WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Thursday and Friday I had the joy of fishing with the Oliver family during a bit of a mid-summer family reunion. Mr. Joe Oliver coordinated everything such that on Thursday his son Corey (visiting from Oregon) and Corey’s kids, Cullen and Presley (8-year-old twins) and Harper (age 6) would fish, capably assisted by the kids’ uncle (Corey’s brother) Thomas. Then, on Friday, Joe made arrangements for his daughter, Amber, from Academy, TX, to fish with her three kids, Ben (age 11), Beau (age 4 1/2), and Addie (age 2), once again aided by Uncle Thomas.
We agreed my “Kids Fish, Too!” style of trip would be best (a little shorter, much less expensive, and with all the focus solely on the kids’ success) and, fortunately both the weather and the fish cooperated so that all concerned had a memorable time.
Now, it could be my years of experience as a guide that has helped me to read between the lines when it comes to dealing with kids, or it could be the preparation I received for this vocation through my years in children’s ministry, but, somehow I have developed a “knack” for understanding the subtle messages from children, including Joe’s grandkids. For example, when 6-year-old Harper says, “I need to pee”, what she really means is that she needs to pee. Or, when 4 1/2-year-old Beau says, “I want to catch sunfish”, what he is actually communicating is that he no longer wants to be patient enough to wait on a larger white bass to strike, but would rather enjoy the fast action provided by sunfish. And, when little Addie, age 2, says “I want to go home now” in reality she is communicating that she wants to go home … now. You see what I mean? Very subtle … but I pick up on this stuff.
We landed 50 sunfish and 14 white bass on Thursday, and we landed 76 sunfish and 3 white bass on Friday, for a total of 143 fish.
THURSDAY’S CREW: From left: Corey, Cullen, Harper, Thomas, and Presley.
FRIDAY’S CREW: From left:. Addie, Amber, Ben, Thomas, and Beau.
WHAT WE FISHED FOR: These were multi-species trips in which we caught white bass and sunfish.
WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow
WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday and Friday mornings, 12 and 13 July 2018
HOW WE FISHED:
ON THURSDAY: The windless, clouded start to the day was not appealing to the white bass, so we left them alone after slowly picking up a few fish at our first stop, and went up shallow for sunfish. We fished two areas for sunfish, then tried once again for white bass once the winds picked up lightly but consistently from the SW. As we searched for fish, we spotted largemouth bass chasing shad to the surface and found white bass in the same vicinity. This area gave up the balance of the white bass we caught, all on downrigged 3-armed umbrella rigs equipped with Pet Spoons. As we closed out our trip, the kids got to participate in an on-the-water rescue as we assisted a stranded boater whose motor quit get back to the launch site by giving him a tow.
ON FRIDAY: Taking a lesson learned from the day prior, we started our day this morning going for the “instant gratification” bite of sunfish up shallow and just kept right on sunfishing but for two short attempts at downrigging for white bass. Once we landed one “big fish” (a white bass) for each of the kids, they’d had enough of that and we went right back to the sunfishing. We wound up fishing 3 different areas for the sunfish, all of which produced well thanks to the abundance of hydrilla now found all around the shoreline on Stillhouse.
OBSERVATIONS/NOTES: In additions to seeing schooling action at 1221 through 484, I also observed schooling action at Area 250, but we did not fish over these fish.
TALLY: 64 Fish on Thursday, 79 Fish on Friday, hence a total of 143 fish, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:30a both days
End Time: 10:00a both days
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 75F both days
Water Surface Temp: 84.8F both days
Wind Speed & Direction: SSW7 or less the entire trip on Thursday; SSE5 or less the entire trip on Friday
Sky Conditions: ~20% cloud cover both days
Water Level: 6.24 feet low both days
GT = 50
Wx SNAPSHOT: (Thursday only)
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area SH0043C – sunfish
**Area 1221 through 484 – downrigging for white bass
**Area 201 sunfish
**Area 203 sunfish
**Area 1241 through 1239 – downrigging for white bass
**Area 189 sunfish
Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)