Stillhouse Hollow Fishing Guide Report – 11 June 2010 – 36 FISH

I fished a half-day morning trip this morning with returning guest Ben W. of Taylor, TX, and his wife, Carrie.

Ben and Carrie with one of several largemouth taken on a fair mixed-bag trip despite high winds and difficult conditions.

As we worked over a school of active white bass, this bait slick popped up on the surface. Note the “slick” round area in the center of the photo versus the rough, windblown surface surrounding it. This “slick” is caused by the body oils of half-eaten baitfish floating to the surface, and indicates the presence of gamefish. Slicks are much more prevalent in saltwater but do appear for shorter spans of time in freshwater, as well. If you’re positioned directly downwind, you’ll often also smell the scent of this oil resembling something between mowed grass and watermelon rind.

Start Time: 6:20a

End Time: 1:30pm

Air Temp: 73F at trip’s start, heading towards the mid-90’s.

Water Surface Temp: ~82.1F

Wind: Winds were SSE at 10 before sunrise and increased to over 20 by 10:30am.

Skies: Skies were overcast until around 11:45, then some brightening took place.

We’re into the topwater season, and, when conditions are right, there has been some topwater action getting going, but, we just haven’t had many days with the right conditions, and this was one of them. As I got up to prepare for the trip around 4:15am, the wind was already blowing around 10mph, and it only increased from there, going to 20+ by around 10am and beyond.

We started off looking hard at the waves to see if any topwater action was there, but, at this point in the season the fish are feeding topside on young of the year shad and only lightly sip, which is tough to spot even under ideal conditions. Bottom line: we didn’t find any surface action. Failing at that, we headed to between Areas 453 and 452, still looking for topwater, but also keeping an eye on sonar looking for downrigging potential. In this area we found some scattered, small white bass suspended down around 26 feet. We took a crack at these and put 3 whites and 1 largemouth in the boat for our efforts. Although the fish were scattered throughout, all of the fish we caught came from right near Area 452.

We were next successful at Area 193. Right at the breakline, schooled white bass were congregated on and just off bottom on the upwind side of this feature. We began using slabs and the fish responded well, especially to a smoking technique. Both Ben and Carrie worked these fish over, putting an additional 17 fish in the boat including 16 whites on the slab, and 1 largemouth on tightlined bait. The wind increased to the point where boat control was very difficult as the action was waning, so, we headed out for calmer water.

We were next successful at an 800 foot long strip of water located from just S. of Area 118, to just NW of Area 529. Here we spotted both suspended bait and gamefish around 19-25 feet and knew this was ripe for downrigging. We struggled a bit at first, putting baits over a lot of fish before hooking up with any consistency. As the murky, dark skies began to brighten the action picked up with the increasing light. We ran a single Pet on one rod and a Pet/Licker combo on the other and began catching fish with the greatest consistency from 11:45 to 1:15. On this area, we boated a total of 15 fish including 1 small crappie, 1 channel cat, 3 drum, and 10 white bass.

With action slowing and the babysitter’s stint drawing to a close, we wrapped things up around 1:30p and took a “refreshing” boatride back to the dock, complete with kidney-busting waves, cool spray, and 23 mph winds.

TALLY = 36 FISH, all caught and released

Belton Lake Fishing Guide Report — 13 June 2010 — 13 Fish

I fished an evening “Kids Fish, Too!” trip with Duane B. and his son, Dalton, as well as Dalton’s buddy, Sammy, and Sammy’s dad, Sam, all of Eddy, Tx. Both boys were 13 years old.

By luck of the draw, Sammy got his licks in first picking up this white bass with a Swimmin’ Image worked down at 30 feet.

Dalton was very focused and persistent right up to the last minute, and put his share of fish in the boat including this white bass that fell for a Pet Spoon worked at ~25 feet.

After fishing a morning trip this morning and experiencing a weak morning bite, and then an atypical midday bite, I was concerned that things might be tough this evening, and, with the 20+ mph winds eliminating some options, things looked even tougher before we even got on the water.

As we headed out, I checked over a few areas intending to cover some water with baits down while studying sonar to try to zero in on some fish. We spotted scattered whites suspended down at exactly 30 feet out to the east of Areas 214/307 but it was tough getting a bite. As we moved in closer to shore I saw more fish, but little bait, and we did pick up one solid white bass on a Swimmin’ Image. Further passes here were unsuccessful, as were attempts at several other areas.

We tried to fish Area 492, and got 4 sunfish (our intended quarry here) on slipfloats, but the wind peaked at around 24mph at this point and we had to give it up and head for calmer water.

We checked several areas and even put down livebaits at one area, but still came up short.

As we ran from one area to another, I spotted a briefly surfacing school of whites chasing very small shad on the surface just west of Area 447. I got us close and got the boys into the fish where we hooked 2 and landed 1 before the school sounded for good.

About an hour before sunset we made our way in to Area 387/565 and fished to the channel side of a line between the two. Sonar revealed a good mix of white bass and bait, suspended consistently at 25 feet. We ran twin ‘riggers over these fish for an hour plus and slowly but surely picked up white bass on a solo Pet as well as a Pet/Licker combo. Over this time we boated 7 fish here and missed two more. Action died as the sun set (which is a bit earlier than typical), and we had to settle for the hand we’d been dealt.

By trip’s end we’d put 13 fish in the boat. That’s pretty tough fishing for June when, typically, things are about as consistent as they’ll be all year. I suspect that until that seasonal high pressure system sets up over Texas heating us up and drying us out and making one day’s weather nearly identical to the next, that fishing’s going to be a bit hit or miss as it’s been lately.

TALLY = 13 Fish