This morning I fished with Troy Hensley of Killeen, TX. We went fishing for white bass on Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir.
Troy Hensley had a “personal best” day on the water, as we boated 57 fish, beating his former personal best of 54 fish.
This is what we observed on sonar today as the action peaked around 10:30am as the wind peaked at ~10mph, and the grey skies thinned a bit to allow some indirect sun through. The blue and red streaks centered on the left half of the screen are individual white bass in a school numbering at least 50-60 fish.
Troy is a U.S. Army Iraq War veteran who reached the rank of Sergeant during his time in the infantry. He grew up in Illinois and Kentucky where most of his prior fishing experience came on the shore. Troy had handled spinning gear before which reduced his learning curve as he learned the particulars of vertical jigging.
As often happens on foggy days where the brightening of the sky is delayed, the first hour of our trip was a bit slow with little in the way of bird action to key in on. We picked up a few fish by flatline trolling in under 15 feet, but, thinking we could do better, left that behind and headed out to water that was being more heavily impacted by the light winds blowing from the south.
We went on to check four deep water areas and found abundant fish at two of them, scant fish activity at one of them, and zero at a fourth area.
All of our fish today responded well to a straight vertical jigging tactic. Although we threw a bit of “smoking” variation in our routine, that only drew 2 of our 57 fish. We alternated between silver/chartreuse 3/4 ounce slabs and all white 3/8 oz. slabs and they performed equally well, although the 3/4 oz. sank more quickly in the 30-50 foot water we were fishing. We used the Redneck Fish’n Jigs model 180 slabs.
Troy’s lifetime best trip was a 54 fish day up in Illinois where he focused on sunfish. Today, we fished until we broke that record. Fish #55 came over the side at 11:30, and we went on to catch 2 more as we checked out a spot before wrapping the day up. 100% of our catch consisted of white bass today, with only 5 of these fish going below the 10″ “legal” mark. Most fish were 12-13 inches and were well-fed with bulging abdomens. One of our fish surpassed the 14″ mark.
TALLY = 57 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 7:15a
End Time: 11:40p
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 57F
Water Surface Temp: 57.8F
Wind Speed & Direction: S7-10
Sky Conditions: 100% grey skies with very light fog & occasional light drizzle.
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 407 Flatline trolling for 2 fish (BA:6G)
**Area 1493/1266/988 spot-hopped several times within the bounds of this area for a total of 33 white bass in 2 &3 year class
**Area 948 boated 9 fish
**Area 1495 boated 11 fish
**Area 074 boated 2 fish
Stillhouse Hollow Fishing Guide
Belton Lake Fishing Guide
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)