After a long weekend of attending the Formula 1 Race here in Austin, Kristi and I decided to relax on the banks of Decker Lake and try and catch some buffalo. Since we had started really early all three days of the race weekend, and the buffalo tend to not really start feeding hard until 10:00 am., we took out time getting ready in the morning and getting to the lake – arriving about 9:45. We found the lake a little up in level and a cool wind blowing straight into our faces (12-15 mph wind out of the North). We put up the Groundhog for shelter from the wind, let the dogs roam around for a while before leashing them to a picnic table, got the fishing gear out, and used the method blaster to put out 25 frozen balls of my oats pack from last weekend.
By 10:45 we had all three rods out with grits pack, 2.5oz. inline leads set up to be free running, 15″ Korda N-Trap Soft, Korda Kontinental hooks in size 6, a single K1-Baits Pineapple Ester Tiger Nut (dyed yellow for extra visibility) and a single piece of buoyant plastic maize (making the rig almost weightless in the water). Within a few minutes we had a couple of catfish type knocks – really fast pickup and drop back down, but no takes. Sticking to my usual timetable I re-baited at 11:30 and again at 12:00, I do this as I find that runs seem to come within the first 30 minutes of the bait being in the water (generally about four out of five casts this is true).
At 12:10 we had a “normal” buffalo bite which, after some issues due to weed, Kristi put the net under some 10 minutes later. This fish was 37lb 10oz. We took the pictures and slipped it back before re-baiting all three rods once again.
We were about to rebait again about 1:00 pm when the alarms signaled yet another buffalo this one being Kristi’s fish. She picked up the rod and started to get the fish moving towards us when it went solid in the weeds, after Kristi had tugged, dragged and pulled for a good 10 minutes she handed the rod over to me to get the fish out of the weed. I eventually managed to get the fish moving again and landed the fish and about 30lb of weed – another pristine buffalo weighing 33lb graced the scales – this one being a joint effort we counted it as half each.
Yet another hour passed and I was pulling a rod in that had got snagged in the weed when yet another buffalo bite started. Kristi picked up the rod and was immediately attached to a hard fighting fish, I literally dragged in a 50lb bunch of loose weed to get the rod I was on out of the way then went to net Kristi’s fish. This one also found the weed but not as badly as previously, so Kristi carried on bringing in the fish. While she was playing it the last rod indicated another bite, so I got on that one quickly to prevent it too getting in the weed. That did not happen and the fish buried itself in the weed within a couple of minutes of me picking up the rod. I decided to lay the rod down and focus on netting Kristi’s fish which was close by now. This one had about 15lb of weed wrapped around its head and ended up weighing in at 39lb 8oz – we thought it might be a new PB for Kristi at one point. While Kristi took care of the fish – unhooking, transferring to the sling and weighing etc. I went back to my weed snagged fish. By now the fish was free of most of the weed and came in pretty easily. This fourth fish of the day ended up weighing 34lb and made a nice double for the pair of us – no double pictures as we were still the only ones at the lake.
By now we were getting low on bait and planning to leave at 4:00 pm. so I had a couple more re-baits before the last bite of the day which Kristi landed at 29lb even.
No real monsters but a nice relaxed day after all the hectic coming and going of Formula 1.