Fishin’ on the Fourth — 110 Fish with the Cottos, 04 July ’17

This past Independence Day I fished with the children of two U.S. Army officers, Victor and Ada Cotto, both currently stationed at Ft. Hood.  Ada, an engineer officer, first heard of me through a Facebook post about the SKIFF program I operate for military kids.



While vertical jigging over a school of white bass in 32 feet of water, Gabby found this nice largemouth lurking in the midst of them.

After moving to deeper, clearer water once the sun came out and shone brightly, we got into a “mess” of white bass.  This 3-year class fish took AJ for a bit of a ride before coming into the boat.

AJ, age 11, had only a little prior fishing experience, and Gabby, age 9, had none.  So, Priority #1 was to get Gabby’s first fish of her life in the boat.

Thanks to some overnight storms that moved from W to E, we had to push this trip back 1 hour to a start time of 7:15am.  Because of the thick, grey cloud cover of the storms, the light level at 7:15 was similar to that at 6:15 on a clear morning, so, we didn’t lose the opportunity at the early, low-light bite.  However, with the end of our trip now at around 11:15 instead of 10:15, I did note that the deepwater white bass bite cut off around 10am – the same time it had been ending on days with more normal weather conditions.

Ada and Victor chose just to sit back and watch the kids fish on today’s trip.  We started off the trip downrigging for suspended white bass holding up high in the water column.  Within minutes, both kids’ rods were jerking under the weight and struggle of white bass.  The downrigging continued for about an hour and fifteen minutes, and did well until the direct sun hit the water.  When that occurred, the downrigging shut down on us with our fish count at 22.

Next, I hit a number of deepwater areas from 35 to 49 feet deep after seeing white bass on or near bottom in loose congregations at each area.  We picked up a few fish at each area, but really hit the nail on the head at Areas 1957and 1430.  These two areas produced 70 fish, taking our tally to 92 fish.

We invested the last 40 minutes in pursuit of sunfish up in hydrilla-filled shallow water.  The kids caught on to this very quickly and landed another 18 fish, finishing our day up at 110 fish landed.

TALLY: 110 FISH, all caught and released


Start Time: 7:15am

End Time: 11:30am

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 80F

Water Surface Temp: 83.2F

Wind Speed & Direction: NE8 immediately following the storm’s passage, then shifting to S13 as the skies cleared

Sky Conditions: 100% grey cloud cover as storms cleared, clearing to <10% clouds by trip’s end

Water Level: 0.36 feet high and steady; 0 cfs release at dam

GT = 0







**Area 176-1951 early downrigging

**Area 1957 & 1430 – solid, prolonged bite producing 70 fish

**Area 231 – 18 sunfish



Bob Maindelle

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)




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