Record Guadalupe bass caught on Colorado River

All Water Guides fishing guide, Shea McClanahan, was guiding two of his more experienced clients, Bryan Townsend and Jim Cooper on February 1, on the Colorado River when Bryan hooked into a larger-than-normal Guadalupe bass.

After a spirited fight, McClanahan netted the native bass and all on board immediately knew this fish was something special. Shea weighed the mature female on two somewhat accurate scales he had onboard and felt confident the 3.8-pound mark on both scales was a good indication that the fish was just over or very close to the current state record of 3.69 pounds — a record held by Allen Christenson since 1983.

This was all the confirmation and encouragement Shea and his anglers needed to begin the process for seeking state validation of this pending record fish. Also worth noting is that this fish was caught using fly fishing gear and not conventional tackle. Bryan was fishing with an Orvis Helios II flyrod, Mirage reel and a Gulley Ultra Craw fly pattern.

While still on the water, Shea called client and friend Jody Gibson, who in turn made multiple calls resulting in Texas Parks & Wildlife Department inland fisheries biologist Marcos De Jesus meeting Shea and his clients at the take out (location withheld by request). De Jesus took photographs, measurements of the bass’ length and girth, and a clipping of the pectoral fin to confirm the genetics of the bass. The fish was placed in an aerated cooler for transportation to the Cabela’s location in Buda, Texas. Using Cabelas’ certified scale with Shea and his clients present the fish’s official weight was recorded at 3.71 lbs., which breaks the current state record by .2 ounces!

The Guadalupe bass is found only in Texas and is the official state fish. It is primarily endemic to the northern and eastern Edwards Plateau (AKA: Texas Hill Country Region) including the headwaters of the San Antonio River, the Guadalupe River above Gonzales, the Colorado River near Austin, and portions of the Brazos River drainage. The Guadalupe bass, like other “black bass” including largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass, is not a true bass, but a member of the sunfish family Centrarchidae.

Photo by AWG.