This morning I conducted the ninth SKIFF (Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun) trip of the 2015 season, taking Ryan Bolin and Lukus Vieira out for a multi-species fishing trip on Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir.
Lukus Vieira with a solid 13.50″ white bass that fell for one of our downrigged baits. Lukus earned his “First Fish Award” on today’s trip.
Ryan is the son of Sergeant First Class Timothy Flynn and Mrs. Jennifer Flynn. SFC Flynn is currently deployed to Kuwait with the 154th Transportation unit; he has served in the U.S. Army for 17 years.
Lukus is the son of Staff Sergeant Noel Vieira and Michelle Billings. SSG Vieira is currently assigned to Ft. Drum, New York; he has served in the U.S. Army for 20 years.
Both both boys showed up quite excited to go fishing this morning. After asking their moms about any allergies or medical concerns, we then got to “talk fishing”. I learned that Ryan was my more experienced angler, and that Lukus had never caught a fish before in his life. So, right then and there, as a confidence booster to Lukus, we whipped out a “bream pole”, baited it up, placed the float and baited hook near some aquatic vegetation and rocks growing near the shore, and came up with the first fish of his lifetime — a bluegill sunfish. The moms and Ryan cheered for Lukus — and that let me know Ryan was a team player. Lukus had earned his Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. “First Fish Award” and we hadn’t even left the dock yet!!
After waving goodbye to moms, we motored out of the No Wake zone and got down to business. Over the next four hours we downrigged for white bass and we fished shallow, flooded shoreline cover for a mixed bag of species including all manner of sunfish, small largemouth bass, and blacktail shiners.
Perhaps as an indicator that both boys had watched a little too much of “Shark Week”, they preferred to refer to the white bass we caught as “Great White Bass”. And, the largest of our white bass, a nice 14″ specimen boated by Ryan was dubbed “The Gi-Normous Great White Bass” — a term which I understood was a cross between gigantic and enormous.
Suffice it to say that all 3 of us had fun on this trip, during which the boys managed to land a total of 38 fish. As I followed up with Lukus’ mom after the trip to get his mailing address for the First Fish Award application, she informed me that, “He wants his own boat now. Lol”.
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 = 38 FISH, all caught and released
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Start Time: 6:45a
End Time: 11:05a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 76F
Water Surface Temp: 86.1F
Wind Speed & Direction: SSW11
Sky Conditions: <10% cloud cover under the influence of high pressure.
Note: Lake has dropped back to full pool at 622.00 with just a .03′ daily release now
Other: GT= 15
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 041 white bass early
**Area 458 white bass early
**Area 1098 panfish
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)