San Marcos — It was a quadruple slam. A double digit river bass caught on a top water lure, from a kayak for a new river record.
“It was like I was in shock.” said Colvin. “I was yelling at the top of my lungs.”
Fishing about 100 yards from the confluence of the Blanco and San Marcos Rivers, Colvin slammed the hook of his buzz bait into the lunker fish on April 19 shortly before dark.
“I saw a kayaker and yelled for him to help me,” said Colvin. “I left the hook in the bass in case he flipped out of the kayak. The kayaker took two pictures of me with the fish.”
Colvin lived for several years in Port Lavaca before coming to Texas State in 2005. He soon learned to wade fish our local rivers, catching a career best 7.5-pound largemouth not far below the I-35 bridge. I don’t know if class work was top priority during those college years.
Then he joined the Navy and spent four years and eight months with the Carrier USS Enterprise strike group. Fortunately, he never served overseas but did fly through the tail of a hurricane while on a mission.
“When those down drafts cause the helicopter to drop 30 to 40 feet it will make you grab and hold on,” he said.
After deciding not to re-enlist in the Navy, Kirk returned to Texas State in January of this year. But now he was no longer a wade fisherman. While in Jacksonville, Florida he purchased a 13 foot Ocean Kayak Prodrifter. He was now really ready to tackle our rivers.
The afternoon he caught the record bass was a good float. He caught about a dozen bass on the buzz bait. All were released. Kirk releases all his bass, the monster fish being the exception.
Fishing a buzz bait is a blast. Buzz baits are noisy top water spinners. You have to reel them fast to keep the bait from sinking. When a bass explodes on a buzz bait you will hear it, see it, and feel it. There’s no question about the bite. It’s usually violent.
“I cast the buzz bait into a little nook on the shoreline,” said Colvin. “As I reeled it out near a submerged log by some elephant ears, the bass hit.”
Colvin loves to fish the buzz bait but it’s not the only lure he uses. He fishes a soft plastic Cinco jerk bait and another top water lure similar to a Zara Spook, called a Skitterwalk. The Cinco is his favorite bait but that April afternoon the buzz bait was the ticket.
It’s no surprise that the lunker bass was caught on that section of the Blanco near the junction of the two rivers. Historically, the largest bass caught in the Blanco have come from that area. My largest bass on the Blanco, a six pounder, came from almost the same spot. Much of the Blanco goes dry during drought but Cummings Dam backs up a lake guaranteeing that the confluence will always have plenty of water. Thus, fish have the opportunity to grow large.
Colvin is not a light tackle fan. On the river he uses a short stiff rod and bait caster reel loaded with 40 pound test braided line.
“I’m not a fan of hooking big fish on light line and losing the fish when the line breaks,” he said. “I like to be in control.”
Kirk had the fish officially weighed and measured. The 11 pound plus female was 27.5 inches in length. The biologist at the A. E. Wood Fish Hatchery in San Marcos said the big female was in the process of spawning. Some of her eggs had already been deposited. With the whole load of eggs she could have tipped the scales at over 12 pounds.
The old Blanco River bass record was 9.14 pounds set in 1995. A bass over 10 pounds is a great prize, even on a trophy bass lake. But to catch a river bass like that is outstanding. Colvin’s new record is not likely to be broken any time soon.
The only thing I can think of better than catching that big fish on a buzz bait would be for her to have swallowed my poppin’ bug on the fly rod.
Jim Darnell is an ordained minister and host/producer of the syndicated outdoor’s show God’s Great Outdoors. His column appears every Thursday in The Daily Record.