Free Fishing Trips for Soldiers’ Kids (and Teens!) — 18 July 2015, 37 Fish

This morning I conducted the seventh SKIFF trip of the 2015 season, taking Andrew Barnes out on Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir for a few hours of multi-species fishing.


Andrew Barnes of West Fort Hood, TX, with a slab white bass that fell for a downrigged bait at around 21 feet this morning.



Triple!!  Three white bass on the umbrella rig at the same time.

Andrew, his sister, and his nephew all live on West Fort Hood, TX, with his mom, Kelli Hutcheson and his step-dad, Sergeant (E-5) Sean Hutcheson.  Sean is currently at the Army’s Advanced Leader Course (ALC) in Fort Sill, OK.  The ALC is a course that consists of both a 90-day online phase and a roughly 8-week resident training phase which teaches soldiers to lead squad- and platoon-sized elements, and prepares them for promotion to Staff Sergeant (E-6).  Andrew is planning on going into the military, as well, but hasn’t decided whether he’ll go Army or Air Force.  Once his braces come off (you can’t go to basic training with braces on), he’ll start doing some soul-searching to figure all of this out.

Since he only has a driver’s permit right now, Andrew’s mom dropped him off and we got right down to business.  We started off with some more simple panfishing using bream poles up in the flooded vegetation that was growing on dry land until the recent flooding covered it over.  In about 30 minutes’ time we landed a total of 23 green sunfish, bluegill sunfish, blacktail shiners, and juvenile largemouth bass, all while reserving a few of the sunfish and shiners for use a live bait for largemouth if conditions warranted later in the trip.
Next. we downrigged with our downrigger weights set at 21-23 feet for scattered, suspended white bass that were 23-25 feet deep.  We enjoyed 2 hours of moderate, but steady action, catching singles, doubles, and even one triple, for a total of 14 white bass boated just prior to 9:45.  Andrew brought a spinning rod of his own, so, we rigged it up with a KastMaster spoon and trolled it on a flatline behind the boat as we downrigged, but to no avail.
With about an hour remaining and the white bass fishing getting slim, we switched over to bait fishing over some hydrilla in 17-20 feet along a windblown shoreline.  We “jogged” 3-4 times by a few boatlengths to cover the bed well, but did not get any bites on the bait.
As we fished we got to talk about fishing, of course, but also about making the transition from under mom and dad’s roof into a life of your own.
Andrew boated exactly 37 fish today.  I appreciate the efforts and support of the Austin Fly FIshers who work to generate the funds to make opportunities like this available for Andrew and other military kids.


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 = 37 FISH, all caught and released






Start Time: 6:45a

End Time:  10:45a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  76F

Water Surface Temp:  85.1F

Wind Speed & Direction: S9-13

Sky Conditions:  5%  cloud cover under a strong high pressure dome making hot, dry conditions for the past several days

Note: Lake has dropped 0.06 feet in the last 24 hours and now stands at 622.46 above sea level, with 622.00 being full pool

Other: GT= 0



**Area 667 shallow sunfish

**Area 074-402 downrigging white bass

**Area 1571/1198 downrigging white bass


Bob Maindelle

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Salado, TX

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