This afternoon I welcomed aboard father and son Hawaiians, Charlie and John B. who came to see grandma in Temple for a Christmas visit. As we traded e-mails before this trip, Charlie shared with me that the all time record low temperature for his hometown on Maui was 53F!!
Tropical blood cools quickly in 40 degree weather, but this young Hawaiian had what it takes to boat Texas white bass in the winter!! Great job, John!
As you might guess, the pair had to endure a bit of climactic shock to make this trip happen, but they were more than up to it — I was actually pretty impressed with 8-year old John’s “grit”. He kept a smile and good attitude the entire trip when I knew full well his hands were cold as we did what works best this time of year — and that is vertical jigging.
After meeting at the boat ramp, we spent a few minutes getting acquainted and then shoved off. I never even got up on plane before we spotted sonar evidence of catchable fish on bottom in 24-28 feet of water (BA:3 HG) right at Area 033-530. I put the boat in a hover over these fish and we began pulling white bass right away. These fish were mainly 1-2 year old fish, going right at 10.5 inches or so, but, there were plenty of them there and they were in a willing mood, which is not a bad thing with novice “jiggers” on board, as both fellows got to experience the sensation of a strike, timing their hookset, and fighting and landing fish over and over again. Often times smaller fish will strike a slab harder then larger fish because they lack the “vacuum power” that larger fish have, so, they must physically grab hold and shake, thus creating the distinct, rapid “peck-peck-peck” sensation that small white bass often produce. We did boat one crappie here, as well.
Once the bite had died here, we took a look at a few other areas, finding more cooperative fish at Area 702. We caught fish here until about 4:20p when things got soft. We caught a mixed bag of year classes here, but all white bass, with the larger fish coming right off the bat, and smaller fish being landed after that.
At 4:20p, things really fell off quickly. We gave flatlining a try at the 319-703-114 “circuit”, but this only produced 3 hooked fish with 2 landed. I was a bit concerned when I began to see numbers of terns heading to roost well before sunset, but, in hindsight, that was a sign that the window of opportunity had closed on this day.
We called it a day right at sundown with exactly 52 fish landed, including 5 fish that exceeded 13 inches. Our largest fish was boated by John and was one of the fish we caught on a Storm Wiggle Wart while we were flatlining. It went 13.5″ and weighed in at 1.25 pounds.
After providing a few suggestions on some local eateries, John and Charlie headed out.
No, they haven’t stocked Mahi-Mahi in Stillhouse, but if they did, I’ll bet little John would be toughing it out to catch one!!
TALLY = 52 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 1:30p
End Time: 15:25p
Air Temp: 49F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: ~52.0F
Wind: Winds were S10-14 with occasional higher gusts.
Skies: Fair to partly cloudy.