This morning I fished on Stillhouse Hollow with Michael Szkrybalo and his 13-year-old son, Colton, of Round Rock, TX.
Michael Szkrybalo with a pair of healthy Stillhouse white bass that fell to his slab worked tight to bottom right after sunrise.
Colton worked out a few technique kinks over the course of the trip and, by trip’s end, was consistently detecting strikes, setting the hook well, and properly playing fish to the boat.
Michael is an emergency medicine physician with the Scott and White system out of Georgetown. He and Colton had been fishing with me once before two years ago in May. The family owns a vacation home on Lake Michigan where, during the summers, Colton attends a sailing school, learning to maneuver and race 12-foot-long Pico-type sailboats.
After really struggling over on Belton lately, I decided to switch back over to fishing on Stillhouse today, and I am glad we did so. Usually by now there is abundant bird activity on Belton that helps lead the way to catchable white bass and hybrid striper, but that simply has not yet materialized. If I have to find fish on sonar, I’d rather do it on Stillhouse as there is not near as much ground to cover.
We got on fish early today, stayed on them for about 2 hours, then experienced an hour’s lull, then found fish re-energized after the wind ramped up an extra 4-5 mph.
The first group of fish we found were mostly solid, 13-14 inch 3 year old fish with a few 2 year class fish sprinkled in. We found these fish in 30-34 feet of water on a patch of bottom triangulated by Areas 1493/1266/988. A silver/chartreuse Redneck Fish’n Jigs model 180 in 3/4 oz. did the trick on exactly 40 white bass here. Although we threw in an “easing” tactic, most of the fish responded best to a straightforward vertical jigging technique.
The second group of fish we got on were in more murky 25-27 feet of water. This was a tightly bunched, aggressively feeding school of fish with a “pyramid” structure including lots of 1 year class fish, a few 2 year class fish, and a sprinkling of 3 year class fish. These smaller fish showed a definite preference for the white 3/8 oz. slab and fell hard for the easing tactic given that the most active fish were holding 2-3 feet off bottom, not laying belly-to-the-bottom like the larger fish were earlier in the morning.
We sat in one boat-sized area for 80 minutes and boated exactly 88 white bass and 2 freshwater drum, taking our tally from 40 fish up to 130 fish. And, we actually left these fish biting as Michael and Colton mutually agreed to call it a day around 12:20p and head back in.
TALLY = 130 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 7:15a
End Time: 12:30p
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 52F
Water Surface Temp: 57F
Wind Speed & Direction: SSW10 at sunrise, increasing to SSW18-20 by trip’s end
Sky Conditions: Cloudless fair skies.
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1493/1266/988 spot-hopped several times within the bounds of this area for a total of 40 white bass in 2 &3 year class (BA = 4G)
**Area 1492 boated 90 fish in the 1, 2, & 3 year class in under 80 minutes (BA = 4G)
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