This morning, Tuesday, December 15, I fished a morning trip with Troy Hensley, his two-year-old son, Trace, and Alexander Moses.
Troy Hensley with two “keepers”: his son and apprentice angler, Trace, and an unidentified Lake Belton hybrid striped bass.
Louisiana transplant Alexander Moses and his best fish of the morning which fell for a 3/4 oz. slab — a dead-on match for the forage the white bass and hybrid stripers were feeding on today.
Troy is a U.S. Army combat veteran and member of Memorial Baptist Church in Killeen. He and Alexander, who recently moved to Harker Heights from Louisiana, became friends through one of the church’s small groups.
Our target this morning was white bass and hybrid striped bass. The conditions this morning were excellent. We had a south-southeast wind, heavy grey cloud cover, warm air temperatures (55F), and unseasonably warm water temperatures (59-60F).
We met at 7:15 AM, and by 7:30 AM were observing for signs of fish activity and signs of bird activity. Before long, we found both. The action today occurred in two distinct areas, and was spread out over a full 4+ hours. The approach at both areas was essentially the same. We used three-quarter ounce slabs to imitate the shad which the game fish in these areas were feeding upon.
Because the water temperature is still fairly high, we used a jigging stroke of moderate speed to attract white bass of all sizes, hybrid striped bass of all sizes, as well as numerous largemouth bass, and freshwater drum.
I did note that the flatter and shallow the areas we fished were, the more likely the fish were to be congregated on bottom. Deeper and more sloped areas tended to offer fishing both on the bottom and for fish that were suspended between the top and bottom.
The suspended fish tended to be larger hybrid striped bass, and we targeted them with a slow smoking tactic, instead of the moderate jigging tactic we used for the bottom oriented fish. By the time the winds went calm, and the bird activity ceased, at around 11:15 AM, we had amassed a catch of 124 fish.
Back in the summer, I had taken Alexander’s sister, niece and nephew out fishing on a SKIFF program trip. The kids caught 124 fish that day. Alexander pointed out this observation, but, I saw that “gleam” in his eye! He knew Ethan well enough to know that tying his nephew’s results was not going to raise any eyebrows. No, Alexander was out to beat 124 fish.
So, since he had expressed an interest earlier in the trip about how my downriggers work, I suggested we kill two birds with one stone and catch one final tie breaker fish on the downrigger. I rigged it up while explaining the process to Alexander, and, no sooner did we start watching the rod, then it “went off” on a small white bass – the 125th fish to enter the boat this morning!!
TALLY = 125 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 7:15a
End Time: 11:15a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 55F
Water Surface Temp: 59-60F
Wind Speed & Direction: SSE 9-10 until 11am, then going slack
Sky Conditions: 100% heavy grey skies with light fog from 7:15 to 7:30a
Water Level: 6.81 feet above full pool with 0.09 feet of water gained in the past 24 hours from the ~2″ of rain that fell early Sunday AM
Other: GT= 0
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1663 first action under birds
**Area 1647/1652 under birds
**Area Vic 133 under birds
**Area Vic 1129 under birds
**Area 153 last action under birds
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
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