Thursday, September 1, 2011

First texas rig bass

First texas rig bass, and he/she's a beauty

I'm obsessed. When I'm on the Metra on the way to work, I read fishing forums. I often hit up the big lake before work, since it's only a 10 minute walk. I sneak out on my lunch break to get few casts in. I routinely stop by my retention pond honey hole on my way home to catch a bass or two. I literally have dreams of catching smallies and salmon. Right now- I'm writing this on the Metra, on my iPhone, at 5:02am- because I'm on my way to fish burnham harbor for a few hours before work. I woke up at 4am- and I'm totally ok with that.

I'm a crazy person! I am clearly obsessed. I figure at some point, when all the water is frozen, I'll have to take a break from fishing... So I figure I'll just keep being crazy until then. Let's not even think about ice fishing just yet.

On my bike (well, Claire's bike... My amazing home-painted camo bike is not exactly "functional"...) I pass by the pond twice a day. How can I pass up a few casts? Yesterday I decided to allow myself 20 minutes, and then leave.

When I got there I noticed the water level was very high, almost putting the pipe underwater. There was a lot of gross looking stuff on the surface of the water, that looked a lot like poop. I don't think it was, but I made a mental note to wash my hands extra long later. I also noticed a distinct lack or visible bluegill- usually they are everywhere, positioned facing the pipe near the top of the water column, hoping for an easy meal. Not today.

I already had a tube jig on the end of my rod, so for speed sake I kept it on and cast it out. At this great spot, it's rare not to get a hit in the first few casts. Sure enough, on my third cast, I let the jig sink, then noticed my line slowly moving. Fish on!

No big attack, no wham, just a casual "hey that looks good, I'll eat it." I set the hook, and that's when the fireworks began (the "oh crap!" moment). Got the bugger to shore- a very nice looking, beautifully dark-patterned 10" largemouth.

First fish
Snapped some pics, and carefully replaced my friend in the water. The commotion from the fight brought hundreds of tiny gills to the surface. "what was that!?" they seemed to say.

Cast again, and got a bunch of extremely tentative bites, but no hookups. This was weird- usually the bass in this pond attack the lure like a ballistic missile, but today they were almost gentle.

It was very hot, few clouds, and lots of sun. They were taking it easy. I remembered all the hints and tips I'd been reading on my commute, and thought about cover. I know they like the pipe and he little fish attracts, but it's hot.. If I were a fish, I'd want to find some shade. I scanned the surface, which was covered with little patches of weeds... And one big patch. That's where I would be.

I decided to try a different lure. I rely too much on the tube jig- I want to be a versatile angler, not a one-trick pony. I tied on a Texas-rigged plastic worm, about 6" long. I figured that would help me avoid some weeds too.

I cast, and overshot- the work landed with a plop, right on top of the weeds. It didn't sink, it just lay on the surface weeds.

That's ok! I got some great hits the other day at Ogden Slip when I gently pulled my lure into the water from the sidewalk. I did the same here- moved my rod just enough to pull the worm to the weed edge and drop it in the water. I hoped the bass hiding there would see an enticing meal silhouetted against the sunny open water.

A few very soft hits, but they didn't want to commit. Seemed like they didn't want to leave their comfortable weed shade, even for a big ol' tasty worm. Ok, I got a great tip from Navyfisher on the WCF forums about "deadsticking" for finicky bass. Of course I had no idea what that meant until I googled it. Basically you just leave your bait/lure sitting there.

So I recast to the top of the weeds, pulled, and dropped the worm an inch in front of the weeds. It slowly fell to the bottom, and I left it there. It sat for about 30 seconds, and then once again my line started to move! My first Texas rig catch!!

After a quick fight, I landed another beautiful bass, this time a light-patterned skinny one, about 8". I wondered about the huge variety in patterns- if all the bass here from from this pond, wouldn't they have similar patterns? I wondered how many of the bass came from other bodies of water.

The next cast I got stuck on a branch, snapped my line, and called it a day. 2 bass in 20 minutes on the way home from work? First catch using a new technique? I'll take it.


  1. The key to that whole presentation was that you just let it sit! That is one of the hardest parts of the whole thing. Great job!

  2. Thanks man! It's great to use new info to successfully land some nice fish... Looking forward to the fall, I hear/read it can be some great fishing. And then of course there's the salmon...

  3. Chris, you are as addicted as I am! Great job on the catches and new technique! Deadsticking is a technique that is hard to discipline yourself to use when bass fishing, but works when it is very hot and you can put the bait really close to some sluggish fish.

    If you do it long enough and with certain baits, you will also catch quite a few catfish, or at least I do around here.


Tell me what you think!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.