This morning I welcomed father and son team Mike and Patton Dean aboard from Round Rock, Texas. Mike’s wife, Kate, set this trip up as a Fathers’ Day event for the two of them.
Patton and his dad, Mike, with the best white bass of the trip taken on a 3-armed umbrella rig with Pet Spoons attached.
Mike is a U.S. Army Medical Service Corps veteran and currently serves as an administrator at Scott & White Hospital in Temple. Mike’s son Patton is a 9 year old third grade graduate, football player, basketball player, summer camp camper, and, now, fisherman!
The same near-calm, overcast conditions that plagued us yesterday persisted this morning, so, I came prepared to use 4 or 5 different techniques, know that with a 9 year old aboard, we’d have to keep it interesting by transitioning our tactics frequently.
We began our morning fishing live baits over hydrilla beds. We got two nice pull-downs, but those fish got away before they saw the net. As we reeled in one of the nearly-dead baits that a largemouth bass had just crippled, I tossed it over the side to replace it. Several seconds later, a ~30″ long nose gar appeared and snatched that 5″ bait sideways and swam off with his hearty breakfast.
We next headed to open water and downrigged for white bass. Along a break line in about 37 feet of water as we approached from deeper water going shallower with the balls set at about 32 feet, the bottom just came alive with white bass. As the ball swept over the bottom-hugging school, numerous individual fish came up off the bottom and swam up to and along with the ball for a short time out of curiosity. Once they broke off the chase, our baits came trailing behind (were were using one 3-arm umbrella rig on each ‘rigger) and we hooked up immediately.
Seeing that the area these fish were using was quite small, I tried hovering over top of them to use slabs with a smoking technique, but we only got one fish to respond, so, we returned to downrigging and that horizontal motion did the trick. We wound up catching 13 white bass here before the bite shut down.
Next, it was off to do some sunfishing. Both father and son excelled at that, quickly amassing a catch of 32 sunfish (bluegill, longear, and greens) on slip floats and Gulp! baits in just 2 stops up shallow.
As we wrapped up the sun fishing, we gave downrigging one more try to attempt to end on a “big” note. We were able to fool one more white bass into striking a Pet Spoon on our umbrella rig. By now it was after 11a, the sun was getting hot, Patton’s enthusiasm was waning (not aided by his early-morning wakeup call), and we decided to call it a day.
TALLY = 46 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:30am
End Time: 11:15am
Air Temp.: 77F @ trip’s start
Water Surface Temp.: 83.0F
Skies: 100% bright grey cloud cover
Other Notes: GT5
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 863 – 13 white bass
**Area 1257 – 1 white bass
** Areas 1098/1256 – sunfish
Holding the Line Guide Service