This morning I welcomed back Shane M., his 14 year old daughter, Grace, as well as Shayne O., and his 18 year old son Jayce. All are a part of Rockpointe Church in Leander where Shayne serves as senior pastor.
Jayce (who stands 6’7″ and weighs 260) hold his trophy 36.5″ yellow catfish estimated at 32-37 pounds
The whole Rockpointe Church crew scored big today with a nice mix of quality and quantity.
Well, we truly saved the best for last today. After 6+ hours on the water I was tidying up the boat a bit while a short but strong midday white bass bite was winding down. We had just managed to boat 61 white bass in under 45 minutes at what would be our last stop of the day. The bites were now coming few and far between and at least 2 people’s minds were on Johnny’s BBQ. Then it happened. Jayce felt a bite, set the hook, and instead of raising the fish upward a few feet on the hookset as had been the case for our 152 white bass boated today, this fish jerked his rod down to the water — hard. An 8 1/2+ minute battle (that’s long for freshwater) ensured during which Jayce’s hand muscles cramped and we all peered over the side of the boat just waiting for a glimpse of whatever had inhaled Jayce’s slab. We brought to net a 36.5″ yellow catfish, which, according to catch and release formulas, would typically weight in at 32-37 pounds. We handled the fish minimally, took some good photos and released the fish in excellent condition, high-fiving as it swam away with powerful tail strokes. Very exciting!! This all transpired right on top of Area 036.
Now, let’s back up. As we got on the water, we did a flatline trolling pass at Area 116, picking up 1 nice white bass, but, before we could finish a full circuit, some helpful birds began to work and so we got quickly to them and worked beneath them. We found active white bass pursuing shad to the surface in ~20 feet of water at Area 324/106. We used blade baits worked near bottom to boat 18 fish before this action died, along with the day’s strongest bird activity — pretty short and sweet.
From about 8:30 to 10:45, we enjoyed consistent albeit moderately-paced action in ~24-27 feet of water at both the vicinity of Area 1167 as well as all over Area 556. Most of these were on the small side, and every last one came on a 3/4 oz. slab. Mixed in with our catch of 58 white bass taken off these two areas, were 4 freshwater drum and 1 crappie.
Things got very tough between 10:45 and 12:00 as the wind nearly died and the skies continued to brighten under the climbing sun. By 12:30, we’d boated 81 fish and felt that with everyone now well-acquainted with vertical jigging, we could break the 100 fish mark if we found just one concentration of even fairly lethargic fish. We made 3-4 stops, adding only 4 more small white bass to our tally. Finally, I moved to Area 036 and we found what we were looking for. There were tightly bunched white bass here on a breakline, and a few were even up off bottom in a feeding posture. We got right down to business and, in our last 45 minutes, put exactly 61 fish in the boat, blowing our 100 fish goal out of the water, adding some nice 13+ inch white bass to our catch, and allowing us to end the day on a great note, then made even greater by Jayce’s goliath catfish described earlier.
TALLY = 153 fish, all caught and released
Start Time: 7:00a
End Time: 1:45p
Air Temp: 43F at trip’s start
Water Surface Temp: ~62-63F
Wind: Winds were NNW at 13, tapering down to NNW6 by 10:30a.
Cloud Cover:We were under light grey skies at sunrise, with skies quickly clearing to bright and cloudless by 9:30.