This morning I welcomed returning guests John and Kelly M. and their son, Matthew.
The fishing tempo rose with the wind’s velocity today — a slow start on a gentle breeze with building action as the whitecaps began to form. Here, Matthew hoists one of the largemouth we boated today.
Fishing is about as predictable as it will get at any point in the year right now. A strong high pressure system is sitting firmly over top of this part of Texas deflecting any moisture and low pressure to the point that hardly any clouds are even forming. When conditions get like this the fishing is “cookie cutter” with one day very like the next until a weather wrinkle throws a curve ball.
This morning we enjoyed a reliable downrigger bite and, as often happens in the summer when shad populations peak and all fish are at peak metabolism, the fish showed a very definite preference for horizontal motion. Several times after passing over heavily schooled fish near bottom and picking up 2-3 fish on the 4 baits we had out, I put us in a hover over the fish and worked slabs and bladebaits through them. The results were never as strong as via downrigging, so, eventually, we just stuck with that. We caught fish today early at Area 250 (including just a touch of topwater just after sunrise), then mid-morning at Area 040, then wrapped up by downrigging in the midst of Area 1233/1246/1240.
I normally fish with a spread of 4 Pet Spoons, but, today I tried working a new bait into the spread just as an experiment. This was called the Pee Wee Wiggle Hoochie and resembles a small squid with a crankbait bill attached. Long story short, the Pee Wee Wiggle Hoochie didn’t cut the mustard on white bass (in fairness, it is intended as a Kokanee salmon bait), but, hey, it was really fun to say the name of it.
Now, you may be wondering about the shock collar. Well, John, who wasn’t feeling all that great today, rested up on the front deck for a spell at one point in the trip. While doing nothing but listening with his eyes closed, he noted that I had to repeat some of my instructions to Matthew several times, especially when it came to loosening his drag as one of the steps in setting out the downriggers. As he got to feeling better, John got more talkative and jokingly suggested that next trip we fit Matthew with a shock collar, then give him one set of instructions, and then a nice jolt each time I had to repeat those instructions. Well, that got a nice rise out of Matthew and let us all know John’s condition had improved enough to kid around.
Our trip definitely ended on a better note than it began on, given the improving, increasing wind conditions which served to cut the heat a bit as well as perk the fish up.
Our catch of 88 fish today consisted of 2 largemouth bass, and 86 white bass.
TALLY = 88 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:45a
End Time: 11:40a
Air Temp: 80F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: 87.2F
Wind: Winds were SSW4 at sunrise, tapering up to SSW12-13 by trip’s end.
Skies: Cloudless fair sky with increasing haze due to Saharan dust.
Holding the Line Guide Service