The Guadalupe bass, the state fish of Texas, doesn’t grow as large as its cousins, but one Austin angler recently landed one that is set to be a record for the species.
The 3.71-pound fish caught from the Colorado River below Austin by angler Bryan Townsend appears to qualify as a state and world record in several categories.
Marcos De Jesus, a biologist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, met Townsend and fishing guide Shea McClanahan at the river Feb. 1 and assisted in transporting the fish to the Cabela’s in Buda, where it was weighed on a certified scale.
DNA testing confirmed the fish is pure Guadalupe bass, according to a news release. Townsend elected to donate the fish to TPWD for display at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens. The fish can be seen in the dive tank in the theater.
“The Colorado River below Austin, from Longhorn Dam to La Grange, has been a special bass fishery for many years,” said De Jesus, in the release. “Productive waters and excellent habitat have helped support a healthy black bass population composed of largemouth bass and Guadalupe bass. Recently, with reduced pulses due to drought, aquatic vegetation exploded all over this river segment. Flood events in October flushed a lot of it downstream, making it easier to fish.”
De Jesus noted that many large Guadalupe and largemouth bass are caught by anglers every year from this stretch of river. Guadalupe bass in the 2- to 3-pound range are reported and documented by fishing guides, while reports of 50- to 100-fish trips are not uncommon.
“Spring and fall are good times to catch large numbers of fish,” De Jesus said. “TPWD has been working with local governments and private landowners to develop public river access in this stretch to allow paddlers to enjoy this resource. There are a number of public access points available, including the Bastrop paddling trail.”
Townsend’s fish qualifies as the state and water body weight and water body and state fly-fishing records. It also may qualify for International Game Fish Associationworld records.