This morning I fished with Lauren and Zachary V., the children of Major and Mrs. Craig V. of Ft. Hood. Craig is currently serving at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan and is due home on R&R in just a few days.
Lauren was a very enthusiastic, intense fishing student. Once she caught a few fish on a given technique, she was ready to learn another, or to improve on a technique she’d already learned.
Zach was more of a “tourist” fisherman. If the fish bit, great. If the fish didn’t bite, that was great, too. As long as there was good weather, nature to enjoy, and plenty of snacks in the cooler, he was just fine! Check the blue Gatorade mustache and white powdered sugar from the last of ~14 donuts!
I first got to fish with Lauren and Zach earlier in the summer on a SKIFF trip. They enjoyed their experience and were ready to go again today. We met at 7:30 and boated our first fish at 7:55. We found some steady white bass action out between 35 and 40 feet of water at Areas 931 and 933 up on top of the gentle breakline here, lasting until around 9:30. During this feed the kids boated 28 whites, 27 of which were keeper, with several exceeding 13 inches.
Zach caught the first fish — a nice white bass going right about 11.5 inches. Almost immediately Lauren caught what was to be the only short white bass of the entire trip, measuring around 8 inches. As I removed the hook, she looked at me with concern on her face and very honestly asked, “Mr. Bob, am I prone to catching small fish?” I just smiled, motioned to the sonar screen filled with fish beneath us and reassured her that this was not a genetic thing and that she, too, would catch fish the size of Zach’s, and maybe even larger. She was good with that explanation and went right back to fishing and did, in fact, catch a nice bunch of white bass by trip’s end.
By around 9:30am, the gentle S. breeze which was blowing steadily at 4-5 mph since sunrise, went calm, the surface went glassy and the action died quickly. We tried 2 more areas without any success and then, by request, based on a positive experience last trip, we targeted sunfish in hydrilla beds.
Last Saturday’s rain dropped ~3 inches of water area-wide. The runoff coming down the Lampasas raised the lake’s elevation a shade over 2 feet, so, some of the hydrilla that stood in jeopardy of being left high and dry was now reaching to withing a few inches of the surface — just right for sunfish given the water temperature is still in the mid-70’s.
We hit Areas 231 and 200 with slipfloats and maggots and bagged 17 sunfish up to 6.25 inches. Lauren really honed on the principle of “edges” seeing how the sunfish were abundant where rock met weeds or weeds met muck, but not so abundant in the midst of the weeds or where cover was totally lacking.
By 11:30 we headed back to the ramp to meet mom who seemed to really enjoy her 4 kidless hours this Saturday. The whole family is really looking forward to a trip to Disney during dad’s visit home from serving our country in harm’s way.
TALLY = 45 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 7:30a
End Time: 11:30a
Air Temp: 63F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: ~75.1F
Wind: Winds were S4 until 9:30 then went calm.
Skies: Clear, post-frontal, blue-bird skies.
Environmental Note: I noted no schooling action whatsoever this morning.