This past Thursday morning I fished with cousins Ray Johnson and Mike Milner. Both fellows are in their late 70s. Ray is a resident of Harker Heights, and Mike lives to the west of Fort Worth. Mike drove down the night before the trip in celebration of Ray’s forthcoming birthday.
Mike Milner of Fort Worth with one of several fish we took over 5 pounds this morning on large, lively threadfin shad suspended up off bottom.
The bite was really on this morning; we could only keep one rod per man baited and in the water. Occasionally we’d get a third rod down with a cut bait on it, but that was the exception, not the rule.
Thanks to a returning south wind following the passage of a brief, mild cold front yesterday, the task of collecting bait was quite easy this morning. This allowed for me to cull back smaller baits and just keep the more desirable 4 to 5 inch threadfin and gizzard shad.
Mike and Ray arrived punctually for a 7:15 departure from the dock, and after a quick safety briefing, equipment intro, and a word of prayer, we headed out in pursuit of fish.
Our first stop came between 25 and 27 feet on a primary point fairly near the old Leon River channel. We picked up seven white bass and one keeper hybrid followed by a short hybrid. When sonar revealed a mass of white bass moving in along the bottom, I left this area behind and headed for deeper, clear water.
Fishing for hybrid this morning was the most consistent I have seen it for quality hybrid striped bass since the flooding that occurred two weeks ago. We fished just one area with live bait and pulled 46 keeper hybrid most of which were “cookie-cutter” 20 inch long fish, with four longer 5 pound fish thrown in for good measure. Once the hybrid on this area got started, they fed for 2.5 hours straight.
The bite weaked at 10:45 AM and we departed to enjoy a little variety by jigging for white bass in the last 30 to 40 minutes of our trip. In right at 25 minutes we were able to add an additional 20 fish to our count including 19 white bass in the one and two year class, and a single barely legal largemouth bass. All of these fish came on a 3/8 oz. white slab retrofitted with a Hazy Eye Stinger hook.
By trip’s end we amassed a catch of 84 fish this morning.
TALLY = 84 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 7:15a
End Time: 12:00p
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 65F
Water Surface Temp: 71.2F
Wind Speed & Direction: SSE8-10
Sky Conditions: Clear and sunny following a mild cold front’s passage the day before
Water Level: 2.14 feet above full pool and falling; 3900+ cfs release
GT = 0
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1814/1824 – mixed bag on live bait
**Area 1800 – 2.5 hours of non-stop hybrid action on live and cut baits
**Area 1928/1816 – vertical jigging with slabs/stingers for white bass
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