WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Wednesday evening I fished Stillhouse Hollow with fellow guide Jason Weisberg of Round Rock, TX. Jason owns Integrity Mechanical where he and his employees focus on HVAC repair for all manner of equipment, including commercial and industrial-sized gear. He primarily fishes Belton and Georgetown, and mainly during the cooler months when A/C repairs and hot attics aren’t calling.
Our purpose today was to give Jason an introduction to the Garmin LiveScope technology. Jason, who, like me, fishes with live shad for hybrid striped bass on occasion, was particularly curious about the performance of a standard cast net versus a “tape” net designed for use in deeper water. We desired to observe the sink rate and openness of these nets on the high-resolution, high-refresh rate screen of the Garmin equipment.
ABOVE: This screenshot shows a standard, well-thrown 7-foot cast net with 3/8″ mesh after it descended to about 30 feet. The bag is high above the lead-line and the diameter of the net is necked-down substantially to just under 5 feet.
ABOVE: This screenshot shows a “tape net” designed for use in deeper water. It, too, was well-thrown and was 7′ diameter with 3/8″ mesh. At 30′, the net bag is not nearly as extended (a good thing) because the net is spread much wider (about 2.5 feet, or 35%, more than the standard net) to its full 7-foot diameter, hence providing more coverage, and enabling it to net more bait.
WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This trip focused on white bass.
WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir
WHEN WE FISHED: Wednesday, January 9th, 2019
HOW WE FISHED: We located fish in 3 distinct areas today after about a hour of fruitless searching. Each of the groups of fish we found were found by observing bird activity, mainly by terns. The first location was just off the Lampasas River channel and the fishing was for loosely congregated schools of suspended white bass holding between 20-25 feet over a ~34′ bottom. We “sniped” these fish using the same horizontal soft-plastic setup I normally use for deadsticking. The sniping was made much simpler with the aid of the Garmin LiveScope technology.
Our second stop came after we observed about 12 terns feeding briefly over a ~60 yard area in about 25′. The fish here were in distinct wolfpacks of 12-15 fish and were tight to the bottom, as observed on side-imaging. I worked a slab, then a blade, while Jason stuck with the deadstick bait used more aggressively.
The last, and most aggressive, fish came within 20 minutes of sunset (a classic low-light bite). We observed terns and at least 2 loons working over bait, stopped, and found abundant white bass in the lower third of the water column. These fish were so aggressive that I switched from my standard 3/8-oz. bait to a 3/4-oz. bait to cut the sink time to bottom as the fish were aggressive to the point where a slab with a larger profile was of no concern to them. We stopped at 100 fish even. Although there was enough light left for a few more minutes of fishing, the substantial amount of floating debris on the surface made me want to get back to the boat ramp while there was ample light to keep a good forward watch.
TALLY: 100 fish caught and released
Start Time: 1:00 p
End Time: 5:20 p
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 58F
Water Surface Temp: 53.5-55F
Wind Speed & Direction: Winds blew at ~NNE11 for the first 3 hours, then tapered to NNE under 4 in the last hour.
Sky Conditions: ~70% coverage of thin, white clouds, enough to obscure the direct sun, but still with ample ambient light
Water Level: 12.59′ high with the rising flood water cresting today and beginning to fall with the opening of the dam @ 1,898 CFS
GT = 0
#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area vic 684 – sniping
**Area vic 745 – snap-jigging a slab, working a blade, and easing a deadstick rig all worked well
**Area vic 1701 – aggressive smoking
Bob Maindelle, Belton Lake Fishing Guide
Full-time, Professional Fishing Guide and Owner of Holding the Line Guide Service
Belton Lake Fishing Guide, Stillhouse Hollow Fishing Guide
254.368.7411 (call or text)