This past Friday morning, July 7th, I fished a multi species trip on Stillhouse with high school buddies Rob Borland, Alex Araiza, and John Wade.
From left: John Wade, Alex Araiza, and Rob Borland — high school buddies from Belton who came together for a little “fishing reunion” (and breakfast burritos).
All three fellows went to Belton high school together. Rob is a US Army veteran now working as a truck driver for McLane’s in Temple, Alex is a CT tech at a hospital in New Mexico, and John is a local UPS driver servicing the Copperas Cove area.
Rob first got the idea to bring these fellows out after a friend of his, Daniel Gonzalez brought him out recently when Daniel came in for a visit from Reno, Nevada.
On Rob and Daniel’s trip, we landed 109 fish, so, Rob’s expectations were pretty high for this morning’s trip.
Fortunately, we had stable weather overnight and into this morning, and although the fish did not go gangbusters, there was a solid three hour feed this morning.
We started with downriggers off of a main lake point with balls set between 28 and 32 feet for fish suspended just lower than that. In an hour’s worth of downrigging we picked up 20 fish including singles, doubles, and triples on three-armed umbrella rigs equipped with small Pet Spoons selected to match the young of the year shad.
When it became apparent that the downrigger bite was fading, I moved us to deeper, clearer water and searched from 38 to 62 feet attempting to find heavily congregated, bottom hugging white bass for us to hover over top of and slab for.
Some natural sign that I observed got me in the right vicinity of such white bass, and sonar helped to seal the deal.
Sitting atop one area we were able to put 87 fish in the boat over the next two hours.
Our catch included primarily white bass in the one, two, and three year classes, as well as a few largemouth up to 3 pounds and several drum right around a foot long.
The last hour from 9:15 to 10:15 looked like it was going to slow down when this area that gave up 87 fish tapered off on us.
However, by moving back to an area I had previously searched and found only inactive fish at earlier in the morning, we were able to put a final 29 fish in the boat as this population perked up after we left it behind to pursue more aggressive fish.
By 10:25, the fishing had run its course and, with 137 fish landed, the fellows headed off to indulge in some breakfast burritos from Ernie’s Chicken over in Belton.
Because he landed the 100th fish and won the bet on who would nab that one, John would be treated to a free “Fat Ernie” — a burrito about the diameter of a man’s forearm –by his buddies.
TALLY: 137 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:15am
End Time: 10:15am
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 79F
Water Surface Temp: 84.9F
Wind Speed & Direction: SSW breeze under 12mph until the last 90 minutes when it increased to SSW13-14
Sky Conditions: <10% clouds under all wind directiosn
Water Level: 0.34 feet high and steady; 0 cfs release at dam
GT = 0
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1498 thru 175 for 20 fish on downriggers under low light
**Area vic 1430 deep slabbing for heavily schooled bottom-hugging whites – 87 fish caught here
**Area 1959 deep slabbing for heavily schooled bottom-hugging whites — 30 fish caught here
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