I fished this morning with Kenny B. of Kempner, and his boys Jacob, “Little” Kenny, and Logan.
From L to R — Kenny, Jacob, “Little” Kenny, and Logan, all with nice keeper whites, all taken less than an hour into the trip on downrigged Pet Spoons.
If I’ve mentioned it once, I’ve mentioned it a dozen times now — this summertime fishing under the influence of strong high pressure makes for some incredibly consistent fishing. The fish are literally doing the same things, in the same places, and at nearly the same times each day. If you’re a regular blog reader and have been thinking about booking a trip, think hard about doing it soon. The kids will be going back to school, football season will kick in, as well as dove and then deer hunting seasons, and the pressure on the lakes will continue to decrease as each one of these factors kicks in. The fishing today was top-notch and I expect it will stay that way at least until the weather breaks.
We began our day downrigging between Areas 854 and 040. The fish were a bit higher in the water column today, so we raised the downrigger balls accordingly and were immediately into fish. We boated 13 white bass in under an hour, all while the fish were still suspended and scattered.
Around 9:00a the fish began to coalesce and pursue bait more aggressively. We did a sonar sweep around Area 250, spotted fish on the steeper, wind-struck side, buoyed them and went to work. These fish weren’t totally turned on yet but did initially respond well to our slab presentation. We boated 13 more fish here in under 15 minutes and then the action died.
We did a little sonar searching with the downriggers in the water so we still had a shot at some fish while I covered water looking for bait and gamefish. We picked up 3 white bass and 1 largemouth in the vicinity of Area 875 in the process before coming across a substantial concentration of fish in the lower 1/3 of the water column right at Area 876. I e-anchored on top of these fish and it was game-on for about an hour’s time. We took our tally from 30 fish up to a final count of 85 fish sitting right on this area, keeping our technique consistent, and putting fish after fish over the side. As for “making hay while the sun shines” … it is very important if you wish to maximize your catch in summertime situations like this to focus on the fishing while the fish are aggressive. This is not the time to snack, joke, take photos, take a leak, etc., etc. When white bass are hooked, they struggle, the regurgitate what they’ve eaten, and they defecate due to stress. All of this commotion, scent, and vibration turn the other schoolmates on. If you keep catching fish, you keep the momentum going and will keep catching fish as long as the “feeding window” is open. Most fisherman I observe will catch a fish, fool around unhooking it, getting it in the livewell, etc. and drift off their spot only to return to it minutes later only to find the bite has cooled off. Anyway, we boated 49 white bass, 1 freshwater drum, and 5 largemouth bass off this patch of bottom less than 60 feet in diameter.
It was at this point that the fellows got competitive and the trip took a humorous turn. First came the comparisons … something like “I think we’ve done better over on THIS side than ya’ll have done on THAT side of the boat.”. Next came a defense … something like, “Oh no, we’ve done much better on THIS side.”. Next came scorekeeping … “Okay, we now have 8 on this side to your wimpy 6 on that side.” Fabrication followed … “Well, overall this side has caught at least 3 dozen, and they were all big ones!”. And so it spiraled out of control until finally, I was asked to step in and referee. All I had to go off of was my “tells-no-tales” fish-clicker, and it read 85 fish for the TEAM effort. That seems to quell the disturbance (a bit).
By 10:50 the feeding frenzy had ramped up, peaked, and fallen flat and I knew to persist would be anticlimactic, not to mention very hot, so, we wrapped ‘er up right there and headed on in.
TALLY = 85 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:40a
End Time: 10:55a
Air Temp: 81F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: ~85.8F
Wind: Winds were S4-5 at trip’s start, building to SSW8 by trip’s end.
Skies: Skies were fair and cloudless.