The following blog entry appears in the form of a report to those who support the Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun (S.K.I.F.F.) program which serves to put the children of deployed or deceased soldiers on the water at no charge to their families…
Gabriel came up with the trip’s largest fish today, a 2 7/8 pound largemouth that came out of 41 feet of water on a modified Pet Spoon
Here both boys (Angel on left, Gabriel on right) display a pair of 13.75″ white bass also found quite deep today now that the thermocline has just about vanished.
13 October 2012
Dear Friends of SKIFF,
Today I fished with Angel (age 12) and Gabriel (age 10) Espinoza, the sons of First Lieutenant and Mrs. Angel G. Espinoza, originally from San Antonio and now serving in the U.S. Army based in Ft. Hood. 1LT Espinoza is an Army Transportation Corp officer with the 96th Transportation Co., now deployed to Afghanistan.
Our conditions today were tough — very windy even before sunrise and with increasing winds thereafter, and a hard-to-shake murky low cloud base that has been the norm for the past 5 mornings.
Nonetheless, we used sonar to search out fish and eliminate unproductive water, boating 3 sets of doubles (6 fish) in our first half hour, and locating sufficient numbers of fish to keep us busy thereafter.
Despite finding great concentrations of fish, we had to get our baits in front of the many to get bit by just a few, given the “funk” the fish were in due to the so-so weather. This is a great application for downriggers, and, indeed, the downriggers accounted for the majority of our fish today.
We used modified Pet Spoons on a tandem rig presented at 41 feet over a 43-45 foot bottom between Areas 1134 and 863 to land white bass (12), largemouth bass (3), and a crappie (1). Every time we encountered a decent concentration of fish, we’d e-anchor and attempt to slab for them, but the fish were totally disinterested in that vertical presentation today.
In our last bit of time on the water, we headed shallow for a change of pace to gun for some sunfish, but even they were sluggish. We managed 1 longear sunfish at Area 1098, but saw many others just content to hug bottom and hardly give notice to the presence of our baits.
In the end, we wound up with 18 fish and the boys enjoyed catching every last one of them. Their prior fishing experience had been long ago and unproductive, so they were very enthusiastic the entire time we were on the water and stayed keenly focused on the downrigging gear as we covered water today.
Thank you all who have or do contribute to SKIFF in any way for you help, encouragement, and contributions!
TALLY = 18 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 8:00a
End Time: 12:15p
Air Temp: 73F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: 75.5F
Skies: 90% early morning cloudiness in the form of low murky clouds and humid conditions.