WHO I FISHED WITH: On Friday evening, 09 August, I met up with Mrs. Lindsey Schellin and her sons, Logan (age 8) and Jayden (age 6) at Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir for an evening in pursuit of sunfish on what was the 2019 season’s twelfth S.K.I.F.F. program fishing trip.
Lindsey’s husband, U.S. Army Specialist Gage Schellin, died while on active duty in 2014. SPC Schellin had served for 2 years in his first enlistment as a Firefinder Radar Operator in one of the Fort Hood field artillery units.
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 and other organizations they have partnered with. 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. In mid-2019, SKIFF also began providing trips to dependents whose parents’ military-related disabilities prevent them from taking their own children 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: 6-year-old Jayden Schellin with a redear sunfish he landed, Lindsey Schellin, and Logan Schellin with a bluegill sunfish he landed.
WHAT WE FISHED FOR: Sunfish
WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow
WHEN WE FISHED: 09 August 2019, PM
HOW WE FISHED: Given the heat (we faced a heat index at 106F this afternoon), and the boys’ age, Lindsey and I agreed that a short, action-packed trip focused on sunfish would be just right for the boys. Fortunately, Lindsey, an Alabama girl, was no stranger to fishing, so, as soon as I showed the boys what needed doing, she was able to cover down on one of them and we worked together to help the boys keep fish coming over the side.
I established some goals for the boys to keep their focus. Their first fish won them a pin-on fish award, and, when their combined total hit 25 fish, they would each win a SKIFF ballcap and their own closed-face rod and reel, which Austin Fly Fishers’ Dave Hill hustled up for us.
We fished up in shallow cover where rock, wood, and weeds provided cover for the sunfish. We drew them out with our lightweight slipfloat rigs presented with bream poles.
When all was said and done, the novelty of the whole adventure wore off about the time fish #30 came over the gunwale. I leaned over and told Lindsey, “You know it’s time to wrap up when you and I are the only ones holding the fishing poles.” She nodded knowingly and we got things tidied up and made our final run back to the boat ramp.
Lindsey and the boys were on their way up to the parking lot, when I noticed they had turned back and were now coming my way. I thought perhaps they’d forgotten something so I asked if I could help. Lindsey told me that the boys just wanted to see how the boat got back out of the water!
TALLY: 30 fish caught and released
Start Time: 6:00pm
End Time: 8:30pm
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 99F
Elevation: 0.11 low, 0.01′ 24-hour fall, 1 CFS flow
Water Surface Temp: 92.1
Wind Speed & Direction: S8 the entire trip
Sky Conditions: High white haze over a blue sky just thick enough to cut some of the sun’s heat
GT = 0
#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 420 – sunfish (2 hops)
**Area Sh0055c- sunfish
**Area 1948 – 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)