As many of you probably already know, the San Saba River is one of my favorite rivers to go out for a nice paddle while catching some quality fish. Although the fishing was a little tough this time, I learned a lot about fishing - we never can know a lot.
Upon my first arrival at the San Saba River in more than six months, my heart immediately started to pound. Seeing the clear flowing water along with the beautiful cliffs and rock formations made the experience that much better, and unlike most conditions the temperature stayed at a nice value of 90 degrees; extremely comfortable compared to the usual 105 degrees the past couple of times that I have gone. I started off the day with a large Yum tube and a 1/4 oz. jig head without much success along with a Texas Rig that caught nothing. Unfortunately, I did lose a fish on the Texas Rig early on because I was not paying attention to my line and set the hook too late. I eventually switched to a 1/8 oz. Worden's Rooster Tail just to get some fish on the end of my rod, and fortunately it worked. One of the neat things about the San Saba River is the pool and shoot terrain. What I mean by this, is that there are large sections of pools connected with rapids. In these rapids is the state fish of Texas, the Guadalupe Bass. Oddly enough, I only caught one micro Guadalupe Bass in this portion of the river which is a very rare occasion. Even rarer, is the amount of Largemouth Bass that were in the rapids. Not often are Largemouth Bass in some rapids, but this was not a usual day. I caught about two or three small Largemouths and then continued on for quite a while with nothing but a nibble here and there. Conditions couldn't have been better, but the fish were not in the mood for some action. Then something unbelievable occurred.
After much desperation for trying to get hooked up on some fish, I decided to give up on bass and go straight to some panfish; usually a pretty predictable and feisty group of fish to catch. With this said, I changed up my lure selection from an 11" worm to a 1.5" tube. This was quite a drastic change not to mention that I went from a 1/2 oz. Texas Rig setup all the way to a 1/8 oz. jig head. After I tied on my 1/8 oz. jig head with a 1.5 inch tube, I saw exactly where I wanted to cast my first line. I casted a few times under a large oak tree that had a couple of branches submerged in the water. This could not have been a better spot for some panfish due to the amount of cover available to hide from larger predators like Largemouth Bass. Soon enough, all my thoughts about fishing were challenged. I casted once more under this Oak tree only to find my line suddenly dart to the right as my jig head was sinking. I immediately set the hook only to find a 2.5 pound Largemouth on the end of my line. I was using a light setup because I needed to cast such small lures accurately and with some distance, so reeling in a nice Largemouth was a bit scary considering something could have broken at any moment. I was most concerned about a good hook set since the hook I was using was so small. Fortunately, I was able to keep enough tension in the line and landed a worthwhile fish on a sluggish day for fishing. Although this was by no means a monster, any Largemouth Bass over two pounds is a good fish, especially when you haven't caught much all day.
By no means did I intend to catch a bass this large on such a small setup. I knew that there was the chance that I could catch a smaller fish, but I had no idea that I was going to hook into a 2.5 lb. Largemouth. This just goes to show how complicated fishing can get. Often fisherman think that they can control the atmosphere and have the perfect lure to catch any fish at any point in time. Well, fishermen like myself couldn't be more wrong. Fish have a mind of their own, and just like humans they like to make their own decisions. You might have the most appetizing lure in front of a fish but they still won't bite. As frustrating as this can be, it is all part of how Mother Nature works. The good news is that every once and a while, Mother Nature lets us have a good fish like this one.