This morning I fished with newlyweds, Marcus and Samantha, recently moved to Ft. Hood from Indiana.
We enjoyed a strong, albeit fairly brief, bite on slabs fished “smoking”-style this morning in ~22 feet of water.
This couple is from the same hometown in Indiana and neither had fished much since childhood. They were married back in September and moved to Fort Hood that same month. Fort Hood is now Marcus’ first duty station where he serves as a tanker with the First Cavalry Division, and Samantha works in Killeen as a waitress. Samantha’s dad, Frank, called me a few weeks ago and arranged this trip for the two of them. Fishing is something Frank loves and so he wanted to do something nice for his daughter and son-in-law in this arena.
After a nice run of “fishy” days with light overcast and good winds, things went downhill today as the clouds were so thick as to make it murky, and the weather was more turbulent with windspeeds varying constantly.
As I met them at the boat ramp, we started with the basics of casting spinning gear and how to vertically jig with a slab, then, it was off to hunt for fish.
We struggled a bit to find fish early, but managed to get on top of a nice bunch of white bass right at Area 103. This moderately active school would provide the majority of our catch today. We stayed on these fish for about 70 minutes as they responded to a slow smoking retrieve for quite some time, then settled down and continued to respond to a vertical jigging retrieve. Samantha (who danced and played a number of sports in high school) really got the hang of the “smoking” technique and caught the majority of our fish while that tactic was attractive to them. Then, when the bite got more tedious and we had to use a vertical jigging approach, it was Marcus’ time to shine. We boated a total of 27 fish at this one area.
After this bite settled down, we moved on and continued searching for fish, with our only success coming at Area 074/1017. We found smaller fish here tight to the bottom and vertically jigged for them, adding 7 more fish to our tally.
By now it was around 11:45, the wind was picking up, and, due to the thick cloud cover, the ambient temperature hadn’t increased much at all. Samantha had dressed a bit lightly and was getting cold, so, we decided to wrap things up at that point.
Neither Marcus or Samantha had been out on Stillhouse before and both commented several times about how peaceful it was out on the water. As I idled over prospective areas studying sonar, they snuggled in, sat back and just enjoyed the downtime spent with one another.
TALLY = 34 fish, all caught and released
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Start Time: 8:00a
End Time: 12:15p
Air Temp: 61F at trip’s start
Water Surface Temp: ~61-62F
Wind: Winds were S9-12.
Skies: Skies were heavy leaden grey and murky the entire trip with no “squint-factor” of the sun’s brightness coming through.