WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Saturday, August 24th, I fished a SKIESUnlimited trip with the Pratts family. “Izzy” Pratts is an active duty U.S. Army Warrant Officer currently assigned to Fort Hood. Her husband, Isham Pratts, is a veteran who served six years in the U.S. Army as an enlisted man working in an information technology specialty, the field in which he now continues to work as a civilian. The Pratts brought their son, almost-5-year-old Maximus aboard for his first fishing trip ever … and it was a good one! Maximum is preparing to be a big brother … a little sister is due in September!!
SKIESUnlimited stands for Schools of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration, and Skills.
SKIESUnlimited offers dozens of activities for military and Department of Defense kids of all ages, ranging from gymnastics to piano lessons, from academic tutoring to various forms of dance, and more.
To participate in such courses, children must first be registered with Child and Youth Services. Registration is free and is accomplished by contacting Parent Central Services at 254-287-8029. Once registered, parents may go online to enroll their children for the myriad courses available, including my own “Fishing 101”.
PHOTO CAPTION: Maximus Pratts and his dad, Isham Pratts, with Max’s largest sunfish of the trip — an old, adult bluegill. Judging by the white and orange trip at the tail, it had to have a green sunfish in its lineage a generation or two ago, as well.
PHOTO CAPTION: Maximus’ first fish, a 5″ bluegill sunfish. This fish qualified Maximum for a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department “First Fish Award”!!
WHAT WE FISHED FOR: White bass and sunfish
WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir
WHEN WE FISHED: 24 August 2019, AM
HOW WE FISHED: As I explained the morning’s gameplan to Izzy and Isham, I let them know that Max would very likely become bored with success given his age. We all laughed together when, about 20 minutes and 5 fish into the trip Max announced, “I’m tired of sunfishing.” Having worked with kids for years now, we employed some “tricks of the trade” to keep Max’s interest level up by inserting some intentional transitions into our trip and adding as much variety as the fish, season, weather, and his manual dexterity would allow.
As it turned out, Max was in good spirits and enthused about fishing as we ended the trip right around the 3.5 hour mark.
We fished for sunfish at the beginning and end of the trip, with a bit of time spent downrigging for white bass in the middle. The white bass we found were in small, suspended schools and took the smallest size Pet Spoons rigged on a 3-armed umbrella rig fished at 23′ over a deeper bottom. The sunfish were all in shallow cover and went for livebait fished under a slipfloat rig.
OBSERVATIONS: Despite a near-calm surface and grey cloud cover — ideal conditions for seeing topwater action — there was little topwater action to be seen; this is in stark contrast with Lake Belton which was buzzing with topwater action all week this week for well into the mid-morning hours. This has been a real departure from the norm on Stillhouse this season.
TALLY: 50 fish caught and released
Start Time: 6:45a
End Time: 10:00a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 75F
Elevation: 0.42 feet low with a 24-hour fall of 0.2 feet on a flow of 1 cfs
Water Surface Temp: 87.5F
Wind Speed & Direction: S2-3 at trip’s start, increasing suddenly to S7 around 9:15
Sky Conditions: 100% grey skies all morning with “squinting brightness”
GT = 0
#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 420 – sunfish
**Area west fork of SH0127C – sunfish
**Area 716 to SH0033C – downrigging for white bass
**Area 1572 – 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)