This morning, Saturday, July 15th, I fished a multi-species trip on Stillhouse Hollow with Jonathan, Jose, and Haysel Cancel and family friend, Gustavo Vasquez.
Haysel caught the first fish of the day and got us started off right.
After Haysel landed her first fish, Jonathan contributed with a double taken on two of the three Pet Spoons on the 3-armed umbrella rigs were were downrigging with.
Once we began slabbing vertically, we began routinely getting into 2 year class fish like this on caught by Gustavo.
The slabbing got pretty intense from 7:15 to about 8:45. During this time we routinely had 2 or 3 of the 4 rods bent at the same time, and Jose came up with two fish caught on his slab at the same time.
Jonathan and his wife were hosting Jose who traveled in for a visit from Puerto Rico where he regularly fishes in the Caribbean for a variety of saltwater species.
The pre-dawn minutes were calm, but as soon as the sun rose a light ripple formed on the water which steadily increased up to about 10 mph by the end of the trip. We downrigged until the sun brightened enough to begin to fuel a topwater bite, then used topwater feeding fish as our visual cue as to where to begin searching for white bass stacked up on bottom. The downrigging got us an even dozen fish in the first 50 minutes of effort before we began slabbing.
Around 7:15a, I spotted an osprey acting “fishy”, in that it kept patrolling over the same small patch of water, occasionally erratically dipping down as ospreys do when they spot fish. I moved in closer for a look and found that small largemouth bass were feeding lightly on young of the year shad at the surface. The light chop hid this because the bass were not chasing very aggressively.
For the next 2 full hours we stayed in a 50 yard radius making 3 “short hops” and landed primarily 1 and 2 year class white bass with a few drum mixed in, all on a white 3/4 oz. slab with a Hazy Eye Stinger hook affixed to the line tie. We added 83 fish to the dozen we’d landed on the downriggers, thus putting our tally at 95 fish by 9:15am.
At this time, things got tough. The topwater bite died and the sonar showed the white bass along the bottom lost interest. We motored and checked a number of areas in a variety of depths before encountering what would be the last group of fish we’d find for the morning on a broad, sloping, wind-blown bank. Again, a mix of white bass and drum allowed for another 8 fish to be landed with several more lost.
We wrapped up the trip back at the boat ramp where I did a quick ‘demo’ of how to set up and use a bream pole. Heysel landed 3 sunfish in short order and we then called it a day with 108 fish landed for our efforts.
TALLY: 108 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:25am
End Time: 10:40am
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 81F
Water Surface Temp: 85.8F
Wind Speed & Direction: WSW breeze under 10 mph the entire trip
Sky Conditions: Grey cloud bank in the east, but otherwise, <5% clouds
Water Level: 0.28 feet high and steady with only evaporative losses; 0 cfs release at dam
GT = 10
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area vic 087-1951 along the break with balls set at 24′ and 26′
**Area 1960 for two hours of slabbing with 3 short hops in this same vicinity
**Area 1958-462 – centered between these two areas in 37′; final slab bite of the morning
**Area 456 – quick sunfish demo for 3 fish on slipfloats
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)