WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning I welcomed aboard 3 generations for a “Kids Fish, Too!” fishing trip focused strictly on the kids’ success. Joining me was (grandpa) Jim Wood, his daughter, Allison Bailey, and Allison’s two children, Jack (age 9) and Charlotte (age 7). Jim is a retired physician who worked in the Killeen and Lampasas areas and lives in McGregor, TX; Allison was recently promoted to assistant principal at an elementary school in Grapevine, TX, where Jack and Charlotte will attend this coming school year. Allison taught in the classroom for the previous 18 years.
I really enjoy running these summertime “Kids Fish, Too!” trips, and especially with kids aboard who have never caught fish before, as was the case this morning. Kids just arrive enthusiastic and get even more enthusiastic as the first few fish come aboard and they gain knowledge and confidence. Kids aren’t concerned about numbers or species or a particular presentation style … they just like to catch fish!
PHOTO CAPTION: Allison Bailey in the back standing beside her dad, Jim Wood. In the foreground, Charlotte and Jack Bailey, each with the first fish of their lives. Charlotte’s white bass measured 12.75 inches, and Jack’s measured 13.00 inches. Both fell for a downrigged Pet Spoon fished down around the 25-foot mark over a deeper bottom.
WHAT WE FISHED FOR: Multi-species (white bass and sunfish)
WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir
WHEN WE FISHED: 09 July 2019, AM
HOW WE FISHED: This morning we invested our first 2.5 hours into chasing white bass, and saved our final hour for the pursuit of sunfish. There was a fair band of low clouds in the eastern sky which obscured the direct sun at sunrise, so the action slowly tapered up, but was in full swing by 7:15. We started off our trip using downriggers to catch suspended fish until the sonar and the fish themselves indicated it was time to stop downrigging and “go vertical”. We downrigged until about 7:45 using twin 3-armed umbrella rigs equipped with Pet Spoons. We then switched over to my third generation prototype tailspinners. We landed fish steadily on the tailspinners as we watched for fish reaction to them on Garmin LiveScope. By the time the action tapered off around 8:35, we’d landed 32 white bass, many of which were in the 3-year class. A final 25 minutes of downrigging added another 4 fish to the count, hence we ended our efforts in pursuing white bass around 9am with 36 of that species landed.
I searched two additional areas for white bass but found only a few, scattered fish and very relaxed bait at the first stop and even less at the second, so we moved on.
Our last 45 minutes on the water was spent in pursuit of sunfish. I like to expose kids to the simplicity of fishing for sunfish and, as I do, explain to them that they do not need a fishing guide, fancy boat, high-dollar electronics, or high-end gear to enjoy catching sunfish. I show them each important step so they can repeat their success on a body of water close to home. Using small balsa floats, small hooks, small split-shot, and small bait, Jack and Charlotte put a final 34 fish in the boat including bluegill sunfish, redear sunfish, longear sunfish, and green sunfish. As 10am approached, we were reminded it was July in Texas as the sun began to beat down under light wind conditions. As the kids began to get a bit red-faced, I knew it was time to conclude, and we took a pleasant, breezy ride back in to our launch site.
TALLY: 70 fish caught and released
OBSERVATIONS: Still no summer schooling action on topwater to speak of by largemouth or white bass.
Start Time: 6:30a
End Time: 10:00a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 76F
Elevation: 0.17 feet high, 0.04′ rise thanks to a line to T-storms which moved quickly through the night before, flow is just 1CFS
Water Surface Temp: 84.3
Wind Speed & Direction: Barely west of south the entire time, 4-7mph
Sky Conditions: Light grey cloud cover in the eastern sky served to block the full force of the sun through about 7:30a, then the sun rose above this cloud bank and the heat and light levels both rose quickly.
GT = 65
#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Areas 484-660-644 – center of mass for downrigging success
**Area vic 1239 – single stop for vertical work with tailspinners
**Area 1256 – sunfish
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)