I fished a half-day morning trip with returning guests Scott and Spencer L. of Temple, on the occasion of Spencer’s 11th birthday. Our summer fishing patterns are beginning to fall into place: possible topwater at first light and beyond, then downrigging for the still-active fish once they sound, then a bit of largemouth bass or sunfish or bait fishing once things get quiet, depending on the clients. Today was no exception. We struggled with very light winds and very bright conditions today, but eventually found some fairly reliable topwater consisting almost entirely of white bass schooling on young of the year shad. Once the white bass were done on top we continued to pick them up downrigging. Once that got quiet we hit some sunfish action, and then tried for some largemouth bass with bait.
Spencer’s “birthday bass” — Happy 11th, Spence!!
Spencer with a beautifully colored bull bluegill taken shallow this morning
Start Time: 6:20a
End Time: 12 Noon
Air Temp: 69F at trip’s start, heading towards the mid-90’s with clear, calm conditions.
Water Surface Temp: ~82.1F
Wind: Winds were W at 3 at sunrise, then went SE at 1-2 by 9:00am
Skies: Skies were clear and bright.
We began our day looking for topwater action between 254 and 555 and saw little, so, I headed right down to Area 007. As we arrived, there was more activity here, but, it was sporadic at best. I knew both fish and bait was present, as we saw plenty of action on sonar, so we stayed in the vicinity of Area 017 just sharpshooting at whatever would hit the surface. Once this proved to be less than productive, we changed over to downriggers, and immediately began bagging fish in the vicinity of Area 204 to 444. Most of these fish were smallish whites bass, but, that’s what was feeding, so, that’s what we fished for. Gradually, as we downrigged and kept an eye on the surface, more and more schools of white bass began to rise to the surface and stay there for up to a minute or more, thus giving us a fair shot at success. We stowed the ‘riggers for a while and threw bladebaits at these surface feeding white bass for about 30 minutes in the vicinity of Area 644. When the action began to fade to “few and far between” we again put the downriggers to work and continued catching fish. Most everything was over by around 9am with 31 white bass and 2 largemouth bass boated.
Spencer wanted to fish for sunfish and then fish for largemouth, so, we went hunting sunfish at Area 195 and Area 189. There were many saucer-shaped sunfish spawning beds located in both areas with fish on the nests that refused to bite, but there were also plenty of non-spawners and immature fish, too. We caught a total of 8 sunfish including longears, bluegills and green sunfish.
Next, it was out to find some largemouth, however, by now it was hot, bright, and glassy calm and I had a feeling we’d be hard pressed to get largemouth to do much at this point in the game. We fished 3 separate areas without a single touch. I hinted to Spencer a couple times that we might need to change our game plan, and, after a while, he agreed. We took the last 30 minutes of the trip and spent them downrigging. As is often the case when a bit shuts down, we saw a lot of fish on sonar, but rare was the fish that would strike. We did manage 2 small whites and a small crappie on the downriggers from between Areas 534, 601, and 643 as we wrapped up the day with a tally of 44 fish for our efforts.
TALLY = 44 FISH