WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Thursday, 19 March, 2020, I fished with the Osbourn crew from Liberty Hill, TX, including Hollie (mom), and her sons: Tucker (13), Rhys (12), and Deacon (10), all in celebration of Deacon’s 10th birthday as he opted for the same birthday adventure Tucker was treated to last fall, accompanied by his dad, Conard.
Many of you know I normally set aside Thursdays to be with my wife in what we call our “Marriage Maintenance Day”, which we implemented in the summer of 2018. Only by mutual consent do we postpone/reschedule this. Well, seeing foul (cold, wet) weather on the way for Friday and Saturday (for me), and given a women’s ministry planning meeting (for her) today, we bumped our special day to Friday and I got the Osbourns out on the tail end of another extended warming trend on Stillhouse. I knew Deacon was looking forward to it, I knew their originally planned date of Saturday would not yield good results, and I knew the fishing would be fairly kid-friendly today, so we made it happen today, thanks to Hollie’s flexibility.
From the looks of it, fishing will decline through Sunday, then start bouncing back again come Monday.
PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Rhys, Deacon, Tucker, and Hollie Osbourn with some plump Stillhouse white bass taken with a variety of tactics this morning as the kids enjoyed an extended Spring Break thanks to the Coronavirus.
WHEN WE FISHED: 19 March, 2020, AM
HOW WE FISHED: We mixed it up a good bit today both because the fish allowed for it, and because the variety kept the boys engaged. We started off throwing bladebaits as long as the fish would go for them. When the blade bite slowed around 10am, we changed over and did some flatline trolling. We picked up a crappie and three white bass right away, but, more importantly, it kept the boys active while giving me a chance to comb the area we were in with side-imaging to see if the fish were done feeding, of if they’d just moved off the area at which we’d last contacted them with bladbaits. It quickly became obvious that the fish were still present, only a bit deeper, so, after the boys got a taste of trolling success, we went right back to throwing blades and connecting with fish. Once this “rebound” bite ended, I gave birthday boy Deacon the options and the odds of catching fish via throwing blades, trolling,and looking for stacked fish to vertical jig for. He chose Option #3, partly because Tucker had “talked up” the use of Garmin LiveScope in combination with vertical jigging.
As it turned out, this gamble paid off. We did, indeed, find fish stacked on the edge of the river channel and ended the trip on a strong note as the Osbourn crew put a final 25 fish in the boat in the closing half-hour of the trip, taking our tally from 45 fish up to 70 fish on the morning.
TALLY: 70 fish caught and released
OBSERVATIONS: Over the past three days as the white bass bite has moved shallow with the water temperature rising into the low 60’s, I correlated the hatching of this small insect with this white bass activity. These insects are about a 1/4″ long, hover from ground level up to about 7′ above the ground, and have appeared in the heat of the afternoon over the last three days:
Start Time: 7:30A
End Time: 11:45A
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 69F
Elevation: 2.88′ low, 0.02 foot 24-hour rise, 1 CFS flow
Water Surface Temp: 63F
Wind Speed & Direction: S4-7 all morning
Sky Conditions: Grey overcast all morning
GT = 65
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1960 – mid-depth flats with bladebaits
**Area vic 120 – SH0066C – mid-depth flats with bladebaits
**Area vic 713 – mid-depth flats with bladebaits
**Area vic 733 – mid-depth flats with bladebaits, then via flatline trolling through to Area 745
**Area vic 092 – vertical slab work for white bass stacked on the channel edge (25 fish in final ~30 minutes)
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)