Buffalo Bayou Fishing Champs is a Catch and Release only fishing charter.
This type of fishing involves getting up close and personal with giant fish. You will most likely need to cradle your catch in your arms if you want to take pictures with it.
Sometimes, the fish will be too big to bring on board and we will have to land it on shore. The bank may be muddy, sandy, or rocky depending on the location. Be prepared with appropriate footwear if you would like to get off the boat for pictures and videos of you releasing your catch.
Bring extra shoes, clothes, towels, etc., anything you might need to be comfortable.
Before the sun rises, I will already be on the water catching bait for the day and keeping an eye out for big fish and marking their location on the GPS.
I'll meet you at Allen's Landing in Downtown Houston at the water's edge. There is parking available at the McIntyre’s - Downtown bar across the street.
I will be waiting in the water in my 16 ft Jon Boat.
We will go over some safety points to keep in mind during the trip. (The Boat Rules can be found here). Gear will be set up and ready to go so we can get right to it.
There are no bathrooms on Buffalo Bayou! If at any point we need to stop for a break, there are plenty of private areas along the Bayou that we can use. If you are not comfortable with this please make sure to use the bathroom before our trip begins.
We will go to whichever area of the bayou shows the most activity on that day where we will set up for up to 3 hours depending on activity. We may move up and down the bayous to find more active fish but staying in one area and letting our baits attract fish is sometimes more effective than chasing the fish. (Overuse of the boat's main motor may fatigue and stress out the bigger fish we will be targeting.)
On the hotter days of Summer, I make an effort to set up in shaded areas but it is not always possible. Please dress according to the weather and consider packing a change of clothes. I will have water on board to help stay hydrated but monitor your body throughout the day.
Landing Catfish and Carp is as easy as it gets! The fishing methods we will be using to catch them allow us to simply crank the handle on the reel and pull the fish in with the assistance of the rods. With a particularly heavy fish, it is important to let the rod do the heavy lifting and let the reel only bring in the line. I will demonstrate all of this before hand if necessary. I will have a collapsible landing net to land carp and pair of "Fish Grips" to land bigger catfish that will not fit in the landing net. One will bring the fish close to the boat and the other will assist in netting or securing the fish to bring on board.
Alligator Gar are notoriously difficult to catch. Because their mouths are mostly bone and teeth, we have to wait for them to get the bait and hook into the back of their jaws. Once a fish picks up a bait and begins to swim away with it, especially if it is a large bait, we will reel in all other lines out of the water and secure them in the boat. Once all the lines are out of the water, we will pull up anchors and follow the fish as it swims away with the bait. The reels allow line to be pulled from them without resistance which lets the gar eat the bait without feeling the resistance of the rods. Once enough time passes, you will reel in the extra line until there is no slack in the line. I will check to make sure the reel is ready to handle the fish at this point. Once the line is tight and you feel the weight of the fish at the end of the line you will pull the rod up as hard as you can and hold on tight! If I believe that the hook is properly set, I will lessen the tightness of the reel in order to avoid a break in the line. When the fish is tired enough to bring close to the boat, the person with the rod will guide the fish along the length of the boat while the other person lassos the fish behind its front two fins. I will be guiding you throughout this process and helping as well to make sure everything is where it should be. If the fish is especially big or there is not enough room in the boat, I will drive to the nearest bank and we will handle the fish on land. If there is enough room in the boat and I believe it is safe to do so, we will bring the fish on board.
All these fish are very resilient and can withstand being out of the water for a long enough period of time to handle and take pictures but will be released as promptly as possible to minimize the chance of injury to the fish.
Fishing trips are listed as 8 hrs long. However, we can stay out longer if you'd like. I strongly recommend taking advantage of the full day of fishing.
When we're through fishing, all rods and reels will be secured and we'll make the journey back to the location I picked you up at.