I fished a morning trip today with returning guests David (dad), Jack (12 year old son), and Jay (almost 9 year old son) of Temple, Tx. As David and I discussed the short list of options for the very hot water conditions we’re currently experiencing, we agreed to go with the (very effective) downrigging approach for as long as the boys remained enthusiastic about it, and then to fish for sunfish up shallow, or cast to surface feeding fish if the opportunity presented itself.
Jay’s 8.375 inch, 0.75 pound bluegill sunfish — a new Stillhouse Jr. Angler Lake Record!!
David grins as both boys work the rods after a double hookup — one of several we enjoyed on this day of solid white bass action.
As we got going, the air temp was 76 F and the water surface temp. was a shade over 87F. There was not a cloud in the sky and the wind was very slight, so it was shaping up early to be another hot, bright day in a string of very hot, bright days.
I very thoroughly covered downrigging with the trio so they could participate to the fullest extent by rigging their own lines and then reaping the rewards of their own labors. Long story short, we had a solid 3-hour long downrigger bite by very healthy 12-14 inch white bass from our start time to around 9:45am. We found this action first between Area 644 and ARea 444, then moved over to Area 205 for the last 30 minutes of the “window”. Over this span of time we boated 38 fish including 3 largemouth, 1 drum, and 34 white bass. Every fish came on small silver Pet Spoons as this closely imitated the size of the forage the fish regurgitated as we boated them. By 9:45 or so the fish were thinning out and, as is often the case with kids, the novelty of this action-packed method was wearing off a bit.
The boys jumped at the chance to changeup and do some shallow water panfishing, so, we changed gears and headed for hydrilla with slipfloat rigs and struggled a bit at Area 189, but then cashed in at Area 231, boating exactly 40 sunfish in about an hour and 45 minutes’ time. Of these sunfish, 39 were bluegill, and the other was a longear (which is a very unusual ratio). One of the highlights of the trip came when Jay’s ultralight rod bent unusually deeply and over the side came a jumbo sunfish that measured 8.375 inches in length and 0.75 pounds. I suspected that was going to eclipse the current lake record and, after checking my on-board set of water body records, I congratulated Jay on catching a new lake record.
By 11:30 the novelty had worn off on this method, too and with the breeze dying and the temperatures rising, dad and I decided to call it good day at that point.
TALLY = 78 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time (AM): 6:30am
End Time (AM): 11:30am
Air Temperature at Trip’s Start: 76F
Water Surface Temperature: 87.8F
Skies: Fair and partly cloudy.