This morning, Thursday, 24 August, I fished a second multi-species trip on Stillhouse Hollow with Bill Johnston and two of his grandkids, Webb and Cyan Johnston. These same two grandchildren came out with me this past Monday, as well.
Cyan and Webb Johnston with a nice pair of white bass taken while the fish were most active during our first 75 minutes on the water this morning, from 7:00 to 8:15 am.
Webb, age 4, is from New Orleans, LA, and Cyan, age 7, lives in Austin, TX. Even after bearing with me through a very slow morning of fishing on Monday, the kids were just as excited to get our adventure underway this morning.
The last thing I wanted to do was to give the kids two slow trips back-to-back, yet, the potential was certainly there thanks to a wrinkle in the weather that occurred yesterday. Around 2pm, our winds which began from the SW, then went calm at midday, turned out of the NE while thunderstorms began to erupt all across central Texas. We got a 4-hour long, 0.35 inch rain event before evening cooling eliminated the showers. The wind shift is what concerned me.
Typically summertime fish do best on long, stable stretches of weather, and wrinkles either really fire them up or really turn them off. So, this morning was a gamble that turned out well for us.
I had found 3 distinct locations holding fish on Tuesday of this week, and these same areas produced again yesterday, so, that is where we started our hunt for fish today.
I opted for downriggers (versus a horizontal casting approach using bladebaits which produced so well yesterday), mainly due to the kids’ limited manual dexterity and how finicky the fish can be about presentations under the conditions we had this morning. This decision turned out well, as the kids enjoyed an action packed 2 hours of catching singles, doubles, and even 2 sets of triples with 0-, 1-, 2-, and 3-year class fish aggressively rising out of the depths to inspect and strike our Pet Spoons presented on 3-armed umbrella rigs.
By the time 75 minutes had gone by we’d already boated 29 fish (3 more than during our 4-hour outing on Monday). By the 2.5 hour mark we’d taken that tally up to 47 fish, including 45 white bass, 1 drum, and 1 largemouth. I was around this time (~9:30am) that the white bass fishing really fell off sharply. I looked over several areas with sonar and saw little.
We spent our final 30+ minutes on the water targeting sunfish up shallow at the kids’ request. They definitely retained their skills from Monday’s trip and did really well on setting the hook in a timely manner and with just the right amount of “umpf” to set the hook without overdoing it and send these small fish sailing through the air!
We landed exactly 23 sunfish, including longears and bluegills, before the novelty wore off and the donuts ran out. Bill and I both knew it was time to wrap it up.
TALLY: 70 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:55am
End Time: 10:40am
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 76F
Water Surface Temp: 85.9F
Wind Speed & Direction: ENE6
Sky Conditions: 60% grey cloud cover the entire trip; light sprinkle as I drove to the launch around 6:15a
Water Level: 0.46 feet low and slowly falling with only evaporative losses; 0 cfs release at dam
GT = 100
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1987-699-139 – downrigging for first 1.5 hours for 29 white bass
**Area vic 1960/1510 – hovered to present tailspins and blades to congregated fish tight to the bottom
**Area 1990-1496 – downrigging for whites that were growing increasingly disinterested
**Area 1572 – sunfishing for 23 fish
Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)