WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning I was joined once again by Greg Graham of TAS Concrete as he did a bit of corporate entertainment on Stillhouse Hollow. Greg invited Daron Ludwig (also of TAS) and two fellows from Alabama-based Hoar Construction — J.R. Mulle and Houston Bolt — to fish for white bass.
PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Greg Graham (TAS), J.R. Mulle (Hoar Const.), Daron Ludwig (TAS), and Houston Bolt (Hoar Const.), each with one of the first few white bass we landed via downrigging this morning. We took photos quickly and returned these to the water to avoid barotrauma and temperature-related issues involved in keeping fish in the livewell for an extended period of time in this warm-water season.
WHAT WE FISHED FOR: Multi-species focused on white bass
WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir
WHEN WE FISHED: 02 July 2019, AM
HOW WE FISHED: Fishing has finally gotten into that sweet summertime predictability mode where fish location and activity is concerned. So long as the weather is stable, the fish are now, and will continue to be, in the same places doing the same things at the same times of day right up until it begins to cool off in mid- to late-September. After a wrinkle in the weather Sat. and Sun., southerly winds resumed on Monday and I got back on the water this morning to pick right back up where I’d left off on Saturday morning before the weather came in.
The downrigger bite for open-water fish suspended at 30-35 feet over a deeper bottom is very solid from first light right through about 9am. There comes a time when, based on client ability/preference, the fish get active enough that we have the option to keep downrigging or change over to vertical work from a Spot-Lock position using smoked tailspinners in combination with Garmin LiveScope. This morning, we went with the latter option and my 4 clients really engaged with the LiveScope running.
One bonus today was finding a second, large population of actively feeding white bass turned on after the first population we;d been fishing for had turned off. I really hadn’t searched for such fish up to this point as I’d gone after sunfish up shallow with my younger guests of late, but with capable men aboard this morning, the search paid off as we put a final 48 fish in the boat in under an hour’s time, concluding right at 10:45 as that second bite was shutting down fast.
TALLY: 112 fish caught and released
OBSERVATIONS: 1) Still no organized topwater action observed on Stillhouse. 2) This morning I also got to put some refinements to my tailspinner design into action, which worked well, thus getting me close to developing the ideal tailspinner bait I set out to create by the end of this 2019 season. The primary improvement was limiting movement of the underslung hook so it does not tangle on the spinner shaft, nor on the fluorocarbon leader.
Start Time: 6:30a
End Time: 10:45a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 77F
Elevation: 0.45 feet high, 0.07′ 24-hour drop, 734 cfs flow
Water Surface Temp: 81.5F
Wind Speed & Direction: SE9 at trip’s start, lessening and shifting to SW6-7 by mid-morning, then picking up a bit at SW9 by trip’s end.
Sky Conditions: Light grey cloud cover in the eastern sky served to block the full force of the sun through about 8:30a. As the sun cleared this, the wind kept the perceived temperature comfortable right thru trip’s end.
GT = N/A
#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1242 was “center of mass” for downrigging this morning from 6:45am through ~8:15am, then again for a short span from 9:15 to 9:30 after the vertical bite was open.
**Area vic SH0041C – vertical work with tailspinners in the midst of our downrigging circuit
**Area SH0120C – added a final 48 fish to our tally in our last 45 minutes on the water working tailspinners vertically in 52′ with thumping and swishing
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)