Weekend angler needs his weekend fix after not fishing the last two Saturdays due to summer break travel. This morning I had a brief window of opportunity. I seized on it quickly. I was up at 3:30AM to load the pick-up. I launched from Holiday Inn in the dark. The city has posted a warning sign at the water’s edge. I rigged out my boat without flashlights or headlamps. I couldn’t read the sign in the darkness.
I trolled across and started casting. My lures kept landing on the “boardwalk”. I was fortunate to be able to flip the lures back into the water from the railings. I can do a lot of things in the dark, however, accurate casting is not among them. I got a few casts close to cover, but I was only getting the feeble nips of juveniles.
The lake was eerily deserted, no one on the water but me. I thought I’d heard last week that the Town Lake water quality was degraded due to toxic algae. They swam a triathalon here recently so the water can’t be that bad. I started to think I should’ve taken a closer read of that warning sign at the ramp.
I was brought back to reality by the sharp twang on my line. I r’ared back and got the hook in him. This fat fish gave an awesome fight. This first fish came right at sunrise, my favorite time of day. I rounded the point to the flat and found a shoreline stacked with small bass. I caught several of those and pointed the Pond Prowler uplake. I wanted to keep moving because my time limit was just a few hours away. The wind was already blowing, so I’d troll over to my spots, drop anchor and make a dozen or so casts with four or five different lures. I was catching one or two at most of my spots.
As I passed by the kayak rental adjacent to the row dock, a big man sat down hard in a yak and shoved off. He went twenty feet and capsized. I looked at the water temp: 78°F. I asked him, “Water not too cold?”
He said, “Water feels good.” No need to mess up his morning with tall tales about algae. The rental worker hollered that he should swim back and get a bigger kayak.
As he sat in the tandem kayak I said, “Big man, big boat.”
He said, “Yeah, why didn’t they give me this one the first time?”
The lake was hopping now, rowers and paddleboarders everywhere. Another angler was fishing the north side of Congress so I made a couple quick casts and moved on. I stopped at First Street. The sun was fully up. I looked at my watch. It was time for my shirt to come off.
I caught a few drop-shot fish at First Street. I looked longingly upriver to Seaholm. It wasn’t in my time budget. Begrudgingly, I turned the boat 180° and started downlake along the southern bank. I caught a fun fish in front of the Hyatt, showing out and getting cheers from the trail walkers. It’s getting really fun now. I drifted under the Ann Richards Bridge. As usual, the acid smell of guano was thick under the bridge. The high pitched chatter of a million Mexican Freetail bats echoed out from the bridge crevices. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a bass bust and nearby I saw what I thought at first was a fast swimming snake. I moved for a closer look and saw it was a juvenile bat swimming for his life. He was zigging and zagging like a Victory ship dodging U-boats. I looked at my rods for the closest match and decide the TR green pumpkin trick worm was the same color as the bat. I cast it up and it got smoked by a good’un. Now I’m going full Mike Iconelli, showing out and getting cheers from the paddleboarders alongside, pedestrians above me on Congress and joggers on the Butler trail.
I trolled on to the ramp, happy to get the fishing jones off my back and get a couple good fish in the boat. The bat bass weighed four-pounds ten-ounces. Off at 11:00AM to meet my immediate family for lunch at Pho Tin. Y’all have a great week!