This past Saturday morning I was joined by returning guests Gary Moore, Kirk Bateman, and Israel Lozada military veterans, and all friends through Eastside Baptist Church in Copperas Cove. Also joining us for his first time was Israel’s son, Isaac Lozada, a freshman at Harker Heights High School.
My 4-man crew this last blustery Saturday morning consisted of (from left) Gary Moore, Kirk Bateman, Israel Lozada, and Isaac Lozada — all fishermen, and all fishers of men. These men all came to know each other while serving the Lord at Eastside Baptist Church in Copperas Cove. Their catch totalled 132 fish.
Kirk Bateman took big fish honors with this 4 pound class largemouth caught early on in the trip in the shallowest water we would visit.
After getting to catch up a bit at the Central Texas Boat Show, Gary made it clear he wanted to see to it that we could schedule the trip such that Isaac could attend and he wanted to focus on number of fish so the young man could get lots of experience through repetition on his first guided fishing trip. The Stillhouse white bass surely lent themselves to just that on this trip.
A dry cold front begin moving into central Texas the day before, around 8:30am. Overnight, radiational cooling took place, and cold air moved in from the north and west. We woke up to the chilliest morning in a while — right at 45F. This, plus a brisk 10-11 mph NNW wind meant back to gloves, balaclavas, and dressing in layers to stay warm enough to concentrate on the fishing.
This wrinkle in the weather also really got the fish fired up this morning as the wind kept right on blowing, thus the typical clear, calm, bright “post-frontal” conditions never impacted us.
My four guest landed exactly 68 fish in their first 60 minutes on the water. This is one of the best, if not the best, starts I’ve had to a fishing trip. The fish were moving bait and were feeding aggressively well up off the bottom, thus attracting birds. The birds made it easy for us to locate fish, and, thanks to the blustery weather, there were no other white bass anglers anywhere near us.
We slabbed nearly 100% of the time this morning, moving progressively deeper as the sun climbed higher. The 3/8 oz. white Redneck Fishn Jigs Model 180 rigged out with a Hazy Eye Stinger hook produced over and over and over again.
The last bird activity we observed occurred right around 10 am. Once the birds settled down, the fish did likewise. We spent over half of our last hour on the water searching for fish with sonar and finally found a very heavily schooled bunch of white bass and largemouth mixed together in about 42 feet of water very near the old Lampasas River channel.
As they often do, these late morning fish perked right up, hit well for a few minutes, and then shut right back down again.
As we headed back in after a full 4+ hours on the water, hats and gloves were still in place and no layers had yet been shed as the temperature rose only to 52F and the NNW was still blowing.
TALLY = 132 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:50a
End Time: 11:15a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 45F
Water Surface Temp: 60.7F
Wind Speed & Direction: NNW9-11 all morning
Sky Conditions: >5% cloud cover on a fair sky
Water Level: 1.08 feet above full pool
GT = 20
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1060-1682 – strong first light bite under ample birds working slabs with an easing tactic
**Area vic 1741 – working slabs with an easing tactic
**Area 1565 – working slabs with an easing tactic
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
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