This morning, Wednesday, 23 August, I fished a multi-species trip on Stillhouse Hollow with returning guest Anthony Vaughters, accompanied by his fishing buddy, Corey Alexander.
Anthony Vaughters with his first step toward TPWD “Elite Angler” status — a white bass exceeding 15 inches in length.
Corey Alexander with one of the fish we downrigged for at the second area we fished this morning.
Anthony is a fellow small businessman who owns and operates Kid’s X-pression Learning Center in Killeen. Corey works as a mail handler on Fort Hood, supporting the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU).
Anthony was presented with a fishing gift certificate by his kids and his father and today was the day he decided to cash it in.
We linked up at 7:00a and were into our first fish by 7:15am. The bite went strong until 9:00a, then got weaker but continued until 9:30a, then tapered slowly out to nil by 11:00a.
We fished 3 areas in much the same fashion. When the sun and wind conditions were right at our first area, we took advantage of surface-feeding largemouth and sight cast to them with good success by matching our presentation to the small shad these fish were feeding on. When these fish disappeared, we either downrigged or cast bladebaits for the abundant white bass in the area.
One of the white bass Anthony landed just before the bite tapered off at this first area we fished was the largest white bass I’ve had a client land in several weeks. This white bass measured 15 3/8 inches, thus qualifying Anthony for a TPWD “Big Fish” award. A “Big Fish” award is earned when an angler catches a particular species of gamefish and that gamefish’s length exceeds a minimum length established for that species by TPWD. For example, the minimum length for white bass is 15″; the minimum length for largemouth bass is 24″, etc. When 5 species of freshwater fish exceeding the “Big Fish” minimum lengths are captured, the angler then qualifies for a TPWD “Elite Angler” status.
At our second area, we were drawn to some scant topwater action seen across the nearly calm surface. We found more scattered white bass and far less topwater action, and primarily downrigged until we found heavily concentrated white bass on bottom, which we threw bladebaits at.
By the time we got to our third area, the bite had slowed to a crawl. We stopped just once to throw bladebaits after seeing the suspended white bass here generally refuse our downrigged offerings 9 times out of 10.
We put a total of 52 fish in the boat today, with a few missed opportunities on the topwater largemouth as the fellows went through the learning curve of accurately casting and promptly retrieving on these skittish surface feeders.
TALLY: 52 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 7:00am
End Time: 11:00am
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 79F
Water Surface Temp: 85.9F
Wind Speed & Direction: W breeze 1-6 mph the entire trip
Sky Conditions: <10% white cloud cover the entire trip
Water Level: 0.44 feet low and slowly falling with only evaporative losses; 0 cfs release at dam
GT = 0
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1987 – topwater largemouth, downrigged for white bass, used bladebaits for white bass
**Area 1988 – draw to this area by scant topwater action; downrigged for white bass, used bladebaits for white bass
**Area 453/1568 – action very slow by 10:15; downrigged for white bass, used bladebaits for white bass
Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)