If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you know I have a “no sugar-coating” policy and tell it like it is, good or bad. Well, it was bound to happen sometime. The nice ride we’ve been on since early April coinciding with the spawning of the threadfin shad finally came to a crashing halt over the weekend with the last significant schools of shad being seen spawning this past Saturday, 31 May, on Belton. If history is any teacher, fishing for white bass and hybrid will be tough for the next 7-10 days or so as the thermocline further develops, the water warms quickly through the 70’s and into the 80’s, and the fish get into their summer patterns.
Fishing was tough today for father and son pair Steve and Hunter Crawford of Beaumont, Texas.
Riding out this tough bite with me was father and son Steve and Hunter Crawford of Beaumont, Texas. Hunter is a 2nd year business major at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, TX. His mom and dad came in for a visit before he starts the summer semester which he’s chosen to take to lighten his spring and summer semester course load, given that he works nearly full time at the local Schlotzsky’s restaurant in Belton.
Based on some early morning scouting yesterday, I suspected things would be tough, so, I came loaded for bear, bringing bait rods, topwater rods, jigging rods, and downrigging rods. As it turned out, we caught 3 fish on live bait and 3 fish on the downriggers. The bite was just off. We found only a few fish hanging in areas where hundreds had been less than a week ago, and even those fish we found were hard to convince to bite.
Nearly everywhere we went I found actively feeding schools of white bass on the surface staying up for anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes at at time, but these fish were totally focused on the barely visible young of the year shad and would simply not strike anything we threw despite many accurate casts being worked right through the schools. These fish were so obstinate they reminded me of fishing for wild trout locked in to a certain sort of fly during a major hatch on the northeastern rivers I used to fish.
Just because we didn’t load the boat didn’t mean we couldn’t enjoy the day. Steve was glad to be with his son and be away from his job at the refineries in Beaumont, and Hunter was enjoying the downtime between semesters and having his folks around for a few days.
I suspect this tough fishing will endure for another week or 10 days. Typically, once we get some clear, truly hot (98+F) weather and a true southerly or southwesterly wind for a few days, things begin to straighten out and the fish get predictable once again.
TALLY = 6 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:45a
End Time: 11:15a
Air Temp.: 74F
Water Surface Temp.: 77-78F
Skies: Fully greyed over the entire trip.
Other Notes: GT35
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
** Shad activity was non-existent this morning
** Vicinity of Area 835 – 2 largemouth on bait
** Vicinity of Area 717 – 1 white bass on bait
** Vicinity of Area 214 – 3 white bass on downriggers
Holding the Line Guide Service