This past Saturday morning I fished on Stillhouse with Lieutenant Colonel David Bowers, his four year old son, Kayden, and family friend, Trent Tate.
From left: David, Kayden, and Trent with a pair of 3-year class white bass that fell for our slabs from out of deep water at mid-morning before incoming storms dampened the bite.
Largemouth are routinely mixed in with deeply schooled white bass all year. This summer the size of those largemouth has been much improved over the smaller, 12-14 inch “schoolies” typically encountered in such scenarios.
David just moved from Ft. Bragg, NC, to Georgetown, TX, where he’ll commute to Ft. Hood after just taking command of an intelligence battalion. Beyond catching fish, one of David’s intentions was to understand the tactics required for our local waters, given that Stillhouse and Lake Georgetown fish very similarly.
The fishing was a bit lower key this morning then during this past week, thanks to unstable weather. The entire morning oscillated between cloudy and bright, dry and rainy, calm and windy.
Under low light conditions, with the sunrise only slightly obscured by haze, we experienced a short, but strong bite on the downriggers, working them for suspended fish in 22 to 27 feet of water over a deeper bottom. Even during this lowlight time, things were a bit more subdued, as I only found fish holding in groups of threes or fours, not big schools roaming all over the place as they had been earlier in the week in this first locale we fished in this morning.
We moved to a second, then a third area and continued downrigging, with slow, limited success.
By around 8:30, and with 14 fish landed, we made a big move into deeper, clearer water, as I began to seek out congregations of bottom hugging white bass in deep water holding on irregularities in the bottom, in hopes of working slabs over these fish.
After enjoying only limited success in the first three areas we stopped at, we finally got into a group of fish that remained under the boat for quite some time and bit readily. We put exactly 30 fish in the boat taking our tally up to 44. A rainshower moved in from the southwest on a windshift and killed the bite for a while, but, the fishing bounced back as the weather cleared and we were able to put a final seven gamefish in the boat before wrapping up by taking Kayden up shallow to enjoy some sunfish action.
Using a slip float in worm, Kayden managed a bream pole very well for a four-year-old and put seven sunfish in the boat in short order. With another, stronger cell of weather headed our way as indicated by weather radar, we decided it was a good time to call it quits right at the 4.25 hour mark.
We ended the trip with 58 fish. This was the first trip of the last seven that did not produce at least 100 fish, underscoring the impact that stable versus unstable weather has on the fishing. Fortunately, the forecast for the week of July 3rd-8th looks like stable, “cookie-cutter” weather which should see fishing bounce back again.
TALLY: 58 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:15a
End Time: 10:30a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 80F
Water Surface Temp: 83.3F
Wind Speed & Direction: Winds varied in speed and direction this morning with some instability in the wx. We began with SE winds at under 9, saw a swing through to the S with an increase to 12, then a wild swing through the west, then NW with winds at 13-14 on the lead edge of two storm cells that passed through in rapid succession
Sky Conditions: 100% cloudy conditions, with murky skies in the first 90 minutes hampering the bite.
Water Level: 0.35 feet high and slowly falling thanks to evaporation; 0 cfs release at dam
GT = 85
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 176, Area 649, and Area 1564 – downrigging under murky skies with a slow, steady bite in the first 90 minutes
**Area 915, 921, and 915/889 – slabbing in deep water for bottom-hugging whites
**Area 534 and 189 – sunfish on slipfloats
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)