This morning I fished with 13 year old Jake Pingley and his 7 year old sister, Layla, on Stillhouse Hollow. This was a “SKIFF” (Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun) trip — the 8th one of 2013.
Jake and Layla boated white bass from start to finish today using horizontal and vertical tactics, as well as some controlled-depth trolling.
Layla’s first fish of the day was actually two! As we downrigged waiting for the skies to brighten, this pair of white bass bit her tandem rigged Pet Spoons at the same time.
Jake and Layla are the children of Air Force Captain Joe Pingley and his wife, Angie. Captain Pingley is deployed to Saudi Arabia where he serves with a TACP (Tactical Air Control Party) tracking and coordinating everything flying in the airspace of concern to the U.S. in that region of the world.
Angie learned of SKIFF while at a business networking session. Mr. Marty Wall, who has supported SKIFF with videography for several years now, told Angie about the free fishing opportunities for deployed soldiers’ kids.
We had a great trip this morning, catching fish, literally, from start to finish. Jake and Layla had a bit of previous experience, but neither had fished from a boat before. As we began the day, we started off downrigging and scored on both drum and white bass using Pet Spoons rigged in tandem (Area 484/660). As we brought our 7th fish of the morning aboard, topwater action erupted about 100 yards to our west.
As we eased into the action, both largemouth bass and white bass were forcing 2.75 inch long shad to the surface. We rigged up with bladebaits matching the size and color of the prey, and proceeded to “wear ’em out” for the next 90 minutes solid using horizontal lift-drop technique (Area 1234).
After this action died down, we again downrigged (back at Area 484/660), and then we finished up the day in deeper 35′ water “smoking” our TNT180 slabs (chartreuse/silver halo) through big schools of congregated white bass (Area 1233).
Jake was really focused on the fishing and asked a lot of really good questions concerning why we were doing what we were doing. Layla, on the other hand, as all about variety. She fished a little, snacked a little, did a little aquatic insect identification, then fished a little more, and so on. Both kids really had a good time. Jake commented that his family has learned they’re to be stationed at Ft. Lewis, Washington next, so he was glad he learned so much about fishing today so he could carry that with him to the lakes and streams of Washington which he has evidently already begun to investigate.
The members of the Austin Fly Fishers (and others) raise the funds and donate time and money to make these trips available at no charge to the families receiving them. Thank you all!!
TALLY = 76 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:40a
End Time: 10:40a
Air Temp: 78F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: 85.2F
Wind: Winds were NNE5-7 at sunrise, slowly shifting to NE, but maintaining speed.
Holding the Line Guide Service