Recovery Operations, and a Cool Limit of Whites, to Boot!! — 26 FISH — Stillhouse, 21 Jan. 2012

Today, Miss Rebecca (my wife) and I set out to assist local authorities on two separate projects.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. divers and Morgan’s Point Fire Dept. divers work together to identify two submerged vehicles in Stillhouse.

First, we were to link up with the Morgan’s Point Fire Dept. dive team and Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. personnel to locate two submerged vehicles which I’d first located and reported to them before the holidays while running sonar in search of white bass. I’d placed a GPS waypoint right on top of the vehicles’ location, so, we were able to go right back to the location, put buoys down on both vehicles and let the divers go to work.

After about 30 minutes in the 52F water, the divers confirmed that the vehicles were 1950’s vintage autos that had been there prior to the creation of the reservoir.

While waiting for the dive team to arrive (10:00 to 10:30am), and then shortly after the operations began to wrap up (around 12:10) we encountered some light tern activity over Areas 074, 1017, and 401. The wind was blowing cold out of the NW as we encountered the first bunch of fish at Area 1017. These fish were active, but slow and suspended. Active, suspended, winter fish are a sure prescription for a technique I call “sniping” where sonar is used to target and “pick off” specific, individual fish one at a time as they appear on the screen. I boated 9 fish using this technique before engaging with the recovery operation.

After all was done, we found more active, bottom-oriented fish at Area 074, and put an easy 17 more fish in the boat in just 25 minutes before we had to move on to our next appointment. All fish caught this morning were healthy, keeper-sized fish going right at 12 inches.

That next appointment was with the Harker Heights Fire Dept. working with them to attempt to recover an outboard motor near Cedar Gap.

Long story short, after 2 solid hours of graphing an 800′ x 300′ area, we did not identify the location of the motor we were searching for.

One environmental note today: As the NW wind blew around 11mph this morning, wave upon wave of migrating robins passed over our area. I personally saw several hundred birds winging their way north against the wind.

TALLY = 26 FISH all caught and released

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Start Time: 10:00a

End Time: 3:30p

Air Temp: 40F at trip’s start.

Water Surface Temp: 52.0F.

Wind: Winds were NW11 at trip’s start and had tapered off to NW3 by the end of our day.

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