It started with me showing up, semi lost and looking for a swim that suited me. Erick and Ryan wouldn't show up for another hour or two so I had some time to scout out the are we'd be fishing. I found an old abandoned boat ramp and cast out a marker float once I found a proper spot to set up a bivvy. First cast I marked 16 feet about 45 yards out. perfect. Set the brolly up and began getting all my crap sorted out.
Erick showed up around 7 and we quickly got out in the Diablo and set the marker floats. The Fishfinder on it finally works so I was able to set GPS coords on top of each of the markers so we could re-set them if any of them got moved for any reason(that happened a few times). We started baiting out huge amounts of stuff. Maize, cracked corn, hemp, tigers, boilies, range cubes, everything really. We knew we'd have hell with catfish so we didn't lay off baiting heavily. Soon we had rods in the water. Then the sequence we'd be following over the course of the weekend started to become clear. Catfish....catfish...catfish...another catfish....catfish...you get the point, THEY WERE RELENTLESS! we caught a ton of them, and none of them were decent sized, all were little eater channels, almost identical from fish to fish.
We all started to get hungry and made some stuff to eat, I made some rigs, and it got kind of quiet. Then, we had our first idea of the trip. Fire.
Erick gathered up some stuff and we poured lighter fluid on it. Fire.
It cured our boredom for a few minutes, then we kind of lost interest. Sometime during the first night Erick hung an empty beer bottle on my scale as a "scale cover". It remained there almost till the end of the trip. Several catfish were caught then finally we went to sleep. Until 6, that is, when the boat ramp opened and bass boats started pouring in like ants.
We made some food, recasted, and boated out some bait. This looked like it was going to be another day of catfish and random shenanigans. Which it was, of course.
The first was Ryan's little mud mishap. Yeah, he got stuck a little bit in East Texas's famous mud.
The next thing we did was the catfish fillet contest, which we never really determined a winner because we all sucked. We at least got some edible meat out of the deal and made a nice dinner.
Our pattern contined too, Catfish...catfish...catfish...catfish. It felt like a waste. We weren't seeing anything as far as fish crashing or anything. We kept thinking it would pick up, but it never really did what we wanted it to.
Just when we thought we had been past the worst, the weather forecast said it was going to rain on us sometime that night, so we spent a good 2 hours cleaning everything around our swims up for the rain, which never came. We cooked the catfish, which was pretty good., and sat down and waited for the fish to come. As darkness fell we heard a sound out toward Erick's marker. Sploosh. A fish crashed. Finally they were here....not really. We heard some other crashes through the night but then never found our hookbaits.
That night was lazier than the first. It was spent searching stuff on Youtube, reeling in catfish, and chasing Nutria down the bank.
We were asleep by 1, and I was up first at 6.
Now the next morning was not really what we expected. I knew nothing would really come together at the last moment like we had wished but I could wish that SOMETHING might happen. That something did.
I reeled in and recasted all 3 of my rods. I casted the middle rod last and got it bang on my marker, within 5 feet to the right of it, I was tightening the line to set the indicator when I started getting catfishy feeling twitches. I kept tightening and the marker moved, I was mad. I knew I hadn't come close to the marker so maybe it drifted or something. I dragged the kayak in the water and paddled out, my rod in one hand, paddle in the other. When I got to the marker something happened. It wasn't connected. At all. It had a fish on it. The bow of the boat swung around back toward open water and the fish began pulling. I slapped the water to wake Ryan and Erick up and yelled "Fish on!". Ryan got up and stretched a little but. He was confused to why I was in the kayak, if I had a fish on, or really what the hell I was doing in the first place. Soon he had the answer, as the fish surfaced and I yelled my observations- "High 30, possibly 40! It's a Buff!" At this point I start stressing. This fish is way over my PB, i'm in a kayak, I only have 1 open hand to paddle with, and I'm 40 yards from the bank. A solution worked itself out and I started the long one handed paddle back to shore. Erick and Ryan waited there with the net, and upon my arrival Erick slipped the net under the fish. WICKED!
Onto the mat. This was a big fish, and a buff at that. Very unexpected. Onto the scale, and the weight is 38lbs 10oz, a new PB and also a water body PB for me. Awesome!
Awesome as it gets.
After the release I just laid back down and tried to calm down. FINALLY a buff PB break, upping my PB from 26-10 to 38-10. Greatness.
We cooked breakfast and began packing to leave. We scouted a few more areas, found a large amount of petrified wood, and I finally got a chance to pull out the camera for some action shots- Distance casting with a 4oz distance lead.
Yeah, Get that proper form down!
That's about it for this session, stay tuned for another awesome session in a few weeks!