HILL COUNTRY FISHIN’

Discussion in 'LUKE CLAYTON' started by Luke Clayton, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. Luke Clayton

    Luke Clayton New Member

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    HILL COUNTRY FISHIN’

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    Luke Clayton​


    Texas is blessed with an abundance of great catfishing destinations but one would be hard pressed to fish in an area more scenic than the Texas Hill Country. Catfish pro Cliff Hill grew up fishing the rivers, streams and reservoirs around San Antonio and Austin and is now living his dream of earning his living as a Catfish Guide. A veteran of the war in Iraq, Cliff says he remembers the many days he spent in the desert longing to be back fishing the waters of his beloved Texas Hill Country.

    Cliff does trips at Choke Canyon, Lake Calavaras near San Antonio, and the Guadalupe River. Just yesterday, a couple of friends and I enjoyed a morning on the water at Calavaras with the personable and skilled guide and we were rewarded with not only several bags of tasty catfish fillets for an upcoming fish fry, but the pleasure of fishing some “new” waters with a guide that enjoyed the experience as much as we.

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    Photo by Luke Clayton


    Hill gives his clients the option of a relaxing day fishing the Guadalupe, where he sets “set hooks” along the bank, then fishes the log jams with rod and reel, or reservoir fishing on Calavaras or Choke Canyon. Our time to spend on the water was limited and we opted to give the almost non-stop action on channel catfish at Calaveras a try-we were not disappointed!

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    Photo by Luke Clayton


    The fast action that a hot channel catfish bite provides is great sport for anyone that likes to watch a “cork” being pulled under the water’s surface and feel the tug of a hard fighting catfish. Calavaras is a warm water lake and an excellent year-around fishery for not only catfish but fresh water redfish and hybrid stripers as well. We were catching catfish in water as shallow as 2 feet in water around 90 degrees. Cliff expects the fish to begin pulling into deeper water in a few weeks as the water temperature continues to climb.

    We were using light tackle, spinning rods and reels which allowed the 1.5 to 3 pound catfish to put up a good fight. Hill says matching the tackle to the fish is very important. “Calavaras is chock full of these “fryer” size catfish and catching them on light tackle is much more fun that the heavier rigs I use when targeting big blues at Choke Canyon or one of the other Hill Country lakes.” Says Hill.

    The technique we used was pretty simple and productive! Hill used two anchors to keep his boat parallel to the shoreline within easy casting range of some shoreline willows that showed the white washed markings of roosting egrets. A twenty yard cast using Danny Kings Catfish Punch Bait on a #6 treble hook about 18 inches under a floater was the ticket to steady action. During the summer months, Cliff says the bite is usually best during early morning, until around noon, then it picks up again around sunset; this is obviously the most comfortable time for fishermen to be on the water as well.

    The Texas Hill Country is a destination for vacationers from all across the country. With water parks, caves and wineries to explore, and a host of quaint little towns with names such as Schumansville and Luling, this region is truly a family destination. Just take a tip from this outdoors scribe: Don’t leave your fishing tackle at home unless, of course, you opt for a morning on the water with Cliff. He provides everything you will need for a fun time on the water.

    My buddies and I were making plans for couple of return trips to the “Hill Country” with Hill while still on the water at Calavaras. We’re planning to fish the Guadalupe River next. There’s something special about fishing any river and the little Guadalupe is a fisherman’s dream. Hill says the log jams around the river bends are usually loaded with channel and flathead catfish. We’re planning on packing the cast iron skillet and Coleman stove for a shore lunch-but that’s another story!

    For more information about fishing at Calavaras, Choke Canyon or the Guadalupe River with guide Cliff Hill, go online to www.hillcountryfishin.com or call 830-632-5964.

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