WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Saturday morning I fished with returning guest Brian Pennington of Harker Heights, and his adult sons Eric and Alex. Brian has been working at the Operational Test Command (OTC) at West Fort Hood for many years testing military equipment before turning it over to our troops to use. Following his graduation from Texas A&M in College Station, Eric went to work for the A&M library at that campus, and Alex is in pursuit of his bachelor degree at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos.
PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Alex, Brian, and Eric Pennington with some fat, healthy Stillhouse Hollow white bass taken under tough, post-frontal conditions characterized by clear skies, light winds, and low temperatures.
WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This trip was a multi-species fishing trip focused on white bass.
WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir
WHEN WE FISHED: Saturday morning, 16 March 2019
HOW WE FISHED: As I wrapped up my evening trip at Lake Belton the night before this trip, the NOAA weather forecast painted a pretty grim picture of bright, cold, calm conditions. Seeing this, I phoned the Pennington’s, explained what I saw and how such conditions typically negatively impact the fishing, and gave them the option of cancelling, rescheduling, or going forward with the trip as planned. With his boys now being out on their own, coordinating time together is difficult, so, Brian chose to press on with our plans.
We were fortunate in that the weather that was forecast did not actually come to fruition until about 75 minutes before our planned wrap-up time of 11:30. During that final portion of the trip, the fishing tapered to zero and just finding fish to fish for was challenging.
During the first part of the trip, however, we were blessed to have some unexpected grey cloud cover. This allowed for a light morning feed. We found fish with the help of birds for about the first 2 hours, then relied on sonar for our fish-finding after the bird action died off.
The white bass I’m finding in shallower water very much seem to be in small packs of 3-8 fish each, not in larger schools which allow you to sit in one place and catch with steady regularity. Thus, we used the “jog” function on the Minn Kota Ulterra quite extensively today, catching a few, then moving a few boat-lengths to access “new” water, catching a few more, and so on.
We used Cicada blade baits for the majority of our catching today, although the fish are still sluggish and we got a lot of short strikes and missed fish thanks to a lack of aggressive pursuit of these lures. Never did we have a hooked fish come to the boat accompanied by schoolmates, which is common when fish are more aggressive in warmer water.
OBSERVATIONS: Most bird action was focused on dead/wounded bluegill, not yet on shad.
TALLY: 32 fish caught and released
Start Time: 7:30a
End Time: 11:30a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 44F
Elevation: 0.46 feet high with a .05 foot 24-hour rise
Water Surface Temp: 56.7F
Wind Speed & Direction: Winds were NE3 at trip’s start, picking up to NE6-8 by trip’s end
Sky Conditions: Light grey skies due to overrunning moisture coming from the SSW right at sunrise gave us about 2.5 hours of cloud cover, which then cleared about the time the birds quit and the fishing got progressively tougher.
GT = 50
#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area SH0099C – snap-jigging and blades
**Area 730/SH0089C – blades until the birds quit
**Area vic 052 – snap-jigging as the skies cleared and the bite died
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)