In my first post-Tropical Storm Hermine trip with guests aboard, I fished with Mr. Steve N. of Temple, his adult son, Andrew, from the Chicago area, and Andrew’s daughter, Evelyn, who turned 3 just a few months ago. Steve’s wife has done a good bit of African mission work and has some familiarity with the Swahili language, in which a grandfather is called “Baboo”, so, today, for the first time ever, I got to fish with Baboo!!
From L to R: Andrew, Evelyn, Baboo Steve, and an unidentified white bass (in net)
We started off the trip today around 6:50am and immediately went “to the bank” to target sunfish in the newly flooded brush and grass, and to give Evelyn some “instant gratification” needed to keep a 3 year old’s attention. Steve and Andrew took turns helping Evelyn keep a watchful eye on our slip float and together boated 14 sunfish in about 40 minutes worth of effort, including bluegill, longear, and green sunfish. We focused on Area 239 for this effort.
Once we thinned out the sunfish a bit, we changed locales and headed to open water where the sun was just beginning to brighten things up and where the SE breeze was just starting to stir the surface. I studied sonar and found the “band of life” today down at 27-31 feet. We began downrigging for these suspended fish and found the fish only moderately active, but staying this way for the duration of the trip. We did equally well on White Willow, P12’s in white, and on P12’s in silver. Only one fish regurgitated food, and it spat up freshwater shrimp and had black feces indicating insects were making up a good portion of the fishes’ diet. We actually saw very few shad today on sonar.
Once the action over Areas 644 to 205 got soft, we moved on to Areas 39 and north to 209 and found fish a bit deeper (30-31 feet) here and caught them consistently.
By around 10:15, Miss Evelyn’s attention span reached it’s limit, so we took some photos and then made a fun project of releasing all 14 sunfish that she thought would look good in the livewell, one at a time. This bought Steve about 20 minutes’ worth of extra fishing time in which he landed our last 2 white bass of the trip, putting our tally at 15 white bass taken in about 2 1/2 hours’ time. Once the sunfish were all freed and the gear stowed we prepared for a smooth ride back to the dock where we bid one another farewell and discussed the possibility of bringing Baboo’s other fishing buddy, grandson Caleb, out on the water for a trip before too long.
Our efforts today yielded 14 sunfish and 15 white bass, the largest of which went 13.75 inches, with most going about 11.00 to 11.25 inches.
TALLY = 29 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:50a
End Time: 10:15a
Air Temp: 78F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: ~84.1F
Wind: Winds were light from the SSE at around 7.
Skies: Skies were bright and fair.