I was just about to wrap up my morning fishing trip yesterday when my phone rang. Mr. Fred Ellis of Killeen, TX, called and let me know he follows my weekly fishing column in the Killeen Daily Herald, and that he wanted to treat some relatives to a fishing trip. I looked at my calendar for the next several days and suggested we go this morning.
Jayden Smith led the pack today with this plump 14 7/8 inch white bass taken on a white slab. Is his nose blue?
James Frankowski of Kyle, TX, picked up our only 2 largemouth of the day. This one struck James’ slab as it fell.
At 7:15am I welcomed aboard Mr. Kenneth King, 12-year-old Jayden Smith, and 13-year old James Frankowski. Kenneth, a U.S. Army veteran, now works at the new Seton Hospital in Harker Heights, Jayden is a 7th Grade student at Patterson Middle School, and James, formerly of Killeen, now attends middle school in Kyle, TX. Our target species this morning would be white bass on Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir.
I felt this morning was going to give us our best shot over the next several days as we had a dry cold front rolling in, and from here on out our water temperatures are only going to get colder. Until the water gets to 50-52F or so, dry fronts create a bit of a positive stir as the wind velocity increases, peaks, and then plateaus as high pressure builds in.
As we got going, the air temperature was 53F and the water surface temperature was 55F. By the time we came off the water, the ambient temperature had fallen to 45F, putting the wind chill feeling like a toasty 36F.
After getting away from the wind-beaten boat launch area, we did a “jigging class” to get everyone calibrated with what had to happen in order to be successful on today’s trip. The colder the water gets, the more exacting your presentation must be. I knew the gusting winds were only going to make things more difficult, so we really worked on precision right from the start today.
We enjoyed success at 5 areas this morning. Unlike the past 3 weeks or so, birds were not all that helpful in locating fish this morning, only aiding us in getting on white bass at our first stop. After that, we had to rely on experience and sonar.
Fishing was cookie-cutter at the 5 areas we found fish on this morning. The fish were buckled down tight to bottom, not biting very aggressively, and required an extended “deadstick” pause in many cases, but, they were biting and we were catching, and that’s what counts.
The boys were real troopers — evidently their enthusiasm was an adequate substitute for warmth for a full 4 3/4 hours as we steadily caught fish and they got steadily chillier.
We finished up the day with 63 fish including 1 freshwater drum, 2 largemouth bass, and 60 white bass. Jayden landed our largest white bass which taped in at 14 7/8 inches. Thanks, Uncle Fred!!
TALLY = 63 FISH, all caught and released
GUIDE’S WEBSITE: http://holdingthelineguideservice.com/
Start Time: 7:15a
End Time: 12:00p
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 53F (falling to 45F)
Water Surface Temp: 54-55F
Wind Speed & Direction: NNW15 gusting to 18
Sky Conditions: 100% grey clouds with occasional brief drizzle
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1500/1496 vertical jigging in 22-26 feet for small packs of fish under gulls
**Area 978 vertical jigging in 24-26 feet for fish found on sonar
**Area 1278 vertical jigging in 26-30 feet for fish found on sonar
**Area 1515 vertical jigging in 25-26 feet for more heavily schooled fish found on sonar
**Area 1514 vertical jigging in 25-26 feet for more heavily schooled fish found on sonar
Stillhouse Hollow Fishing Guide
Belton Lake Fishing Guide
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)