She Rides, She Ropes, and Fish Fear Her!! 55 Fish, Stillhouse, 29 Feb. 2012

This morning I welcomed aboard a very nice, young couple — Glenn and JJ.

JJ and Glenn did very well under less than ideal conditions because they were disciplined in their technique, were teachable, and stayed focused the entire time on bite detection. Well done!!

Glenn delivers portable storage building all over the state of Texas for a living, and Miss JJ hails from Prescott, AZ, where she serves as a school nurse, an emergency room nurse, an ambulance nurse, and somehow finds time to go calf roping on a regular basis! Oh, and did I mention she also runs half-marathons and mud-runs? She claimed that’s just to work off the Dairy Queen habit, though!!

We had some wild weather this morning, but, the fish didn’t seem bothered at all, as is often the case this time of year when warming water gets their metabolism on the rise.

As we got going, the surface was glass calm under heavy grey skies. I decided to try shallow early so we headed to troll a “circuit” with flatlined crankbaits from Area 324 to Area 103. We picked up 6 fish in this stretch of water as well a 2 other fish at adjacent areas 055 and 701. 6 of these fish came on white or white/chartreuse Rapala Shad Raps, and the other 2 came on Reef Runner Rip Shad 200’s. As we trolled along, the already dark skies got darker and we were treated to a light rainshower lasting about 15 minutes or so. A stiff N. breeze cleared out the rain and we suddenly had enough wind to get a deepwater bite going.

We left the shallows and headed deep. I looked over 4 areas before locating fish at a fifth area, Area 176/254. I found fish along the face of the breakline here in 15 to 22 feet, as well as at the top of the breakline at 15 feet. I buoyed the shallowest fish on the flattest terrain and we began fishing with 3/4 oz. TNT180 slabs. We began pulling fish right away, with Glenn and JJ boating 14 before the school drifted away.

We then moved a short hop in this same general area and found abundant suspended fish here from 17 to 22 feet deep over a 26 foot bottom. We changed out rods and used a slow smoking tactic for these fish, adding 8 more to the count before these fish wised up.

Finally, still in this vicinity, we moved back to the breakline, a little further W. than we had been earlier, encountered fish on the breakline’s face at 20-22 feet, and used slabs and horizontally worked Cicadas to boat another 9 fish before finally leaving this area.

This mid-depth bite died just as the last remnant of the N. breeze that cleared out the rain was about to die. The surface calmed, the clouds began to thin, and the atmosphere now warmed rapidly. This was a bad combination for white bass, but, we persisted. We had to look over 8 different deepwater location to find just a scant school of semi-interested fish, but, find them we did and, after “short-hopping” several times on top of Area 925/1041, we managed to tease up another 24 fish using a combination of jigging and easing over the course of our final 90 minutes.

By 12:30 we’d seen the best of it and headed back in, but not before snapping a few photos of our best fish of the day. As we got the fish out of the livewell, our largest white bass just would not cooperate. It kept squirming and shaking at inopportune moments as we were trying to get our shots lined up. Finally, after 3 attempts at getting her thumb to stay put in the fish’s mouth, JJ shouts, “STOP!!” at the top of her lungs, and lo and behold, the fish never moved another muscle. It makes me wish she would have shouted “BITE!!” around 8 o’clock this morning. Hindsight is always 20/20.

TALLY = 55 FISH, all caught and released, including 3 largemouth, and 52 white bass.

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Start Time: 7:30a

End Time: 12:30p

Air Temp: 66F at trip’s start.

Water Surface Temp: 56.1F

Wind: Winds were calm at (obscured) sunrise, turning N8 during and following a brief rain shower, then going slack once again.

Skies: Skies were overcast until approx. 10:40a, then cleared to 20% cloudy and fair.

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