I fished a half-day Christmas Eve morning trip with Daniel P. and his fishing buddy, Bobby D., today on Stillhouse. We were targeting white bass and had a fair day going for us until cold front-related winds at 30+ mph forced a premature end to our trip around 10:35am. Before being blown off the water, we managed 25 fish, all on slab spoons fished both lift-drop style and via a traditional jigging motion.
Bobby lips the best of our first 19 fish caught on our first stop this morning before gale-force winds blew us off the water.
Start Time: 7:15a
End Time: 10:30a
Air Temp: 44F at trip’s start
Water Surface Temp: ~53F
Wind: Winds were light from the WNW at 12 until around 9am, then winds shifted to NNW and the windspeed increased dramatically us to a steady 30 with higher gusts.
Skies: We had very light rainfall with 100% grey cloud cover as a cold front made its way into Central Texas today.
We got on the water at 7:15 and did a bit of searching with sonar. By 7:34 we’d pinned down some fish with sonar in ~18 feet of water with shad suspended overhead. We got one crappie here and moved toward some bird activity in this same general vicinity (Area 093 BA:7HG, 6T). We boated 19 fish here before moving on. Of these, 17 were white bass, and of these, 15 fish were 11.5 to 14.75 inches – all caught on the 3/8oz. bait. This was a significant size difference over the fish we’ve been catching in deeper waters further down lake. 1 crappie and 1 black bass rounded out the count here.
Next we began looking deep for fish. As so often happnens when the fish are relatively inactive, they essentially rest tight to the bottom and are hard to pick up on sonar. You have to trust your instincts on where the fish might be, look for bait in the vicinity, and fish, albeit briefly, to confirm the presence of fish. We made 2 stops without success and then found fish at a third location (Area 566) jigging for just 2 fish small fish here, with 2 more missed.
We then moved on to what would be our final stop at Area 567 and jigged for four more fish with 2 more missed. It was at this point that about every 5th wave would lap over the bow due to forming swells. I simply could not hold my guests on the fish that we’d work to find and so we agreed to call it a day at that point. As is my custom, I pro-rated the trip and refunded the balance as these fellows only got to fish for 3 of our planned 5 hours.
As it turned out, the temperatures dropped to 36F into the afternoon and then plummeted overnight to 27F on Christmas morning as the cloud cover cleared, the winds settled, and radiational cooling kicked in.
TALLY = 25 FISH, all caught and released