WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning I fished with Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) members Shawn Poole, Tywan Cannon, and Mike Clark on Stillhouse Hollow in pursuit of white bass.
More than 52,000 servicemen and women have been physically injured in recent military conflicts. 500,000 are living with invisible wounds from depression to post-traumatic stress disorder. 320,000 experience debilitating brain trauma. WWP helps these men and women.
This was the third WWP trip I’ve run this season, and this adventure was made up of an all-Army crew. Shawn is a former tanker, Tywan was in aviation operations, and Mike was a combat engineer.
This was the very first WWP outreach event which Tywan and Shawn ever participated in. Due to Mike’s lengthy stay at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) in San Antonio recovering from his injuries, including 39 surgeries, he was able to participate in a number of WWP events previously while there.
PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Wounded Warriors Mike Clark, Tywan Cannon, and Shawn Poole, each with a pair of Stillhouse Hollow white bass we caught fishing tailspinners vertically under flooded conditions (7.85 feet high and rising). This was the Wounded Warrior Project’s third outing thus far in the 2019 season.
WHAT WE FISHED FOR: White bass
WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir
WHEN WE FISHED: 13 May 2019, PM
HOW WE FISHED: This trip was originally intended to be a hybrid striped bass trip on Lake Belton in what is normally the peak of the hybrid striper season. However, enduring rains have caused Belton to rise and the Brazos River to flood. With an inflow of water at around 3,200 cubic feet per second coming down from Lake Proctor (which is 12 feet high), and little to no flow coming out of Belton’s dam (to prevent further downstream flooding), Belton has simply been accumulating water at around .7 to .8 feet per day for nearly a week, thus forcing closure of most boat ramps and making questionable the status of any ramps still remaining open.
So, I did some scouting on Stillhouse after church yesterday and pinned down the location of several populations of white bass and we changed the location and focus of our trip to fishing for white bass on Stillhouse.
We enjoyed steady action in our last 3 hours on the water with slow action in our first hour, thanks to flat calm winds and bright sun.
100% of our fish were taken on my experimental tailspinners in around 46 feet of water. We used Garmin LiveScope technology extensively today to time our presentations with the arrival of “fresh” schools of white bass patrolling beneath the boat and get the lures where they needed to be, when they needed to be there.
As I gain experience in coaching anglers to use tailspinners successfully with the spinning gear I have set up for this application, I am finding that a powerful hookset is counter-productive, typically resulting in ripping the bait away from the fish before the hook is well-set. Once everyone began to simply reel steadily even when a bite was detected, we began landing a much higher percentage of the fish that struck.
OBSERVATIONS: “Fresh fish” was the operative word today. Over and over again we saw that when a new bunch of fish (which we nicknamed fresh fish) came under the boat, we could count on at least 2 if not all of our 4 rods hooking a fish. However, once these first few fish were caught, and if the school stuck around long enough to provide follow-on opportunities, those “remnant” fish were much, much harder to fool. We would then anxiously await the appearance of more “fresh fish” which hadn’t yet seen our baits to appear on LiveScope, knowing these would be much easier to fool.
TALLY: 81 fish caught and released – including 80 white bass and 1 freshwater drum
Start Time: 6:45a
End Time: 11:15a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 68F
Elevation: 7.85 feet high with a 0.43′ 24-hour rise and zero flow from the dam.
Water Surface Temp: 70.6F
Wind Speed & Direction: Light and variable at 0-4NE
Sky Conditions: Clear, bright skies all morning.
GT = 0
#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area SH0109C, SH0110C, and SH0111C, with one “short hop” at SH0111C – white bass on tailspinners
Full-time, Professional Fishing Guide and Owner of Holding the Line Guide Service
Belton Lake Fishing Guide, Stillhouse Hollow Fishing Guide
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