Stillhouse Fishing Guide Report – 28 Dec. 2009 – 27 Fish

I fished “Installment #1” of 2 trips planned by Greg C. of Virginia for his 3 nephews, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, all of Kempner, TX. Today, Uncle Greg brought his older two nephews, Matthew and Mark.

Mark with our best white bass of the trip — a nice 14 incher.

Read the story below for the whole story on this oddity!!

Start Time: 7:15a

End Time: 1:10p

Air Temp: 31F at trip’s start; ice froze in guides for first 40 minutes of fishing.

Water Surface Temp: 51.4F

Wind: Calm until ~10:20a when a NNE ripple began and continued the remainder of the trip and beyond.

Skies: Continued clear, bright, post-frontal condition (5th day of such conditions).

Environmental Note: Shad netted in 5.5 feet at Area 573 after scratching at 317 and 318.

As has been the case for a while now, under clear, bright, windless conditions, the white bass have been doing all of their feeding in the first 90 to 120 minutes of daylight and really shutting down hard after that.

I coached all 3 anglers on the necessary jigging techniques they’d need to use once the fish began to feed so we could take advantage of every last opportunity that presented itself before the trail went cold. Today’s weather forecast called for little or no wind, so I knew it’d be tough going after the sunrise feed.

We began our day between Area 93 and 117 (BA: 6HG, 5T) with all four of us jigging with slabs (TNT180’s in 3/8 oz.). As the light level rose, the fish activity rose with it. We steadily encountered small groups of 3-4 fish holding and feeding very tightly to the bottom. All three guests really got the hang of the jigging technique quickly and by 9:37, we’d boated 25 fish, of which 23 came on slabs with the last two fish hitting on live shad after the fish got too lethargic to be interested in the slabs.

Now we faced a tough situation: the fish had stopped biting, the birds had roosted, the water was dead calm, and the skies were bright — the “perfect storm” to put fish down.

From that point in the morning until we wrapped up at just after 1:00p, we boated only 2 more fish after spot-hopping in primarily deep water to try to tease up a school of deepwater whites.

Mark landed one small white bass out of 38 feet of water at Area 402, and Matthew landed our final fish of the trip on a live bait at Area 117.

Uncle Greg had some experience as a mate aboard an East Coast party boat (also known as a head boat). If there’s anybody you want to have aboard on a tough day, it’s an experienced fisherman who knows that tough days do happen — and so it was today.

Now, about that photo. As we searched over deep water for fish, Greg and I noticed something white floating in the distance. We thought it was either a fish or a feather. As we got closer, we saw it was a large white bass with a bluegill caught in its mouth. The white bass had attempted the sunfish, but the sunfish wedged in its mouth and couldn’t be swallowed. The white bass evidently grew exhausted and came to the surface. Both fish were still barely alive when we came upon the incident. We removed the bluegill and tossed it out into the water and attempted to revive the white bass, but without success, so, we left it floating on the surface, too. Within minutes a large herring gull came and plucked the bluegill off the surface which was quite entertaining. Not to be outdone by a lowly seagull, a nearby osprey then zeroed in on the white bass and effortlessly snatched that 1.5 pound fish right off the water’s surface and headed gracefully to a nearby perch to feast. That was cool!!

TALLY = 27 Fish, all caught and released

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