This past Thursday morning, August 18th, I fished the 12th SKIFF program trip of the 2016 season with Maurice W. Jr. and Kaitlyn A., accompanied by their mothers, Tionna W. and Charmain A.
Kaitlyn took big fish honors this trip with an 11th hour hybrid striper that struck her Pet Spoon. This was one of 3 fish (2 hybrid and 1 white bass) she landed at the same time on a 3-armed umbrella rig as we fished under terns which pointed the way to actively feeding fish in deep, open water.
Maurice keeps an eye on the competition as we headed up shallow and fished for sunfish at mid-morning for varitety’s sake. Maurice holds a bluegill sunfish while Kaitlyn holds a redear sunfish.
Kaitlyn’s dad, Kevin A. serves as a US Army armor officer and is currently deployed to Afghanistan. Maurice’s dad, Captain Maurice W. Sr., is also an armor officer assigned to the planning section of III Corps. III Corps serves as the headquarters of the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve leading a regional campaign of coalition and international partners synchronizing military action against the Islamic State in Southwest Asia.
This was the first time I’ve been on the water in over a week thanks to near-constant rain since a cold front blew in last Friday afternoon. Despite having over 6 inches of rain, because the rain fell gently, the lake condition and elevation have really not changed much over the past week, with discharge at the dam roughly equaling rain input.
Heavy grey cloud cover persisted during our entire time on the water this morning. This eliminated the low-light top water bite that more frequently occurs with a sudden brightening of the sky at sunrise on less cloudy days. Our trip broke down into five distinct components.
First, we downrigged with Pet Spoons up shallow, then moved out to deeper water after seeing a few juvenile terns working over fish in deep open water. Downriggers continued to be productive for these fish, as well. Next, we moved up into shallow water and targeted sunfish. We then pursued catfish using cut bait near bottom. We wrapped up the trip back under birds using downriggers and put the kids on fish right up until we wrapped up at 10:45 so as to end on a positive note. It was during this last round under birds that Kaitlyn landed our largest fish of the trip, a 19.75” hybrid striper, which was part of a triple she caught on a 3-armed umbrella rig.
SKIFF (Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun) trips like this one are provided free of charge thanks to the fundraising efforts of the Austin Fly Fishers. Homefront parents separated from their military spouse due to that spouse’s duty may contact me at 254.368.7411 to arrange for a 4-hour trip, totally free of charge.
For their efforts today the kids wound up boating a grand total of 50 fish.
TALLY = 50 fish, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:45a
End Time: 10:45a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 74F
Water Surface Temp: 84.3
Wind Speed & Direction: ESE 8-10
Sky Conditions: 100% grey clouds and occasional light drizzle
Water Level: ~2.11 feet high. Lake rose 0.55 feet in the past 24 hours with a flow of ~1570 cfs at the dam
GT = 0
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1574 – low light downrigging
**Area 1275-836 open water downrigging under terns
**Area 015 – shallow water white bass and freshwater drum on bladebaits
**Area 023 – low light topwater action following sunset in under 15′ of water
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)