SKIFF Trip #7 for 2012 — 44 Fish, Stillhouse Hollow, 12 July 2012

The following blog entry appears in the form of a report to those who support the Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun (S.K.I.F.F.) program which serves to put the children of deployed or deceased soldiers on the water at no charge to their families…

This largemouth bass was Darby’s largest fish of the trip, tipping the certified scales at 3 3/8 pounds.

This pair of white bass was one of 6 pairs of doubles that Darby boated today. By the end of the trip he was telling me whether he had one fish or two on the line!

12 July 2012

Dear Friends of SKIFF,

If it seems it has been a while since you’ve heard from me, it is with good reason — the vast majority of Fort Hood’s troops are home safe and sound now with our nation’s chapter on Iraq closed, and no major Ft. Hood units involved in Afghanistan for the time being. Unfortunately, it won’t be that way for long, but, we’ll be glad they’re home while we’ve got them!

Today I fished with Darby Cox, the son of LTC Christoper and Michelle Cox of Harker Heights, TX. LTC Cox is on an individual deployment to Afghanistan where he is doing work in biometrics (like retinal scanning, etc.). He’s on a year-long deployment leaving Darby without his fishing buddy.

Darby is a very articulate and well mannered kid and mature for his age (10 years old). He’s recently gone to a sailing school held on Canyon Lake and loves to watch River Monsters (so we immediately had something in common!).

We hit Stillhouse today in a dense fog following some welcome rain the day before. We lucked out and found suspended white bass ready to put on the feedbag at the second spot we searched. As is often the case in the summer, these fish were right above the thermocline in about 26 feet of water. We used two tandem rigs both geared up with Pet Spoons (that’s 4 baits in the water at one time) on our two downriggers to get the job done.

The best action of the day took place in the first 2 hours of the trip, but, even after that peak time the fish bit steadily enough to keep me busy reading sonar and steering the boat and Darby busy watching the rods and taking care of the rigging. A few times I asked Darby if he’d like to try a little something different thinking that working just one tactic for several hours might cause him to lose interest, but he stayed keenly interested in the downrigging the entire time. We focused our efforts between Area 482 and Area 40 today.

Just once we broke from the downrigging tactic to cast bladebaits parallel to the contour in 28 feet of water after spotting multiple small schools of white bass holding on or near bottom over a 30 yard stretch. Darby put 4 white bass in the boat from off of Area 482 before this action dissipated.

For our efforts today, we boated 3 largemouth bass (including our big fish of the day at 3 3/8 pounds), 3 drum, and 38 white bass. Only 2 of our white bass were under the 10″ “keeper” size limit, with the rest being at least 2 year classes ahead, at about 13.5 inches.

I’m thankful for all the work you have put into fundraising and otherwise providing for the SKIFF program. When the floodgate of troops opens once again, we’ll be more ready than ever to support them and their families. Thank you!

TALLY = 44 FISH, all caught and released

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Start Time: 6:45a

End Time: 10:45a

Air Temp: 76F at trip’s start.

Water Surface Temp: 85F

Wind: WNW5.

Skies: Moderate fog clearing to hazy by 7:30am, then skies slowly cleared to ~65% cloudy.