If I had to have a favorite freshwater fish to catch in Texas, it would be the Guadalupe Bass. This fish is actually the State Fish of Texas, as it is only found in Texas and only in a small region of Texas. It doesn't get as large as Largemouth Bass, as the state record (or world record) is 3.71 pounds. I love catching them though because they fight so hard and really can put a bend in your rod.
What is neat about Guadalupe Bass is how they prefer to be around rapids. I really enjoy the scenery that rapids provide and how rugged rapids are. Guadalupe Bass are extremely strong for their size, and it is mostly attributable to them constantly swimming in current. My favorite lure to catch Guadalupe Bass on is a Worden's Rooster Tail in Fire Tiger, but occasionally I catch them on something a little different. On this particular trip to the South Llano River I caught a very nice Guadalupe Bass on a Rage Tail Structure Bug that was Texas Rigged.
I was just downstream of a section of rapids on the South Llano River and working my Structure Bug for some Largemouth Bass, but every once and a while you will hook a Guadalupe Bass a little further than you anticipated from some moving water. This happened to me, as I was working my Texas Rig and soon felt a few thuds on my line. I quickly set the hook and the fight was on. Before I saw the fish I thought I had hooked a rather big Largemouth Bass, but I soon saw that I had hooked a Guadalupe Bass in the clear water of the South Llano River. I was on my Pau Hana Endurance paddleboard and it really did an unbelievable job of putting me in position to hook this bass. I was using a 6' 4" medium light spinning rod with 10 lb. braided line and it couldn't have been a better setup for this fish. The fish fought extremely hard and I eventually got him to my board and saw just how vibrant the colors were on this fish. It really was one of the more colorful Guadalupe Bass I have ever caught, and not a bad size either at about a pound and quarter.
Amongst a few other fish I caught on this day was something I didn't catch with my fishing rod, but my bare hands. On the paddle back I saw a small turtle on the edge of a branch. I knew I had to catch it, but they are a lot quicker than you think. I approached it on my board and it soon jumped into the water and I thought I had lost it. I didn't give up and I very quietly glided across the water towards wear I saw it last. The water was clear enough and luckily I saw this small rascal trying to hide in the bottom of the river. I jumped off my Pau Hana Endurance and I was able to grab this small turtle before I lost sight of it. Although it wasn't like catching a fish, it was pretty neat to see such a small turtle and catch it in such clear water too.
If you ever get the chance to catch some Guadalupe Bass you are in for a treat, and if you are looking for a place to catch them, the South Llano River is a great spot to do so. Apparently the South Llano River is great for catching small baby turtles too!