This past Monday morning I fished with Leon Kyrish of Canyon Lake, TX, and his two grandsons, Connor (age12) and Will McCabe (age 9) of San Antonio. We fished a multi-species trip on Stillhouse primarily in pursuit of white bass.
This 1/2 pound, 8.5 inch sunfish landed by Will McCabe replaced the long-standing lake record for redear sunfish held by Christian Molyneaux (6 inches and 0.14 pounds) since 2006. Molyneaux, also a client of mine, is now serving our nation in the US Air Force.
Big brother Connor McCabe did very well on the white bass today. He was a fast learner and was very consistent in his presentation when we jigged vertically.
The cloud cover in the eastern sky this morning was fairly thick and grey, so the light level remain subdued through about 8:15, as did the fishing. Once the sun thinned the clouds and the sky began to brighten, bait and gamefish began moving and the bite picked up well for the middle two hours of our trip.
We began downrigging for white bass with balls set at 29-31 feet for fish just slightly deeper that that and picked up a half-dozen fish in our first hour.
As the clouds thinned around 8am, I spotted the first largemouth working shad on the surface and we keyed in on that in order to find even more white bass in that vicinity nearer the bottom.
We picked up our first few fish downrigging, then, as the action built, found a single bottom-hugging school of fish stationary enough to hover over top of and jig for using both slabs and tailspinners. As the action slowed, we went back to downrigging to comb out those still-active fish from amongst a decreasing active population. By the time the gamefish feed ran its course, the boys had put 47 fish in the boat.
Because the boys enjoy sunfishing and have access to a farm pond near their home, they were anxious to pick up some tips about how to improve their presentation to this species after I mentioned it in my “opening briefing” at dockside just after their arrival.
The boys seemed to track the several key components of my finesse sunfishing system, and, while putting that system to the test, landed a total of 15 sunfish in the boat including bluegill sunfish, longear sunfish, and redear sunfish. One of the redears Will latched into in about 3.5 feet of water near a stand of submerged woody brush turned out to be a new lake record.
This redear sunfish weighed 0.50 pounds on a certified scale and measured 8.50 inches.
With a late checkout from the house the family rented near Lake Belton awaiting them, and a 5:00pm departure from their home in San Antonio planned so as to get Will to football practice on time, we wrapped it up right at the 4-hour mark at 10:45am with exactly 62 fish landed for our efforts.
TALLY: 62 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:45a
End Time: 10:45a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 80F
Water Surface Temp: 85.7F
Wind Speed & Direction: SW breeze 9-12 mph the entire trip
Sky Conditions: 80% grey cloud cover until 8am, then quickly thinning to 20% white cloud cover
Water Level: 0.10 feet low and slowly falling with only evaporative losses of ~0.02 feet per day; 0 cfs release at dam
GT = 25
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1704-664 – downrigged for suspended fish at mid-depth under low-light
**Area 1965-1980 – downrigged for increasingly active whites tipped off by surface feeding largemouth
**Area 1980 – smoked on this number
**Area 1980-1501 – downrigging up thru the end of the morning bite around 10:10
**Areas 1979 and 456 – sunfish on slipfloats
Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)