WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Monday evening I fished with Mike Richardson of Thorndale, TX, and a long-time friend of his, Dale Huggins, from near Corsicana, TX. Mike is a former law enforcement officer now in the construction trade, and Dale is in the pawn shop business.
Mike is friends with Cliff Brown over at Texas Boat World in Killeen. After Cliff saw me making use of my sonar units during a recent trip with his grandkids, he suggested Mike come out with me to observe what he had observed, and catch a few fish, to boot.
So, I conducted a multi-species trip for Mike and Dale, with a running narrative on what I was doing and why I was doing it concerning sonar use, and responded to Mike’s questions as we used the sonar in real-life fishing-finding scenarios.
Mike shared something which is true of many anglers — all of his fishing time is spent fishing, and in Mike’s case, tournament fishing for largemouth bass. He admitted never really taking the time to learn and observe his sonar due to his focus on fishing, knowing in the back of his mind that if he invested some time in the sonar, his time spent fishing would be more productive.
PHOTO CAPTION: From right, Dale Huggins and Mike Richardson, each with a late afternoon hybrid taken on live shad.
WHEN WE FISHED: 18 May, 2020, PM
HOW WE FISHED: We employed a number of tactics this evening and were able to put fish in the boat from start to finish doing so. We started our efforts in deep water along a significant breakline using downriggers to cover water as I studied sonar with baits in tow. This yielded several white bass and helped me identify a few hybrid stripers holding near bottom, as well.
We brought the ‘riggers in, Spot-Locked, and commenced to fishing bait (live threadfin shad) where we’d seen hybrid holding. We picked up several legal fish, as well as a large “pygmy” hybrid, and then moved as soon as the action waned.
Next, we encountered great numbers of white bass holding in “patches” on bottom, again with the aid of sonar. These fish appeared quite active, so, after Spot-Locking on them, we used Hazy Eye Slabs in 3/4 oz. to tempt them while at the same time using Garmin LiveScope.
Thanks to Zach Brown of Garmin, I was able to upgrade my Garmin LiveScope to include the new bracket which permits the “Perspective” mode, and did the required software update to accommodate that new mode. Although I haven’t experimented with that horizontal view yet, what I really did like about the upgrade is the decal and accompanying witness marks on the new bracket which leave no doubt as to whether the transducer is in forward mode or downward mode — something that has caused a lot of confusion for the several students I’ve trained on this equipment.
Anyway, we caught white bass at will as long as they hung around, taking our tally into the 60’s. Since both fellows are experienced anglers, I suggested we set aside our final hour to return to bait fishing in an attempt to boat a few more hybrid. We wound up with 6 more fish landed in our final hour, including 2 legal hybrid, thus taking our total catch to 73 fish, which included 7 legal hybrid striped bass.
TALLY: 73 fish caught and released
OBSERVATIONS: Abundant spawning shad at Area SHAD026.
Start Time: 4:20P
End Time: 8:30P
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 92F
Elevation: 0.49′ high, 0.05′ rise, 17 CFS flow
Water Surface Temp: 75F
Wind Speed & Direction: ~9 mph from the SSE
Sky Conditions: Blue sky with no cloud cover
GT = 5
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area vic 1269
**Area vic BG0026
**Area vic 714
**Area vic Lost Rod 2
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)