It’s difficult for me to pinpoint when a year begins and ends with my angling, and to be honest I wasn’t entirely sure if it was a good year for me; however within a few moments it became apparent it was a remarkable year that would take a lot for me to surpass, many quixotic goals were set, and a few of them became reality. It’s really a luxury being able to sit back and write collectively over past sessions partly because you are able to overlook the blanks, discomfort, doubt, and large sums of money it took for the year to transpire into a positive.
Let me begin with my local pursuits. Mirror Madness had gotten to me and my ultimate goal was to get a 30+ mirror, but after seeing a good friend land a 40+ I knew the bar was set very high and my target fish of a 30 was still on the list although seemingly smaller. During these sessions I was able to bank a very colorful 30lb common that appeared to have a bit of koi in it, but maybe it’s just safer to say it was a large colorful common. On this same session I was also fortunate enough to net Josef Raguro’s PB Common. I consider myself lucky to be able to fish with a great but small group of innovative anglers who throw around rig, bait, and tactical approaches , and with this being said 2015 was the year of the Wafter, Critically Balanced Popup, and Snowman fished as a single seldom relying on method or sticks.
The colder than normal Texas winter had me wishing for warmer months full of fire ants, alligators, melanoma bright sunshine, and sleepless nights due to all that I mentioned. As soon as spring came about I was in allergy hell producing enough snot and drainage that if it could be used as a bait or glug I would have been set. On one particularly miserable spring morning I banked this robust amazing mid 30 common. Typically I’d stick around a bit afterwards but due to the allergies I booked it home and slept a record breaking 16 hours.
Instead of submitting to the elements of weather that make Texas such a great state (Sarcasm) I decided to travel north to Idaho during the summer, I did manage to scrape out a Texas mid 30lb mirror, but the pictures of large 100% mirror catches saw me leave the 100+ degree heat for 11 days in what has been my best session to date. We fished 3 different waters in this amazing state and had over 100 fish ranging from teens into the high 40’s!, I cannot recall the exact number of fish below 30 pounds; yet I know 5 thirties were caught as well as two forties. Somehow results like this take a while to become skin deep for me and really bask in what a great session this was. The night the large mirror was caught was no different than other nights and neither was the fight, a typical weed clogged line with a lot of weight attached. The fish did not give off any suggestions it was particularly large due to amassing itself in dense weed and if I would have known the weight I’m sure I would have eased it a bit more carefully. The girth of the fish was the first immediate giveaway that it was a great deal larger than the previous catches as well as when the weeds were removed from its tail to see its overall consistently fat length. Instead of yelling in elation or giving a high five I just weighed the fish and sacked it an hour or so until we had good light. Due to the lack of reception my catch reports were spotty to friends and family, and above all things I wanted to share the moment but that would have to wait until I got home from the 21 hour drive (In which I did without stopping for the night or sleeping.) Once again I slept for an amazing 16 hours or more.
I do not claim to be a clairvoyant so I do not have any predictions for 2016, I will say I do have some target fish in mind and I will not mention what they are therefore if I fail at getting them nobody needs to know and I can save face. In 2016 I intend on accumulating a list of blanks, failed prospects, and mishaps so far I am at two blanks and one real haul.