Just came in from fishing, had a spectacular trip.
But first, no pictures. I've been thinking a lot about not posting photographs of large bass. I have the absolutely rare privilege of being able to readily fish one of the most beautiful river stretches on earth, crystal clear water, gravel bottom, loaded with fish. This place is not that hard to get to and is within 90 minutes of 6 million people.
And yet it is rare to see anyone else fishing it. Drawing attention to it is probably a bad idea. So I've decided no more photos. No one pays any attention if there are no photos though - so I can describe it, and leave it up to you whether you believe me or not without photos. I don't expect you to since you don't know me well enough. Hell, even my own son says "No pictures? It didn't happen." This is of course from the generation that is absolutely never ever without a cell phone slash camera. They are the most over documented generation in the history of mankind and if you can't show them a photo...well they find that inconceivable.
We are in a long dry spell, a drought, and the river is very low as a result. There is this one hole I like to fish, I won't mention which one, that is still a hole but it is much smaller now. It has become something of a laboratory for me to experiment with the fish. There are probably fifty bass in there, and a few hundred Bream and a few hundred Drum.
A couple of weeks back I was trying to catch a Bream with a nightcrawler, to use the Bream for Bass bait. And a Bass took the worm, a very nice Bass. I thought this was a fluke. A few days later I could see a Bass hanging around in front of me and I sight cast a nightcrawler to it - and it took it. So then I started experimenting with nightcrawlers for Bass, cutting out the Bream in the process. And I have had some pretty good success with it. Today, having refined my technique though trial and error I had a really great day catching Bass.
I caught 8 Bass before running out of worms. The smallest Bass was about 2 to 3 pounds. But the biggest one was 25 1/2". I held it against my fly rod with its tail even with the butt - it's lip came to the bottom of the first section of the rod, so I had a solid place to measure when I got home. I didn't have scales with me, I very rarely do. Using the various Bass weight measurement calculators on line this Bass was a minimum of 10 pounds. I think it was 12 because it was fat for a river Bass - there's been just about zero current for a few months now so these Bass have put on some weight. But 10 pounds is definitely for real.
I'd bet the total weight of the Bass I caught today was pushing 40 pounds. These were nice fish, the little one busted the average down, but these were some really nice fish.
So, I've learned a couple of things. If you have the right conditions and rig the worm the right way and know when to set the hook (hint, it's not right away) then you can catch trophy Bass and stringers that would win tournaments. The other thing I've learned is that if you fish for the same Bass over and over then you can teach them to avoid worms. I had several Bass that I could see swim away from my worm as if it was a dangerous beast. No doubt Bass that I've caught before on a worm.
I have caught far more than my share of 8 pound Bass - this 10 pounder fought in a different weight class entirely, the fight was an order of magnitude harder/bigger/stronger. A lot of difference between this and just two pounds less.
If you tell anyone about this, tell them it was on the Bosque River - yeah, that's the ticket...