This morning I fished with Tracy, Josh, Caleb, and Matthew W. of Copperas Cove targeting white bass on Stillhouse Hollow.
This trip was rescheduled from 21 Dec. when a hard, wet cold front ripped through Central Texas. Josh arranged this trip as a Christmas present to his cousins, Caleb and Matthew, who are Tracy’s two boys. Josh’s Uncle Tracy and Tracy’s brother, Jack, have led the Copperas Cove High School ‘Dawgs for many years now as football coaches, and Josh, after playing there, went on to lead the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders as quarterback right from his freshman year.
Despite the fact that today’s conditions were more bearable than our originally scheduled date, the impact of that cold front and several hard fronts before it was still being felt by the fish. Our water temperatures have hovered just above/below 50F, skies have been clear, and winds calm, which all add up to very tough fishing, and this morning was no exception.
Despite some so-so bird action at sunrise, we found no cooperative white bass beneath these birds. In fact, the birds had just about gone back to roost around 10am before we boated our first white bass after putting 2 drum and 2 largemouth in the boat before that happened.
Finally, alongside the old Lampasas River channel in about 27 feet of water we encountered a decent school of white bass that showed clearly on sonar in that they were active enough and high enough off bottom for sonar to unmistakeably pick up multiple “fish arches”. With nearly 2 1/2 hours of jigging practice now under their belts, the boys were all ready to correctly present our baits (3/4 oz. TNT 180 slabs in white) to these fish. As is often the case on these cold-water fish, we included elongated pauses as we worked our baits to give these sluggish fish a chance to respond.
As often happens when active fish are encountered, as we caught fish, we attracted more fish to catch as the fish we hooked struggled to the surface, defecated, and regurgitated what they’d eaten while being reeled in, thus essentially creating a “chum slick” right where our baits were working beneath the boat. Tracy was our most consistent fisherman, and was certainly a “coachable coach”. He listened to and put into practice the key elements of line control and depth control very consistently and was rewarded for that attention to detail.
boated exactly 24 white bass by working in and around this area for
approximately 70 minutes. After the action here died, we looked over 3
similar areas and found nothing more going on.
he brought in one of the nicer white bass we caught, Caleb looked at
Josh and said, “This was a great present.” That meant a lot to me to hear that, as I
often can get so focused on producing numbers of fish for people, that I
forget about the relational aspect of fishing, and the enjoyable time
away from the stressors of life, and the fellowship that it offers.
I was impressed that this family clearly has woven their faith into their lives and their livelihoods — they’re the kind of folks you wish your entire clientele was like.
TALLY = 28 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 7:15a
End Time: 11:45a
Air Temp: 35F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: 52.6F
Wind: Winds were 0-2mph and from WSW to WNW for our entire trip
Skies: Cloudless, fair skies.
Other Notes: GT10
Areas Fished with success:
** 1317 (no birds)