This morning I welcomed aboard Mr. John Stephenson of Salado, U.S. Army Chaplain Captain Matt Woodside, and his two sons, 19-year-old Caleb, and 17-year-old Jacob.
103 of our 118 fish caught were white bass. These were the largest of the bunch, ranging from 13.75 to 14.75 inches. Our best fish came out of shallower water earlier in the trip on bladebaits, and then more, but smaller, fish came on slabs out of deeper water towards trip’s end.
John, a retired Army officer and former Bell County Commissioner treated Matt and his sons to this trip. The entire crew are members of Memorial Baptist Church in Killeen, but the Woodsides and Mr. Stephenson really didn’t know one another all that well before this morning’s trip.
Chaplain Woodside, an Arkansas native, formerly served as a pastor in Southern Baptist churches before becoming a chaplain about 8 years ago. Both of his sons serve in the music ministry at Memorial Baptist.
Although we had a nice forecast (see below) for both clouds and wind, neither materialized to the degree forecast. So, as we pulled away from the dock, we faced clear, calm, bright conditions. Fortunately, the overnight temperatures were warmer than the surface temperature and we had some warming continue from late Wednesday to present, and fish were ready to feed at sunrise regardless of the lack of wind and clouds.
Frisky terns and gulls were wheeling and diving and eating well this morning as white bass drove shad and sunfish to the surface. We stuck with bird action all morning until our final stop when we finally had to do things the “hard way” and use sonar.
Our best fish came in the first half of the trip as we used slabs and cast bladebaits in under 27′. The majority of the 42 fish we boated by 8:45a were large, fat 13-14.5″ long fish, many with abdomens swollen with eggs. The Binsky bladebait in Sexy Shad really did a number on them this morning.
The deeper the bright and fairly low-wind conditions pushed us as the morning went along, the greater the number of yearling sized fish showed up in our catch.
When all was said and done, we caught a mix of 103 one-, two-, three-, and four-year old white bass, as well as 6 drum and 9 largemouth bass, for a grand total of 118 fish caught and released.
TALLY = 118 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 7:00a
End Time: 11:20a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 59F
Water Surface Temp: 57.4F
Wind Speed & Direction: <2SSW until 8:30, then slowly tapering up to 8SSW
Sky Conditions: >5% cloud cover on a fair sky
Water Level: 0.9 feet above full pool
GT = 0
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area vic 702- easing and working blades horizontally in 27′
**Area 1897- working blades horizontally in 17-20′
**Area 1527/1528 – easing with slabs in 42′
**Area vic 1057-986 – easing with slabs in 42′
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