This morning I welcomed returning guests Rob and Drake R. aboard for a white bass fishing trip on Stillhouse Hollow. This trip was in celebration of Drake’s upcoming birthday.
It was 43F, cold, and rainy. It could have been 25F, frigid and snowing and I believe Drake’s enthusiasm would have been the same. This kid came ready to fish!
Drake, now a freshman at Stoney Point High School in Round Rock, surprised me right off the bat this morning. It’s been about a year and a half since he last came out with me, yet, when I began to go over my safety briefing and my tutorial on vertical jigging successfully, he recalled not only what to do, but also why we did it — sharp!
We had southerly winds, heavy overcast and the ambient temperatures at sunrise were higher than any day in the past week thanks to the overnight cloud cover retaining heat. This, plus the fact that we have a mild, dry, cool front moving in, all made me very confident that we’d catch fish today.
As we got on the water, the birds started working right at sunrise (obsured) and worked a full 4 hours. As I’ve observed on Belton Lake the past few outings, the fish are moving and scattered, so the bird action imitates that. One minute a dozen birds are repeatedly striking the water in one spot, then, 30 seconds later those same birds are 80 yards away doing the same thing, while another small flock is doing the same thing in the same general area, but never for very long over top of a single patch of bottom.
To keep up with the action we just fished and watched birds and sonar. When the catching stopped, the birds lifted, and the sonar cleared, it was time to go looking. Sometimes we caught 3-4 fish on a stop, other times it was 10-15.
We worked deep with white TNT180 slabs to begin the day, then, as the skies lightened a bit we found action up shallower in 16-18 feet of water and were able to cover ground by casting bladebaits horizontally for whites that were found from the middle of the water column down to bottom. White Cicadas got the nod in this circumstance.
By 11:20, despite the fact that we were still on top of fish, the fish had had enough and began to suspend and grow lethargic.
In all, we boated 57 fish including 55 white bass and 2 drum. Several of our white bass went right at 14 inches with one boated by Rob which taped at 14 5/8″.
TALLY = 57 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 7:15a
End Time: 11:35p
Air Temp: 43F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: 50.6F
Wind: Winds were SSE7 at obscured sunrise, tapering to SSE3.
Skies: 100% clouds and moderate precip. until 8:30, then very light precip. thereafter.
Other Notes: GT=30
Areas Fished with success:
** between 1017/340, several yards back off the lip
** 1307 (18-20′ now due to water 10-11 feet low
** 1308 (finished the trip here with fish suspended at ~40 feet over 45-50 feet)