This morning I fished with Cub Scout Pack 511 out of the Austin area — yes, the ENTIRE pack!!
Daniel V. caught the largest fish during today’s Pack 511 Fishing Derby — 39″ longnose gar.
Aiden H. caught the second largest fish during today’s Pack 511 Fishing Derby — 16 7/8″ largemouth.
Sara V. caught the third largest fish during today’s Pack 511 Fishing Derby — 14″ white bass.
Back in February, Joan S., the Pack Leader contacted me seeking advice on how to do a well-run, fishing-focused outdoor scouting event which helped the scouts meet the criteria necessary for earning a fishing “belt loop” and fishing “pin”. They would be based out of the Dana Peak campground on Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir.
We agreed upon doing a “round robin” of 3 events, 1) fish identification/fishing regulations, 2) knot tying and hook baiting, and 3) casting. I helped in this by doing a “train the trainer” for her volunteers the night before and by providing all the supplies necessary for these events. I would also operate my boat all day Saturday to give the kids hands-on fishing experience, trying to help every last boy land at least one fish. In doing this, we organized the fishing trips like a “length-only” catch and release tournament in which we recorded the length of each boy’s longest fish and saw how they all compared at the end of the day.
As dawn Saturday rolled around, Joan had organized her scouts into teams of 3 boys, each chaperoned by one adult. I took each team of 4 out with the mission of helping each boy catch at least one fish. We did these trips within a timeframe of just 30-50 minutes each, then returned to shore to drop off the successful anglers and bring onboard another hopeful team of 4.
Long story short, we batted a thousand today! Every single boy caught at least one fish, and some as many as 10 in their short time on the water.
Our biggest fish of the trip was a 39 inch longnose gar landed by Daniel V. Our 2nd place finisher was Aiden H., who boated a 16 7/8 inch largemouth bass. And our 3rd place finisher was Sara V. (there because her brother is a scout and her folks came to the campout to support him); she caught a 14″ white bass.
Quite a number of the 31 kids who came out on the boat caught the first fish of their lives today. This was a very full but very fun day, made enjoyable by the can-do, helpful attitudes of the adult volunteers who made this come together for the kids.
Today’s hotspots were: Area 116 early for shallow fish caught on flatlined crankbaits, Area 684/290 just post-sunrise for downrigged fish down 14-16 feet, Area 372 from mid-morning to early afternoon for deep-downrigged and vertically jigged fish in 22-25 feet, and Area 1201 in mid-afternoon for deep-downrigged and vertically jigged fish in 25-26 feet.
TALLY = 92 Fish
TALLY = 90 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:45a
End Time: 4:30p
Air Temp: 69F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: 66.2F
Wind: Winds were SSE15 at trip’s start, tapering off sharply around 9:30 to light and variable.
Skies: Skies were partly cloudy 80-100% and grey for all but the first 2 hours following sunrise.
Holding the Line Guide Service