From Heartbreak To Heavyweight

After getting denied by the huge thunderstorm on Friday, I had been really anxious to get out on the water and get my line wet. So, it was with great excitement that I headed to Westlake yesterday with fellow UFC fishing fanatic Rick “R2” Raives. It was a gorgeous day (sunny, 80°, slight breeze), which is not the best for Bass fishing – especially after a front has just moved through. Fortunately, there were still were still plenty of spawners around to target, and the post-spawners were on the chew at dusk. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.
We started out fishing along a retaining wall and quickly found a nice pair on the bed. Didn’t take too long to get their interest. In fact, the female was nose up on the drop-shot Flashtrix about to inhale it when the male rushed in and snatched it away from here! Though, I wasn’t too disappointed as he was a nice 3.5 pound chunker. Unfortunately, both Rick and my camera were too far away to get a pic. So, I walked him down a ways to release him and quickly went back to work on the female. It didn’t take too long to get her interested again, and she soon followed by chomping on the same bait. Rick, arrived to help net her as I was in the middle of the intense battle with this 5+ pound giant on the 8# Yo-Zuri Hybrid. I was able to get her out from under the nearby docked boats, but on her third jump she shook free of the hook. 😦
We found several other fish in the area, that were still skittish from the storm and easily spooked under the conditions. So, we moved to another area of the lake with plenty of tullies on the bank. I nailed a one pound rat on the Senko. Then, stumbled across a stout male guarding the nest not more than 2 feet off the bank in about 1 foot of water. I couldn’t get him interested in the drop-shot and soon switched over to the Custom Cave Jig. Well that seemed to be the ticket as he kept picking it up and moving it off the bed. Finally, I riled him up enough to take a full on bite of my bait and set the hook … WHAM! It was a short, yet intense battle with this 3+ pounder.
3+ Pound Bedding LMB

We moved down the bank a bit and I quickly stumbled across another bed with a pair of nice fish on it. I spooked the male who took off. However, the female, a 6+ pound behemoth stuck around to guard the lair. I started working the jig into her area and she showed interest but wasn’t attacking it at all. So, I started hopping it through her bed … that was the ticket! She took three swings at it and missed all of them. But, I still hadn’t struck out. Because, on the fourth swing, she inhaled it and I leaned back … BOOM! She immediately took to the sky, but the jig held as she violently shook her head. Rick came quickly with the net but, before he could get into position, she deftly wrapped me around a sunken tree branch (as if she knew exactly what to do) and snapped me off. 😦 Needless to say, I was heartbroken over losing my second giant of the day. But, it only strengthened my resolve for redemption!
We moved to our last spot of the day. A flat where I know the fish come in to feed at sunset on a regular basis. And, it wasn’t long after we arrived that we saw big fish busting bait against the bank. After vainly trying several offerings I went to one of my old standbys … a Cave Customized Booyah Boogie Bait. After a few casts, I worked it just outside the shoreline. When my bait wasn’t six feet from me there was suddenly a huge swirl on it. I stopped reeling momentarily until I felt the fish inhale it and then set the hook … BANG! Another short but intense battle ensued before I landed this 4 pound class post-spawner.
4 Pound Class Largemouth Bass

After the photo shoot and release, I quickly went back to the same spot and started casting the same rig. It wasn’t long before I flung it out in the opposite direction into deeper water. I only cranked the reel handle several times before I felt another fish grab it. I lowered the boom … BAM! But, this time, when I set the hook the fish took off and peeled 20 yards of line off the spool … then she peeled another 10 yards! With my rod totally doubled over I was sure it was a HUGE fish on!! She dug in and took me up and down the bank as Rick rushed over to help me land the beast. When we finally got her on the scale I was surprised that she was “only” a 5 pound 4 ouncer. Yet, as you can see from the photo, I was totally stoked that redemption was indeed mine.
5 Pound 4 Ounce Largemouth Bass

Sooner after releasing my day-maker, we decided to call it a day. Unfortunately, R2 wasn’t able to manage even a bump. But, he did see what this body of water is capable of producing and is anxious to come back to extract his revenge very soon. That is, if we don’t head to Lake Casitas in his boat first!

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