Wind and White Bass — An Unbeatable Combination; 127 Fish, Stillhouse, 06 May 2011

I fished a morning trip with Chris P. of Killeen. Chris is one of the guys on the other end of the line when you call one of the “1-800” numbers for help with your computer. We’ve gotten to know each other through church and agreed on a “horse trade”.

Chris P. with a sampling of the fish we caught and released this nice May morning on Stillhouse.

In return for a fishing trip, he agreed to wring every ounce of speed out of my aging Dell computer via some new RAM sticks, some debugging, some general spring cleaning, and a few other tricks of the trade known only to him I’m sure. Well, my computer is now humming, so, today was the day to make good on my end of the bargain!

We got going around 6:40a, as I was anticipating an early topwater bite around sunrise. That bite did materialize, albeit a bit softer than I’d experienced recently. We fished Cicada bladebaits in silver/silver between Area 674 and the bank in fairly skinny water (less than 5 feet) and boated 21 fish, with several more hooked and missed or hooked and lost at boatside. Of these 17 were white bass and the balance were nice 3 year old white bass, going ~12+ inches. After we’d boated the first dozen or so, we thought all was done, when a flock of ~5 terns came and started diving on schooling fish to our east by ~80 yards or so. We hustled to them and put a few more fish in the boat before fish and terns stopped feeding.

At this point, we experienced a lull in the fishing as the sun brightened and the wind slacked off. We slowly drove and observed and witnessed several mating clusters of longnose gar in the shallows consisting of a single, large female escorted by multiple smaller males. The females were dropping eggs and the males were fertilizing them — and not far behind were channel catfish vacuuming up as many eggs as they could consume.

By around 9:05, a definite, sudden increase in the wind speed occurred and the game was back on. We got right on top of Area 778 and found very aggressively feeding fish tight to the bottom. We used a straightforward smoking tactic with 3/8 oz. white TNT 180’s to boat 58 fish here in around 45 minutes’ time. As the bite weakened, another boater got too close for comfort, and the ideal conditions persisted, I decided to move us to look for another group of very active fish while the “window” was open.

We headed to Area 546 and found fish more scattered horizontally here. I did stop to fish and we boated 9 fish, but they were both smallish and slow to respond, so, we continued to look in more wind-blown areas.

We contacted what would be the last school of fish we’d fish over at Area 529. These fish were very aggressive at first, but settled down more quickly that at the beginning of the morning’s feeding window. We boated 39 fish here, all via smoking with TNT 180’s. By now it was around 11:15 which is when the bite has been beginning to dwindle of late, so, we called it a day and headed to the house with a tally of 127 fish to show for our efforts.

TALLY = 127 FISH, all caught and released


Start Time: 6:40a

End Time: 11:15a

Air Temp: 64F at trip’s start.

Water Surface Temp: ~71.6F

Wind: Winds were SSE6 at sunrise, then died to near calm by 7:50, then increased suddenly to SSW11 at 9:05 and stayed steady at that velocity for the balance of the trip.

Skies: Skies were fair this morning.

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