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There are many rivers in Texas that I have fished, but quite possibly the most productive is the Llano River. Nearly every time I have traveled to the Llano River I have ended up with a couple of nice bass, and this was no exception. I was especially excited to travel to the Llano River just south of Mason, Texas, as I had never fished this stretch of water, and I had a new fishing pole to try out. I recently noticed a 5′ 6″ light action spinning rod at a sporting goods store that seemed to be quite a bit on sale. The combo was a Mitchell 300 series combo that I had, a Mitchell 310 spinning reel attached to a nice 5′ 6″ light action rod. Typically, this combo retails for $69.99, but I found it on sale for $34.99. Quite a steal.
I used my Jackson Kayak Big Tuna for the journey along with an Aquabound Manta Ray Aluminum paddle. I paired all this up with some MTI Adventurewear Life Jackets (Dio and Dio F – Spec). I know life jackets can be hot and uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have to be like that. I really searched the market for the best PFD and came to the ultimate decision of MTI Adventurewear. They have one of the highest backs to allow for ultimate comfort out on the water. Basically, this means that all the flotation in the rear of the PFD is as high as possible so that only your back is in contact with your seat and not foam. This really aids in comfort. The Dio and Dio F-Spec are also extremely ergonomic to allow for good casting and paddling capabilities. I highly suggest that you check out these life jackets, they are well worth the investment.
The more I take my Big Tuna to places like this, the more I see just how capable it truly is. Although not considered a great river boat by many, I disagree. Of course kayaks like the Coosa and Cuda can turn much quicker and handle significantly better, but they do not have two seats or anywhere near as much storage as the Big Tuna. As a tandem fishing kayak, there is not doubt that the Big Tuna is the best on the market by far. The ability to both stand and fish is remarkable, and when you throw in some seats from Jackson Kayak, it’s just a pleasure cruise.
I started out fishing this rod with 4 pound monofilament and a 1/16 oz. Worden’s Rooster Tail in a Fire Tiger coloration, quite possibly my favorite lure of all time. This would also be what I would end up fishing with as well, as no more than thirty minutes into fishing I hooked into a nice Largemouth Bass. Due to the light setup I was using, it felt like I was reeling in a 15 lb. Largemouth, but in actuality it was right around three pounds. My drag was screaming and about 1-2 minutes later I was able to land a great fish. Although I typically do not fish with anything smaller than a medium action rod with 10 lb. test, fishing with such a light setup was a lot of fun.
About an hour later, I would find another pleasant surprise. I saw a section of granite rock jutting out into the water  which was progressively getting deeper and deeper. Features like this are highly favorite by Largemouth Bass so I was no doubt going to give it a shot. On the very first cast that I made I hooked into a small bass…but soon my rod bent like a “U” and I realized this was no small bass. This was another 3 pounder, weighing in just a couple ounces larger than my first big bass. The feeling of such a light rod bending in half and your drag screaming is quite an amazing feeling, as you do not have much control. I’m used to being able to sling a bass into the kayak when I am using 50 lb. braid on a big bait casting setup, but this is the complete opposite. When I landed the bass, I couldn’t believe how much fun catching such a big bass on a small rod was.
Using a Worden’s Rooster Tail was probably the best lure that I could have picked with the setup that I was using. The water was unusually murky which typically leads me to use a darker lure than a Fire Tiger coloration, but fortunately I made a wise decision for the day in keeping with my past success with this particular lure.
If you ever get the chance, you will most definitely want to head just a little south to the Llano River and catch some bass… and if I was you, I would try out a small setup like I did; it was a blast.