This morning, Tuesday, 15 Aug., I fished with Al Sachnik and his teenaged son, Jeffrey. The Sachnik’s live in Harker Heights, TX. Al serves as a commissioned officer in the US Army where he has recently been assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division.
From left: Jeffrey Sachnik and his dad, Al, did a father-and-son multi-species morning trip with me on Stillhouse today. We landed 58 white bass, 2 largemouth, and 1 sunfish. Downrigging was the ticket today.
As we got going today, a grey cloud bank in the east kept things just so-so until the sun cleared those clouds and things started to happen.
Al and Jeffery have made some DIY attempts as various forms of fishing with limited success, and were very interested in fundamentals. Although much of what I do from a boat in open water in pursuit of white bass doesn’t translate directly to bank fishing, there are some common skills and I pointed those out as opportunity knocked.
We had a great downrigger bite today including five sets of triples. I’ve never before had a half- or full-day party land that many sets of triples (3 fish caught on one rod at the same time using an umbrella rig with 3 arms). Several times as we downrigged sonar would reveal heavy concentrations of fish sulking on bottom, and several times we stopped over top of these fish with Spot Lock on the Ulterra trolling motor. The results were the same each time: we’d pick up a few fish right of the bat, then the fish would turn off and lose interest despite still being present right under the boat and within a few feet of bottom. We just rolled with these punches, caught what we could quickly using vertical tactics, then returned to downrigging to move on, catch fish horizontally, and seek out the next big group of bottom-huggers to vertically jig for.
All told today we landed 58 white bass and 2 average largemouth bass. Our white bass included a blend of 1, 2, and 3-year class fish.
After boating our 60th fish right around 11am, I thought it would be helpful to do a quick demo of how to go about catching sunfish up in shallow cover, so, I spent a good bit of time explaining the approach, then had Jeffery put the theory into action until he landed a sunfish using the system I’d just explained. The nice thing about sunfishing is that you don’t need a boat, motor, expensive electronics, etc. to get your string stretched.
TALLY: 61 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:45a
End Time: 11:30a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 77F
Water Surface Temp: 85.0F
Wind Speed & Direction: SSW breeze 10-14 mph the entire trip
Sky Conditions: 40% grey cloud cover until 7:20am, then quickly thinning to <20% white cloud cover
Water Level: 0.15 feet low and slowly falling with only evaporative losses each day; 0 cfs release at dam
GT = 30
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1981-1965 – white bass via downrigging and smoking tailspinners from 7:30 thru 9:00
**Area 1970-1085- white bass via downrigging and smoking slabs & tailspinners from 9:30 thru 11:00
**Area 231 – quick sunfish demo for just 1 fish
Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)