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Once again I woke early and stole away in the darkness down the slope to the riverbank. I shoved off, took a sip of coffee and let the sluggish current take over. After yesterday’s Comal bonanza, today’s fishing effort was just to relax and reflect on an awesome week in New Braunfels. Once again I had the river to myself, everyone else sleeping off last night’s sun-drenched revelry. I decided to wrap up the week’s river fishing at the confluence. As I drifted, I cast senko at the bulkheads and got a few nips and tugs, swinging every now and again. I slowed my drift at the Last Toober Exit and made perfunctory casts but no one was home.

The Last Toober Exit resembled an apocalyptic disaster. The steps were covered with the aftermath of a massive flotilla of inebriated sun-tortured tube rats. At least ten tubes of different styles sagged in various states of deflation, rental deposit be damned. Slide, sandal, shoe and croc were mourning their mates lost to a watery grave. Contents consumed, dozens of bottles and cans tossed in spite of the “can-ban.” Rope, line, twine and string tangled all the way up the handrails to Union Avenue. A scavenger with a flashlight searched through the mess, kicking over life-jackets and cooler lids looking for tuber booty. Ah, good times!

I timed my arrival to the confluence perfectly. The water’s surface was erupting from sunfish and bass busting on bait. I cast at the convergence of the weedline with the outside edge. Bam, fish on, a good’un. I was stoked. I had the river to myself and the largemouth were actively feeding. No meanmouth, no guads, just straight largemouth action. Hell to the yeah. I posted up in the middle, fancasting and catching fish after fish. Well, almost all largemouth. I did foul hook one pissed off turtle from the weedline. I caught fourteen largemouth, three of them three-pounders.

The spell was broken when a pair of interlopers with three tubes drifted into the confluence. I thought they must be local property owners until one of them asked me how they could get back to the Tube Chute. I told them they missed the Last Toober Exit. I explained that the shuttles weren’t running this early and it was a long hike back to Prince Solms Park.

I reeled in a fun-fish and they thought that was cool. These guys seemed innocent enough and I figured the morning bite would be tapering off soon, so I left the largemouth biting and towed the tubers upriver to the Last Toober Exit. The fellows thanked me several times. I shouldn’t have been surprised when they tossed the three tubes on the growing piles of abandoned tubes and staggered up the steps to scramble up their own breakfast of champions. Myself, I had breakfast at Buttermilk’s. Off at 8:00AM.
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