This evening’s trip was the ninth S.K.I.F.F. trip I’ve run for 2011.
S.K.I.F.F. (Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun) exists to take the children of deployed or deceased soldiers on fishing trips at no charge to the soldiers’ families. Below is my report to the membership of the Austin Fly Fishers and other SKIFF supporters …
06 May 2011
Dear Austin Fly Fishers and Friends of SKIFF,
When Mike Raymo, a fellow West Pointer (Class of 1999), heard about SKIFF, one particular young man came to mind, and that was 10 year old Luis Kruger, the son of Major Luis Kruger, an Army chaplain now deployed to Camp Adder with the 4th Sustainment Brigade in Iraq. Mike, who is now a professional engineer in the private sector, got to know Luis through a homeschooling cooperative that his own 7 and 9 year old boys are a part of.
Luis Kruger (age 10), son of Major Luis V. Kruger Jr. now stationed at Camp Adder, Iraq.
Mike Raymo and his oldest son, Samuel (age 9).
Little Hudson Raymo (age 7) and his best fish of the night.
The Raymo family contacted me to see if they could chaperone Luis on a SKIFF trip and pay the way for their own boys to come, too. I told them I thought that’d be a great way for Luis to get an opportunity to fish.
Tonight, we made that trip happen.
I’d fished a very productive morning trip, boating 127 fish, and so had “good intelligence” on where the fish would be this evening.
We met at the boat ramp just before 5pm and got right to work. I anchored us out in 25 feet of water and made sure the boys were performing at a least a B- level on their “smoking” technique using a slab spoon before we went in search of fish to practice that technique on. The boys all got the hang of things very quickly, and so we began the hunt.
On evening trips, I typically begin at the deepest areas and work shallower as the light fails. So, this evening I began at Areas 779/073/788 which are in close proximity to one another in about 31-35 feet of water.
The fish were just getting perked up for the evening feed and were a bit sluggish as we arrived, so, we had to keep “hopping” around this general vicinity to provoke still-sluggish fish to hit. We boated a total of 51 fish here by 6:35pm when the bite began to soften.
We looked over a few other areas and I finally saw what I liked at Area 103/549, and that was tightly bunched white bass holding 12-14 inches off the bottom on the windblown side of a main lake topographic feature (a hump). Once I got us into a hover, the fireworks began. When all was said and done, we’d boated exactly 30 more fish here by 7:45.
Due to a thick cloud bank to the west, our “sunset” came early as the clouds obscured the setting sun and darkened the waters prematurely turning the bite off once and for all. Our tally would stand at 81 fish, every single one of which was a white bass.
I appreciate Mike including Luis in his own family’s activities while Luis’ dad is away … what a great way to model concern for others to his own boys.
I also thank all of you who support SKIFF and making it the vehicle for days like this to happen!
Start Time: 4:50p
End Time: 18:10p
Air Temp: 84F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: ~72.8F
Wind: Winds were S12.
Skies: Skies were fair with a cloud bank to the west that obscured the sunset.