I had a fun “bunch” aboard this morning for some cool water white bass fishing. Grandpa Phil D. of Georgetown brought his two grandsons, Riley and Jacob out. Phil’s intent for the boys was for them to catch a mess of white bass and have fun doing it; his intent for Phil was to get better at sonar interpretation by picking my brain on use of the Lowrance HDS-10 with Structure Scan I’ve got on board which works in very much the way his HDS-7 does. We were able to meet all expectations by trip’s end.
Jacob B. of Salado proudly holds the big fish of the trip.
Jacob (R) and Riley (L) stayed very consistent with their technique and very attentive to the often light-biting fish to put together a respectable stringer today.
As we got going this morning, the skies were still pretty murky, dark, and grey following sunrise, so, we stayed in shallow water for a while both flatline trolling and observing, mainly for bird activity. We picked up our first fish (Jacob broke the ice) on a flatlined Wiggle Wart — an 11 inch white bass — just on the W. side of Area 999. I didn’t see enough action to make me want to stick around here, so we packed up and headed to deep water.
One thing we did have going for us was the wind going S. 13 before the sun even rose, and staying at that speed for nearly the entire trip. We did some looking over some deep flats and did spot some fish with sonar in the vicinity of Area 549/702. As I often do with beginners, we began with heavier than ideal slabs so that the boys could appreciate key sensations which are amplified when using a heavy bait such as 1) the lure falling, 2) the lure striking bottom, 3) the lure fluttering back to bottom during jigging, and 4) the lure stopping at the end of the jigging stoke.
Both boys quickly got the hang of things and we put fish after fish in the boat for 3 solid hours. As is often necessary this time of year once a bite goes soft, we moved about the area where we’d initially contacted fish after the fish turned off a bit in order to exploit “pockets” of fish finding 3-8 fish or so each time we made a move. In all, by around 11:00am, we’d boated 54 fish, 100% of which were white bass.
We decided to make one final move to Area 713 (BA: 6 HG, 4T) and found actively feeding white bass staying tight to the bottom in only 17 feet of water. We picked up 16 more fish here in about 35 minutes’ time, including an “eleventh hour” black bass boated by Jacob.
As we headed in, I noticed Phil’s eyes were kind of red — that’s because he stared wide-eyed at the sonar without blinking for 4 1/2 hours straight!!! (Just kidding — kind of!).
I always enjoy having youngsters aboard, and young men of Jacob and Riley’s age are my favorite — they’re eager (as most all kids are) AND they can do all that’s required technique-wise to do well (that’s typically not true for younger kids).
TALLY = 70 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 1:15p
End Time: 5:35p
Air Temp: 63F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: ~53.4F
Wind: Winds were S14 with occasional higher gusts.
Skies: Mostly grey and cloudy, clearing to partly cloudy