The Salt Water Barrier

Standing on the concrete spillway with the full force of Texas’, Colorado River, being held in check by the restraining balloon, I didn’t then, nor have ever found out what the air filled giant was made of, but it was over three hundred feet long and probably twenty feet in diameter and was stretched across the river from giant concrete anchors.  Tidal water, from the Gulf of Mexico, fifteen miles south, was to my front and behind me, behind the huge barrier, was the fresh water from the river.  The water was used for irrigation of the many rice fields in the area.

Surprise, one of my first casts, with an artificial shrimp tail lure, into the brackish water was picked up by a nice, channel cat and five minutes later I was stringing the eight, pounder.   Several casts later, my rod bowed as a big fish hit the lure and headed down river.  This wasn’t a cat and, because of the apparent head shaking, I identified it as a big red.  My gear, a six and a half, foot fiberglass, popping rod, 6000C, reel loaded with two hundred yards of fifteen pound line, should be sufficient to stop this fellow’s run.

Hopping down off of the spillway and running along the bank, I was able to gain some line and soon the fish slowed and made another shorter run, but something was out of whack, this fish was fighting deeper than a red.  Maybe it had swallowed the lure?  Gaining line and easing the fish up out of the depths, I had my first glimpse of a big striped bass, probably thirty inches long.

Having caught some in South Carolina, but never in Texas waters, I wanted this one for, at least, a picture and as I bent over to “lip” the striper, all the while trying to keep my line tight, the single hook on the plug, pulled out.  I could only watch, and I still have the mind picture, as this silver/greenish, striped beauty slowly finned down out of sight.

There is a small striped bass fishery in the Trinity River, below the Lake Livingston damn.  Having fished Trinity Bay, around the mouth of the Trinity River, many times, I have caught reds and specs but never a striper, although I’ve heard tales of anglers regularly catching them.  I’ve fished around the salt water, barrier on the San Bernard River and no stripers.  I think there’s too much pollution around the Brazos/New River system for them and have never caught one around there.

All I can imagine is that this fish either came into the Colorado from the Gulf, or came down Trinity to Galveston Bay, then into the Gulf for, forty miles, then up the Colorado?

Whatever, it certainly did some traveling.