This evening I fished with first time guest Diane H. and her Killeen-based family — Curtis, Riski, and Fit.
(L to R) Curtis, Diane, Fit, and Riski with white bass they caught “smoking” with a TNT180 3/4 oz. slab on Stillhouse Hollow.
Diane and her husband, Chris, are headed to Saudi Arabia where he will work as a pilot, so, this trip was intended to be a way for Diane to visit with family in a fun, outdoor setting before saying farewell and heading overseas.
We met around 4:15p. I anticipated a bit of a slow bite for the first 90-120 minutes as the NW wind was tapering off and it was quite bright out, however, that was not to be the case. Instead we enjoyed solid fish-catching action from start to finish –nearly 4 full hours!
We found our first fish by way of downrigging in the vicinity of Area 702/549. These fish were in 20-21 feet of water up on the flat and were tight to the bottom. We ran the ‘riggers at 18-19 feet down with tandem Pet Spoons and that did the trick. We pulled 11 fish (3 singles and 4 doubles) off this area in 3 passes when I decided the fish were likely active enough to be vertically jigged for. We put the boat into a hover over a solid concentration of fish and went to work with a “smoking” tactic and pulled fish after fish, boating a total of 68 white bass at this first stop.
As the action waned, we moved on to just east of Area 1159 in only 16-17 feet of water and found the same scenario — lots of fish tight to bottom and revved up enough to chase after a “smoked” slab. The majority of the fish here were smallish, so, after boating our 100th fish, we decided to roll the dice and go look deeper for larger fish.
This turned out to be a good gamble, as we definitely upped the average size of our catch by making a break from the shallower water. At Area 1203 we boated another 15 fish. This area played out rather quickly. I’m sure we could have ground it out and jigged for more fish, but the fish had been so aggressive and the fishing so easy, I felt a move would put us on more active fish.
We hopped over to Area 1017/074 and finished up the trip at that location, putting a final 55 fish in the boat. We truly saved the best for last as this last, deepest area (36 feet) held more large (13+ inch) white bass than any of the other previous areas we’d fished.
This was a fun group to be out with — they all clearly enjoyed one another’s company, the nice weather, the fast fishing, and the wonderful sunset the Lord treated us to this evening. The 174 fish we boated tonight made this the most productive trip of the year to date.
Because of their work in the airlines, Diane and Chris have dual citizenship in the U.S. and Canada. I asked what was the most culturally different thing about living in Canada. Diana responded that it was how truly interested the Canadians tend to be about U.S. affairs and culture — evidently it is discussed continually. Then Curtis (half-)jokingly said that that cultural difference would be nothing compared to the cultural difference Diane was about to undergo heading to Saudi. So, Diana shared with us the “rules” she’d been researching for women to cover themselves with an ‘abaya’ (the traditionally black, robe-like dress worn by women there)and how she’d gone shopping for one already.
Diane, I wish you and Chris well in Saudi — you’ll have to Facebook us all a shot of you in your new ‘abaya’!!
TALLY = 174 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 4:15a
End Time: 8:25a
Air Temp: 78F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: 66.7F
Wind: Winds were NNW13 at trip’s start, and stayed at NNW10-11 most of the trip with a rapid calming at sunset.
Skies: Skies were fair with 50% high, thin clouds.
Holding the Line Guide Service