Jerry and Daniel, spurring one another on with some good-natured competition, both stay focused on their technique and reaped good results for their efforts.
A 3.25 pound largemouth thrown in for variety’s sake never hurts!
This morning, Friday, 15 Feb., I fished with Jerry W., owner of the Jerry Worley Insurance Agency of Harker Heights, and one of the young men, Daniel K., that Jerry has worked with through his years as a lay leader in youth/young adult ministry at Memorial Baptist in Killeen. Daniel is a student at Central Texas College.
I had high hopes for today’s trip after we postponed this same trip last week due to cold front conditions. Today’s forecast was for mild weather in advance of a late-morning, mild cold front’s passage. If the timing worked out, that meant we’d enjoy both pre-frontal fishing and fishing as the winds ramped up with the cold front’s passage. Timing is always questionable on these Texas weather events, but, the National Weather Service and the Air Force’s 3rd Weather Squadron on Ft. Hood both hit a homerun on this one.
As we began our day we had some helpful bird activity point the way to fish over top of Areas 1167, 334, and 556. In each case these fish were just off the old river channel by a few yards and were in distinct groups. We’d catch 10-12 fish, then bump a few yards over to get our slabs in front of some “fresh” fish, catch 8-10 more, and so on. All of these fish came on 3/4 oz. white slabs. By 9:45am we’d boated 61 fish. It was at this point that the lead edge of the front rolled in with winds from the NE immediately increasing to ~16mph. Almost instantly the bird action ended and we struggled for about 45 minutes until the fish settled back down and began to feed, albeit much more sluggishly than before.
To help overcome the impact of the front, we fished deeper now. Our first spot of luck came at Area 1166. It was at this same time yesterday while on the water with a client helping to get his sonar adjusted that some light bird action allowed us to fine-tune his unit to show fish, the rise and fall of a slab, etc. I pulled in here at nearly the same time 24 hours later and sonar revealed fish close to the channel lip in ~35 feet of water. We really worked for the fish we caught here and wound up boating 18 more white bass before things went soft here after about 40 minutes of fishing.
We made our last stop over top of Area 074. As we idled over this area sonar just lit up with fish showing in a very strong feeding posture about 1-2 feet off bottom and in quite a large school covering several yards horizontally. We got right to work and actually caught our first 6 fish out of this school by slowly “smoking” our slabs through the school. As often happens under the influence of cold front conditions, though, this bite cooled really fast. I told the fellows this was the “beginning of the end” and, indeed, by noon or so, despite seeing plenty of fish laying belly-to-the-bottom and having our slabs dancing and pausing before them, it was like pulling teeth. By 12:15 we called it a day with 92 fish boated including 3 largemouth, 1 drum, and 88 white bass.
TALLY = 92 Fish
Start Time: 7:15a
End Time: 12:15p
Air Temp: 47F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: 56.8F
Wind: NNE7-8 prefrontal; NE14-16 as front came in.
Skies: Fair skies prefrontal, with increasing high, thin clouds following the front’s passage.