Stillhouse Hollow Fishing Guide Report – 31 May 2010 – 21 FISH

I fished a short, 2 hour Memorial Day evening trip with Brynne and Brette D. of Jonesboro, GA, tonight. The girls finished school back home and traveled to the Austin to visit cousins Trent and Molly. Uncle Andy brought the whole gang out for a quick evening trip on Stillhouse.

Brynn and Brett with the two best white bass of our trip this evening

Start Time: 6:15p

End Time: 8:40p

Air Temp: 92F at trip’s start.

Water Surface Temp: ~84F

Wind: Winds were SSE at 7

Skies: Skies were fair with a bit of haze.

As we headed out, I learned that the girls had very little fishing experience, so, we hit the shallows in search of sunfish so they could be immediately successful. We got situated in a small, protected cove (Area 641) and soon everyone had landed multiple sunfish including bluegill, green sunfish, and longear sunfish — 7 to be exact.

It was now time for a change of pace. We headed to between Areas 176 and 243 and found abundant, suspended white bass and a spattering of baitfish in this general area. We put downriggers down over top of these fish and immediately began to pick up fish on Pets and Pet/Licker combos. In all, we boated 13 white bass and 1 largemouth.

Around sunset, we give tightlining for largemouth a try, but struck out on that at Area 596.


Stillhouse Fishing Guide Report – 24 May 2010 – 29 Fish

I fished a solo scouting trip this morning just to keep up with the movements of the fish and forage. I launched at 6:25am and spotted some topwater action right away in open water at Area 129. These fish were “wolfpacks” of white bass pursuing young of the year shad. I moved on after boating just one white bass as a confirmation. I found a similar situation at Area 594, albeit in shallower water, thus contributing to the presence of small largemouth mixed in with white bass here. I boated 2 whites and 2 blacks to get a feel for what was going on here and moved on. My next stop came just yards to the west of Area 476. I spotted a large school of suspended white bass with my sonar in sidescan mode and circled back on them to try to work them over. I got on fish on the downrigger I had down at the time, another white bass on a cast bladebait, and one channel catfish on the bladebait as I jigged it off the bottom.

This was today’s largest fish of the trip, a 7.00 pound, 24 1/8 inch largemouth


Start Time: 6:25a

End Time: 11:30a

Air Temp: 70F at trip’s start.

Water Surface Temp: ~75.5F

Wind: Winds were SSE at 4 at sunrise, staying light until around 7:45a, then picking up slowly and steadily to a peak of about 16mph around 10:30, then leveling off around 14mph thereafter.

Skies: Skies were mostly cloudy with high humidity causing haziness.

I again moved checking different areas as I went and came up with little in the way of gamefish and bait until I got to the vicinity of Area 122. Here, in about 31 feet of water, there were actively feeding fish holding 12-18 inches off the bottom. As I began fishing for them, it turned out to be a mixture of white bass and largemouth holding together. I vertical jigged and also put down a tightline with bait on a circle hook. The fish stayed active here for quite a while as the wind and increased and got some movement going on. Cloud cover also stayed thick, so that extended the bite, as well. In all, I boated 21 fish here including 4 largemouth over 3 pounds, with the largest of the four going exactly 7.00 pounds on the certified Boga Grip and measuring 24 1/8 inches. Thankfully, it was cleanly lip hooked and didn’t require fizzing (which large bass from 30 feed often do), so I snapped a quick photo and back to the depths she went. I stayed on this area as long as the fish stayed active. The bite began softening at 10:45 and went dead at 11:30am.

TALLY = 29 FISH, all caught and released

Stillhouse Fishing Guide Report – 22 May 2010 – 113 Fish – SKIFF 2010 #5

This afternoon I fished the 5th “SKIFF” trip of this season with two very nice young men from Copperas Cove — Mario and Gabriel Perez. SKIFF trips are provided at no charge for the children of our deployed soldiers, and are funded by donations and fundraising efforts of the Austin Fly Fishers based in Austin, TX.

The highlight of this trip was the capture of Mario’s pending lake record largemouth bass for the Jr. Angler Catch & Release category — a 6.25 pound, 22 3/8 inch specimen.

Gabriel’s best fish, this 3.75 pounder, pushed its luck one too many times after “tailing” several of the white bass we hooked to the surface.

Here is a copy of the note I sent to the Austin Fly Fisher’s following the trip:

Dear Ron and Friends of SKIFF,

On the afternoon of Saturday, May 22nd, I welcomed aboard 14 and 15 year old brothers Gabriel and Mario Perez of Copperas Cove. I met them and their parents at the 2010 Bell County Boat Show where their dad, Lieutenant Colonel Mario Perez, signed them up for a SKIFF trip. LTC Perez has already served two tours in Iraq, is in Death Valley with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment right now, and, once business is finished there, will immediately head for Afghanistan where he’ll be until at least September of 2011.

The boys and their dad fish very regularly in the several ponds on Fort Hood, but, with dad gone, and mom not being “outdoorsy”, they haven’t had the opportunity to fish very much and so were very excited about the prospects of this trip.

We met at Stillhouse around 4:45p and started off fishing for sunfish around Area 203. I quickly realized by watching the boys cast, set the hook, and by listening to their “fishy” vocabulary, that these boys were no rookies. As I asked them about their experience level, they shared with me that they fish every chance they get and of their plans about pooling their money from summer jobs to buy a jonboat so that when Mario turns 16 and can drive, the two of them could continue fishing while dad was deployed! Hey, these were my kind of kids!! I realized we needed to step things up a bit, so, with 4 sunfish landed in mere minutes, we headed out after some higher caliber quarry.

We headed out to Area 638 and there in 36-38 feet of water, we saw the bottom was covered with active gamefish. We threw out a marker buoy, got set up over the fish and got our slabs down to bottom. The fish were raring to go!! We sat on that spot and landed exactly 99 white bass in two and a half hours until the already strong SSW wind cranked up to over 20 and we had to move locations. The fish we caught responded well to both a jigging approach and to a lift-drop method as we used TNT 180 slabs in the 3/8 oz. size.

We then went in search of fish in areas less impacted by the wind. We searched 3 different areas with sonar revealing nothing. Finally, we found a bottom-hugging school of fish at Area 639 at around 7:15 pm. I had some live baits in the livewell and knew the largemouth activity would be picking up with sunset approaching, so we baited up and put 3 downlines down in rodholders. We got hit almost immediately on 2 of the 3 rods, both resulting in boated white bass going ~14″. We rebaited and waited a bit, again, 2 rods went down — a 3.75 pound largemouth for Gabriel (photo attached) and a short black bass this time. And so it went until, as sunset approached, we put our largest baits on. This time, Mario’s rod went down — way down!! It was literally bent to the butt with 4 of the 6 guides on the rod being pulled down into the water before he got his hands on it.

Mario fought the fish well and brought to net a 6.25 pound 22 3/8 inch largemouth (photo attached)!!

This trip involved a number of “firsts” for SKIFF. This was the single most productive SKIFF trip thus far, besting the previous high catch of 93 fish. This trip also saw the largest black bass we’ve ever landed on a SKIFF trip come to net, in fact, Mario’s bass is now the pending Jr. Angler record in the Catch & Release category for Stillhouse Hollow.

When all was said and done we’d boated 113 fish including 4 largemouth, 4 sunfish, and 105 white bass.

I can’t thank you enough for giving these kids the opportunity to experience the outdoors locally, and especially in the unique and sometimes difficult circumstances presented with mom or dad gone for extended periods of time.


Bob Maindelle

Special Request Trip: Lake Travis, 20 May, 36 FISH

I fished a half-day trip (that, due to some awfully slow fishing, turned into a full-day trip) with returning guests Jim and Shena S. of the Austin area. This was our 4th trip together. Both are very eager learners and so for the past two trips they set out certain boundaries to enhance their own learning process. On our last trip, we limited ourselves to bass gear only and targeted black bass only, specifically in shallow cover. Today, I left my “home lakes” behind and fished “their” lake — Lake Travis — to give them an overview of approaches that are possible for the various species there.

Shena with a very healthy, plump Lake Travis spotted bass.

Jim with one of several white bass we ferreted out after a school briefly showed itself on the surface in the early afternoon.

We began our morning out in open water with heavy grey cloud cover, occasional drizzle, warm air and water temperatures, and a SE wind at about 9mph. I looked over a number of humps and spurs but found flooded, dead, pithy vegetation from about the 25 foot mark and shallower that served to put the white bass and striped bass I’d hope to find there off of these areas. We vertical jigged below the 25′ mark when sonar indicated fish holding in these areas and boated 1 spotted bass, 2 drum, and one sunfish with another spotted bass missed at boatside in about an hour’s time at Areas 622 and 624.

Following that, we moved to Area 626 and hovered with live baits on tightlines over ~31 feet of water and boated an additional spotted bass here.

Next, we headed to Area 628 and found some fish and bait, both suspended about 3 feet off bottom in 28 feet of water. We downrigged for these fish and boated 3 spotted bass over about an hour’s time.

Next, we headed to the saddle at Area 629 followed by the soft slope at Area 633 and fished jigworms without a single strike at either location.

We then went to Area 625 and fished some live baits and picked up another spotted bass here. After hovering here for about 15 minutes, a fair school of white bass began to surface feed in open water to our west by about 80 yards at Area 621 for all of about 20 seconds. We got there as quickly as we could allowing Shena to pick up a straggler on her TNT180 slab. As I ran the trolling motor on high searching for more fish, I came across a large school, buoyed on them, and then ran downriggers over and around them for the next hour or so. We boated 7 very beefy 13-14 inch white bass, 1 largemouth, and 1 spotted bass before things went quiet.

I should note here that we were all pretty impressed with how plump all of the white bass and especially the spotted bass we caught were. None of the fish we caught today regurgitated anything, so these fish were fat with stored fat from eating well over a period of time, not just from a recent feeding binge.

It was now around 2:30p. Because most of what we’d done today was fairly technical, I wanted to show them a more simplistic approach that they could duplicate in that part of Lake Travis closest to their home, and via the canoe that they currently use on their fishing trips. So, we rigged up slip-bobbers amd bait on ultralight spinning gear, baited up with worms and looked for high-percentage sunfish habitat attempting to show them the kinds of areas these fish prefer. We hit Areas 635, 636, and 637 and boated a total of 18 sunfish in about 90 minutes’ time. I observed that some nest building is beginning, meaning the sunfish bite and presence in the shallows will only be getting stronger from here into the summer. As it was, we bagged 4 different species of sunfish: bluegill, green, longear, and yellow-belly and departed confident that this was something Jim and Shena could do together without requiring any more equipment than they already owned.

Despite some pretty good weather conditions, we never did get into any sizeable concentrations of fish today — we just had to stay at it to put together the day that we did.

TALLY = 36 FISH, all caught and released

Today’s conditions:

Start Time: 6:20a

End Time: 4:00p

Surface Temp: 74.5F

Air Temp: 71F at trip’s start

Skies: Heavily overcast in the AM, slowly burning off to partly cloudy by late afternoon.

Winds: Began at SE9 and tapered to SE7-8 for 10am and later.

Stillhouse Fishing Guide Report – 17 May 2010 – 114 Fish

I fished a half-day morning trip this morning with Larry, “Grandpa”, and Heather H. of Belton. Larry and Heather both serve in the medical field here in Central Texas, and Grandpa is a retired pharmacist who, at age 91, was officially my most senior client ever coming aboard to date!! We caught a great number of white bass and 3 black bass in excess of 3.25 pounds and had a real good time doing it.

Larry weighed in with a nice 4.50 pound largemouth.

Heather took top honors today with a long, clean, solid 5.75 pound largemouth mixed in with a huge school of white bass right on bottom.

And Grandpa started off the whole big fish episode with this nice 3.25 pound black bass.

Start Time: 6:20a

End Time: 11:45a

Air Temp: 72F at trip’s start.

Water Surface Temp: ~74F

Wind: Winds began calm this morning, then went light and variable, then turned E. at 4-5 but steady.

Skies: Skies went from clear to partly cloudy at the same time the E. wind kicked in around 10am.

We fished only 4 areas today, finding fish at 3 of them.

The morning started off throwing sub-surface bladebaits to schooling white bass chasing young of the year shad in the vicinity of Area 620. We boated 12 white bass, a small largemouth, and a channel catfish.

Once these fish left the shallows due to windless, bright conditions, we followed them down and out to between Areas 204 and 017 and continued catching them on a Licker-Pet combination in open water suspended at 12-18 feet. We boated 12 more white bass, 1 drum, and 1 small largemouth.

After this action died, we again gave downrigging a try from Area 452 to Area 453 with nothing to show for it.

Around 10a, we took a look at sonar in the vicinity of Area 596 and found the bottom literally carpeted with white bass over a 60 yard stretch. At this area, we put 86 fish in the boat in an hour and forty-five minutes using a smoking retrieve when the fish were turned on, and a lift-drop retrieve after they cooled off. Most fish were right at 12.5 inches in length putting up a good fight on the matched light tackle. We also landed the 3 large bass pictured above, and several smaller bass, some of legal size and some not.

By trip’s end we’d boated a total of 114 fish using a variety of techniques, we’d told all kinds of fishing tales and the like, we’d seen what a difference a bit of cloud cover and some breeze makes on the fishing, and we returned to the water all we took from it.

A great day with some great folks!!

TALLY = 114 FISH, all caught and released

Stillhouse Fishing Guide Report – 15 May 2010 – 28 Fish

I fished a “Kids Fish, Too!” trip this morning with two young men from the south Austin area, Garrison and Drake, both 8 years of age.

The weather has been quite turbulent with the passage of a front yesterday and the seam of an occluded front passing over us this morning.

We had the dreaded NE wind at around 13 mph at launch time despite forecasts for light SE winds and so we struggled a bit. We began the day with casting lessons at dockside and then headed out in search of fish.

Fishing buddies Garrison (L) and Drake (R) hold a pair of downrigged white bass taken just beneath the surface this morning.

Start Time: 6:30a

End Time: 11:15a

Air Temp: 69F at trip’s start.

Water Surface Temp: ~74F

Wind: Winds began NE13, then slowly tapered to light at <3 NNE by trip's end.
Skies: Skies went from mostly cloudy to partly cloudy.

Due partly to the difficult conditions we faced, and partly to the need to keep things interesting for the kids, we tried a number of techniques in a number of areas today and put together a pretty good trip all things considered.

Here’s what we tried:

Area 407 to 116 to 540: Flatline trolling; 0 fish

Area 407: Downrigging; 1 white bass

Area 777 (W. side): Floats and worms: 2 sunfish

Area 456: Floats and worms; 16 sunfish

Area 186: Cast slab; 4 white bass

Area 176-186: Flatlining with Pets; 2 white bass

Area 176-186: Downrigging with Pets; 2 white bass

Area 158: Drifting bait; 1 large white bass

A mild peak of activity occurred around 10:15 when the wind lightened to <8mph and the skies were bright but still clouded. Occasional small school of whites would surface feed for 10-15 seconds over a fair expanse of water. The brief appearances made it too difficult for both boys to quickly and accurately cast to the fish, so we downrigged and flatlined instead with limited success.

At trip’s end I asked the boys what they enjoyed most given all the methods we’d put into practice. Garrison, a quantity kind of guy, liked the sunfishing, while Drake, a quality kind of guy, like the outsized white bass he got on a big bait!! Well, there’s no accounting for taste.

In all we did alright given some tough conditions and the somewhat limited experience the boys had coming into the trip.


Stillhouse Fishing Guide Report – 14 May 2010 – 18 Fish – SKIFF #2010-4

Today marked the fourth S.K.I.F.F. (Soldier’s Kids Involved in Fishing Fun) trip I’ve had the opportunity to run this year. Mrs. Tonya Daly accompanied her three children on this trip.

The Daly kids — “Army Strong” fishermen!! From L to R — Trae, Elizabeth, Talia

Below is the traditional letter I send to the Austin Fly Fishers (who sponsor these trips) following each trip:

14 May 2010

Dear Ron and the Austin Fly Fishers,

This afternoon I welcomed aboard Mrs. Tonya Daly and her three children, Trae (13), Talia (12), and Elizabeth (6). The childen’s dad, Staff Sergeant Noah Daly, is serving with III Corps at Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq.

Mrs. Daly and I were both keeping an eye on the Weather Channel and out the window this afternoon wondering if this trip was going to become a reality. A balmy air mass generated thunder and light rains from 1pm to 3pm, then began to clear from west to east, leaving calm winds and overcast conditions afterwards. That didn’t last long, though, as after only 45 minutes on the water spent doing some productive sunfishing at Area 456 for a mixed bag of 8 bluegill and green sunfish, the winds very suddenly began gusting from the N. at over 20 mph. Although there were plenty of places to hide from the wind, few of them held a lot of fish.

We toughed it out together fishing some live bait near Area 202 during which time Trae boated a channel catfish that struck a sunfish used as bait.

Around 7pm, the winds had died sufficiently to allow us to access the main lake where I’d been having good success of late in the evenings.

With the winds still around 15mph ENE, we hovered over Area 122 and put down 3 tightlines and worked slabs vertically, as well. By the time our light was failing at around 8:20pm, we’d managed to boat 9 more fish including 1 “keeper” largemouth, 1 short

largemouth, and 7 white bass. Both largemouth hit the baits, as did 5 of the whites. The remaining 2 white bass came on the slabs.

This was definitely an “Army-tough” family!! The ambient temperature dropped 10 degrees to a cool 64F while we were fishing, and the wind caused all kids of spray to dampen our clothes as we tried to get to productive areas. The kids, only in T-shirts, never complained one iota, and stayed enthusiastic the entire time despite a bit of a lull in the action as the front made its way past. As we wrapped things up, we’d managed to boat 18 fish today.

Thank you all for the support you offer for making these trips available to our soldiers’ kids!


Bob Maindelle


Start Time: 4:15p

End Time: 8:35p

Air Temp: 74F at trip’s start, falling ten degrees to 64 F within minutes of the front’s arrival.

Water Surface Temp: ~74F

Wind: Winds began light and variable from primarily the SE, but, by 5:00p a cold front moved through cranking the wind up to 20mph plus for about 90 mintues.

Skies: Skies were grey and overcast the entire trip.

Belton Lake Fishing Guide Report – 08 May 2010 – 56 FISH

Fished a half-day morning trip with husband and wife Wally and Janet K. of Temple. This couple is new to the area, and, despite having some saltwater experience, some experience on northern waters, and some stream fishing experience from out West, they wanted me to give them an overview of how to fish Belton Lake since they’ve purchased a pontoon boat and have it in wetdock there.

In summary, we spent the morning teaching/learning 4 essential techniques: vertical jigging, fishing bladebaits, downrigging, and fishing live shad. While any one of these techniques and their nuiances could easily consume the entirety of a trip unto themselves, we just covered the basics in this 5 hours on the water.

Wally and Jan lip two of the fifty-six fish we tempted today despite a NE blow.

As we got underway, I started us off fairly shallow expecting that weekend boat traffic and a forecast shift in the winds to more easterly would make such fishing tougher as the morning went along. We first checked out Area 377 and found ample fish and bait present in about 24 feet of water on bottom. We got setup near these fish and I gave some fundamental instruction on vertical jigging. Once both had the rhythm down, I moved us up into the fish corresponding with the rising of the sun (mostly obscured due to cloud cover). The feed today followed a fairly short two-hour bell curve which began at sunrise and ended at around 9:15am. We began to pick up fish, including white bass, hybrid and largemouth, with regularity off bottom.

As the feeding increased, I began to see fish come up off the bottom and then explained to Wally and Jan how to use their slabs to catch these suspended fish by “smoking” both with and without the aid of sonar.

At this peak in activity, I also introduced the bladebait fishing technique, using both a countdown method for suspended fish as well as a lift-drop method for bottom huggers. As the feed began to shutdown, we again went back to slabbing off bottom.

When things looked like they were about to shut down, we pulled out the downriggers in an effort to get an appropriate bait in front of the very few still-active fish amongst the majority of turned-off fish. We downrigged for only about 20 minutes in the vicinity of Area 378, got 4 strikes missing the first two and landing the second two. Wally and Janet each completely rigged their own lines in these two successful efforts. With this method understood, Wally was ready for more learning.

Due to the decreasing fish activity level at this point (about 9:50), we went with live bait from this point on and only managed one more fish after stopping and testing the waters in 3 separate areas, all of which held fish as clearly shown on sonar. The wind was nearly due east at this point and the fishing had ground to a halt. We put bait down at Area 619, then at Area 377, and finally to the south of Area 171 and only there did we get any action, boating one 16″ hybrid and missing another, both on ~5″ gizzard shad.

By 11:30 we decided to call it a day. We took 56 fish today including 1 crappie, 2 largemouth, and a mix of 53 short hybrid and white bass in about a 1 to 5 ratio.

TALLY = 56 FISH, all caught and released

Stillhouse Fishing Guide Report – 03 May 2010 – PM Trip – 93 Fish

Tonight I fished the 3rd S.K.I.F.F. trip of this 2010 season. SKIFF stands for Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun. These trips are provided free of charge to the children of deployed soldiers, and are funded by the donations and fundraising efforts of the Austin Fly Fishers. Below is my customary note to the members of the Austin Fly Fishers which I write to them following each SKIFF trip:

Kaden (L) and Joshua (R) show off the largest of the 93 fish they landed tonight.

This was the situation down below as shown on traditional sonar (R) and on Lowrance StructureScan in the downview mode (L)

Start Time: 4:30p

End Time: 8:30p

Air Temp: 77F at trip’s start, cooling toward sunset, and with a cooling, drying NW breeze in place.

Water Surface Temp: ~71F

Wind: Winds were hard from the NW at 17 as a disturbance passed by and cleared and dried the atmosphere. Winds tapered off to NW 8 by trip’s end.

Skies: Skies went from mostly cloud to partly cloudy.

Dear Ron, Austin Fly Fishers, and friends of S.K.I.F.F.,

On the afternoon of May 4th, I arrived at the home of Lieutenant Colonel and Mrs. Chad Nelson to pick up their son, Joshua, and his best friend, Kaden Evans, the son of Sergeant First Class and Mrs. Steve Evans. LTC Nelson is serving at Camp Victory in Iraq as a Medical Service Corps officer, and SFC Evans is serving as a Combat Engineer at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Frontenac in Afghanistan alongside the Canadian military. When I arrived, two very enthusiastic 2nd graders were in the front yard with backpacks on, ready to climb in the truck and go fishing. We’d originally scheduled the trip for the previous Saturday but a hard north wind was blowing and severe thunderstorms were forecast, so we postponed.

On our drive to the boatramp at Stillhouse Reservoir, I prompted the boys to share their fishing experiences with me so I could gauge what they would and wouldn’t be capable of doing. Both boys’ dads fish regularly and, despite their young age, both boys were proficient with spinning gear, which bode well for them.

After launching and a safety briefing, we probed along the shoreline near Area 203 for sunfish to make sure the boys did catch something during this outing, as the weather again looked a bit threatening with heavy clouds to our west and a few drops of rain falling now and then. We boated 8 sunfish in about 30 minutes and when it looked like the weather was going to improve with a clearing NW breeze and brightening skies, we left out for open water and big fish.

We searched Area 339 with sonar and found little, and so kept on searching. Next, we looked at Area 122 which consists of gently sloping topography ending abruptly at the old river channel. The sonar just lit up with both bait and gamefish, so I tossed out a marker buoy and hovered us over these fish with the trolling motor. We used a “smoking” retrieve with TNT 180 slabs in 3/8 oz. tied on and caught white bass, literally, until Joshua got a reddened “hot spot” worn onto his right hand from reeling the fish in. Every single fish was of legal size, with most going right at 11.75 inches. About this time the fish began to slack off a bit, so, I ran us up into the wind, anchored into the slope, and we put some baited downlines in the water in hopes of tempting some larger fish.

Eventually big fish found us, and by the time everything was said and done, we’d landed 8 largemouth bass including a 3.75 pounder for Joshua, and two 3.00 pounders for Kaden, as well as 5 other keeper-sized black bass. As we patiently waited on the baits to work their magic, we cast downwind from the stern of the anchored boat over fish holding downwind of our position. We “lift-dropped” our slabs through these fish and picked off a white bass on every third cast or so from off bottom in ~33 feet of water.

By 8:30p, the action was waning and the boys needed to get back home (as it was already past their 2nd grade bedtimes!), so we brought all the rods in and headed to the dock. The boys put a total of 93 fish in the boat today including 8 sunfish, 8 largemouth bass, and 77 white bass, thus making this the single most productive S.K.I.F.F. trip we’ve taken in the history of the program so far.

Joshua and Kaden really got along well, were respectful to me and to one another, and were fun kids to be with. Thank you all very much for your support of S.K.I.F.F. and for making this happen for these two young men.


Bob Maindelle

P.S. Dave Hill, you’ll probably recognize the fish holding tool used on those sunfish in the photos I’ve attached with this letter!! Thanks!!

Stillhouse Fishing Guide Report – 03 May 2010 – AM Trip – 33 Fish

I fished a morning half-day trip with Charlotte M. and her friend Dorothy A. of Petersburg, Kentucky. These ladies are both moms, are both widows, have many interests in common, and got to know one another through their small group Bible study at church. Charlotte moved to Texas back in December and Dorothy came down for a Spring visit which included some shopping, a visit to Fredericksberg, and, of course, some fishing.

Charlotte with a 4.25 pound largemouth taken on a crankbait

Charlotte and Dorothy with a sampling of the mixed bag angling we found today.

Start Time: 6:30a

End Time: 10:30a

Air Temp: 54F at trip’s start.

Water Surface Temp: ~71F

Wind: Winds were calm to light W at 5-6.

Skies: Skies were high, clear, and bright.

As we headed out, the water was near glassy-calm with bright, intense sunshine. I looked over a few areas “on the run” hoping to spot some early topwater action, but little was to be found.

We saw a few largemouth chasing shad between Areas 538 and 605, but nothing came of it.

We then moved on to a location spanned by Areas 540, 116, and 407. Sonar showed a lot of bait present, a loon was working the area long and hard, and every once in a while a school or two of white bass would “popcorn” on the surface. We began working the area with bladebaits and picked us a few small white bass. Around 8:30, I began noticing far more fish suspended than on bottom and so decided to go with a flatline trolling regimen.

We put on small Bombers to cover the 10-12 foot range and immediately began to score. For 1 1/2 hours we boated a mix of white bass, crappie, and largemouth. At one point in time on a northward pass coming upslope, I spotted an unusually heavy concentration of fish on bottom, spread over approximately 20 horizontal yards (see screen shot below). I stopped the boat and we again worked bladebaits over these fish and picked up white bass very steadily.

Screen shot of the fish we found bunched up at 12-14 feet which responded well to blade baits.

By 10:30 it was getting pretty warm due to the lack of wind, and the fish were turning off. The ladies had other plans for this, the last day of Dorothy’s visit, so we called it a day at that point with 33 fish boated for our efforts.

TALLY = 33 FISH, all caught and released.