This past Saturday morning on Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir, I welcomed Mrs. Suzette Sullivan and her two daughters, Asia (age 16) and Sara (age 8) for the girls’ first fishing trip and their first time on a boat.
This white bass was the first catch of Sara’s life. It earned her a TPWD “First Fish Award”.
…and this white bass was the first fish of Asia’s life. She, too, earned a “First Fish Award”.
Mrs. Sullivan works at Baylor Scott & White where another client, Dr. Bill Johnston, referred her to me. She booked the trip just for the girls and came along as a non-fishing chaperone. During our trip, she shared that her intention was for the girls’ grandfather to introduce them to fishing, but that he passed away before that could happen.
Asia was quite leery of the movement of the boat, but got more used to it as the day went by. Both girls screamed with excitement anytime something new happened — our first fish biting, our first fish flopping on the floor of the boat, the first time we accelerated to over 20mph, the first time I opened the worm box, etc., etc. For someone who does this day in and day out for a living, it was a bit of an eye-opener on how much I can take for granted sometimes.
The stable weather, bright skies, and favorable winds assured a good bite this morning. We were able to enjoy some variety in the fishing by employing downriggers, using slabs and tailspinners in a vertical mode, and by sunfishing up shallow with bait.
Less than 15 minutes into the trip I was snapping photos of the girls’ first fish of their lives, for which each will receive a “First Fish Award” from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept.
Particularly exciting to Sara was catching white bass from out of deep water using a “smoking” tactic with a spinning reel. Whenever she hooked a fish and got it near the surface, she started screaming loudly — so loudly, in fact, that I had to tactfully address “curbing our enthusiasm”. Unfortunately, on busy summer weekends if we begin to draw attention to ourselves, other boats will crowd us and try to horn in on the action. I don’t mind others catching fish, but when they run nearby with an outboard going and with sonar pinging and interfering with my onboard units, that’s a bit much. Sara understood and celebrated more quietly for the remainder of the trip.
By the time 10 o’clock rolled around, the wind had slacked off, most of the cloud cover had dissipated, and it was getting very hot. We wrapped up with a total of 41 fish landed by the girls.
TALLY: 41 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:40a
End Time: 10:10a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 80F
Water Surface Temp: 85.7F
Wind Speed & Direction: S breeze 7-9 mph the entire trip
Sky Conditions: 20% white cloud cover
Water Level: 0.04 feet low and slowly falling with only evaporative losses of ~0.02 feet per day; 0 cfs release at dam
GT = 15
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1506-664 – downrigged for suspended fish at mid-depth under low-light
**Areas 1960 and 1510 – smoked on these numbers for white bass
**Area 1312 – smoked on it and downrigged around it for white bass
**Area 1572 – sunfishing
Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)