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Waterboo Lake: Bedrock Ranch, Decatur
After driving the almost-10 miles to the lake in the dark yesterday morning, I was very glad I my little Forester had all-wheel drive. I drove under 10 mph so as to not shake my trailer apart. Bed Rock Ranch is aptly-named! Dawn arrived while I was on my way, and just past the low-water crossing, a little forkhorn whitetail crossed the road right in front of me. Cool. When I got to the lake, there was no wind at all – it was completely calm, clear, and a frosty 47°. After I loaded the boat and launched, I found the water temp to be 58.5°, cooler than I had anticipated. The lake level was a couple of feet over the small dock, and visibility in the main lake was about 5 feet – about 3 in the creek. The hydrilla did not reach the surface; nor did the pond weed, except for isolated leaves. As predicted, I had no phone signal.
I boated my first fish at 0730, an 11-incher that slammed a red craw squarebill about 50 yards from the west bank, halfway from the dock to the dam I was casting out, not toward the bank. Just 5 minutes later, again about halfway from the first fish to the dam, a 14” fish hit the same lure – again, casting out. At 0740, I boated another 14-incher on the same lure, casting south into 9 feet of water. All three of those fish slammed the lure after about 5 cranks of the reel handle. Those were followed by 3 dinks, all on a white, ¼ oz Beetle Spin. Going back to the squarebill, I picked up another 14” fish in the northeast corner.
After that, there was nothing until I got back into the creek. On the way there, I saw 3 deer moving across the short grass from the road down toward where the creek forks. On the west bank of the creek, not far from the long point, I picked up a 13” fish on a green pumpkin/chartreuse tail, weightless, wacky-rigged Senko (WWRS). That was to be the only contact with a fish that I encountered in the creek. I never did find that 7-foot-deep channel In the creek; 5 feet was the deepest water I could find down there (3' on my Humminbird).
I moved back to the main lake and tied a small swim bait onto one of my ultra-light rigs, and promptly proceeded to boat 3 dinks, all in deeper water off the point at the end of the bluff bank. I also got another 14” fighter off that same point on the same Senko mentioned above. That was about 10:00, when the wind started blowing gently, with gusts to only about 5 mph.
Around noon, a 13-inch fish hit the swim bait. At 12:40, a 14” fish slammed the same bait at the west end of the dam, retrieving it fast over the top of the pond grass. Ten minutes later, I caught my biggest fish of the day, a 15-incher that hit the same red, craw-patterned squarebill. The forecast wind of 15 mph blew in around 2:00. After 2 hours of boating nothing but healthy hydrilla and rotting leaves, I decided that I was tired enough, and had enjoyed about as much as I could stand. The water temp when I left had climbed to 62.4°.
My total for the day was only 16 bass, all under 15”, with all but one under the 14-inch mark. I never even hooked a rock bass or bluegill, and saw no baitfish at all. Still, it was good to be outdoors and on a beautiful little lake on our one annual day of Autumn in Texas. I trailered, pulled out, loaded up, and “limped” back to the pavement – that took an hour.
Totals: 16 bass, all returned
WHAT WORKED: ½ oz, 6- to 9- foot depth, squarebill crankbait (sorry, but I don’t know what brand – red crawfish); WWRS (green pumpkin/chartreuse tail); ¼ oz Beetle Spin (white), Tom’s Minner (ivory/grey back; these are more than 54 years old, made by a gut in Round Rock, TX; I fished them on both a ¼ oz, unpainted jig head and a ¼ oz jighead covered with some kind of white fuzz – Mister Twister made them in the 70s, but I don’t know if they ever marketed them.); White Magic (bone); HB frog (white/green); 3” ountdown Rapala (gold/black back, red belly)
WHAT DIDN’T: Shad- and perch-pattern crankbaits; deep crankbaits of any color; Senkos of any color except green pumpkin/chartreuse tail; white buzzbait, perch chatterbait, 4” Pit Boss (watermelon/orange); perch-pattern jerk bait; T-rigged craw (watermelonorange flake).
[NOTES: Almost all bass caught hit at depths either between 3 and 8 feet or between 15 and 17 feet (My transducer is mounted under my trolling motor – you can do the easy math.)
Also, on the slow drive back to the gate, I couldn’t help but notice that pretty pond on the left of the road. Looked “bassy.” I don’t know if we’re allowed to fish it or not, so I didn’t stop. It sure is pretty, though....and that's an absolutely beautiful Texas Longhorn up by the gate!]
One additional comment: please see my “Word to the Wise” post in the Discussions Section.