WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning I conducted the sixth S.K.I.F.F. program trip of the 2019 season. I welcomed aboard the children of Marcial and Valerie Quintero — 6-year-old Hailey and 5-year-old Rosemary. Marcial has been in the U.S. Army for 5 years and now serves with the 91st Engineer Battalion in the rank of Specialist. He was recently separated from his family for a European rotation which included training in Poland, Bulgaria, and Germany.
This fishing trip was provided to this military family at no charge. S.K.I.F.F. stands for Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun. This program began in May of 2009. It is funded by the donations and fundraising efforts of the Austin Fly Fishers. S.K.I.F.F. provides the children of military personnel separated from their families due to duty commitments with the opportunity to go fishing. I coordinate and conduct these 3.5 to 4 hour adventures on Belton Lake and Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir, just outside the gates of Fort Hood in Bell County, TX, year ’round.
PHOTO CAPTION: From left – 5-year-old Rosemary, her mom, Valerie Quintero, and 6-year-old Hailey, with a pair of 3-year class white bass taken on this morning’s multi-species trip. The sisters caught a mix of 52 white bass and sunfish.
WHAT WE FISHED FOR: Multi-species
WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir
WHEN WE FISHED: 06 July 2019, AM
HOW WE FISHED: My guests this morning were ages 5 and 6, so, I knew in advance we would not stick with any one thing very long, whether we were successful, or not. We began the day under calm conditions and, in about 10 minutes’ worth of effort, did not connect with any white bass via downrigging. So, we headed up shallow for our first of two rounds of sunfishing. The girls liked the fast pace and constant results, and they did well for never having fished before. Within minutes of arriving and watching my simple “demo”, both girls landed the first fish of their lives and earned a TPWD “First Fish Award”. With Hailey fishing off the portside and Rosemary fishing off the starboard, things were pretty manageable thanks to the snag-free patch of water I chose. We would land 30 fish here before breaking away to once again try for some white bass.
With the conditions still calm, the white bass were not really turned on yet, so, I moved us to the most open, wind-exposed area I could find given the gentle SSW breeze blowing. Fortunately, as we made our way, the wind notched up about 3-4 mph to around SSW9. This was all it took to trigger the fish to get feeding. We landed 3 white bass on a single downrigger pass and saw the bottom over a 100 yard stretch was littered with fish. I hovered us in one spot with Spot-Lock and helped the girls work tailspinners vertically through the fish. They landed 7 more solids white bass before the novelty wore off.
I offered them a choice for our last “segment”: more downrigging, more vertical fishing, or more sunfishing, and they both voted for more sunfishing. So, to close the trip out we headed to another area with a nice blend of rock and weeds and put a final 12 sunfish in the boat for a grand total of 52 fish for the Quintero sisters.
TALLY: 52 fish caught and released
OBSERVATIONS: Temperature profile was as follows; no distinct thermocline …
0 feet 84.7F
5 feet 84.7F
10 feet 84.7F
15 feet 84.7F
20 feet 84.7F
25 feet 84.7F
30 feet 84.5F
35 feet 83.7F
40 feet 81.9F
45 feet 80.3F
50 feet 78.2F
55 feet 75.7F
63 feet 72.8F
65 feet 71.2F
Start Time: 6:30a
End Time: 10:00a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 76F
Elevation: 0.19 feet high, no elevation change, flow of 200cfs
Water Surface Temp: See temperature profile
Wind Speed & Direction: SSW6-8 the entire trip
Sky Conditions: Light grey cloud cover in the eastern sky served to block the full force of the sun through about 8:30a, then the sun rose above this cloud bank and the heat and light levels both rose quickly.
GT = 0
#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 422 sunfish – 30 fish
**Area vic 829 white bass – found them via downrigging, caught 3, then used tailspinners to capitalize on the find for 7 more in short order – 10 fish
**Area 189 sunfish – 12 fish
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)