This past Monday Keith and I decided to fish Decker Lake for a shot at some massive smallmouth buffaloes. A good friend of ACA called about a week earlier reporting that the buff were already rolling in and feeding. This was a surprise for all of us, since our “buff season” doesn’t normally start till around October. We weren’t complaining one bit though, as we look forward to returning to Decker Lake every year.
I had already made the statement that this season would be when I finally got my 50lb+ buff. I have been waiting for the weather to start cooling down, as any Texan will tell you, our summers are like hell on earth. Fishing slows to a crawl, and blank sessions are a common occurrence. It became clear that the dry spell was over, since before the week was over, all our landing mats were covered with the sweet slime of victory!
Mike, Kurt and Melissa were the first ones to make it out to Decker on a Saturday. Mike was into fish within a couple hours. They landed eight smallmouth buffalo that day, ranging from Mel’s 26lbs 4oz to Mike’s 41lb 4oz lunker! Melissa managed to break her smallmouth buffalo PB twice that day! Her first PB was a 26lb 4oz, directly followed by her current PB of 31lbs 2oz. Needless to say she was ecstatic. Mike landed 5 fish that day, which is outstanding for a 6 hour session. It was obvious the buffs were feeding heavy, since while I was there visiting, Mike and I had to remove a 16mm ground bait from a buffs gills because he had sucked it all the way back, which told us they were really having at it. Keith and I had planned on fishing the next day, so it was extremely encouraging to see them having an awesome session.
Sunday morning rolled around, and Keith and I were on Decker’s bank by about 7am. As I said, we were very optimistic. My first two runs resulted in a pulled hook, not the start I was hoping for. While I was frustrated about the pulls, we were confident that there was fish in the swim, and they were feeding. I shook it off, and continued to rebait my lines, as did Keith. Keith had first blood, with a 38lb 8oz fatty. About 30 minutes later he landed another that went 34lbs 4oz. Not long after that, I had a screaming run, which resulted in a 21lb 12oz basketball of a buff. He was a short little guy, but he was fat. Keith landed two more, 31lbs 2oz and a 28lber. That was four fish to my one; I had to step it up.
Keith and I were both fishing some new concept boilies from K-1 Baits, which are really doing the business! Not just for buffs, we also landed three commons, 11lbs 8oz, 11lb 10oz and a 6lber, at a venue that is known for the occasional common. K-1 really got it right with this new concept boilie! Our hopes are high for the upcoming pre-spawn with such effective bait in our arsenal.
I switched to the K-1 concept boilies across the board and rebaited. Making sure I bombed one out there, with the hope of dropping my bait right in front of the big girl I was after. As soon as Keith and I got comfortable, my middle rod took off, which is the one I had bombed out there. Right when I picked up the rod, I knew it was a big fish. It felt like I had just set the hook into a brick wall. I started to play the fish ever so gently, as I did not want another hook pull, especially with what felt to be a very large buff. As soon as Keith grabbed my net and prepared to net my fish, one of his rods ripped off. He dropped my net and set to playing his fish. It was quite the moment, both of us with a fish on, the excitement was palpable. I grabbed my net and stepped into the water to net my fish. The buff had made her way over my right rod, and turning her away from it was almost impossible. When I finally got her close enough to net, I pulled my rod back with one hand, and slipped the net under her with my other. When the fish went sideways as she was going into my net, I could see how massive she was, and I flipped out. I was completely overcome with excitement, yelling at Keith “OMG she is HUGE!”. When I picked her up out of the water, it was clear she was over 50lbs. I set her down in my cradle and began to flip out LOL. Keith put her on the scales, 54lbs 4oz! It’s hard to explain the feeling of a new PB, but I imagine for most of our readers, I don’t have to. I had set out to land my 50lb+ this season, and I managed it during my very first session. I was completely elated, still am. Keith’s buff was a little 22lb 12oz fattie. Keith closed out the session with one more fish, another little fattie of 21lb 5oz.
Big thanks to K-1 baits for an outstanding concept bait! Everyone at ACA feels privileged to have access to their recently developed baits. All of which have not only been effective, but out fish anything else that we fish alongside it as part of our testing.
Until next time…keep em in the net!