This morning I fished with a very nice family from Grandview, TX.
(L to R) TJ, Carly, and Thomas with a “triple” … 3 fish all boated just seconds apart on 3 of the 4 downlines we had baited with live shad.
TJ lips our largest fish of the trip — a nice, healthy 4.25 pound hybrid striped bass.
TJ is an airman in the U.S. Air Force and is currently station at Ft. Hood where he is in the 3rd year of his first 4 year enlistment. He brought along his wife, Carly, and his dad, Thomas. At home pulling babysitting duty for their 2 month old was Thomas’ wife, “Grandma”.
Today’s bite was an early one and a quick one. We had lines in the water by 6:30a and caught 29 of our 37 fish by 8:00am. Of these 29 fish, 24 were keeper hybrid striped bass up to 4.25 pounds, 2 were short hybrid, 2 were blue cat, and we had one token white bass to round it out. These fish were caught to the NNE of Area 835 in about 40 feet of water. I used shad of all sizes to see if the fish had a preference, but today size really didn’t seem to matter.
TJ and his dad had done some other hybrid striped bass and full-blood striped bass fishing before. As Thomas watched TJ get a run for his money while battling our largest fish of the trip (a 4.25 pounder) he said, “Man, you know that’s a good fish on there when you need to brace up to fight him!” And he was right. Fishing even 4 lines over the 19 foot length of the boat can be a challenge when multiple, large fish strike simultaneously. Keeping the fish out of the trolling motor, outboard, and adjacent lines is no easy thing, especially when you are not used to fighting such powerful fish as these.
By 8:30 the bite was slowing down to nothing but blue cat taking and damaging more baits than swallowing them deeply enough to be hooked, and the wind began to be an issue. Waves are manageable, but swells make the bait rod tips wag up and down, thus very unnaturally moving the live bait and often wearing the bait out quickly rendering it much less effective than under calmer conditions.
We “spot hopped” both around Area 835 and then beyond, but found little in the way of interested fish. Increased boat traffic in conjunction with the Memorial Day Weekend put some extra boats on the lake, many of which were also live shad fishing. As I observed, I saw very few hybrid landed after that 8:30a time frame.
To try to escape the wind, we holed up at Area 536 for a while and fished a combination of live shad and slabs in 37-42 feet of water. We managed to catch 1 additional hybrid, 1 largemouth bass and 6 white bass here over the next ~2 hours, but it was pretty slow fishing.
By 11:45 the bite had ground to a halt, the wind was gusting to ~17-19 mph and the recreational traffic was really picking up, so, we decided to call it a day right there.
TJ and Thomas had been out with other guides in other parts of the country, namely on Lake Ouachita in Arkansas after large full-blood stripers, but they kindly pointed out that this was their most productive guided trip in terms of both quality and quantity. I always enjoy being a part of “personal bests” for folks, and, thankfully, this was another one of those experiences.
TALLY = 37 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:30a
End Time: 11:45a
Air Temp: 71F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: 74.5F
Wind: Winds were ~12-16mph from the SE.
Skies: Skies were fully clouded over (100%) but still bright.
Holding the Line Guide Service