ACA hosted a Fish-in at Emma Metropolitan Park from September 20-22nd. We all had high hopes, since the fishing has been above par in Austin for about the past month or so. Getting water front sites at Emma was a challenge, since so many people had been camping in the park, trying to get in some last minute fun in the sun before our temperatures start to cool off. Since we had to pay for lakeside spots ahead of time in order to ensure we had them for the fish-in, a few us ended up on the bank a day or two early. We ended up having quite a few fish in the cradle over the next few days, one to remember for sure.
Kurt and Mike were first to hit the bank on Wednesday afternoon. The rest of us had obligations that kept us away for at least a day or two more, so we were all glued to our group chat waiting for them to report back with catches. They ended up with 20+ fish that night, ranging from 10-24lbs. This included Mike’s absolutely stunning fully scaled mirror, at 10lbs 12oz! After a night like that, I had planned on leaving for Emma at my first possible convenience the next day. I hardly slept the night before, as is the norm for me the night before a session.
I made it to the lake about 1pm the next day. The fishing had slowed, but I was still optimistic about what the late afternoon, and evening would bring. I quickly got my lines out and started to build my swim with range cubes, manna, and sweet corn soaked in some K-1 Perfect Plum. Kurt had brought his kayak, so with Mikes help; we made short work of baiting up. It wasn’t long before the first fish was in my cradle, a massive 56lb grass carp! This fish was huge, bulging out both ends of my cradle. Not only was the fish super long, but it was a fatty to boot. The only problem was the cedar knot (hidden by the grass) I busted my knee one while stepping down to the water in order to play the fish. I didn’t notice the damage it did at first, with a fish that large in the cradle. After a while I happened to look down, and noticed my knee was swollen all the way to my ankle. I rebaited my lines, packed some ice into a Ziploc, elevated my leg, and hoped for the best. The things we do for fishing, right?
Friday turned out to be a wet one. We were expecting rain, but nothing like what we got. The remnants of hurricane Manuel had blown in, coupled with a cold front the same day, making for some classic Texas thunderstorms. It poured most of the day, with very small breaks in between storm cells. Just enough time to step out from the bivvie to stretch your legs, and rebait your lines. The rain finally eased up in the afternoon, giving everyone a chance to move around, and set their minds to fishing again.
I had a fresh batch of oats pack ready that had been brewing since Thursday evening, made with K-1 Fruity Pineapple and Juicy Tutti Frutti, which I have found to be a deadly combo. I rebaited my lines, and launched about 15 method balls into my swim. Fish started to crash almost immediately. It was clear that it was going to be an interesting night. Fish hit the bank pretty steady until about 2am. Again, it was mostly teener commons, and of course a bunch of grassers. At about 1am, just as I was about to pass out in my bed chair, I had a screaming run on my margin rod. It was an awesome fight, from a fish that had some spunk. When I slid the net under the fish, she went sideways, and I saw that it was fully scaled, I flipped out. The result was my very first fully scaled mirror, at 15lbs 2oz. Everyone was asleep at that point, but that didn’t stop me from knocking on a few bivvie doors to tell everyone about it. I was completely elated, and I still am.
I left on Saturday afternoon, a day early, due to my busted knee from the 56lb grasser. The swelling had gone down, but it was definitely time to put it up at the house. Everyone else continued to fish until Sunday afternoon, catching fish until they left. We had some out-of-towners come out for a bit and break a few PB’s. Keith and Kristina managed to catch a lot more fish by Monday for his birthday weekend, but that’s another story that I will let Keith tell.
Most of my fish fell to K-1 Tutti & Pineapple Sweetcorn, and K-1 Tutti Maize, popped up with Enterprise K-1 Imitation Corn, to keep if off the silt. I also had a few commons, and one of my buffs, fall the K-1 concept boilies I spoke about in my most recent post, Hit the Ground Running. Another successful session with K-1 Baits on the hair!
Until next time, keep em in the net!