SCOUTS OUT !! 11 November 2009 – Stillhouse – 51 FISH

Today brought with it quite a variety of angling events. I started in the early morning with a gentleman on board interested in fly fishing. I targeted fish on my own at mid-day with conventional tackle. I hosted a Cub Scout pack from 1:30 to 4:00pm, and then netted shad and did a little shallow casting as the sun set in the evening.

This den of Cub Scouts qualified for their fishing belt badge and their boat safety belt badge today.

Start Time: 6:30a

End Time: 5:55pm

Air Temp: 57F at trip’s start.

Water Surface Temp: ~67.5F

Wind: Winds were calm at sunrise, turning NNE by 8:30am, building to NNE at 12mph by 10:30am, then tapering off to NNE at 6 by sunset

Skies: Skies were clear and blue under the influence of high pressure.

Over the past several mornings, I’ve spotted surface feeding white bass at Area 542. With the weather forecast to show no significant changes for today, I took a chance and contacted a past guest of mine who asked me to give him a ring whenever fish were doing well on fly equipment. As happens on occasion, we were ready to go and the fish didn’t show. By 7:45 am we’d boated 1 stray white bass on the fly, but no surface action was going to erupt, so, we went with Plan B.

We headed to Area 538, found active white bass and largemouth bass on sonar in around 23 feet of water. We anchored, used a slab to verify the presence and activity level of the fish, then used a Rio T-8 Shooting Head to get the fly deep in a hurry, followed by a slow stripping retrieve. My guest managed 1 white bass this way in about 50 minutes’ time, however, each time either of us picked up a spinning rod to check fish activity with a slab, we’d get a fish. Eventually, we stowed the fly gear, went with a slabbing approach and bagged 11 white bass and 4 largemouth bass here.

Around 9:30, we moved and searched the 089 vicinity, found a tight, small group of small whites on the bottom here and added a final fish to our count, making our morning take with him on board a tally of 16 fish.

My guest had to leave sooner than a 1/2 day trip would typically entail, so, after dropping him off at the boat ramp, I intended to gather shad for a trip on Saturday. Just as I was preparing the net, etc., a strong breeze began to build, which often triggers fish activity. I set the nets aside and headed to Area 100 just to check on any action that might be spurred by the wind. Upon arrival, the sonar reveal abundant shad to the west side of this feature. I put a slab down and the fish cooperated, with the lake giving up 24 fish in less than 45 minutes’ time.

I then broke for lunch and, by 1:30 pm met 4 boys from a local Cub Scout den to help them with a few merit badges. Long story short, after the “ground training” was concluded, we downrigged for just less than an hour and were able to boat one white bass per boy in that time from Area 035 (1 fish) and Area 089 (3 fish).

By 4:15 pm the boys were headed back to Killeen as happy campers, and I had one chore to tend to … catching shad. I headed to between Areas 541-542 and began to throw the castnet. In the time from my arrival around 5:00p to 5:20p I netted about 20 shad coming in 3-5 per every 3rd toss, with the rest going empty. Then, I noticed fleeing schools of shad on the surface with white bass doing the herding. I cast out and retrieved the Cicada blade bait here in a lift-drop style and added 7 fish to the grand total for today.

TALLY = 51 FISH, all caught and released