This past Tuesday evening, December 22, I fished with the Burns family of Killeen on Lake Belton in search of white bass and hybrid striped bass.
From left: Kelly, Kaden, and Sheila Burns “wore ’em out” this evening, boating 120 fish in under 4 hours.
Kelly Burns is currently assigned to a aviation unit on Fort Hood, and his wife, Sheila Burns is a judge advocate general (JAG) officer. The couple brought their soon-to-be-seven year old son Kaden, as well.
After a 103 fish morning in which all the fish were caught in the last two hours, I was quite hopeful about our chances this afternoon, given the stronger winds we now had, and the fact that those winds were from the southwest.
We got going around 1:30 PM, and after a short safety briefing and a bit of instruction on the jigging method we would be using, we were landing fish within our first 10 minutes on the water. The fish were in a somewhat positive feeding mode this afternoon, as evidenced by the fact that there was at least some activity at most every area we stopped and fished at, and by the fact that several fish regurgitated whole shad, indicating they were in the midst of a feed right then. The middle two hours of our trip definitely saw the best action, with the first and last hour a ramp up to, and a taper off from, that two hour peak.
As we wrapped up our trip today we managed to put exactly 120 fish in the boat. This catch consisted of a mix of white bass of all sizes up to 13.75 inches, with a few hybrid striped bass, and even fewer largemouth bass mixed in. This “hot streak” has been brought about by unseasonably warm water and has allowed 100+ fish trips each week since early November. Although this time of year is great for numbers of fish, there is not a great variety to the techniques that are effective.
Although we caught fish from start to finish, little Kaden was truly engaged in the fishing for about the first 90 minutes, and after that we had to be sure to give him tasks to keep him engaged such as returning the fish to the water using my dip net, or snacking, or doing a headcount on the number of fish in the live well, etc. As long as he had something to focus on, he did just fine for a young guy.
Just a note to parents: In my experience the fishing this time of year is ideal for kids ~10 and older who enjoy the fishing, but don’t require the variety driven by a shorter attention span. The main reason we did this trip is because Kelly will be on orders taking him away from home for a good bit of time in the next year, so, we wanted to get in a good fishing trip while the conditions were just right to put a lot of fish in the boat and make some good memories while the opportunity was there.
TALLY = 120 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 1:30p
End Time: 5:00p
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 70F
Water Surface Temp: 60F
Wind Speed & Direction: S9-10
Sky Conditions: Fair w/10% cloud cover
Water Level: 5.1 feet above full pool with 0.29 feet of water released in the past 24 hours.
Other: GT= 10
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1623/1659 – vertical jigging for fish found on sonar
**Area 1667-1669 – vertical jigging for fish found on sonar
**Area 1624 (vicinity) – vertical jigging for fish found on sonar
**Area 788 (vicinity) – vertical jigging for fish found on sonar
**Area 1668 – vertical jigging for fish found on sonar
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)