Fished a half-day morning “Kids Fish, Too!” trip on Stillhouse with David B. (Dad) and his two boys, Jack and Jay, of Temple.
Daddy David and Jack with some hard-fighting black bass
Dad and Jay and the catch of the day.
Start Time: 6:20a
End Time: 10:40a
Air Temp: 72F at trip’s start. 87F by 11 am
Water Surface Temp: ~80.7F
Wind: Winds were from the SSE at around 12 at the start of the trip, but turned S, then SSW by 7:30.
Skies: Skies were grey through approx. 9:15, then cleared a bit to most cloudy.
After meeting David and the boys at the courtesy dock, we went over a few basic safely rules and then went right to work at dockside with bream poles catching a few sunfish as largemouth bait if the conditions called for it. The boys were excited to catch the sunfish, 12 in all, consisting of a mix of green sunfish and bluegills.
After putting 9 sizeable sunfish in the livewell, we headed out to search for fish. Since the sunrise was obscured by fairly heavy grey clouds and since the wind had an easterly component, I started off with the downriggers down in the vicinity of Area 204 to 459. After about 10 minutes we hadn’t come up with anything, so we halted things and did some casting lessons with the closed face reels in hopes that we’d encounter some topwater action at some point. The boys did just fine after a few practice casts, so we racked those rods up and returned to downrigging and again saw gamefish and bait, but did not hookup.
As I kept my eye out for action, I spotted in the distance, at Area 061, some “nervous water” that surface feeding white bass create as they pursue baitfish in a given direction. I glassed this action just to double check it and the game was on. I gave some quick instructions to David and paired him up with Jack on the back deck, and I paired up with younger brother Jay on the front deck so both boys had plenty of room to cast. We started off with blade baits. Jack did well with them, but Jay was struggling to make accurate casts, so I helped get the bait where it needed to be, and he retrieved it and began to catch fish just as well as big brother was. We experimented with Spook Jr.’s for a bit, but these were too big to imitate the small forage size so we quickly gave up on those, but not before Jay caught 2 fish at a time on his Spook! Overall, we caught a 50/50 mix of white bass and largemouth.
We had boated 19 fish by the time the grey skies began to clear just a bit. At this time, the consistency of the topwater faltered a bit and the white bass activity diminished. What largemouth we saw were well-spread making it a difficult task to keep the boys on the fish. We returned to downrigging for a spell and both boys got to catch a fish on that equipment. Then, we had an increase in both wind speed and cloud cover, and this seemed to spur the fish back on.
Given the now choppy water conditions, I felt a Cork Rig was going to be the best bet, and rigged both boys up with that. They both quickly got the hang of it and literally began to land one fish after another after another as the largemouth absolutely went on a tear. By the time the clouds dissipated and the winds slacked off bringing an end to the feeding frenzy around 10:30, the boys had put a total of 61 largemouth and white bass in the boat. About 25-30% of the largemouth were just legal with the rest short; the white bass were all right at 11 to 11 3/4 inches.
Realizing the best was behind us, we took a few photos to remember the trip by, neatened up the boat, and headed back to the ramp where the boys had a final bit of entertainment catching (with bare hands) and releasing all of the sunfish in the livewell we never needed to use for bait thanks to all the surface action.
I complimented the boys on their attentiveness and let them know their success came due to their willingness to follow instructions well.
The grand total, including the 12 sunfish, came to 73 fish caught today.
TALLY = 73 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