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tributed so much to the bait’s rapid rise in popularity. Velvick once said in his blog of Amistad and its surroundings at his Amistad Lake Resort, “If you want to come early, or spend a couple of days with us, you can take in some of the area’s cave art. Some of it was made two thousand years before the birth of Christ. It still looks like it did back then. Surprisingly, there’s been very little deterio- ration in quality.” He added about the petroglyphs, “There are few, if any, controls over what you can do with it. You can spend time photographing it or, if you prefer, just sit under it and imag- ine what life was like for the artist. You can get right up next to it and take it all in. It’s not like some places where you have to look through glass or from behind a rope.” As far as beautiful surroundings, “I don’t mean to go on about this area, but I can’t help myself. I’m from California and have lived in Nevada. Beautiful places and drop-dead gorgeous scenery are nothing new to me. But Del Rio and Lake Amistad

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beat them all. It’s not even close,” said Velvick. When talking with Velvick, swimbaits are often a subject of conversation, as he possesses prolific knowledge of the true art of swimbait fishing. “Swimbait fishing here is much different than bodies of water like Clear Lake in the West. Clear Lake is a lake where they key specifically on hitch. Other lakes in Califor- nia, planted trout are the key. Most all of the time in the West’s lakes you’re fishing that top 10 foot water column,” said Velvick. “I’ve really spent a lot of time studying these fish over the past three years at Amistad Lake Resort. Water clarity and deep hydrilla combine to produce oxygen enriched meccas for big bass and other bait fish. Amistad has a much wider band of life as compared to many Western lakes, soil and clarity allow the grass to grow as deep as 65 feet or more,” according to Velvick. In explaining this wider band of life, Velvick reminded me that Derek Remitz caught his 100+ pound sack 35 to 40 feet deep while Mike Iaconelli caught his 100+ pound sack less than 10 feet deep at the same time. When asked if he had a favorite swimbait for Lake Amistad Velvick replied, “No, not really. The Tilapia pattern Tru Tungsten has a huge following due to its adjustable ball weighting system.” Velvick added those figuring out the ‘fishing swimbaits deep’ part have also found the Berkley Power Mullet fished slow along the bottom, much like a plastic worm, to be a successful choice. “Water clarity allows wake baits often to be a great option for visitors here as well,” Added Velvick. The Del Rio area has something for all outdoors enthusiasts. Whether it is pursuing big bass in Lake Amistad, hunting in many of the surrounding ranches or in the Amistad National Recre- ation Area or exploring the historical sites throughout the area, there is no time like the present to head to this southwestern Texas jewel. For those interested in more information on Byron Vel- vick’s Amistad Lake Resort it’s located at 11207 Highway 90 West in Del Rio, Texas 78840. The reservations num- ber is 800-775-8591 and their website can be found at www.amistadlakeresort.com bw

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November/December 2009

Photo by Matt Pang

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