What To Do When We Struggle – Life Lessons with the Boettgers – 62 Fish

WHO I FISHED WITH:   This past Tuesday morning I fished with Brian Boettger and his 4-year-old son, Landon, both of Nolanville, TX.  Brian fished with me once before on a father-and-son trip with his dad, Mickey, and was now “paying it forward” via a gift certificate he received from his girlfriend some time ago.  We wrapped up right at the 4 hour mark this morning with 62 fish boated and released. I commented to Brian how I noted that Landon was obviously very mechanically inclined.  He easily figured out how to work the triggering mechanism on the brush clip I use to secure the boat when sunfishing, and he also clearly understood the concept of the shift mechanism used to put the boat in and out of forward and reverse gears, all at just 4 years of age — impressive!

LIFE LESSONS: Brian was very intentional about trying to teach Landon new things over the course of the trip.  There were several occasions when Landon struggled with a particular task.  When Brian observed this, he asked Landon, “What are the two things we do when we struggle?”   Landon would reply, “We ask for help and we make ourselves stronger.”  Over the course of the trip Landon learned a number of different fishing techniques and overcame his fear of holding caught fish as Brian patiently worked with him.

Triple!!  One fish was hooked on each of the 3 Pet Spoons on the 3-armed umbrella rig — one of my summertime staples.

This largemouth was mixed in with a school of aggressively feeding white bass which went for a vertical presentation after we spotted them on sonar and then caught a few as the downrigger balls swept over them.


WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This was a multi-species trip in which we caught white bass, largemouth bass, freshwater drum, green sunfish, longear sunfish, and bluegill sunfish.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday morning, 04 July 2018

HOW WE FISHED: Given that one of our objectives was to make sure 4-year-old Landon had a good time, learned a few things, and stayed engaged, I tried to transition from one method to another several times over the course of the morning.  We started off downrigging in two separate locations.  We picked up 9 fish at our first stop. At our second location we found a heavily congregated, bottom-oriented school of white bass which we set up over top of and vertical jigged for using the i-Pilot Link system.  After passing over a school of white bass, I backtracked to them on Down Imaging, placed a cursor over top of them, then gave the Ulterra a Spot Lock command.  The trolling motor then navigated back to the fish while I handed out appropriate rods and gave everyone instructions on what to do once we were in a dead hover over top of the fish.  We picked up 3 fish on the downriggers and then worked vertically for 34 more white bass.  When this dissipated, we headed shallow for sunfish, picking up another dozen fish.  We then wrapped up the trip with another round of downrigging, adding 4 more fish to the tally; 62 fish in all.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES: Very little in the way of topwater action once again despite adequate sighting conditions.




Start Time: 6:15a

End Time: 10:20a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  77F

Water Surface Temp:   83.8F

Wind Speed & Direction: S9 or less the entire trip

Sky Conditions: Under 5% white cloud cover on a blue sky.

Water Level:  5.92 feet low

GT = 0




**Area 1440 to SH0031C  – white bass on downriggers for 9 fish

**Area SH0041C – white bass on downriggers leading to vertical work with tailspinners for 37 fish

**Area SH0038C – for 12 sunfish

**Area SH0037C  – 3 white bass & 1 drum on downriggers


Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

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