I’m just back from Falcon Lake where I had the opportunity to fish with BASS Elite Pro and 2008 Bassmaster Classic Champion Alton Jones. Top thoughts: Falcon’s bass fight harder than any I’ve ever been privileged to tangle with; they’re big; Falcon is Alton’s favorite lake and I now understand why; and for the first time in my life, I’m tired of Mexican food.

While Falcon Lake is officially 60-miles long, it’s radical and frequent water level fluctuations make it tough to give an accurate number of water acreage. While we were there June 16 and 17, it was nine feet low, which is more water than Jones had seen at this fantastic reservoir. There’s so much inundated wood cover in the form of mesquite, huisatch, horta and willows, as well as something Jones called cino bean bushes, that it’s amazing that anyone actually lands the giants Falcon is known for producing. We were spooled with 65-pound braid and a 35-pound fluorocarbon leader.

“Falcon’s the only lake I’ve ever been to where fish have broken off 50-pound braid on a straight pull in open water,” Jones said. “They are flat out the toughest, meanest bass on the planet.”

Not only do these bass pull harder and fight stronger than any bass I’ve caught, they also strike with more force. I thought very hard about how to describe it and could only come up with this: Imagine someone took your line and tied two cinder blocks to it, then threw them out of a helicopter. Maybe replace cinderblocks with a school bus. And there were no wimpy taps on the line, either. When one of these banditos decide to eat what you’re throwing, it does so at 100 mph heading the other direction.
“In November of 2007 I caught an 11-pounder that hit a Fat Free Shad BD7,” Jones said of his biggest Falcon bass. “If you asked me how many 10s I’ve caught here; too many to count.”

Jones and I arrived on Tuesday the 16th in time to hit the water for several hours before our guest, noted photographer/writer Steve Price, arrived. Jones caught several while we were checking deeper water that featured rock. With that much wood cover available to the fish, the chunk rock areas normally are hotspots.

“The neat thing about Falcon is that it’s not rocket science,” Jones said. “If you don’t get bit on the deeper structure bite you’ve got to move up shallower and start flippin’, which is what we did today. Bad weather conditions – high winds – I’ll likely be flippin’. The wind just likes to blow in South Texas. I’m always looking for the deep structure bite, and try it first because it’s a bigger bite and you don’t have to worry about losing so many in the trees – hooking gorillas in the trees is not a good situation.”

Jones says he’s always watching the water level as an indication to where to find fish. If it’s falling, it pulls the fish to the outside of the cover and to the deeper structure. A slow rise puts them in the brush.

Over the 1 ½-days of fishing, we caught bass on the Fat Free Shad BD7 in citrus sparkle, Texas-rigged YUM Dingers in watermelon purple flake and dark 10-inch worms. Jones says that when he approaches a spot he’ll throw the crank a few times then pick up a Texas rigged Dinger or jig.

“Usually if they don’t hit the Fat Free in the first few casts they aren’t going to, so I’ll test it first,” Jones said. If you can find rock seams that don’t have a whole lot of wood, a football head jig like the Pigskin is good with a Wooly HawgCraw trailer. I’m also trying to convince people that a Dinger is a great bait Texas rigged with a heavy weight – it’s not just a weightless bait. We caught a bunch of big bass on it today.”

As always, Jones speaks the truth. I caught the third-largest bass of my life at 10.6 pounds on a 6-inch watermelon purple flake Texas rigged with a ¾-ounce tungsten bullet weight.

“If you’re a bass fisherman, you have to take a trip here,” Jones said. “There’s very little fishing pressure. The wild fluctuations contribute to the great fishing, too, because you get the ‘new lake’ syndrome every time the lake comes back up after a drought. You can catch fish doing anything, but it’s very patternable, too.

“And breakfast tacos – that the other reason for coming here. I love the Mexican food. Falcon’s like a drug – once you get a taste you’ve gotta have some more. I’m a Falcon junkie.”