TEXAS OUTDOORS: Lake Braunig rocks for redfish

A guided fishing trip on Lake Braunig for redfish.

Sometimes I don't know how I do it. Come to work every day, enthused and energized about what I'll do that day. Of course, it is a lot easier when your day's assignment includes fishing! This particular day we took the 20 minute drive south of downtown San Antonio to Lake Braunig.

Chances of catching something increase, exponentially when you enlist the aide of a professional. Our guide this day is Manny Martinez, of www.fishingwithmanny.com. "I've been running trips out here and on Lake Calavares for about 30 years. Somewhere around 300 days out of the year" Martinez said. In fact, Martinez says he holds the record for a redfish on Calavares... a whopping 30-pounder.

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"The water temperature that is coming out is between 95 to 105 degrees, right there." Martinez says as he points to the power plants discharge pool. The temperature is just right for the reds to live and grow. And, grow they do...Martinez says the largest he's caught on Braunig weighed 28 pounds.

Access to the lake makes it easy enough for a day trip of fishing, which is why the banks are often lined with people taking advantage. There is also more than enough ramp space available to launch your own boat and try your luck trolling. That was the method we used on this day. Martinez is not the only guide on the lake, there are at least three others who run trips.

"Technology has made my job a lot easier and a lot more successful, says Martinez. When he fired up his fish finders and underwater cameras, it wasn't long before we began seeing and catching fish. The daily limit is 3 per person and there is a 20" size limit. I caught my limit, but we released every one of them, hoping one day we can come back and try again. Maybe next time one of them will have grown to that 28 to 30 pound range.

It's a great place to spend a few hours or the entire day fishing. Or if camping is your thing sites are available as well as plenty of room for picnics and for the kids to play.