Two for Two – South Concho

Some days, motivation decides to take it’s own course. One that may not be the path I originally chose. That’s what happened on Sunday. One day off a week, and I had plenty of work to get finished before everything gets put on hold for another six days. But as I drove home after church and lunch, I realized I didn’t really feel like doing what was on the agenda that day. The kids were gone with their activities all day, so I had the day to myself. Just me…and a ton of work in the garage? Right at that moment I felt the change. Yeah, you know what, I don’t think so. I grabbed the phone and called my buddy Kyle. Before he answered, he looked at his phone and told his wife, “that’s Scottie, bet he wants to go fishin”. How right you are sir. He had company over for lunch after church, but the plan was made to get out on the water a little later in the day.

It was windy, real windy, and I still didn’t care. Since my “motivation” was no longer having anything to do with work, it was either fishing, or sitting in the recliner for an all day Call of Duty Team Deathmatch marathon. Either way, work was being put on hold another week.

I got all my gear together and was at his house by 3pm. We loaded the yaks and decided to head to one of our spots we had gone a few months back. This was about fishing only, no exploring or trying to kill ourselves. Just slow and steady fishing. But, of course, it’s never easy just to drop in and fish around here. You have to work for it.

It was nice and warm. There were more people out and about, but not where we were heading.

The wind was starting to die down enough we could actually get a few casts in before readjusting. And pretty soon it was only a very slight breeze. It was a big change from the 20-30mph winds in the early afternoon. A very welcome change.

After a few hours of throwing everything, at everything, we realized that we weren’t the only ones taking the slow and steady approach. So were the bass. Only a few small hits and a couple of limbs were all that were biting. It was a beautiful day. All things felt good. But I was getting a bit discouraged that this prime spot wasn’t producing. The water was a bit murkier than it ever is, and we knew the crazy temps might have a factor in it as well. The highs and lows for the last week had been a little odd. 50’s then 90’s, then 60’s, now low 80’s. This is why i’m not catching fish…or at least that’s my excuse and what I like to believe. 🙂 After getting out and stretching our legs, we pondered the possibilities of life and came to the conclusion we need to keep moving. Getting skunked in our own backyard was not an option.

The water was clearing up and visibility was getting back to normal the further we went. But still no fish, and the sun was heading down fast.

Then, a loud splash from across the river caught my attention. As I turned I heard Kyle yell “fish on”. It was about time. Our last trip in February on the Devil’s River brought us 50 fish each, and I think we got a little spoiled. They were making us work for it today and pay our dues. Just a little reminder to ourselves that one great fishing day may not be followed by another. But who cares, the skunk was off. At least for him. It was a nice sized bass with a lot of energy.

I was happy for him. First fish of the day, and well worth the wait/weight. But I have to get my butt in gear. I gotta keep hittin’ hard. It’s never a competition with us, it’s about getting out and enjoying the nature and the company of good friends. And if you believe that, I got a pair of lead kayaks to sell you. 🙂 No way can I go home skunked. I’ll hear about for weeks. “Remember last time we went out and you got skunked.” No way. Not a chance. I gotta do someth…..whoa! Fish on!!!

Within 3 minutes of his catch, I had one on. And he wanted to fight. I was excited. The blood was a pumpin’. The echos of “woooooo” were ringing up and down the river that would’ve impressed the Nature Boy himself. After a few minutes I had it in the yak and it was all smiles. And mine was bigger. 🙂

We finished up the area without any more takers. It was time to start heading back, but keep trying to add more to the fish total.

After another 45 minutes of endless casts and empty retrieves, we still declared victory and put up the rods to continue the paddle back.

It was a great day on the water. Quality over quantity was the phrase for the day. Two nice fish in the yaks, and it was better than anything else I needed do that day.

Sometimes work needs to wait…unless that work includes kayaks.

Thanks for coming along,


Scott Gartman

Scott Gartman

Scott Gartman is a photographer and filmmaker. He is also an avid fisherman, kayaker, backpacker, and overall outdoorsman. His accolades are too many to list, as with the many streets and towns named after him. He's a legend in his own mind. Check out his home page at

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