This morning I fished with Di A. of Riverside, California, and her nephew, Tommy V. of Indio, California.
Di and Tommy boated 48 white bass today. A favorable SW wind and stable weather kept the fish active for a long feeding window this morning.
Di is an engineer working for the Navy at the naval yards near Los Angeles, and Tommy is on active duty at Fort Hood where he serves as an infantryman with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR). Di is close to retirement and is getting an early start on accumulating some retirement toys including the camping package she drove the 1,300 miles to Texas in as a “test run” to make sure she’s ready for some serious camping once retirement is a done deal!
We got onto a solid white bass bite today on Stillhouse, with the best action of the day coming over the course of the first two hours of sunlight. During this time we primarily downrigged to stay in the midst of the patrolling schools of white bass suspended above the thermocline at the 27-29 foot mark. By the time the best bite was over, we’d boated 38 white bass, with most in the 13″ range. On at least 5 occasions we boated doubles on our tandem rigs equipped with doctored Pet Spoons selected to “match the hatch” given the size of the shad these white bass were feeding on.
After the strong, early bite died down, we began to work more vertically with slabs and bladebaits and continued to catch fish in twos and threes as we encountered them beneath us, using both a lift-drop retrieve and the smoking tactic.
Di has also recently purchased a Porta-Bote (a folding, lightweight boat) and so, after she explained to me the types of waters that were near her in the Los Angeles area, and after the white bass bite had just about tapered to nil, we went up shallow so I could show her how to use a slipfloat rig for sunfish. This is a universally applicable technique for sunfish wherever they occur. Fortunately, Di had some flyfishing experience, so, the roll cast motion often used in that discipline came in handy here. In less than a minute onsite near some shallow cover, she was fast to a sunfish and got the hang of it quickly. She and Tommy took turns just so they’d both have the experience under their belt and, between the two of them, they put 9 sunfish in the boat in just minutes.
By 11:15 it was getting hot and bright, and the morning bite was over for sure. We headed in and bid one another farewell after a few quick photos of our four best white bass of the day — all in the 14 inch range.
TALLY = 57 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:30a
End Time: 11:15a
Air Temp: 76F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: 86F
Skies: Skies were fair and ~15% cloudy.