Fished a half-day morning trip today with Steve Smith and his adult son, Eric. These fellows are from the great state of Wyoming. Steve is a contractor working in the oil drilling industry, and Eric is a college student and National Guardsman. His unit is being sent to Iraq, so, he’s put life on hold for a while to serve his country and is now stationed at Ft. Hood for training before he deploys. Both fellows have done a good bit of north country fishing – lake trout, pike, walleye, and even some excursions to Alaska. I tried my best to give them a good impression of what Texas has to offer.
Steve (in background) and Eric with a nice black bass.
A 3.25 pound black bass with the quarter-pound bait he wolfed down.
Start Time: 6:20a
End Time: 11:40a
Air Temp: 72F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: ~82-83F
Wind: Winds were light from the S at around 3-4 at the start of the trip; they then slowly built up to a peak of about 8mph. Light winds on clear, hot days can be a bad combination. Fortunately, as the winds peaked, they also turned SSW and the fishing stayed solid.
Skies: Skies were fair at sunrise. There was no cloud cover whatsoever today. Once the sun got up it burnt off the little moisture there was in the air and the skies went clear all day.
As has been the rule for the past 2 weeks, the fish began to feed on the surface in the vicinity of Area 057 right at around 6:45a and stayed active today until 8:55. The first 25 to 35 minutes have been most intense as both white bass and largemouth feed. Once the light level gets to a certain point the whites drop down in the water column leaving just the largemouth to target on the surface. The largemouth fishing then grows spotty past this peak until it gradually tapers to zero. Due to the nearly flat, bright conditions, the fish were difficult to fool with artificials today. We used the Cork Rig with downsized offerings on the business end to match the forage size, but, even with that done the fish were very particular. In a little under 2 hours of fishing we took 14 fish off the top. This was substantially fewer fish than we’ve taken during this early morning feed lately, and that was with 2 fairly good casters on board. We put 9 largemouth and 5 whites in the boat before the topwater period was over.
Following that, we made 4 increasingly shallower drifts from SW to NE across Area 222 headed toward Area 007 baited up with live sunfish I’d caught before our trip. We had 6 strikes and landed 4 fish including 3 largemouth bass and 1 drum. The fish were fairly scattered and the action was slow to moderate, so we transitioned to downrigging for the remainder of our trip, beginning around 10:15 to 11:30.
We downrigged in a N-S oriented elipse from Area 217 to Area 462 and found the fish concentrated on the E. facing slow on the W. side of the midline of this underwater feature. Fish were concentrated in a band from 26 to 30 feet deep with occasional more highly active wolfpacks of fish showing higher in the water column from 12 to 25 feet deep. We ran 2 sizes of Pet Spoons over these fish and did equally well on both. In a 75 minute span we put 28 additional fish in the boat including 2 largemouth, 3 drum, and 23 white bass. I noted that the drum all came on the occasions where I took us in a bit shallow on this bottom feature and the ball began rubbing bottom at 26-27 feet. We ran our balls at 26-27 feet for the first 2/3 of our efforts, then, as the wind slacked and the surface smoothed out letting the sun’s rays penetrate deeper, the fish moved another 1-2 feet deeper, and we then ran balls at 28-29 feet.
The fellows were very satisfied with their catch and enjoyed one another’s company on the water today. Steve paid me a nice compliment on our way in .. now he’s a fellow of few words, but he makes those count. I asked he and Eric if they enjoyed their Texas fishing experience and Steve just said, “Bob, you’re our hero.” Eric then asked if there was any way I could officially notify his mom that they caught the great number of fish that they caught, thinking she’d be suspicious of a fabrication if they told her they’d put 46 fish in the boat. I think Eric had a notarized statement or something to that effect in mind … but I’m letting this blog entry serve that purpose!
Eric, I hope you stay safe in Iraq and return to finish out your degree plan at school. Ya’ll are good people and represented Wyoming well!
TALLY = 46 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