The Brazos was down to wading level this weekend, and it's been a long long time since it was last down. So I went fishing.
Saturday I caught a Buffalo, small mouth I think, that weighed in the 35-40lb range. He was a monster and I got him on a 4wt fly rod with 8lb test leader. This was a fight that lasted over an hour. It was a lot of fun for about 10 minutes, then it became work. I thought about breaking him off several times but kept plugging anyway. By the time I got him off the hook - barbless hook - I could barely lift my arms, I was that tired. I wouldn't give a million dollars for the experience, but I wouldn't give one dollar to do it again. At least not for a week or so. That is now the largest fish I've ever caught. After I released him back into the wild I went home and had a couple of ice-cold Coronas. I could barely raise the bottle to my lips, my arms were that tired, but I plugged on anyway. Prior to catching the Buffalo I'd landed 5 nice size (16" range) channel cats and two hybrid bass.
Sunday I took a pass on fishing, my arms were now sore, so sore that I again struggled with the Corona's but put up a valiant fight. And I also had a deck project to assist with that took the day up.
Monday I was back in the river, tired arms and all. For about an hour I didn't get a single bite. Then a school of LM Bass moved into the area. The first one I caught was in the 8 pound range, a big old bucket mouth. The next two were a bit smaller, about 6 lbs. Then another that could have been pushing 10 lbs, and a last one that was somewhere in the 5 lbs range. Two hybrid bass about 14" and I don't know how many big bluegills, averaging around 9-10 inches each.
One of those bluegills was chased by a monster bass that nearly tore my arm off jerking on that bluegill I was retrieving. He came up from below, knocked the bluegill straight up out of the water and into the air, and then attacked it when it came back down by slamming his tail on it - then he sucked it in - this was a big bluegill, easily 10" and thick - then the bass took off like a torpedo. For thirty seconds I thought I had that bass on the hook but he spit the bluegill back out. From the way he pulled he was bigger than any of the ones I'd already caught, probably a 10-12 pounder.
When I got the bluegill to me it had a pure black belly - something I've never seen before, real freaky looking. This was a red-breasted blue gill but the red was pure black instead. Never seen that before. I'm wondering it it had a color change as a result of being mauled by the big bass? Anyone know anything about that?
All in all it turned out to be one of the best fishing weekends of my life. The river is going to go back up soon, the lake is piling up water as they appear to be choking back because of the flooding down south. God be with those poor people, looks like a thousand or more have been evacuated and there's been at least one death that I know of. I wish them the best but know they're going through hell.