They seemed a little out of my league.
Pictures of famous professional anglers like Rick Clunn and Larry Nixon holding beautiful, huge largemouth bass haunted my imagination. I thought the anglers I read about in the magazines were cool but those bass they held were at another level.
Those fish blew my mind.
At this point living near the coast, my freshwater fishing was limited to a gully down the road from my house. Me and other kids in the neighborhood had amazing times there catching garfish, grinnel and bullheads.
That’s all we caught though.
I brought down Creme plastic worms and Beetle Spins I bought at the local tackle shop but the only bites came from grinnel. None of us ever caught a single bass.
One day while fishing that gully, the tide brought in purple water. And I mean solid purple.
No fish bit that day.
I found out a local factory had been dumping plastic dye into the water along with other pollutants and the oxygen levels in the system were very low. Most fish could not live there and the bayou itself was named the most polluted in Texas.
A few months later I ventured down a couple of miles from the house on my bike and came across a rice canal that pumped clean water from the Sabine River into local fields. When I crossed over the levee and saw the water I was stunned. This water was clear like I saw when Jimmy Houston filmed his program in Florida.
Swimming slowly along the shoreline was a largemouth bass. It was a big largemouth bass, probably a 4-5 pounder.