WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Monday, 17 September, I fished with 5-year-old John David Bowen and his mom, Lacey Bowen. This was the season’s 12th S.K.I.F.F. trip conducted exclusively for military children separated from their parent’s due to their military duty.
In John’s case, his dad, U.S. Army Sergeant Tom Bowen, an Army medic, is serving with an engineer battalion in Poland on a months-long deployment there. SGT Bowen has been in the Army for 10 years. John was super-excited to get to talk with his dad via FaceTime all the way from Poland for a few minutes. At that point, he’d landed 4 or 5 sunfish and talked so fast about all he was seeing and doing that I have no idea how SGT Bowen understood him!
John’s siblings are all girls and his mom had been at a loss for a way to provide him with some “guy time” activities, so, when she heard about SKIFF, she knew this would be a good fish. So, after getting everyone either shipped off to school or entrusted to the care of her mom visiting from South Carolina, Lacey loaded John up for an on-time arrival at Stillhouse Hollow for 7:15 this morning.
Although he immediately took to handling the smaller sunfish we started out the day with, when it came to handling the “big game” we pursued later, John just wasn’t too sure about them. Lacey promised John she’d hold the fish out as far away as she could to get John to join her for the mother-son photo.
WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip focused on sunfish and white bass.
WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir
WHEN WE FISHED: Monday morning, 17 September 2018
HOW WE FISHED: This morning we focused on the simplicity and instant gratification offered by shallow sunfish for as long as John stayed engaged, which was for about 2 hours worth of effort up shallow using bream poles. When the novelty wore off of that approach, we re-rigged with downriggers and began presenting Pet Spoons at 29-31 feet down for white bass holding in slightly deeper water. We picked up our first 2 fish in the form of a double, discovered that John really didn’t like reeling in these larger fish and DEFINITELY did not like to be near them when they came aboard, so, after landing another double which struck just minutes later on the other downrigger rod, we packed that equipment in and continued fishing for sunfish for another 30 minutes or so. When all was said and done, we’d landed 26 sunfish (bluegill, longear, and redear) and 4 white bass.
OBSERVATIONS/NOTES: Several small flocks of white pelicans stopped over during the weekend as teal season opened and damp, cloudy weather hung around for going on 2 full weeks now.
TALLY: 30 fish, all caught and released
Start Time: 7:15 am
End Time: 10:15 am
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 70F
Water Surface Temp: 82.5F
Wind Speed & Direction: Light and variable under 2mph
Sky Conditions: 25% white cloud cover
Water Level: 8.11 feet low and falling
GT = 0
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Areas 201, SH0055C, and 203 for sunfish
**Area vic 1715 for downrigged white bass
Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)