This morning I fished Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir with active duty medic Specialist Michael M., originally from the Phoenix, Arizona area.
After years being “bound to the bank”, Mike saved up his pennies and headed “offshore” today. That investment paid off!
Mike was a cop before coming on active duty, and, following this term of enlistment which included a combat tour in Iraq, will return to law enforcement. Most of Mike’s previous fishing experience has been with light or ultralight spinning tackle pursuing trout and panfish in the high elevation lakes in Arizona and near the Stillhouse Marina here in Central, Texas.
Our conditions this morning were “made to order” until around 10am. Until that time we had a SW wind, enough grey cloud cover to completely obscure the sun, and wind speeds at 8-11.
We started off our day pre-sunrise gunning for some largemouth on soft plastics up shallow. Mike wasn’t well-practiced at this, so, there was a bit of a learning curve to get through, but we managed to hook one fish going ~14+ inches which stayed on to within about 5 feet of the boat and then got away on a jump and a head-shake. That bit of action came at Area 433.
One the sun rose (albeit obscured), it was time to focus on the white bass. We probed with downriggers set at 28-29 feet today based on what sonar was revealing and immediately got into a very large and aggressive school of white bass. These fish were within the bounds of Area 1130/1131/1132 and were found scattered from bottom up to 15 feet below the surface. Our first success came seconds after encountering these fish as Mike broke the ice with a double. We e-anchored and began to work slabs (TNT180’s in 3/4 oz) through these fish both vertically and horizontally and did consistently well. Over the next 2 full hours we downrigged very briefly to find fish and then e-anchored to exploit what we’d found. We determined that the 1/2 Cicada bladebait performed better than the slabs today (for whatever reason!?!) and worked these in a lift-drop motion putting a grand total of 55 fish in the boat including 1 drum, 1 largemouth bass, and 53 white bass. We only had 3 fish that didn’t make 10 inches, and all the rest were 12-14+ inches.
By 10am the winds cranked up two notches to around 17mph, still from the SW, and boat control became an issue. This wind increase coincided with a drop in the fish action; from 10 to 10:45 we only picked up 6 of our 55 fish. At this point, we decided to take one final poke at largemouth bass on soft plastics. We headed to Area 469 to escape the high wind, and Mike pulled a solid 1 7/8 pound largemouth off a gravel point here on a Zoom worm. We made attempts at two other areas, but they were heavily wind-impacted and line and boat control were just a bit much for someone new at fishing soft plastics. So, we called it a day right at noon and headed on in.
TALLY = 56 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:30a
End Time: 12:05p
Air Temp: 76F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: 83.7F
Skies: Skies were 70% cloudy and overcast.
This blog entry was authored by Bob Maindelle, owner of Holding the Line Guide Service, Belton Lake Fishing Guide and Stillhouse Hollow Fishing Guide.