This past Saturday morning I welcomed aboard Mr. Robbie Hohhertz and his 13-year-old son, Ethan, of Holland, TX, along with Ethan’s cousin, Ryder Hohhertz of Moody, TX. Ethan’s mom, Charity, set this trip up for this crew in celebration of Ethan’s 13th birthday.
From left: Ryder, Robbie, and Ethan Hohhertz came out for a morning of multi-species fishing on Stillhouse Hollow in celebration of Ethan’s 13th birthday. This crew landed 61 white bass, 2 largemouth, and 1 drum in about 5 hours of fishing.
As has been the case all week this week, the first 45 minutes or so from 7-8 am has been pretty slow. This has been the case both with and without cloud cover at sunrise.
Around 8 am, things started happening, with a few terns seen working bait on the surface, shad schools moving around in panic mode, bass and gar working the surface routinely, etc. During this time we enjoyed our fastest 45 minutes of fishing on downriggers, routinely taking singles and doubles with the balls set around 28 feet over a 30-36 foot bottom. When this action slowed, all of the other natural signs slowed, as well.
From 9 – 10:45am we fished two additional areas and really had to work at it and comb over fish-holding water a number of times to get the fish we found to bite. Finding fish was not the issue — I was seeing suspended schools of white bass every few minutes, but even with our baits placed very precisely, it was necessary to go over a lot of fish to get just one or two to come up and strike. As of 10:45, we’d put 1 drum, 2 largemouth, and 32 white bass in the boat.
I changed locations at 10:45, heading back to near where the fish had fed well from 8-9 am to see if they might turn on again, given that that feed was pretty brief.
As I neared the area, a small flock of 4 terns which were working bait helped boost my confidence that our trip was not yet over. I ran sonar very slowly over the broad area the terns were working and found a large, bottom-hugging school of white bass in about 32 feet of water. I put the Ulterra in Spot Lock mode after using the i-Pilot Link function on my Humminbird Solix to pinpoint the fish and send the trolling motor to the exact location those fish appeared at on bottom as shown on sonar. The electronic magic worked and we were onto fish in no time. Aided by the thumper, white bass responded well to our vertically presented tailspinners.
When this bite ran its course, I repeated this procedure and locked onto a second school of fish about 7-8 boat lengths away and we got into our second and final group of whites on the tailspinners. In the 75 minutes that transpired after sighting the terns, we took our tally from 35 fish up to 64 fish, and ended the trip with a bang instead of a whimper.
TALLY: 64 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 7:00am
End Time: 12:00 noon
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 77F
Water Surface Temp: 85.9F
Wind Speed & Direction: WSW breeze 8-10 mph the entire trip
Sky Conditions: <20% white cloud cover the entire trip
Water Level: 0.30 feet low and slowly falling with only evaporative losses; 0 cfs release at dam
GT = 10
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1960-1198-1981 – downrigging and blades for white amidst largemouth surface action
**Area vic 1568 – downrigging; noted lots of fish, but not in a biting mood
**Area 1440-1971 – downrigging; noted lots of fish, but not in a biting mood
**Area 1984 & 1985 – vertical presentation with tailspinners from 10:45 through noon; most aggressive action of the trip
Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)