This afternoon I met up with Curtis W. and his neighbor and friend from church, Devin H., both from the Austin area for some white bass fishing on Stillhouse.
Curtis and Devin, both originally from Utah, have adapted well to Texas species and methods. They boated 109 fish this afternoon.
Curtis has been fishing with me for 3 years now, ever since his wife first bought him a fishing gift certificate for Christmas; his usual fishing partner (his son, Josh) was sick this week and couldn’t make it. Devin is a salesman in the water-softener business, has 2 young children, and was invited along in Josh’s place.
After the clouds broke yesterday around 5:30pm, ending a cold, wet spell of about 3 days’ duration, I got out on the water to try to pin down the locations of both fish and bait. Spring cold fronts tend to move the fish around, although, due to the generally upward trend in the water temperatures, they don’t tend to turn the fish off very long. I was able to find fish consistently and so felt very confident going into this evening’s trip that we’d do well, especially given the favorable wind and weather conditions.
The bite began slowly (which is very typical for afternoon trips) and peaked just before sunset. We found significant populations of fish at 5 distinct areas this evening.
First, we found smallish, schooled fish at 25-28 feet right on the breakline at Area 103/995 and jigged for these fish right on bottom with 3/4 oz. TNT180’s in white. We left here with a tally of 16 fish.
Next, we moved a few yards to the west and further up onto the 20-22′ flat near Area 702 and saw fish strung all along the bottom for several yards. This dictated the use of bladebaits, so we threw bladebaits for a while and caught plenty of fish, but, they too were smallish. We took our tally up to 38 while at this location. I’m not one to leave fish to find fish, but, we’d hoped to find some better quality fish, so, this figured into the equation and we decided to move on as the fishing was tapering off.
Our next stop came in about 33′ of water at Area 1192. This was our most productive spot of the evening. We vertical jigged here and quickly boated a total 61 fish, including a number of fish surpassing the 12+ inch mark. When our first batch of fish here moved off, I did a short-hop up slope and we again contacted fish up in 27-28 feet of water.
As the sun was setting this bite died and we headed to shallower, more well-illuminated water. We hit Area 807/810, put 4 fish in the boat really quickly, but decided to keep moving shallower as it was clear there was not a bunch of aggressive fish here as indicated by the lack of “follows” by schoolmates showing on sonar behind our hooked fish.
Our last stop came at Area 1193. We found a small school of fish just about wrapping up their last-light feed in ~18 feet of water here. We slowly “eased” our baits here and picked up a final 6 fish, bringing our grand total to 109 fish, including 108 white bass and 1 small largemouth bass.
Both Curtis and Devin grew up in Utah, so, for Devin who’d never been out with me before, all of the techniques and baits we’d used tonight were new. He enjoyed the exposure to the different “Texas” methods we used and left looking forward to returning with one of his own kids before too long.
TALLY = 109 fish, all caught and released
Start Time: 4:15p
End Time: 8:15p
Air Temp: 69F at trip’s start
Water Surface Temp: ~62.2F
Wind: Winds were SSE at 7-9.
Skies: Skies were fair with a very high, thin white covering of clouds over top.