This Labor Day Monday I fished with grandfather-granddaughter team Ken Botsch (known as Pa to his grandkids) and Lucy Scott of Round Rock, Texas. Ken has followed my Facebook blog for quite some time now and decided to take the plunge, give me a call, and book a trip.
Ken Botsch and his granddaughter Lucy with 4 of the 42 fish we caught today, primarily on downriggers in 28-32 feet of water.
Ken is the owner of his own small business, Earthmovers Supply, Inc., with a brick-and-mortar location in Hutto, TX, from which he supplies off-road vehicle specialty parts into the roadmaking and quarrying industries. Ken is also an avid kayak angler. Lucy just started her 4th grade year in Round Rock public school.
We got going at 7:15 under cloudy gray skies and with a SSE wind blowing at 8 to 9 mph. We ran sonar over two areas looking for bait and the white bass pursuing that bait, and found nothing. As we approached the third area I had hoped to fish, and just as the heavy grey cloud cover was thinning, suspended schools of white bass began to appear on sonar at 28 to 32 feet deep over a deeper bottom. This was a classic case calling for downrigging, so we put the downriggers in and I gave some quick, simple instructions to Ken and Lucy on how to use the downriggers.
Using line counter reels, we set our baits back very precisely the same distance every time, and using the depth counter on the downriggers, we set the depth at which our baits would be presented very precisely every time. From the downrigging arsenal I selected a pair of three armed umbrella rigs equipped with Pet Spoons intended to match the size of the small forage these fish were attracted to. We first set out Lucy’s rod, then Ken’s, then studied sonar. We had gone no more than 30 yards with both lines set when we encountered a nice school of white bass. The baits, which were 5 to 8 seconds behind us, reached the school and a white bass grabbed onto one of Lucy’s three Pet Spoons and the fight was on. She did a great job of fighting that fish to boatside and landing it. I’m not sure who really got hooked right then — that fish, or Lucy!!
Over the next 90 minutes we caught fish consistently through this area including singles and doubles of fish in the one, two, and three year classes. Around 8:45am this bite began to weaken, so we began to search elsewhere with 28 fish now landed. We spent about an hour probing several areas and finding little in the way of bait or fish that I was confident would produce for us, so we pressed on.
Around 10 AM we encountered another concentration of fish with most individuals holding off bottom at 29 to 30 feet down over 32 to 34 foot bottom. These were spaced closely enough that I suspected a smoking approach would attract a bite, so we began smoking with 3/4 oz slabs and put seven fish in the boat via that method. At no time did the fish really school heavily under the boat or really turn onto that technique, so as soon as that action slowed we went right back to downrigging and finished up our trip consistently boating fish in the two and three year class on 3 arm umbrella rigs with Pet Spoons. We finished up the day today with exactly 41 white bass and 1 freshwater drum boated, and really made a fisherman out of little Miss Lucy. Her Pa was very, very proud of her persistence and her success. All three of us agreed that we needed to make it a point to get her sleepy brother Christian out of bed for our next trip!.
TALLY = 42 FISH
Start Time: 7:15am
End Time: 11:15 noon
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 76F
Water Surface Temp: 84.7F
Wind Speed & Direction: SSE8 shifting to S14
Sky Conditions: Fair skies with 50% cloud cover.
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1260 to 864 to 863 to 1134 from start through 8:45a
**Area 1102 through 912 through 1417 in last 75 minutes
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)