This morning I welcomed aboard returning guests Ken S. of Belton, and his sons, Reid and Ryan. I’d had the opportunity to take Ken and his wife and boys out 2 summers ago in the midst of a strong topwater bite on Stillhouse where we fished topwaters followed by a bit of downrigging once the fish sounded. Now, in the cool months, the boys got to experience some entirely different techniques.
Ryan (L), Ken (C), and Reid (R) with our six largest white bass of today’s trip. Most fish came on TNT180 slabs 3/4 oz.
Ken lips our largest fish of the trip, a 4+ pound fish that struck his slab in around 28 feet of water.
We started off the morning doing some flatline trolling in shallower water less than 17 feet deep hoping for some jumbo white bass up shallow given the grey cloud cover and winds keeping the sun at bay. In our first 70 minutes of effort we boated 12 white bass, all on Storm Wiggle Warts, and all in close proximity to Area 114. These would be the best quality fish of the trip — all stocky fish around 13.5 inches and all thick in the back and tail section. Once things began to slow a bit and the boys looked like they could go for a bit of variety, we headed out to open water to take advantage of the ~13mph wind that was blowing.
As we looked things over, there were a few terns flying — searching, really — but they didn’t really help us locate fish. I searched over 2 areas and found fish at the second. We hovered over two areas and found solid fishing at the second. In about 28 feet of water we found a large, aggressive school of white bass including fish from at least 3 year classes in the vicinity of Area 103. We boated fish after fish here as the boys got more and more accustomed to the proper jigging technique and bite detection using both their eyes and sense of touch. The fishing went strong until around 10:35. After that we saw a slow taper off to nil by around 11:35.
During this solid bite, we boated 110 additional white bass, as well as 2 largemouth and 1 drum. Most of our fish were taken via vertical jigging, although we used a lift-drop technique towards the end to try to draw in some fish from a little greater radius. The boys very quickly got the hand of the techniques I showed them AND stayed consistent in using them.
When all was said and done we’d boated exactly 125 fish and the boys were worn out. The fish were done, the Dr. Pepper had all been consumed, the Pop-Tarts were all nibbled down to crumbs, and the sun was getting bright and warm, so, we called it a day, took a few photos and headed out.
TALLY = 125 fish, all caught and released
Start Time: 7:40a
End Time: 11:40a
Air Temp: 58F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: ~54.6F
Wind: Winds were S11-13.
Skies: 100% grey skies turned gradually to fair and partly cloudy by trip’s end.