This morning I conducted the eighth SKIFF trip of the 2015 season, taking the Christenson kids, Zach, Marissa, and Brock out on Belton Lake in pursuit of white bass and hybrid striped bass.
Zach Christenson with our largest fish of the trip, a hard-pulling 18.75″ hybrid striped bass that came out of 32′ of water.
Marissa Christenson with a hybrid striper that came up off bottom as part of a larger school to strike our baits running at 23′ deep.
Brock Christenson with a scrappy Lake Belton hybrid striper he caught and released all by himself.
My heart goes out to this Army family, and I’m glad to be able to offer a little something to them for the sacrifices they make to be an Army family.
Since hostilities began in Iraq, Ryan has been deployed as follows:
Iraq – 12 months from 2003-2004
Iraq – 12 months from 2005-2006
Iraq/Kuwait – 12 months from 2011-2012
Germany – 3 months in 2014
In between these dates, there was training, schooling, gunnery, etc. which also takes soldiers away from home. Ryan is currently at the National Training Center in Ft. Irwin, CA for 10 days. He will return there for over a month in October, and will then head to South Korea in early 2016 for about 1 year. And this is by no means unheard of for Army families. While dad is gone, mom is mom 24/7/365, and these fishing trips offer just a bit of a breather. So, “thank you” to all of you who donate to make these possible!
Today I was a little worried about our results because (although the thermometer wouldn’t indicate it) we actually had a mild cold front come in overnight which changed our wind direction and varied the barometric pressure. These “wrinkles” always have an effect (normally negative) on the fishing. As we got out there today, there was zero surface activity — that in itself was a change over the last two weeks or so during which time there has been daily topwater action of some sort.
The fishing was a bit slower than normal, with fish holding lower in the water column than has been the case over the past week or so. Between 9 and 10AM we hit into a nice “patch” of fish in about 32 feet of water, spread over an 80 yard area with ample bait in the same vicinity. We made pass after pass with our downriggers and picked up singles, doubles, and triples of white bass and hybrid striper on most every pass over this time span.
By the time these fish eased up, we’d boated a total of 26 fish, giving each child multiple opportunities to “man the rod”.
To add variety, we spent our final hour or so up in shallow water fishing in and around the flooded terrestrial vegetation which now holds multiple species of sunfish, small largemouth and smallmouth bass, and blacktail shiners. We used bream poles baited with worms under slip floats to add another 14 fish to our tally before the winds got still, the temperature climbed, and the kids were ready to wrap it up.
SKIFF (Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun) trips are provided free of charge to families whose children are separated from a parent due to that parent’s military service, thanks to the Austin Fly Fishers and a network of supportive individuals from all over the U.S. All it takes is a phone call from a parent to me at 254-368-7411 to reserve a date. SKIFF is open to children in elementary and middle school, as well as teens in high school.
TALLY = 39 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:45a
End Time: 10:45a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 76F
Water Surface Temp: 86.7F
Wind Speed & Direction: N4-7
Sky Conditions: 20% cloud cover under influence of a mild cold front that came in overnight.
Note: Lake has dropped 0.06 feet in the last 24 hours and now stands at 594.93 above sea level, with 594.00 being full pool
Other: GT= 0
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1001/023 downrigging early
**Area 903 downrigging mid-morning
**Area 492 panfishing
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)