This morning I fished with Lance Lee and his 6-year-old daughter, Logen, of Hobbs, New Mexico.
Logen with the first fish of her life — a fish that earned her a Texas Parks and Wildlife “First Fish” Award.
Not to be outdone, Lance landed a few nice white bass of his own this morning.
Logen landed our largest fish of the trip — this 2.25 pound largemouth caught over top of a deep hydrilla bed. She was not as excited about touching it as she was catching it!
Lee is an acupuncturist who was visiting the Salado area to enjoy some downtime with his family and participate in some martial arts training. We spoke by phone about 2 weeks ago to arrange for this trip. I could tell he was very excited about the prospect of his daughter catching fish.
This was Logen’s very first fishing trip ever, so, with that, and her age considered, I planned to use a variety of tactics, each for a short while, to try to give her a broad exposure to fishing and ensure success.
We left the ramp at 6:35am, and, by 6:48 Logen was reeling in the first fish of her life — a cooperative white bass that hit our bladebait thrown into some light topwater action generated by white bass feeding on young of the year shad on the surface. This area, Area 1234-160, would go on to produce a number of strikes but only one more landed fish over the first 50 minutes of the trip.
Next, with a bright sun on a cloudless sky and near windless conditions, we headed deep. The first area we probed revealed fish on sonar, but they were unwilling to strike. The second area we checked with downriggers, Area 453, gave up a total of 11 white bass on downriggers set at both 33 feet and 21 feet trailing Pet Spoons on tandem and umbrella rigs. We were scoring consistently here and could have had continued success here, but, the novelty of downrigging had worn off for Logen and so it was time for a transition.
We headed shallow to Area 1256 and targeted sunfish in the newly submerged terrestrial vegetation found there. We made quick work of putting 5 sunfish in the boat on slipfloat rigs and, with about an hour left in the trip and the sun getting hotter, headed out to employ our final technique.
We put 4 rods out over a deep hydrilla bed using live bait to target largemouth bass. I suspended our baits ~ 3 feet over the top of the deep hydrilla topping out at ~21 feet beneath the surface. In the vicinity of Area 062-1394 we got 3 “visits” resulting in 1 largemouth hooked and landed — a nice 2.25 pound fish and our largest fish of the morning.
As we waited on the live bait to work its magic, we polished off the snacks, snapped photos of the fish we’d set aside in the livewell for that purpose, and then released all of the fish on the boat. By the time the temperature reached its highpoint and beads of sweat were gathering on Logen’s forehead, her body language let us know she’d reached her limit. We called it a good day right then and there and enjoyed the breeze generated by the boatride back to the launch site.
End Time: 10:30a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 72F
Water Surface Temp: 81F
Wind Speed & Direction: S3 mph, decreasing to calm by trip’s end
Sky Conditions: Fair, cloudless skies
Other: GT = 0
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1234 – 160 – two on topwater
**Area 453 – thirteen whites on downriggers
**Area 1256 – five sunfish
**Area 062-1394 – one largemouth
Stillhouse Hollow Fishing Guide
Belton Lake Fishing Guide
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)