Topsey-Turvey Weather’s Making it Tough, Central Texas White Bass Run 2013, 50 Fish, 21 Feb. 2013

Despite the topsey-turvey weather and wind of late, I’ve made an attempt to stay on top of the fish movements. We had a net loss of 2 degrees F on our surface temperatures over this past week on Stillhouse, and the forecast seems to indicate we’ll likely just maintain or even lose slightly in the week coming up.

I got out today in the face of a stiff NW breeze and heavy gray cloud cover. The air temperature actually fell 3 degrees after sunrise and a wind chill factor was kicking in. Bird activity early in the morning was scant (from 7:00 to 10:00a). I was able to find a few scattered schools of fish on a gentle slope near the old Lampasas River channel in about 27 feet and stayed on these fish from 7:30 to 9:45a between Areas 984 and 985. I was catching these fish slowly but steadily over this time. Each time I hooked a fish, one to three more would rise up just 2-3 feet off bottom to half-heartedly follow, but would not be any more aggressive by the time I got my slab back down to them.

Over the 7:30 to 9:45 time span I boated exactly 25 fish (all white bass). I was happy that I put together a limit on such a poor weather day, and decided to head back in, but kept an eye out for natural signs of activity as I went.

As good fortune would have it, I spotted about 4 terns looking “fishy” over a stretch of river channel bounded by Areas 1168, 1170,1169, and 432. Well, 4 terns turned to 8, and 8 to 20, and in just 8-10 minutes there was a full-blown feed going on with white bass littering the bottom third of the water column in about 40 feet over quite an expansive area. Because many of these fish were as much as 12 feet off bottom, indicating they were very active, I used a slow smoking approach to target the most active fish among this large shoal of fish. In 35 minutes time I was able to easily double my catch to 50. As that 50th fish came over the side, the birds began to do more flying than diving and I knew the best was now behind me.

I headed in to enjoy some Ford F-150 heat blowing on my now nearly numb hands.

TALLY = 50 fish, all caught and released

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Start Time: 7:00a

End Time: 10:50a

Air Temp: 41F at trip’s start, further dropping to 37F, then warming slowly.

Water Surface Temp: ~54F

Wind: Winds were NNW13.

Skies: Skies were 100% clouded and grey.

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