We stayed at Big Oak RV park just inside Uvalde County, and what an accommodating and upscale place this campground is. While there is river access, it's a bit of a hike to the river. State Highway 55 follows this section of the Nueces, so we did some scouting of the upper sections on Friday night, after checking in with TWFF and AFF, and eating the best hot dog I ever ate in Barksdale.
Even though fishing began at dawn Saturday morning, I had a little gut rot to overcome, so we did our usual, awake when awake. It took us awhile to set up and outfit our tubes, but once we got that settled, we headed north.
|Officer Max gets a fly fishing lesson from Cody
Cody was casting to some Sunfish, when a peace officer pulled up. We thought we were going to be asked for our licenses, but no. Officer Max wanted to know about fly fishing, so Cody gave him a really nice lesson; I continued to rig up. We found the least treacherous way to the water, and I put in at the end of a nice set of class-II rapids--overhanging rocks, trees and grasses, and nice eddies meant there were some hungry, unsuspecting fish to be caught. However, the first order of business was to target the fish in the middle of the river, about 12 feet down. Cody stood up top and guided my cast to where the Sunfish were hanging around an unoccupied bass bed. Good direction, decent cast, and FishOn! At first I thought I had a Bass, but instead, it was a nice Redbreast Sunfish with late spawning colors. She measured 9 inches on the board! Start the fish count on the scorecard with the first catch of the day!
|Winner, winner! 9 inch Redbreast
I kicked back up stream, hard work, and fished the shorelines and caught three more decent size Sunfish--Greenies and Bluegills in the 7 inch range. Then, Cody and I floated our way down to the low water crossing. We pulled Bluegills, Largemouth, and Guadalupe Bass from the shoreline. I politely waited for the snakes, mostly non-poisonous, to swim by before casting.
|Float-tube fishing the Nueces River
|Downstream of the Country Road 416 Lowater Crossing
|The bulge underneath the moss by the head indicated it had eaten not too long before I snapped this photo
|One of many Guadalupe Bass of the day
Earlier, some folks had been swimming in a deep water, swift current pool created by the culverts under the low-water crossing bridge right at the shoreline. I couldn't really see any fish, but just couldn't pass up the opportunity to give it a try. Cody had returned from his sojourn upstream and was watching from above on the bridge. I had fished the first three culverts, when I decided to give the swirling eddy of the middle culvert a try. My fly got down fast, and I thought I was stuck on debris. Cody hollered and whooped and threatened me about losing the fish. He came down and helped me land and measure my personal best on a Guadalupe Bass, 12 1/2 inches.
|12 1/2 inch Guadalupe Bass
That was it; we were finished for the day, as it was time to turn in our scorecards. After picking up some trash and speaking with a friendly Texas Game Warden for a bit, we headed back to camp. Realizing that my 14 fish for the day, seven Sunfish, seven Bass, were not any where near competition standards, especially since last year's Total Fish category was near 200 caught fish, I just turned it in for show.
|Pat's inscription reads, "Many thanks for letting me represent my husband--he would be so grateful for the honor of the tributes to him--..Pat Priddy"