Fished a half-day morning “Kids Fish, Too!” trip on Stillhouse today with a very nice family from Temple. Ken and Julie S. treated their boys, Reid (10) and Ryan (8) to a summer vacation fishing trip. These boys were very respectful, very well-behaved, and eager to do well. Little Ryan even had a bit of a competitive streak and made very sure I counted every fish that came over the side!
FROM L. TO R. — MOM JULIE, LITTLE BROTHER RYAN, BIG BROTHER REID, AND DAD KEN WITH TWO 14+ INCH WHITE BASS
ONE OF MANY FISH CAUGHT TODAY THAT REGURGITATED NUMBERS OF SMALL SHAD. THIS WHITE BASS HAD 6 FISH IN THE BACK OF ITS THROAT.
Start Time: 6:15a
End Time: 10:15a
Air Temp: 62F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: ~78.3F
Wind: Winds were light from the E at around 4 at the start of the trip, slowly dying to calm by late morning.
Skies: Skies were clear and bright the entire morning following the passage of a cool front on N winds yesterday afternoon and evening. Winds went slack around 9p last night and stayed down through trip’s end.
After meeting the entire family and getting everyone’s names down, I did an “on the dock” casting lesson with both boys to ensure they could cast a closed faced outfit safely and straight. I anticipated ample topwater action today and wanted to ensure the boys could throw to or beyond breaking fish without missing to the left or right. The boys caught on to the concept of overhead casting very quickly and so after a few pointers about safety, we were off to the fishing grounds.
Fishing was basically a cookie cutter of the very productive fishing that I experienced yesterday morning. There were a tremendous number of white bass feeding on and near the surface, and for an extended period of time. Once again, at dawn the fish were a bit selective on size, as only very small shad were found on the surface at that time. As the sky brightened, multiple sizes of shad began to appear and mix together, and then the fish began to hit anything that moved. During this early bite, I put on a silver blade bait for both boys. Later, I left Ryan using a blade bait on the closed faced outfit, and switched Reid over to spinning gear with the blade bait, and then later placed a Spook Jr. on it just to give him some more exposure to different tackle and techniques. The fishing was nothing short of awesome … I commented to Ken on one occasion that the aggressiveness the fish displayed today reminded me more of a saltwater scenario than white bass in freshwater. The boys fished hard, and, by about 9:15a, we’d boated exactly 100 fish. Every single fish was of legal length with seven fish going between 14-15 inches. All were clean and healthy. Many had newly swallowed shad in their gullets.
Around 9:15 most everything had settled down pretty well, although “popcorn” schools of whites could still be seen regularly over open water. To pursue these fish would require a lot of running and turning with the trolling motor and a lot of long casts with many going unanswered. I didn’t think this best for the boys, so, we changed up at this point and went with the downriggers.
We downrigged for about an hour. By the time we finished up, the boys were setting the lines and lowering and raising the balls by themselves. We caught fish regularly with baits (Lunker Lickers and Pet Spoons) trolled at 15 to 22 feet as sonar dictated. We finished up around 10:15 when “nature called” to Ryan, with 121 fish now on the tally board.
Being the die-hard young fisherman he was, Reid continued fishing at the dock as Ryan answered nature’s call. I rigged him up with a pole and line with a light slip cork and a small hook and he pestered the local sunfish population for a while, later joined by Ryan. The two of them added 6 more fish to the count including bluegill sunfish, longear sunfish, and a green sunfish.
Around 10:30 we wrapped things up and headed our separate ways — of course not without Ryan verifying that he’d contributed to exactly 127 fish being landed this day. This was a great trip with a great family.
As I was loading the boat on the trailer, a big ruckus broke out about 80 yards behind the boat as a school of largemouth began tearing into shad. Not being one who can turn down a shot at topwater action of any sort, I scooted the boat right back off the trailer, left the truck sitting on the ramp, cast a Spook Jr. into the fray, and landed 4 keeper black bass in about 8 minutes!! A little icing on the cake for the old guide!
TALLY = 131 FISH, all caught and released
Bob Maindelle, Owner, Holding The Line Guide Service and Kids Fish, Too! Stillhouse Hollow Fishing Guide, Belton Lake Fishing Guide, Lake Georgetown Fishing Guide, Walter E. Long (Decker) Lake Fishing Guide. Offering Salado Fishing, Killeen Fishing and Ft. Hood Fishing