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A Throwback to Fishing - Colorado River Fishing

Texas Kayak Fisher Blog


A Throwback to Fishing - Colorado River Fishing

Clint Taylor

Sometimes during fishing we try to get a little too sophisticated with our tactics. This is why I find this article so amusing. Not until a year or so ago did I seriously start to understand the tactics of fishing for bass. I used to just put on a favorite lure no matter the circumstances and expect to have a few bites. However nice this might seem, this is not the case, as fish can be quite finicky due to their surroundings.

One of my first "expedition" trips was to the Colorado River near Lake O.H. Ivie in Texas. Some might consider this an expedition style of fishing like going to the Devils River, but in many ways it had some aspects that were even harder. I can still remember when I was searching on the internet and found the general vicinity of where I wanted to put in at and thinking it could be a pretty easy task. However, when we arrived to our put in, the satellite imaging seemed to have pulled a fast one on us, as the river was a good 400-500 yards away. At the time, I had my Old Town Sportsman Canoe, so we soon realized the hardships that we would encounter pulling our canoe through cattails, Pampas Grass, mud, and water. By the time we actually reached the river, 40 minutes had gone by. Luckily, it was all worth it though, as I caught a fish of a lifetime.

Located between San Angelo, Texas, and Brownwood, Texas, is a lake that not many recognize, except those who fish this remarkable body of water. What O.H. Reservoir is known for though, is the mass amount of lunkers that are caught and placed in this water. In 2010, a record Largemouth Bass for the Reservoir was caught with a weight of 16.08 pounds.  The Share Lunker program, is a program by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) that advises anglers who have caught a thirteen pound or heavier Largemouth Bass to donate their catch to TPWD. The reason this is done is to produce the biggest sport-fish and record fish in Texas, with particularly the Largemouth Bass being concerned. During the 2009-2010 fishing season, 11 of these lunkers were caught and donated to TPWD. What is remarkable about this, is that no other lake besides Lake Fork has produced such a large number in one year. Getting access to the Colorado River off of the dam from the reservoir is by no means easy and or short, but once you get access to the river, it will be well worth your visit. I advise you not to travel to close to the dam for many reasons. One, getting within five hundred feet of the dam is illegal. Two, if water is being released, water conditions can be quite dangerous and hazardous, and three, if water is not being released, but is suddenly released, a large wave will hit you and bring great danger to your fishing visit. If one is careful though, there is nothing to worry about.

I found out just how remarkable the Largemouth Bass at O.H. Ivie are, as I caught an eight pound Largemouth Bass off of the Colorado River from the Reservoir. I started off with a Worden's Rooster Tail to get some smaller fish in the boat, but boy was I wrong about this. I did not catch one fish under two pounds the whole time I was at the Colorado River. Along with the eight pounder that I caught, I also caught several two pound bass. I would advise any kayak fisher to pay a visit to this great body of water, because although O.H. Ivie is secluded from much of the major cities and restaurants, the fish certainly are not.

This just goes to show you that taking a simple approach can pay off at times. Now, I can hardly imagine throwing in a 1/8 oz. Rooster Tail for an eight pound Largemouth Bass, more like a 1/4 - 1/2 oz. However, I truly believe that a Rooster Tail is one of the most versatile lures on the market, and I guess this was the perfect example.