Fishing Lake Austin
Now that my garden is on autopilot, hunting season is over and I can only do so much mountain biking and yard work I’ve started fishing more often. It’s the perfect time of the year to fish. I’ve been going to Lake Austin once a week for the last month or so and park under the 360 bridge (see photo) and hop in a boat.
Last weekend the wife and I took the boat out and the water was choppy and full of wake boarding boats bumping Lil Wayne and tweens on SeaDoos so it was a little maddening trying to get to my sweet spots. In fact I didn’t make it to any of the spots where I typically troll motor across hydrilla stashes using the fish finder to measure depth and luck. Instead we tucked into a little cove I’ve dubbed “Turtle Cove”. Here, we got away from the wake and I fished while the wife read. I have to admit it was a pretty terrible outing in that the water was rough, crowded and the fish weren’t biting. We had a good time drinking ice cold 7-Up, watching birds and turtles on a beautiful day.
Most of the time I go out with a friend of mine who is a professional fisherman. The guy is lights out when it comes to catching bass and he’s got a very serious Skeeter bass boat. This boat also hauls ass across the water. My boat goes plenty fast for what I want it to do (which is duck hunting) and has a 25 HP engine. In comparison, this guy has a 250 HP engine that shoots 30 foot rooster tails across the water as we zip down the lake from spot to spot. This boat is lose your hat, glasses and then hurt your face fast. I’ve never been in a boat this fast.
We fish with worms along the bank, docks, rock slides and grass patches as he knows several choice locations where 3-5 lb. pound bass await. We’ll fish a Texas rig or “Wacky Worm” style and it’s amazing how detailed the worm combos get with rich colors named Green Pumpkin Neon, Oxblood Red Flake and Chartreuse Motor Oil. Most of the time I’m simply along for the ride and choose my worm by the “This one looks good.” method. I always give the worm a little pep talk like, “Alright worm, you’re at a bar, alright? I want you to go up to the fattest fish you see and bring her on home. I know it’s not easy, but I’m counting on you.” And then away we go.
I guess the reason I’m writing about this at all is because we were fishing yesterday when the sky turned black and scared me a second. I saw the photo on the left that a news station took and was impressed because that’s what I saw yesterday. Anyhow, my friend had already caught (and released) several bass and I hadn’t caught a thing, which amazed me since we were on the same boat using the same bait, but anyhow, a quick, cool air settled over us and lightening broke across the sky. The entire line of hills seemed to shake and loosen. We were a few miles north, close to the dam when the storm began to close in and we could feel it running towards us. We packed up and drove to the loading ramp, but stopped at one more rock slide before calling it quits. I’m not sure that was a good idea, but I didn’t mind one last chance to make a catch. Once we decided it was time to go there was something very dangerous and at once appealing to be out on the lake with lightening, thunder, knifing winds and suddenly cold air streams attacking the senses from every direction. Darkness and the first sign of rain fell through the clouds as we bolted across the water. We were the only boat out there so it was top speed all the way. I held on with both hands as lightening cracked behind the hills and rain poured from the distance. I pretended we were fleeing something like in a movie. Some terrible monster or natural disaster nipping at our heels as we barreled towards freedom. I thought about what I’d do if our boat flipped and I was injured in the water wo/ a life vest and the storm raged on. Mostly I enjoyed the excitement and thought about what I’ll do the next time I’m out there.
Catch a fish.