This past Saturday morning, December 26th, I fished with Steve Stewart of Georgetown, Steve’s son, Nick, Steve’s son-in-law, Brian Massey, and Brian’s son, Owen — three generations on my boat, all looking forward to catching fish.
Brian Massey and his son, Owen, with our very first fish of the day — a nice 5.25 pound hybrid from out of 24 feet of water. It fell for a 3/8 oz. silver slab.
From left: Nick Stewart, Steve Stewart (to rear), Owen Massey (in foreground), and Brian Massey with 14″ class, beefy white bass caught on slabs under ideal conditions this morning.
Steve owns his own business in Georgetown, Nick works for the Dept. of Defense in Washington, D.C., Brian is a doctor working at Baylor-Scott & White in Round Rock, and Owen is working his way through elementary school.
I was very encouraged about the weather forecast we faced this morning; so encouraged, in fact, that I moved two trips that were scheduled for the following week up to this date. What I saw was the final day of a long, stable warming trend, with abundant grey cloud cover, SE winds at a high but manageable velocity, and an approaching wet cold front. All of these things, added to the still-warm 59-60F water temperature added up to a very promising day on the water.
As we departed the ramp area following straightforward instructions on the fairly simple jigging method we’d employ over the duration of the trip, we headed to our first fishing area. The sonar lit up with bottom-hugging fish tightly schooled together in about 24 feet of water. Owen took the first crack at these fish and came up with our largest fish of the trip right off the bat — a nice 5.25 pound hybrid. This area would give up another 19 fish before it played out, sending us looking elsewhere.
One thing I noted today was how the fish did not really stay fired up very long after the first “icebreaker” fish was caught and the school it came from got active. In fact, the greatest number of fish we caught on a given stop was 20. We did a lot of “short hops”, in which I simply moved the boat a few yards from where we’d been previously in order to catch fish which refused to move over to the “commotion” we created by catching fish nearby.
As the trip began I left all of the fellows know that in every one of the past 11 trips conducted since the 8th of Dec. we’d boated over 100 fish. As 11:00am rolled around, we were right at the 98 fish mark, but, as it often does late in the morning, the feed was tapering off quickly. Everyone focused so we could take advantage of every one of the strikes we got so as to covert them into landed fish. Steve hooked one and missed it, then Brian hooked one and it got off, then Steve had another one escape — we were just stuck at 98! Finally, the 99th fish came in after a good bit of effort, and I think we were all really wondering if 100 was going to happen given all the effort we put into that last fish. Well, young Owen put that wonder out of our minds as he exclaimed, “I’ve got one!”. We all stopped and watched to see if the fish was going to stay on the hook and come over the gunwale, or not. By now, Owen was an old pro landing his fair share of the 99 fish we’d boated, and that newfound expertise now shined through. He put that 100th fish in the boat, and we all cheered and high-fived him for doing a great job!
Now, with the pressure off, the “big guys” all chipped in another fish or two and we ended up our great adventure with 104 fish landed this morning.
I’m concerned that with the strong, wet cold front due into Central Texas Saturday night into Sunday morning, and the “linger time” of the cold accompanying it, this may be the final day of this awesome run of fishing. Only time will tell.
TALLY = 104 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 7:15a
End Time: 11:30a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 70F
Water Surface Temp: 59-60F
Wind Speed & Direction: SSE14 at trip’s start, increasing to SSE17-18 with higher gusts
Sky Conditions: 100% grey cloud cover the entire trip
Water Level: 4.30 feet above full pool with 0.29 feet of water released in the past 24 hours.
Other: GT= 20
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 778/1634 – vertical jigging for fish found on sonar under low light conditions
**Area 1670 – vertical jigging for fish found on sonar
**Area 1671 – vertical jigging for fish found on sonar
**Area 1658-1619 – vertical jigging for fish found on sonar
**Area 327-1672 – vertical jigging for fish found on sonar
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)