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I pulled up to the Holiday Inn ramp and saw the close parking was already covered up by the dawn patrol. That’s OK, I like parking in the shade under I-35 anyway. I launched as dawn hinted at the horizon. I had my nav lights rigged but I saw no sense in turning them on, visibility was good across the lake. I had brought nearly the full arsenal of tackle. Victualler loaded two sandwiches, two bananas, two granola bars and a gallon of water. Also brought aboard was a half full 32oz Yeti of black coffee, the other 16 ounces soaking into the bench seat of my pick-up, doh!

I trolled a C.C. Shad as I sailed uplake, only to snag mossy witchheads and loose fanwort. I slowed to fish the American-Statesman shoreline with senko, but got no bites. The city was waking up. The rowers marched their sculls over their heads down the dock and rotated them into the water in practiced choreography.

Bats were returning to their bat cave under the Ann Richards Bridge when I arrived on station. I watched as a paddleboard angler boated a couple nice fish on SSJr. I cast out the Chug Bug a dozen times and a dozen times it made it back to the boat unscathed. I holstered the topwater rod and unfurled the TR Ol’ Monster. I cast the big ribbontail into the fanwort in about 10 FOW. After a couple hops it was smoked… by a good’un! I rotated through my rods trying the crankbait, shakeyhead, swim worm and senko but only hauled water. I went back to the Ol’ Monster and boated a couple more fun fish.

Nathan came back from Seaholm and we had a pleasant chat, catching each other up on the latest local bass fishing trends. Our main takeaway is that the poor bass are being boiled alive in most of the area lakes. The Bird bass are enjoying a temperate 81°F.

Under First Street, a credit card captain with rambunctious crew cheered me on as I reeled in another TR ribbontail fish. Never gets old. A bass boat was idling uplake. I’ve gotten used to turning a blind eye to the obvious scofflaws, but this guy had his trolling motor stowed, so I figured he didn’t know about the no gas engine rule. I mentioned it to him about the rule. He thanked me sincerely, shut off his engine, deployed his troller and started fishing. I think its really great when I can help someone stay out of trouble.

At least a half dozen shirtless kayakers were beating the bank at Shoal Creek. A fly angler with a contemporary watercraft hailed me by name. I responded in the affirmative. He said he recognized me from ABF. I asked him his avatar name. He told me he hasn’t joined… yet. He told me he really enjoys my posts. He kept moving uplake, said he was headed to Tom Miller.

I turned around and started fishing my way back. I went a long spell without a bite, perhaps two hours. The fish were lock-jawed. Somehow, I squeaked out a couple bites at Waller Creek, of course on the Ol’ Monster. I briefly fished a couple of drains on my way to I-35. I got to I-35 and found the dawn patrol were already there, making their final stand. Thirty minutes went by and no one got a bite. The kayakers went to the ramp. Then a school of small bass turned on and I was finally getting bit on the reg, albeit smaller fish.

The Real Housewives of Rollingwood had rented the Capital Cruises Donut Boat. They had been down to Snake Island and were heading back to the Hyatt. The female skipper and garrulous crew gave me berth as I reel set a drop-shot fish. They set down their glasses of Pinot Noir and clapped when I hoisted the tiny fish. Never gets old.

The fly fisherman in the contemporary watercraft returned from uplake. It is hard to hear over the din of the overhead Interstate traffic, but I heard him say he did catch fish and the pattern was clouser minnow white and chartreuse. You can see his boat departing at the beginning of the video below.

A steady stream of paddleboard beauties waved as they passed. A blase recreational kayaker darted between the pilings right under my line. I enunciated a polite warning. I saw his bow go under the line and then the line ride up his paddle. I laughingly told him there was a very sharp hook tied to the end of that line, that was now running along his arm over his shoulder and along his neck. To his credit, he didn’t panic and was able to extricate himself with no harm. I would have opened my bail, of course, LOL!

It was a fun day on the water. Got off to good start with the five ribbontail fish and ended good with nine drop-shot fish. Apologies in advance, the cell phone You Tube video is not that good and the audio is even worse. At the end of the video, the plastic worm has broken off the line and I’m trying to scoop the worm out of the water with the rod tip while the fish is still hooked. Unfortunately, the worm sank. Off at 1:30PM.
Water Smile Fisherman Fish Recreational fishing

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