This past Saturday morning, June 17th, I fished a Fathers’ Day trip with Mr. Robert Haisler of Temple, accompanied by his children, 10-year-old Cole Haisler and 9-year-old Hannah Haisler. Robert’s lifelong friend, Charles Mikeska also joined us. Robert’s wife, Tammi, coordinated everything for this Fathers’ Day outing, then remained at home with the family dog while husband and kids were fishing.
As is appropriate for a Fathers’ Day fishing trip, dad caught the triple!!
Cole took big fish honors by landing a bass which never even had a hook point come in contact with it — read on!
The fishing was a bit slower today than it was the rest of the week. The fish just seemed a bit lethargic save for about a 45 minute window when the first rays of direct sun hit the water and the wind peaked all at the same time around 9am. Other than during this time, fish rarely raced up off bottom to inspect the downrigger balls and rarely appeared in near-bottom schools in a feeding mode. Additionally, although shad were certainly not in short supply, they were generally relaxed and blanketing the bottom and were not in tight “balls” as they are when being chased and threatened by gamefish. Finally, there was next to no topwater action witnessed despite ideal siting conditions.
So, we had to work for each of the fish we boated this morning. Fortunately, my crew consisted of all fast-learners who, after being shown how to set the downriggers once, were able to do this on their own so I could focus on reading sonar and maneuvering the boat.
Our first area fish yielded 13 fish in about 90 minutes. We moved to our second, most productive area and it produced another 31 fish including quite a number of doubles. As the direct sun got covered by clouds and the winds slacked off, the fishing in this area slacked off with it.
The trip’s highlight took place on this area as Cole began reeling in what started off as a double – two fish hooked on his 3-armed umbrella rig. As he reeled it in, I was keeping an eye on him and his rod and saw the bend in the rod increase very suddenly as line began to peel off the spool against the drag. I prepared the net, not knowing what we had. As Cole continued to reel the big picture began to come into focus. A 4 pound largemouth bass had engulfed one of the two yearling white bass he had hooked and, although the bass wasn’t hooked, the dorsal fins of the white bass were poking into the inside of the bass’ mouth such that the white bass couldn’t “back up”. The end result was Cole landing both the white bass and the largemouth – a 4 pounder, which turned out to be the largest of the trip.
We moved to a third area, still in search of an elusive “triple” – 3 fish caught at the same time on a 3-armed umbrella rig. After about 20 minutes on this area, covering an ellipse of about 110 yards in length, it finally happened – Robert’s rod went off and bent well down into the butt section as he connected with a trio of 10-inchers. The running joke was that whoever got the first triple got the privilege of buying the rest of the crew lunch, so, naturally, the kids were rejoicing when the triple came in. Their enthusiasm was quenched when dad informed them that the lunch venue happened to have the same address as their own home.
We fished a fourth area during which time the morning bite died to nil and we called it a day.
We ended the morning with 54 fish.
TALLY: 54 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:15a
End Time: 10:50a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 79F
Water Surface Temp: 82.4F
Wind Speed & Direction: SSW5-6, spiking briefly to SSW13 around 9am, then slacking off again
Sky Conditions: Fair skies with 20% cloud cover.
Water Level: 0.40 feet above full pool and falling; 400 cfs release at dam
GT = 0
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1112-041 slow downrigging
**Area 1741-1950 – best bite of the morning with bright skies and peaking winds at 13mph; tried smoking with little success
**Area 428-349 average downrigging
**Area 190-1301 average downrigging; tried smoking with little success
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