This morning I fished with former naval flight surgeon Ray J. of Harker Heights, TX. Ray joined the U.S. Navy in 1959 and is now enjoying retirement.
Ray and I primarily vertically jigged today for fish that insisted on staying tight to the bottom. We used the TNT180 slab in 3/4 oz. on braided line to get the job done.
The fishing conditions were good today, albeit a bit murky in the first hour and a half due to thick, grey cloud cover. We had good wind direction (south) and a fair wind speed at around 6 mph. The full moon always seems to put a drag on fishing and today’s results were a bit softer than normal given the great weather conditions, but we managed to put together a nice bag when all was said and done.
We began our trip in shallow water at Area 1155 (17-21′) and moved gradually deeper as the skies brightened. In this area we found scattered fish along the bottom and so went with bladebaits cast horizontally to work a greater area than a vertical presentation would allow for. Ray had mentioned earlier that he was “okay” using baitcasting equipment, but had much less experience with spinning gear and would like to learn to use the spinning gear more effectively. We did some “OJT” and within a few casts he was covering the distances we needed to cover and was getting more accurate with each cast. We boated only 6 fish here and moved on.
Our next stop came at Area 556/385 on a deeper flat. A few birds were looking “fishy”, so I ran sonar over the area and found a lot of bait with some fish both on the bottom and up as high as 4 feet off the bottom. We again cast bladebaits and then did a bit of downrigging here to cover a great amount of water quickly and consistently found only very small fish here, so, we moved on after boating 8.
Our third (and final) stop came in the vicinity of Area 1154 and a few yards to the south of it. As we got down to fishing this area, out conditions improved, and the fishing took an uptick. The cloud cover lightened a bit to where it was still grey and the sun was still obscured, but the skies were no longer murky. We also saw periodic increases in the wind velocity by just 2mph or so for a few minutes at a time, but it was enough to make the fish notch up their efforts a bit. We put 51 fish in the boat here, every one via vertical jigging. Although as we hooked fish, I could see schoolmates follow those hooked fish toward the surface on sonar, those schoolmates returned immediately to bottom, not up off bottom as they do when they are really turned on. Thus, we were not able to use a smoking tactic for these fish and caught fish more slowly and methodically using a jigging tactic.
TALLY = 65 Fish, all caught and released, including 1 freshwater drum, 1 largemouth bass, and 63 white bass
Start Time: 7:10a
End Time: 11:50a
Air Temp: 66F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: 63.5F
Wind: S6-7 the entire trip.