This morning found me back on Stillhouse with father and son team Jeff and Spencer D. of Killeen for some post-frontal white bass action.
Spencer (L) and Jeff (R) with 4 of the 53 fish we boated this morning. The fish were hungry after having their routines interrupted by an early wet cold front these past four days.
At one point in our trip Jeff boated a double and Spencer brought in a single within seconds of one another. The 3 fish were all of different year classes — I’d estimate them as 2012, 2011, and 2010 year class fish.
Spencer had only been fishing once before, but that was enough to give him “the itch” to want to go again. He has the good fortune of being home-schooled and his dad has the good fortune of having an other-than-Saturday/Sunday weekend in his line of work, so, this Monday offered a great opportunity to cash in on some fishing. The lake was deserted and the fishing was great.
Last Thursday a cold front slowly made its way into Central Texas turning the winds northerly and the skies wet for a few days. The fish get put off of their feed at such times, so, they were ready to eat again this morning and get back to a routine.
Summer patterns and tactics are still firmly in place — we downrigged to find ’em and fished vertically and horizontally to take advantage of what we found for as long as it would last.
We had consistent results from the very beginning of our trip to the very end. At first, downrigging for scattered suspended fish holding just above the thermocline was the rule. We enjoyed our best success at Area 1112/041 working modified Pet Spoons on tandem rigs. Fishing in this fashion we boated 19 fish by 8:40, including 1 largemouth bass, 2 drum, and 16 white bass and including 5 sets of doubles (2 fish caught on the tandem rig at the same time).
Around 8:40 things got quiet here and we had to go looking once again. We contacted fish again around 9:15a and put 5 more white bass in the boat over the next 30 minutes using downriggers over top of Area 1133. As Jeff was reeling in yet another double, the sonar absolutely lit up with fish as we glided to a stop when I took the outboard out of gear. I set the trolling motor to hover us over this spot and we got the ‘rigging gear in as quickly as we could and got to work with our slabs (TNT180’s in 3/4 oz. and with a white/silver color scheme). We used a smoking tactic to coax these shad-chasing predators into taking our baits and they cooperated nicely. In our final 35 minutes we brought in a total of 29 fish (26 white bass, 1 drum, and 1 largemouth) as the school beneath us stayed active. Then, like someone flipped a switch, it was over. The sonar still showed fish, but they were done feeding. With an appointment to get to in Killeen, we called it a day at the 3+ hour mark and enjoyed a cool, comfortable ride back to the dock.
TALLY = 53 FISH, all caught and released.
Start Time: 7:00a
End Time: 10:15a
Air Temp: 68F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: 78.6F
Skies: Skies were 80% cloudy.
This blog entry was authored by Bob Maindelle, owner of Holding the Line Guide Service, Belton Lake Fishing Guide and Stillhouse Hollow Fishing Guide.