The Coachable Coach — Ken Powell, 57 Fish

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Wednesday morning I fished with retired high school educator and coach, Ken Powell.  Ken phoned me a while back and told me how, after combing over my website, he was intrigued about the various methods I use for white bass in the summer months, and how he wanted to take a trip with me to be introduced to these tactics.  Residing in Burnet, most of Ken’s summer fishing has involved live shad fishing for freshwater pelagics with guides on Lake Buchanan, so he was looking forward to some variety.  The first thing I told him was, “Ken, we’re about to find out if the coach can be coached.”  He just grinned as he understood what I meant.  As our trip came to a close, Ken handed me the balance due in cash, AND a deposit for our next trip in November!  He was pretty excited about all he’d learned.

Retired coach Ken Powell remained coachable and had a great trip despite unstable weather as we pursued white bass on Stillhouse Hollow.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED:  Wednesday morning, 12 September 2018

HOW WE FISHED:   Fishing was pretty slow for our first 2 hours as the weather was a continuation of yesterday’s fairly dark, murky skies, despite a forecast for lighter winds and brighter skies.  Those two things did materialize by around 9:30am and the fishing responded pretty quickly.  We downrigged and caught fish slowly but steadily in those first two hours, simultaneously watching sonar, the water’s surface for topwater action, and the skies for feeding terns.  We got into our first productive area, hooked up with a double-double (two fish on both downrigger rods all at the same time), and immediately stopped on these fish using the i-Pilot Link connection between my Humminbird and Minn Kota Ulterra to position us right on these fish.  We worked them over with tailspinners until they grew disinterested, then “mopped up” with downriggers as long as the fish would respond, then moved on to our next area after the fish grew inactive (as indicated by them not chasing the downrigger balls as the balls passed over them as seen on sonar).  At our next area, the winds varied from 2-5mph ESE, and the skies grew as bright as they would get all morning.  As thinner patches of clouds (under 100% cloud cover) allowed more sun through, the fish would respond instantly and feed on the surface; when thicker cloud cover made it darker, the fish would stop feeding on the surface.  We fished tailspinners vertically and cast slabs horizontally to tempt these very active white bass with largemouth bass mixed in.  When all was said and done, Ken okayed us to leave them biting so he could make an appointment down by San Antonio later in the day.  We boated 57 and lost a few more, especially amongst the largmouth hooked on topwater which often got off “on the jump”.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:    The light level in our last 75 minutes on the water teetered right on the treshhold which either spurred fish to feed on top (as the skies grew brighter), or pushed them down (as the skies grew darker).  It became very predictable as we watched that sole variable “adjust” the fish mood like a volume knob.  Pretty cool to observe this!


TALLY: 57 fish, all caught and released



Start Time: 7:15 am

End Time: 11:35 am

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 73F

Water Surface Temp:   83.0F

Wind Speed & Direction: ESE4-6

Sky Conditions: 100% grey cloud cover.

Water Level: 8.08 feet low and falling

GT = 0




**Area 1448-0056 – whites on downrigger with one episode of vertical work with tailspinners

**Area SH0056C – whites on downrigger / tailspinners fished vertically / 3/8 oz. slabs fished horizontally



Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)




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