This morning brought with it the second of 2 trips for the Oliver clan. This morning I was joined by Joe, Joe’s dad, “Pa”, and Joe’s two adult sons, Corey and Thomas.
From L to R: Thomas, Pa, Joe, and Corey with just a sampling of the large catch we put together today
I had a good feeling about today’s trip as the forecast was for stiff southerly winds and clear conditions following a wrinkle in the weather that came in on the north wind last Wednesday night. The conditions were very good in and of themselves, but then to come immediately following tough conditions that limited fish to an evening-only feed the day before was icing on the cake.
We met up at 7:30 and things were slow until around 8:30. We drove from place to place slowly motoring or even drifting while looking and listening for topwater action, as were are at the ragged lead edge of “topwater” time for schooling largemouth on Stillhouse. After giving it a go, we found no topwater despite conditions that would have allowed for it to be seen if it had been there. As we searched, we were treated to the sighting of an adult bald eagle.
At 8:35, I checked out a breakline near the old Lampasas River channel at Area 803. The fish I saw on sonar were holding on a fairly steep slope from 27 to 35+ feet. I buoyed the fish, positioned us over them and we got 5 slabs down quickly. We had results instantly on the smoking retrieve that I’d previously instructed the crew on. The fish were really not turned on yet as the winds were still light and the skies still overcast, but, we managed 18 fish here (17 white bass and a drum) and “broke the ice”, giving each man a good feel for how the smoking retrieve was to be used. This allowed us to take full advantage of more aggressively feeding fish later in our trip.
As the story unfolded, we were able to find fish in two other distinct areas today. First, we found fish right on the breakline at Area 809. These fish were still not turned on and, despite finding a heavy congregation of them, we caught relatively few, as they perked up and then lost interest. We boated only 10 here before moving on, but, I put it in my mind to return after the winds ramped up.
We moved on to Area 802. This was much more wind-exposed and, when we got here and checked out the breakline here, it was loaded with fish. We fished here and made a few repositioning “short hops” and wound up catching exactly 61 fish here in about an hour’s time (1 drum and exactly 60 white bass). We used white TNT 180’s at first, but then I traded some out for silver, and both worked equally well. Occasionally, during brief lull in the action, I’d toss out and give “blasting” a try and did well on white and silver out away from the boat as the fellows kept the fish directly under the boat at bay.
Our final move was back to Area 809 and, once again, we found fish right on the breakline. This time the fish were packed on that feature tightly and there was a very great quantity of them. I was concerned that even with that great number, that the bite might be initially strong and then drop off sharply as often happens toward the end of a feeding window. That was not to be the case today, however, possibly due to the increasing winds continuing to churn and move the water. We sat in this one area and boated 63 white bass and 1 short largemouth in about 75 minutes’ time. We caught fish by “smoking” on white TNT’s, on silver TNT’s, and via a blasting technique.
As the fishing began to drop off around 12:30pm, followed by a call from home base that some killer potato salad had been prepared, we decided we done about all we were going to do and called it a day.
TALLY = 153 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 7:30a
End Time: 12:40p
Air Temp.: 74F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: ~78F
Wind: Winds were S4 at trip’s start, steadily increasing to S17 with higher gusts between 11 and noon.
Skies: Skies were overcast until 8:30, then went partly cloudy and bright.