For a short period of time I lived near a fishing spot called Pecan Bayou. This place isn’t anything extravagant or special, just a nice place to get out on the water for a short day trip.
When I fished Pecan Bayou I didn’t quite have the bass fishing tactics that I do now. It takes some experience to become a halfway decent bass fisherman, and during the time I lived near Pecan Bayou my skills weren’t as good as they are now.
I thought it would be fun to take a quick trip to Pecan Bayou, try out my current fishing tactics and see what I could catch. I used to catch a lot of bass, but not anything too big. I wanted to see what I could do now that I was six years older and six years more experienced.
The Start of the Day
I got out on the water fairly early - around 7:30 AM. The temperature was a cool 70 degrees and there was no wind whatsoever.
I immediately was reminded of the large pecan trees that surround the water, hence the name Pecan Bayou. While I’m sure Linda Ronstadt didn’t have any reference to this small bayou in Central Texas, I couldn’t help but be reminded of her famous song “Blue Bayou” as I paddled across the water.
The water wasn’t super clear (as it never has been), but it was peaceful and calming. Large pecan trees overhanging the water, submerged logs, and a large variety of wildlife.
No, there aren’t any rapids, springs, or waterfalls…just a long section of flat water that is called Pecan Bayou.
I started fishing with my large baitcasting rod and a Heddon Zara Spook matched with 30 lb. braid. As I paddled along the bayou with my Pau Hana Endurance I casted towards structure and the shore to see if I could get a bass to bite topwater.
There was hardly any wind at all, so I could position myself wherever I needed to quite easily.
Not too many casts into the morning I had an explosion on the water…I mean a big splash! I had hooked a decent Largemouth Bass! This guy wasn’t huge, but was right around 2 pounds and put up a great fight. I was encouraged that I was able to land this one fish on topwater and hoped to catch many more.
About 15 minutes later I caught another bass, this one around 2.5 - 3 pounds. Seemed like topwater was the way to go. I couldn’t help but think if the next fish I was going to catch was going to be even bigger.
While I haven’t caught many fish lately on topwater, I quickly learned that topwater was going to be the ticket to success for this particular day. I caught several more fish on the Zara Spook - including one very good one!
I casted my lure in a cubby hole from some erosion near the bank. There was a fallen pecan tree half submerged and lot of structure all around. As soon as the topwater lure hit the water I noticed a stir nearby. I twitched my Zara Spook just a few times to get that “walk the dog” action and a sudden explosion on the water occurred.
My lure was engulfed and I new I had a big bass on the end of my line from how much my rod was bent over. My Endurance was also getting pulled a little bit, which was just crazy!
When I got this bass to my SUP I realized just how big of a bass I had hooked. He wasn’t extremely long, but man he was built with some muscle and his mouth was extremely rugged. I was a little leery to grab him by the mouth with all those big treble hooks ready to pierce my skin, but I grabbed him by the mouth extremely tight and landed a great bass for Pecan Bayou!
Slow Breeze and More Fish
I had already caught some really good bass and would have had a great day on these three fish alone, but my day was far from over.
The day couldn’t have been better - a nice slow breeze, low 90s, and just some beautiful trees along the bank. If I didn’t bring my fishing gear, I would have had a great time just paddling my Endurance across the water. I can’t tell you how effortless the Endurance is to paddle, especially on days with so little wind and flat water. It seems like you can stroke your paddle once and travel for yards. My Aquabound Malta Carbon was a big part of the efficiency I had gliding across the water. This paddle is amazing! 100% carbon, super lightweight and stiff - the Malta Carbon combined with the Endurance is such an efficient setup. Talk about some power…the Malta has very little flex so you can really put some grunt into your strokes and quickly move out on the water.
Just paddling along with the great weather was amazing, but the weather was only part of the day as I had 8 more bass that I would catch! Yes, 8 more bass.
I did change my tactics as the day progressed and the sun became a little more prominent. I felt like topwater was slowly dwindling in success as the sun got higher, so I put on a Texas Rigged Rage Tail Rage Craw without a weight. This setup has worked extremely well for me at many other locations, but I didn’t know how well it would work on Pecan Bayou. Short answer is it worked great!
I casted the Rage Craw in some Alligator Weeds and caught several bass with this method. I also found some fish around some brush and fallen timber in the water. My best success seemed to be in areas were there was some Alligator Weeds and or timber in the water with a little bit of shade. I caught several fish in these areas.
After catching about 9 bass for the day, I decided to throw a large KVD Square Bill Crank Bait. This lure is for big bass and I was throwing it on my medium heavy baitcasting rod in hopes of a big one. I used similar techniques with this crank bait as I did with the Rage Tail, meaning I casted towards structure in hopes of a bite.
The nice thing about this crank bait is the square bill really helps to bounce off of logs and rocks. While there aren’t many rocks in Pecan Bayou, there is a plethora of fallen pecan trees. The KVD Square Bill Crank Bait worked great at avoiding snags. It also did a good job of helping me land two more fish to end the day.
Of all the fish I caught on this trip, the ones I hooked with the crank bait were the smallest. Perhaps it was the lure, but I think it was simply the time of day and also that I didn’t fish the crank bait as long as I did the Zara Spook or Rage Craw. The two fish I did catch on the crankbait were quality 2 pounders though, and you can’t complain about that.
The End of the Day
What is crazy is I hadn’t been to Pecan Bayou in about 6-7 years. I used to fish Pecan Bayou frequently when I lived in the area, but I never had anywhere near the success I had on this trip years later. Maybe the impressive aspect of this trip is that all of the fish I caught were over 2 pounds! This is unheard of to be honest. When you are fishing a stocked pond for bass, it isn’t rare to reel in 3-5 pounders each time…but these type of fish are in a confined space. When you are fishing out in the wild, it is difficult to catch 11 fish and all of them weigh in over 2 pounds - what a day.
I never would have thought Pecan Bayou could produce a fishing day like this one. I do think it was just a good day for fishing, but the bigger factor was all the experience I had gained over the 6-7 years. I fished with much different techniques this trip than I ever did when I lived near Pecan Bayou. I caught much more fish, and much bigger fish too. This just goes to show that fishing requires some experience. Knowing what lure to pick, where to cast, how to work your lure, and so many other factors play a big role in fishing success. I think I gained a lot of experience over the past several years and that experience in combination with good fishing conditions resulted in lots of bass - and big bass at that!
I’d recommend giving the local waters near you a chance next time you can. Try changing your tactics, research what would work good for the type of water you are fishing, and simply get out and enjoy the day!