I fished once again today with Pitt G. of Austin, this time accompanied by his adult son, Robbie. Pitt made a few specific requests concerning this trip including that 1) we give jugfishing a try so he could see if that would work for trips in his own boat when accompanied by his grandkids, and 2) that we work in some vertical jigging so he could get the hang of that technique.
Robbie (L) and Pitt (R) of Round Rock with a nice Lake Georgetown hybrid striped bass taken from the high waters caused by Tropical Storm Hermine. This fish weighed in at 4.75 pounds.
Well, the effects of Tropical Storm Hermine are still very evident on Georgetown … the lake went from ~7 feet low to over 6 feet high (a 13 foot change nearly overnight) and is only now beginning to drop as the flow from the dam has begun in earnest. As I’ve found at Belton and Stillhouse the fish here are scattered and just not feeding hard. The murky skies and E wind at trip’s start didn’t help, either.
Nonetheless, I fished in the shallows a bit around Area 652 while waiting on Pitt and Robbie’s arrival to sample the sunfishing and secure some live baits just in case. I boated 2 bluegill, 2 yellowbellies, and 2 green sunfish.
Once the boys arrived, we headed out to place our juglines, but the abundant and apparent topwater feed by blue and channel cat we experienced pre-tropical storm was now all but gone. We went through the motions only potting out 10 of the jugs I prepared just so they could appreciate the effort and the method involved. By trip’s end we never had a touch on the juglines, all of which we’d baited with shrimp.
After the jugs were out, I made a few passes looking with sonar down near the dam, but found little. Next, it was off to Area 404 to 669. In this area, over 28-31 feet with balls down around 23-25, we saw abundant gamefish and balled up shad. We downrigged for these fish and began catching fish, but, in comparison to the number of solid gamefish signatures we saw on sonar, our success was quite limited. We boated 1 crappie, 2 small largemouth bass, and 2 small white bass here, with a 3rd largemouth missed on the jump before deciding to head elsewhere.
We looked with sonar at Area 654 and to the N. of it and saw some good sonar returns at 14-16 feet over a 16-20 foot bottom. We downrigged over these fish and picked up our best fish of the day, a 4.75 pound hybrid striped bass — our only hybrid of the trip.
Next, with the wind shifting to just W of S and the skies beginning to clear, we headed out to do some vertical jigging. I had just begun to find fish willing to respond to a vertical jigging retrieve on Stillhouse both before and after the tropical storm, but with water temps still over 80, the fish are still not congregated and are suspended and moving. We found the same thing on Georgetown.
As we hovered over Area 670 in 25-27 feet of water, we saw 1-2 white bass at a time bass beneath us. I coached Pitt and Robbie to default to jigging on bottom, and then “smoke” suspended fish as they appeared on sonar. Everything came together for Pitt as he had a 12 inch white follow and take his bait after we worked for 20 minutes trying to tempt a number of fish unsuccessfully.
We made another stop over some fish on a slowly tapering flat, but, by the time we got set up over them, they had moved on.
We made a final stop at Area 666. I actually stopped here to satisfy a request by Robbie to show him what submerged timber looked like on the side-scan feature of my Lowrance unit. We literally stumbled onto a school of suspended whites holding in an open patch within a stand of timber. I buoyed these fish and we returned to hover over them and worked them over with jigging spoons used in a smoking fashion. We quickly boated 8 whites before the school turned off and then moved on.
Robbie had an afternoon appointment to make, so we wrapped up a bit early at noon with 15 fish boated for Pitt and Robbie.
I went back to collect my juglines and continued looking for additional areas with concentrations of bait and fish and found little else. I boated an additional small white bass and an additional small largemouth bass, both between Areas 404 and 669, and then wrapped it up around 1:15p.
In all, I saw 23 fish boated today — 15 with my guests on board and 8 fish boated before/after their trip out with me.
TALLY = 23 FISH
Start Time: 7:00a
End Time: 1:15p
Air Temp: 74F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: ~80.1F
Wind: Winds were light from the E at around 7, slowly turning SSW by trip’s end.
Skies: Skies were 100% grey at trip’s start, slowly clearing to 40% cloudy with blue skies following the wind shift around 10a.