WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning I fished a “Kids Fish, Too!” package trip with Mrs. Shauna Vargas and her sons, 8-year-old Mateo, and 5-year-old Dominic.
Summer is the best time for elementary-aged kids as white bass provide the quality, while sunfish provide the quantity.
These trips are less expensive than adult trips, and run a maximum of 3.5 hours instead of 4+ hours as adult trips do.
Neither boy had been on a boat before, nor had ever caught a fish before this morning’s trip. By trip’s end both had earned a Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. “First Fish Award”.
PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Mateo, Shauna, and Dominic on the boys’ first boat ride and fishing trip. The boys were as yet undecided about touching/holding fish at the time we snapped this photo at mid-morning!
WHEN WE FISHED: 08 June, 2020, AM
HOW WE FISHED: This morning we put a solid 2.5 hours into downrigging for cooperative white bass, primarily in the 1- and 2-year class. There is a very definite thermal separation quickly developing (see below) and every white bass we found this morning was suspended above 30′. I set the downriggers between 16-24′ and rigged up with Pet Spoons on 3-armed umbrella rigs to get the job done.
We picked up singles, doubles, and 2 triples, primarily from small suspended schools of anywhere from 5 to 30 fish each.
Around 8:15A, about an acre of loosely schooled white bass began herding threadfin to the surface and popping them individually. We drove from “fish ring” to fish ring (Dominic’s term for the splash pattern made by the feeding fish) and encountered fish routinely as we did so.
Once this action peaked and died, the boys were ready for a change. We had about an hour left, and the boys hung in there for about 45 minutes’ worth of shallow sunfishing before the increasing heat and decreasing enthusiasm let Shauna and I know it was time for a refreshing ride back to the boat ramp. We ended the trip with 32 white bass and another 16 sunfish, including longear, bluegill, and redears.
TALLY: 48 fish caught and released
OBSERVATIONS: Light topwater action at mid-morning over ~1 acre of water with white bass popping individually at the surface in pursuit of threadfin shad. No aggressive schooling. Temperature profile was as follows:
0 feet 84.2
5 feet 85.9
10 feet 86.2
15 feet 86.1
25 feet 81.9
25 feet 79.2
30 feet 77
35 feet 72.5
40 feet 69.9
45 feet 64.4
50 feet 61.7
55 feet 60.1
60 feet 59.2
65 feet 58.7
Start Time: 6:30A
End Time: 10:00A
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 72F
Elevation: 0.54′ high, 0.02′ drop, 1 CFS flow
Water Surface Temp: 84.2F
Wind Speed & Direction: SW7, decreasing to SW3-4
Sky Conditions: 25% white clouds on blue skies
GT = 5
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area SH0079C to HOUSE005 to 539 – downrigging for steady action on suspended schools of whites
**Area SH0019G – about 45 minutes’ of downrigger action fueled by near-surface action easily seen on the near-calm surface as white bass drove shad
**Area 420/421 – sunfish up shallow
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)