This past Monday morning I fished with returning client Bob Schwartz and his son, Will, who traveled in the night before from his home in Austin so we could begin our trip right at first light around 6:30am. Bob, a regular customer at Rick Smith’s Marine Outlet in Temple, was referred to me by Rick, which I greatly appreciate.
White bass and short hybrid striped bass fell for slabs fished vertically this morning in 22-27 feet of water. The fishing is as fast as it gets all year right now!
Although not making up a great percentage of the catch, keeper hybrid of 18″ or longer came along as icing on the cake this morning. They were mixed right in with the rest of white bass and shorter hybrids we boated on slabs.
I had an opportunity to guide Bob on a trip this past summer when topwater action and downrigging was going strong, and then spent a few more hours on the water with him more recently helping him get his Lowrance sonar unit adjusted for fishing. Bob operates his own very unique boat out of the marina in Morgan’s Point — a narrow, deeply V’ed panga which he shipped to the U.S. from Sri Lanka. If you’ve ever watched footage of the Somali pirates doing their thing on Africa’s east coast, you’ll understand the style of boat Bob runs.
After a successful trip back in the summer, Bob and I agreed to put another trip on the books here in November when I felt confident that the traditionally excellent autumn fishing would be underway, thus giving Bob exposure to additional techniques.
We had grey skies and manageable winds from other than the north, so, conditions were favorable.
Long story short, we caught fish consistently from start to finish over a span of 4.75 hours, with the fish only letting up as the morning feed tapered to a close just after 11am.
There was a brief shallow feed from first light until the (obscured) sun rose over the horizon, then the fish shifted deeper, and the deeper bite turned on and stayed on.
The approach was the same in all areas we fished. The edges of deep flats seemed to hold fish best. When we found fish, we’d do all we could to immediately get a slab down in their presence (even while the boat was still moving!) to quickly hook the first fish from the school seen on sonar. Once that fish was hooked, the rest of the school would really turn on and stay turned on as long as we kept pulling fish out of that school. This was a situation where you didn’t want to pause to snack, pee, take pictures, etc. because as soon as you let up, the fish would relax, settle back to bottom, and drift off.
We caught a mix of white bass of all sizes, from as short as 7″, up to over 13″, with 1 in every 4 to 5 fish being a “legal” 10+ inch fish. We also caught a lot of hybrid, although only 3 exceeded the “legal” minimum of 18″.
Every November the catch rate soars like this until multiple, severe cold fronts drive the water temperatures down into the 50’s thus causing the fishing to moderate thereafter.
Given that we have 69-70F water now and no severe cold fronts in the forecast, I anticipate we’ll see this excellent fishing window last beyond Thanksgiving.
If you are “thinking about it”, stop thinking and give me a call so we can strike while the iron is hot!!
TALLY = 143 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:30am
End Time: 11:15am
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 54F
Water Surface Temp: 70F
Wind Speed & Direction: ESE7-8
Sky Conditions: Light grey cloud cover for the majority of the trip.
Other: GT= 90
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1621 low light shallow action on bladebaits
**Area 618 slabbed/smoked for whites/hybrids; moved in short hops to keep up with packs of fish unwilling to move horizontally
**Area 1620/1622 slabbed/smoked for whites/hybrids; moved in short hops to keep up with packs of fish unwilling to move horizontally
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)