S.K.I.F.F. (Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun) exists to take the children of deployed and deceased soldiers on professionally guided fishing trips at no charge to the family. These trips are provided through my guide service, Holding the Line Guide Service, with funds generated by the Austin Fly Fishers, and with the support of businesses and individuals from all over the U.S.
Here is my report for today’s trip…
John (13), Daniel (8) and their mom, Katherine, hold the boys’ best 4 fish from today’s trip.
Prior to today’s outing, Daniel had never caught a fish before. This white bass earned him a TPWD “First Fish” Award.
Dear Austin Fly Fishers,
On Saturday, August 14th, I took two more of the ten Goode Family children out fishing on Stillhouse Hollow. Their father, Lieutenant Colonel Keith Goode is currently stationed in Baghdad, Iraq with III Corps and is due to return to the U.S. in early 2011.
Today I welcomed 13 year old John and 8 year old Daniel aboard. John had some previous fishing experience in Boy Scouts, and little Daniel had never caught a fish before. By trip’s end, however, he’d done his part to put 40 fish in the boat, thus earning him a Texas Parks and Wildlife “First Fish” award!
We began this trip by getting the boys fitted with life jackets, then doing some introductory spinning gear practice in case we came across any topwater action. We then headed out for open water and used sonar to find the baitfish which led us to the gamefish. This morning, we found two active congregations of white bass holding at 22-25 feet over a 23 to 28 foot bottom first at Area 040 to 658, then at Area 644 to 204 . We worked Pet Spoons right over these fishes’ heads and began to score right away.
The boys worked well together and got the hang of the downriggers very quickly.
Then it happened … after boating the 4th fish, Daniel asks, “Mr. Bob, how many fish did our brothers catch last week … wasn’t it 26?” I told him that was accurate. He responded, “Well, we need to beat that!!”.
So, with a goal now before us, we tried to be as efficient as possible and make every move count so we could better that 26 fish count from last week.
By 9:30 we’d seen 1 drum, 2 largemouth, and 25 white bass come over the sides, putting our fish count right at 28 fish just as the white bass were beginning to turn off for the morning.
With the family record broken, I explained to the boys that we could continue doing what we’d been doing, albeit with a lesser chance of success, until mom was to arrive around 10:45, or, we could change up a bit and shoot for some sunfish in shallow water. The boys went for Plan B, so, we headed for some hydrilla patches and the sunfish that inhabit them and spent our last hour or so taking sunfish out of shallow water on dainty rigs baited with worm at Area 659. The boys each landed 6 sunfish, taking our tally up to 40 fish for this outing.
Mom arrived in the red family mini-van right on time, so, we packed it in, headed to the dock, took some photos of the boys with their best 4 fish alongside mom, and bid one another farewell.
These boys were so well-behaved and cooperative that it was a real joy to have them onboard. They were considerate of one another and each was genuinely concerned that the other did well — like brothers ought to be.
Thank you for your support as we put our deployed soldiers’ kids on the water!!