This is fact. It is not in dispute and I am not writing this to somehow bolster that claim, I am merely explaining how it came that I am the rightfully anointed lord.
Last year was the first time I had caught a catfish on the fly. I remember well, it was Father’s Day and I pulled a 19.25” beastie from Milagro Pool on the Blanco River. The fight was awesome on my little 000wt rod and I am sure that I caught a dozen or more last year. Most were less than 20” but I did catch a few a bit larger.
This year’s warm water fishing season started off on March 24th fishing with my daughter Jaz at Flystock on the Llano River at Long’s Fish Camp. I had a nice day of Guadalupe and Largemouth Bass but my best fish was a 22.5” Channel Catfish (by conservative estimates) that proceeded to put up the best fight I have ever had on a fly rod. Yeah, it was on my trusty 000wt. In hindsight, that fish was a harbinger of fishing to come.
2012 Catfish = 1
Next was a great (post birthday) April 1st float on the Blanco River in Wimberley with Anthony and Jaz. A nice 19″ largemouth was landed by Anthony and I caught my personal best Largemouth Bass, a fat 21” beauty. Also in the mix was an 18” catfish.
2012 Catfish = 2
A month later I took a novice, Jeff out to The Green Mile of the Blanco River and ended up catching 3 catfish. The largest was and 18.75” fish that I entered into the THC Mixed Bag Tournament (THCMB) along with a 16” Largemouth Bass. Since I am the organizer I can’t get any ranking but I can pretend to play along with points!
2012 Catfish = 5
A few days later, for Jaz’s belated birthday trip she and I tried a short 3.9 mile float from Bergheim Campgrounds to Edge Falls Road on the Upper Guadalupe. We were there clean up on the Longear Sunfish & Green Sunfish for the THCMB and accomplished that goal easily but our hopes of catching Guadalupe Bass large enough to qualify was not met. In the course of the day I land 4 catfish.
2012 Catfish = 9
Irritated that we failed to catch any Guads for the tourney, we headed out to Carpers Creek on the Blanco River to try a spot that where we have always caught smallmouths. Not a single smallie but I do catch a decent catfish.
2012 Catfish = 10
I was sure that our 2nd annual Father’s Day fly fishing trip would in no way be able to compete with the previous year’s outing. Wow, was I wrong. This time we brought along Jaz’s new boyfriend, Victor. I finally got a Rio large enough for the THCMB and get this, I caught 13, yes, THIRTEEN Channel Catfish. The largest of which was a 19.75” fish that I entered in the tourney. Had I not had 2 witnesses to every catch I would not expect anyone to believe this day of catfish on the fly. Even Jaz catches 3 catfish this day!
2012 Catfish = 23
The following weekend I went to the Twilight Pool section of the Blanco River with Ryan. It was a section I needed to revisit before signing off on the final Blanco River Pocket Guide printing. The day was full of great skinny water fishing but no new species for the tourney. I did however catch 4 catfish, including one 18” guy in clear shallow water that hooked up right at my feet! The most unique event of the trip was having a huge Hellgrammite drop out of shorts when I got home.
2012 Catfish = 27
It had been a while since I had fished with Anthony and last weekend we were both looking to fill some odd slots in the THCMB. We decided to try the Colorado River between Shaffer Bend and the Narrows. Last year we had caught Gar, Drum, White Bass, Crappie and Smallmouth Bass there. This year I caught a Largemouth Bass and, you guessed it, a catfish. Anthoney did manage to catch a Drum but it was too small to qualify. Funniest part of the trip was releasing the Hellgrammite from the weekend before into the river. After living in a plastic cup, half filled with tap water in the garage for a week he seemed no worse for the wear. Those critters are hardcore.
2012 Catfish = 28
Yesterday I spent the morning with Mike, the current THCMB leader fishing the Lower Guadalupe near Gruene. We had a great time; it had been a while since I caught so many smallies, guads and largemouths. None of which were long enough to enter in the THCMB but a ton of fun. Notable catches of the day were a Rio that Mike got with a HUGE dome head and of course another catfish.
2012 Catfish = 29
At this point even in the extremely unlikely event that I do not catch another catfish the rest of the year, I’m pretty sure that I am still the undisputed “Lord of the Catfish”.