fishing around cover. As with the old adage, I like a gold spoon when it’s cloudy and a silver spoon when it’s sunny. Carolina rigs also play a big part of my winter fishing. The heavy weight gets the bait down to the bottom fast but it also lets me feel the cover and structure as I am moving the bait and the 4-foot leader allows the bait to flutter natural- ly in the depth. For this I use a 3/4- to 1-ounce weight with a 20-pound fluoro- carbon main line and a 16-pound fluoro- carbon leader. The other bait you can’t forget about is the jig. I generally prefer a ¾ to 1oz Jewel Football head jig for this time of year. My favorite color is brown/purple flash tipped with a Zoom speed craw. I stick with 16lb fluorocarbon for my jig fishing.
Lake Amistad is one of the most beautiful lakes an angler can fish. Not only that, it’s one of the most diverse fisheries in the U.S. We have deep and shallow grass, deep river structures, more wood than you’ll know what to do with and even old building foundations that hide some huge bass. We also have three species of bass to choose from. Of course the largemouth reins king here but it isn’t uncommon to catch smallmouth and even the rare Gua- dalupe bass up in the Devils River. You can drop-shot with 8-pound test line or flip-up some pigs out of the wood with 65-pound braid. Not only is the lake diverse but so is the surrounding area. You can visit the Seminole Canyon National Park, cruise the Pecos River or, if you’re into the rodeo, you can watch your favorite bull rider get bucked off a bull at the Del Rio rodeo. The one thing that draws anglers to Lake Amistad in the winter time, though, is our weather. We have warm winters and fish that always seem to cooperate. What more could you ask for. bw
Phone: (830) 719-3648 • www.amistadbass.com (guide service) • www.kurtdove.com (personal)