Tom Gallenbach hollered “Over here” as I made my way towards the camp office. Jane and Tom were “team cleaning” a pile of white bass with their electric fillet knives. They introduced themselves as they continued. Watching them in action was like observing a dance; each anticipating the other’s move.
Jane stands about 5-3” while Tom is over six feet. While they appear to be an unlikely couple, a few minutes’ time confirms they complement each other. (They finish each other’s sentences.) The Gallenbachs operate their campground on the banks of the Sabine River. Tom “fixes things” while Jane guides nonstop from January to April. You can quickly tell it is not a job, but a passion for them.
Jane is the best-known freshwater guide in Texas. Anglers from all over country book trips to fish with her in search of big white bass. Several record fish have been taken in Jane’s boat.
Susan Ebert and Shannon Tomkins arrived shortly afterwards. Jane made sure we felt at home in one of the cabins. Ebert is the Editor/ Co-Publisher of Western & English Today. Tomkins is the Outdoor Editor for the Houston Chronicle. They are typical native Texans, with hearts as big as their boots and a love for the outdoors.
We gathered in the main cabin the next morning where Jane and Tom greeted us with breakfast. Sated, we loaded up and made our way to the river. Jane fired up her airboat and we began to snake around snags, rocks and the occasional rapid. We soon stopped in a big pool. Dotted with the rocks and trees poking from the waters; this was home to some great fishing.
We quickly began to cast quarter ounce Road Runners rigged with solid bodies into a large eddy. White bass (AKA Sand bass) began to hammer our lures. The bite slowed as other anglers made their way into the pool. Jane apologized for the “slow bite” due to the cold water. However, the action continued. The 1/4 oz. glow, Road Runner with the willow blade teamed with a white curl-tail was the best combination.
Tom greeted us wearing his American Angler fish-cleaning apron, ready for action. After a quick “power-nap”, we returned to the river in Shannon’s G3 boat. We caught and released another half-dozen fish and quickly headed back for Tom’s fish fry. Fresh fish, hushpuppies, and fellowship closed the end of a perfect day.
If you would like to experience that little piece of Texas-heaven, call Jane to schedule your trip in 2012. Blessings, TJ