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It's been a few weeks, but I finally got to go out to Travis and fish overnight last night. When I got to the park, I told the guy at the gate "See ya in the morning," and he said "Oh, then you'll be here for the balloon launch!"

Nice bonus. :)

First things first, though... Fishing was excellent! Clear skies, no moon, and calm waters. Fished from Sandy Creek to Briarcliff. From dark (9:30) to midnight, I fished one area of bluffs and docks and caught several quality fish. Best five at that point went 13-14 pounds. Explored several more locations while working back towards the dam for the balloon launch and upgraded until dawn to around 16.5lbs. I broke off one very nice fish that was probably in that 4-6 pound range, and I lost another 3 or 4 pounder that actually made it into the boat but got away before I could put my hands on it. (Goofy story there- I hooked that fish in an awkward place behind a dock with my line over one cable and she got under another. I made a good move to kinda backhand/underhand flip her onto the boat, but before I could get my rod transferred around the cable, she threw the hook and jumped back in the water.)

Overall, I caught about 35 fish, all blacks except for one drum and 3 spotties. Lost track of keepers but probably about 1 in 3 was 14"+. Everything hit a dark texas-rig Senko, but the depth was anywhere 0-40'. Some on docks, some on bluffs, nothing on points. The only repetitive thing I remember is that the bite was almost always imperceptible. Several times, I had to rely on my blacklight to help me pick them up.

I brought my digital scale and camera this time, but it was just me so it was hard to get good pictures. I took photos in the morning as the balloons came overhead of a 5, a 4, a 3, a 2.5, and a 2.

This drum came from my double-secret honeyhole, but you can probably guess from the background where it was taken!


2 pounder


2.5 pounder


3 pounder (with ballon)


4 pounder (Bad picture but trying to work the ballons into the phots. Not easy to do alone with bigger fish, the bock rocking, and 20 boats running around chasing the balloons.)


5 pounder. I just crazy to me how a picture sometimes doesn't do justice to some fish. However, I am very confident about the weight of this fish. One re-assurance is that in each photo, (except for the 4 pounder which I was trying to work in the balloon the first time), I held the fish out in front of me at arms-length. So, you can see that this 5 pounder is a lot longer than say the 2s or the 3.


And here's some hot-air balloon photos. The balloons launched off of the dam and these pictures were taken on the south shore across from Windy Point (Commander's).


At this point, I fit 7 of them in one frame, but one of them is little more than a dot on the horizon in the lower right hand corner.




This gives a good idea of how low they were at times.



And, one more. I think there were 12 overall, but not all visible at once.
 
G

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WOW! This looks like a totally amazing time! What more can you ask for? A wonderful night of fishing and catching fish then a nice suprise at sunrise the next morning! Absolutely amazing! ;D
 

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Yea, dude, that's an awesome time, good report, and seem pretty exciting to see that baloon that low to the water, I woulda been worried. I remember a hot air baloon crash landed in the practice field at Deerpark Middle School during football practice one morning, and we had to stop practicing.

Those are some great photos. Good times. Thanks for report.

~David
 
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