The pursuit of Florida strain black bass led me to a ranch on the Nueces river in west Texas the main purpose of the trip was my annual deer hunt. I have hunted here many times.
Part of the attraction of the ranch is a 3 or 4-acre pond in front of the main lodge. Stocked with Florida black bass some years ago, there has been little fishing pressure since that time. The year before my trip they did an electro-shocking study of the fish population and found one fish that was over 8-pounds.
Elsewhere in the state wildlife biologists have introduced Florida bass. Currently about 8,000.000 fish per year are being stocked into 126 Texas reservoirs. Since that stocking program began, more than 450 have been recorded weighing more than 13-pounds. The state record of 18.3 pounds came from Lake Fork in the northern part of the state.
The biggest difference between the Florida and Northern strains of black bass is that the Florida has a black coloration along the lateral line. It is blotchier than the Northern. This sub-species of the Northern Black Bass has a reputation for being difficult to catch. They also do very well in small bodies of water such as this pond.
The first afternoon that we fished the pond, I had a fish on with the second cast. Just as I got it to the shore, the fish threw the road runner and swam away. I fished for some time that afternoon and caught one nice fish. We photographed it and returned the fish to the water.
Conditions were far from ideal with cold water and 25 mph winds. It was fun to cast with the wind. I have never cast so far in my life.
The following afternoon, I returned to the pond intent upon catching that big bass. A change of lure seemed in order. A large “bomber type” lure of unknow n origin was the choice of my host. I caught several bass but they were all about 2 pounds in size. Nice fish but not the “big one.”
Once I figured out that they were hugging the structure at one side of the pond, I was able to catch several fish. But I continued to have trouble landing the fish as they would fight right up to the shore and throw the lure as if to say “so there.”
Still it was a fine afternoon for fishing.