Monday, August 31, 2015

San Saba River Adventure

Loaded up and ready to roll!
On Saturday, we decide to take it easy and not pile out of bed too early.  It was supposed to be a nice day as the summer has broken here and it was only supposed to be in the 90's.  So we finished packing up around 11am and hit the road.  It takes about an hour and a half to get to San Saba from our place so we got there around 12:30-1pm.

The sun was shining when we got there and I thought it was going to be a hot day, but shortly after we got there, the clouds came over and we never saw the sun again.  Perfect day for fishing!

Upon putting the gear together, we discovered a major error on our part.  We forgot my seat for my kayak at home!  Sarah's kayak has a built-in seat and though we left her Yakgear seat, it wasn't as much of a problem since she could still sit on it.  Mine wasn't so easy.

After messing around building a seat out of any available cushioning material and several conversations about how we need to make a checklist to check the checklist....   We put into the river.  Of course, Shadow, our cat is now travelling with us (check out his blog at!) and we dunked him right off because he was already panting like a dog.  The dunking stopped him from being hot and then he was fine.

You'll want to watch this piece I did about where we were going to go.  I did this on Friday night as we were planning our day.  Some folks have asked how we find places and this should give you an idea what we look for.

I started out wading (kinda dreaded getting in the boat since I was sure it was gonna hurt) and so I was wading up river and fishing.  I was using my ultra-light spinning rod that I had made when I was a kid. It is either the first or second rod I have ever made and it is made with a Sage fiberglass blank. The rod is basically an antique.  However, the rod is phenomenal.  It has an extremely fast action and is super flexible.  You feel ***everything***.  Let's just say a sunfish feels like a largemouth bass on this thing.

Speaking of largemouth bass...

Since I didn't have too many small lures I decided to grab one of my rooster tails that I still had laying around from my days of trout fishing in AZ and back in Michigan.  I still have a nice white with silver blade that always seemed to work the best.  I put this on and started fishing.  Initial casts got me nibbles from small fish so I knew it was working.  So I started putting it where I knew the bigger fish would be - right near a line of lily pads and weeds.

BAM!  I had a strike!  The fish took off but it was coming to me.  I probably would have lost him except that the flexibility of the ultra-light helped me keep pressure long enough to set the hook. And then it was ON!  I realized very quickly I had a good sized fish on, but being that the fish was upstream from me, he was having to fight me and the current and that was a losing battle. So it was deceptively easy to bring him down the river.  Once he got across the river from me, suddenly he peeled off line again and headed for the bushes - it was then that I did something you're not supposed to do

 I held the spool on the reel.  The drag was already set at it's highest as it is a small spinning reel with 15lb braid on it.  But the bass was stripping off line too easy and heading for a brush pile and I wasn't too keen on that.  So I held the spool and pulled.  I expected the rod to snap.  But it didn't!  I turned the fish and then was able to fight him back across the river.  He gave me a little more trouble as I got him up to me, but I finally landed him. At 19.75in and 3 pounds, it was the biggest fish I had landed on that rod and a whole lot more fish than I expected from 2 feet of water and fairly strong current!

This was the highlight of the day.

Nothing we did the rest of the day outstripped that catch.  We went on upstream where Sarah caught a nice little Guadeloupe Bass which was the only guad caught for the day.  The small river portion opened up into the large pool I mentioned above and what a pool it was!

The lake was full of lily pads all around the edges and through the middle with large openings of
water.  There were other weed beds as well with very deep water all around - deeper than I could reach with the paddle. 

We saw some bass jump and knew there were bass, so we put on the frogs and started casting.  But apparently they weren't looking for frogs. I tried all kinds of methods, fast, slow. Drop in every hole between the pads. Let sit on the edge of a pad and gently shake the lure so the pad would shake and then drop the frog in after a bit.  NOTHING.  Was frustrating.  Not one hit in an hour of "padding".  We finally gave up and headed upstream, where I wanted to go anyway!

Eventually we came to an area where there was a stream coming into the river.  Unfortunately I didn't get a good picture of it.  But the stream was pretty decent and created a very nice spot for fish to gather.  It was here I missed a strike on another large bass with the ultra-light.  Those RoosterTails don't hook up real well on big fish.

So after missing several strikes, we moved on up stream where I picked up a couple of dinks on the rooster tail. After that it got quiet again until Sarah got her first good fish of the day where she picked
up a barely legal largemouth.

The fishing really didn't ever pick up at all for the rest of the day.  We even fished right up to the point where it got dark.  I caught one smallmouth on a black buzzbait about 30mins to dark but that was it.

All said though, the day was very good and we enjoyed the spot very much.  It obviously didn't get much use and that was fine with us!  We like places where the masses don't go.  The fishing wasn't that great, but we've learned not to judge a book by it's cover so having one bad day doesn't mean the spot is bad.  If that was a "down day" then that was still pretty good. We probably just missed the feeding times.

So we'll be going back again for sure!  We thoroughly enjoyed the solitude and the lack of noise throughout the trip.  The only "man-made" noise we heard all day was a dog barking somewhere!  No offense to the dog...  hah

Here's another video with a video recap of the day, though not near as much detail as you read above.  I hope to post another video the catches and other memorable things, but this article gives you 90% of that.  Don't forget to follow us on Twitter (GeeksFishToo).

We'll likely be going back there next Saturday again.  We know that spot has some real potential and I'm certain if we make it all the way to top end of the large pool, we'll get to some areas where the Guadeloupe bass are located.

I just know it!

Tight line y'all!

No comments:

Post a Comment