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Vacation On the Great Highland Lakes
07/08/2008 - By CURTIS REDDEHASE

Vacation On the Great Highland Lakes

Whenever I want to kick back, relax and forget about all the things on my plate I head out to my buddy Patrick's house on Lake LBJ. You see Patrick has perfected exactly where to catch fish on the lake, and he's a darn good cook too!

On our way to the highland lakes there are lots of neat stops you can make. There are many wineries in central Texas and many of these are very close to Marble Falls and some are even directly on your way. If your coming from North Austin you will most likely take 1431 to Marble Falls. On your way you will pass two excellent wineries; Flat Creek Estate and Stone House Vinyard. You will also pass a place where you can pick strawberries, I always stop and pick some up for desert! If your heading to Marble Falls from South Austin there are many more vinyards and wineries that you will pass. Just off of Hwy 71 in Southwest Austin you will find Spicewood Vineyards and Texas Hills Vinyard. Once you get to Marble Falls you will find a town rich in culture and history, but when there's fish to catch it's difficult to stop and enjoy it! Patrick is a true fisherman, as soon as he gets within sight of the water he's already imagining the first fish. He knows where to find fish that are the best to eat, the easiest to catch, or are really big fish. If you don't enjoy fishing well, you should go with him someday because it's very rare that you don't come home with a boat load of fish. Largemouth bass are one of the larger fishes that he will fish for. Largemouth bass like cover so they can pounce on their prey. They typically hide around brush or structure under the water. Most largemouth bass fishing is somewhat slow. White bass are a blast when they are spawning because you can catch as many as you can possibly catch them, but Crappie are the best eating. This weekend we went fishing for crappie. There are a few different ways we fish for crappie. Just like the Largemouth the crappie likes cover, but crappie typically like deeper water than the largemouth. Crappie will supspend themselves in 20-40 feet of water. They love underwater trees and other underwater structrues. Fishermen will actually sink old christmas trees into the lake to make an excellent Crappie Habitat. When you fish for crappie it's pretty simple. The easiest and most successful way is to either use live minnows, or tie on a small crappie jig. I prefer using the jig so I have more time fishing and less time re-baiting my pole. You drop the jig down to the bottom of the lake and slowly bounce it off the bottom, then reel in a foot or so and bob it up and down. If your on a good spot you will have a boat load of crappie and that is exactly what we did! Crappie can be fried, grilled, broiled, pretty much cooked anyway you can imagine. But one of my favorite is fried! Crappie is a delicate flaky extremely tasty fish. When your at one of the highland lakes you can't beat a good ol' fish fry! The way Patrick fries his crappie is with corn meal. He takes his fillets and washes them carefully, then he puts a few cubes of ice in a bowl with the fillets and enough water to cover them. He opens up a bag of corn meal and pous a generous amount into a ziploc bag. He then puts Tony Chachere's to season the cornmeal. He shakes the fish in the cornmeal and drops it into the fryer. Pretty soon we had a whole mess of fried crappie, homemade french fries, coleslaw and strawberry shortcake for desert. Oh, by the way those strawberries were handpicked by me and my family! Our real estate company offers a great service to those in need of purchasing a home in the Highland Lakes Texas area. We also know the lakes very well, we offer plenty of information about the local areas.