This morning I met Mrs. Sarah Santiago at the dock on Belton Lake to take her boys, 8-year-old Miguel and 6-year-old Alex, on a fishing trip booked through the Fort Hood SKIES program.
Alex wanted to be sure it was made known that although Miguel caught the biggest fish of the trip, he (Alex) landed the largest white bass of the trip.
The boys’ mom recently stepped down from her position with the Ft. Hood Children, Youth, and Student Services (CYSS) in advance of a permanent change of station (PCS) move later this year. The boys’ dad is a commissioned officer on Fort Hood.
Today’s fishing was made tough by clear skies and calm winds in the wake of a mild cold front’s passage yesterday. There was zero topwater action, and the sub-surface action was a bit slow, too. We downrigged for 3.5 of our 4 hours as the boys stayed enthused about catching bigger and bigger fish and the possibility of landing a “double” or a “triple” on our 3-armed umbrella rigs. Each boy did eventually land a double.
After downrigging for a mix of 19 hybrid striped bass and white bass, and as the downrigging bite slowed way down, we headed up into shallow, flooded wood cover and targeted panfish with live bait, allowing the boys to land a variety of species of smaller fish, including green sunfish, bluegill sunfish, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and blacktail shiners.
As the 10:30 hour, and mom’s arrival drew near, I informed the boys that it was time to go. Alex, without prompting of any sort, told me thank you for taking him fishing and that it was nice to have met. That’s pretty good for a 6 year old!!
We ended our adventure with 28 fish today, and, despite the slow bite, we were fortunate to have action today from start to finish.
SKIES Unlimited stands for School of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration and Skills. SKIES Unlimited classes are open to children of active duty military personnel, retirees, Department of the Army civilians, and to Department of Defense contractors.
To enroll in SKIES Unlimited activities, children must be registered with CYSS at Building 121 on 761st Tank Destroyer Avenue (right across from the Chili’s restaurant). There is no charge for registration; parents must bring an ID that shows their affiliation with the military, the child’s shot records, and the report from a recent physical exam. While the SKIES Unlimited programs are not free, many military families are eligible for sizeable credits toward SKIES Unlimited activities. There is a $300 “Army Strong” credit available to each child when their parent is deployed.
TALLY = 28 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:30a
End Time: 10:30a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 77F
Water Surface Temp: 86.0F
Wind Speed & Direction: ENE5-8
Sky Conditions: A thin. low layer of grey clouds cleared off around 8:45a, leaving <10% clouds on a fair sky.
Note: Lake has dropped 0.03 feet in the last 24 hours and now stands at 594.92 above sea level, with 594.00 being full pool
Other: GT= 0
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1574 downrigging early
**Area 1575/794 downrigging mid-morning
**Area 492 slipfloats for panfish
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)