This Monday morning, January 25th, the kids of the Killeen Independent School District had the day off as their teachers did some learning of their own on a professional development day. This freed up the schedule for the Garcia family of Killeen to come aboard for the 2016 season’s first SKIFF (Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun) trip.
From left: Sophia, Amanda, Isaiah, and Aubrey Garcia — the family of Chief Warrant Officer 2 Garcia.
The children’s father, U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Garcia, is currently in Egypt where he provides veterinary services to the military. The SKIFF program provides trips free-of-charge to children of the Ft. Hood community who are separated from their parents due to military duty, be it due to something as lengthy as a deployment, or something shorter, such as a temporary duty (TDY) assignment or attendance at a military school.
The weather was very mild for this time of year — 58F before sunrise — and it warmed up even more once the sun rose and the clouds cleared.
A mild cold front was due into the area later in the day, so, we were fortunate to have SW winds in advance of the front and the wind shift to the north that would accompany that front. The more strongly the wind blew this morning, the better the fishing got.
We found fish as shallow as 25 feet, and as deep as 37 feet, and we found fish both relating to bottom (which were settled in and feeding) and suspended (which were migrating slowly uplake in advance of the spawn. Accordingly, we alternated between jigging with slabs and downrigging to access fish in both locations.
Our first hour on the water was pretty quiet, the second hour spotty, the third hours saw building action, and the first 45 minutes of our final hour on the water brought the strongest bite of all.
By trip’s end the kids had landed a grand total of 49 fish, including 48 white bass and a single largemouth bass.
The stateside Garcia’s are hopeful their dad will return by spring break, but are cautious about getting their hopes up too soon.
A huge “thank you” to the Austin Fly Fishers and all the individuals and organizations who have given time, funds, and encouragement since May of 2009 to perpetuate the SKIFF program.
TALLY = 49 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 7:15a
End Time: 11:25a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 58F
Water Surface Temp: 53F
Wind Speed & Direction: Light and variable first hour or so, then going SW7-8 and creeping up to WSW10-11 by trip’s end
Sky Conditions: 100% light grey at trip’s start, clearing as a mild cold front moved in, around 2:00pm after the trip’s conclusion
Water Level: 622.89 with 622.0 being full pool. 0.15 feet of water was released in the last 24 hours.
Other: GT= 0
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1682 – vertical jigging for fish found on sonar with initial assist by birds & downrigging
**Area 055-1319 – downrigging for suspended fish found on sonar with initial assist by birds
**Area 1683 – vertical jigging for fish found on sonar with initial assist by birds
**Area 1203/1684 – vertical jigging for fish found on sonar with initial assist by birds
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)