This past Saturday afternoon I fished a four hour afternoon trip on Stillhouse with Drew Gresham, his four-year-old so, Wynn, a client of Drew’s, Harris Rose, and Harris’ eight-year-old son, Ethan.
Drew and Wynn with one of the many white bass we tracked down this morning. Wynn was enthusiastic about every single fish we caught over a full four hours. I’ve never seen a kid that young stay so excited about one thing for that length of time.
Harris and Ethan with a “schoolie” largemouth. Largemouth regularly show up mixed in with white bass when both species hunt young-of-the-year shad in the heat of the summer .
I was a bit reluctant to even book this trip given the forecast heat and the age of these two boys, but didn’t have a morning opening anytime in the next three weeks to offer as an alternative, and, with an assurance from Drew that his son could hang with us the whole time, we went ahead and scheduled the outing.
Both men let me know that as long as the boys were having fun, they, too, would be having fun and so I was free to focus on the boys.
In the interest of “instant gratification” so as to keep the boys attention, I went shallow for sunfish right off the bat and, in under an hour’s time, enabled the kids, aided by their fathers, to put 32 sunfish in the boat including bluegill, longear, and green sunfish.
Chapter 2 of our four-part trip involved downrigging over a mid-depth breakline that topped out around 34 feet. This downrigging allowed us to cover a good bit of water and catch fish while at the same time continue watching sonar for heavy concentrations of bottom oriented fish that could be jigged for. Although many people don’t think of downrigging as engaging, I choose to teach my clients to set up their own rigs, so the process of getting baits down to the fish is very hands-on. So, both father and son teams worked well together and we put a steady stream of fish over the side of the boat including singles and doubles until I was able to find fish we could jig for.
This opened the third chapter of our trip – – working slabs vertically for heavily congregated white bass. This was by far the most productive of all of our attempts this afternoon. I do believe that the unstable weather of the morning which put the bite off significantly, caused the fish to feed more heavily than normal this evening. We sat in one boat sized area and kept the fish jazzed for nearly 2 hours and put almost 100 fish in the boat from this area alone.
When this bite began to soften about an hour before sunrise, we downrigged for a few more fish in this vicinity and then moved to our final location to downrig once again in water about 35 feet deep with balls set around 24 feet deep.
We finished the trip with 156 fish landed. Both dads said that the variety of techniques was just right for their sons.
TALLY: 156 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 4:45p
End Time: 8:45p
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 94F
Water Surface Temp: 85.7F
Wind Speed & Direction: SSE14 at trip’s start, tapering down to SSE10 by trip’s end
Sky Conditions: 10% clouds on a fair sky following the passage of morning storm cells
Water Level: 0.35 feet high and slowly falling thanks to evaporation; 0 cfs release at dam
GT = 120
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)