This past Tuesday evening I fished a multi-species trip with West Virginia National Guardsmen Robert “Mac” McAninch, Scott Piper, and Phil Arnold. These fellows were sent to Ft. Hood to help their aviation unit as that unit’s soldiers and equipment returned from a deployment to Iraq.
From left: Scott Piper, Phil Arnold, and Robert “Mac” McAninch of the West Virginia National Guard.
The fishing has definitely not been as productive as when we had the low pressure and accompanying cloud cover we were blessed with for about 11 days following the cold front that pushed through on August 12th. Unstable weather typically produces average to below average fishing. Year-in and year-out my parties average 62 fish per trip; tonight we caught 73.
As we got on the water it was both breezy and bright. We put about a dozen white bass in the boat in the first hour and lost several more as we fished under well-dispersed terns diving down on shad forced to the surface by loosely schooled white bass down below them.
When the tern action cooled off we did a bit of catfishing. Scott really excelled at this after getting a feel for the necessary timing on the hookset right off the bat. We put 22 cats in the boat before returning to the pursuit of white bass and hybrid.
By 6:30pm we began probing up a bit shallower in 20-25 feet of water with downriggers and over the next hour enjoyed our most productive stretch of the night, routinely hooking up with singles and doubles.
Once the sun hit the western horizon, we looked intently for surface-feeding fish but found none. I did find heavy concentrations of white bass carpeting the bottom in water between 8-12 feet deep. To close out the trip I Spot Locked us near such a school of fish and we fan-cast to them using blade baits. We steadily picked up additional white bass in this way until they shut down right at about 8:30p.
TALLY = 73 fish, all caught and released
Start Time: 4:30p
End Time: 8:30p
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 90F
Water Surface Temp: 84-85F
Wind Speed & Direction: SE5-6
Sky Conditions: 30% cloud cover on a fair sky.
Water Level: ~3.31 feet high. Lake rose 0.30 feet in the past 24 hours with a flow of ~1570 cfs at the dam
GT = 30
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1206-904: nomadic, fast moving schooling white bass under terns
**Area 1802 catfish on cutbait
**Area 1746-1784 and 013-016 early evening mid-depth downrigging for bottom-oriented white bass
**Area 1654 – shallow casting for white bass in under 12 ‘ with bladebaits
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)