That’s Terrific Bass!

It’s the main drag on the UT campus, an iconic peak in West Texas, a virginal image worshipped by the Catholic Church, and a plucky little bass that only lives in a handful of Central Texas rivers. We can all agree on the spelling, but pronunciation is all over the map.

Texan |  Gwa-duh-loop
Texican | Gwa-duh-loo-pee
Mexican |  Wah-dah-loo-pay

Last week I floated the Colorado River with guide Shea McClanahan and David Blackbird. We were posturing for a bass fight but surprised when we found way more Guadalupe bass than largemouths. He’s the “State Fish of Texas” and he only tops out at 3.6 pounds, but what he lacks in size he makes up for in fight.

The day started clear and cool but by 10 am we were shucking our layers. Topwater flies worked great until the sun got high, then we switched to streamers and crawfish patterns which they gobbled like Milk Duds. Big thanks to David for helping with the photos, and to Shea for manning the oars and arranging access with a colorful slice of rural Texana.

“The other evenin’ I was down there on the bank and them bass were hittin’ the top and carryin’ on like a jackass in a tin barn.” Gene, at the takeout

Click here to see the rest of the shoot.

Shea and David, spanking the bank


Bloop, bloop, bloop…

…when they was no fowl, we ate crawdad…

Wading a tailout

Your Guadalupe bass

Working the weedbeds

Taping a good one

A great way to experience Central Texas


8 Responses to “That’s Terrific Bass!”

  1. Austin Orr says:

    What a wonderful collection of photos of our state fish. Beautiful work Mr. Brown. Looks like y’all had a great day gittin’ after some Guads

  2. Jason says:

    Looks like fun. I’ve floated down many of these rivers before but never seriously fished any of them. What’s the most productive time of the year? I usually come down in winter which is probably not the best time. Would it even be worth it or should I wait till spring?

  3. Tosh says:

    Jason, winter would work if you happen to hit a 3-4 day warm spell between cold fronts. Otherwise, I’d do spring or fall.

  4. MG says:

    Now, how many species of fishes are in that there river, Texan?


    • Tosh says:

      Not sure in total, but in one float I saw: largemouths, Guads, channel cats, carps, breams, gars, and gaspergous. A veritable cornucopia of game and coarse species.

      But no needlefishes…or pilchards…

  5. James says:

    Great trip report and pictures!

    “You ate sand?”

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