WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Monday, August 31st, I fished with first-time guest Mark Kieckhafer who brought his 2 sons, Zach (17) and Connor (16), and his girlfriend’s 2 sons, Mason Severn (14), and Griffin Severn (12).
Mark, who has worked for Wilsonart, a decorative laminate manufacturer, in Temple, for over 20 years now, came in a support role to help me help the boys be successful.
PHOTO CAPTION #1: Zach Kieckhafer, Connor Kieckhafer, Mason Severn, and Griffin Severn with a portion of our 51 fish take this morning on Stillhouse.
WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir
HOW WE FISHED: Given the boys’ ages, their prior fishing experience, and how the fishing went this past weekend, I thought we’d be better off at Stillhouse today in pursuit of quality white bass.
TALLY: 51 fish caught and released (50 white bass, 1 freshwater drum)
OBSERVATIONS: Largemouth on top, white bass on bottom for middle 2 hours of the trip. A flock of ~6-7 terns helped us stay on fish in the choppy water, complete with occasional whitecaps.
TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES: I could basically cut-and-paste Saturday’s notes here with little variation. Thanks to stable weather, the fish did the same things at the same times and in the same places as they did over the weekend again today.
We began downrigging for suspended fish found in splintered wolfpacks through about 7:50, taking those fish on twin 3-armed umbrella rigs equipped with Pet Spoons worked at 27-30 feet.
By 7:50, there was enough light on the water to get the deep bite going on bottom, and abundant shad schools began to show there, as well.
We used MAL Lures in conjunction with Garmin LiveScope to “zig when we needed to zig” — as the LiveScope certainly helps the angler in correctly timing the rise of his bait off bottom so as to intersect with fish moving horizontally. It seemed the chartreuse MAL Lure had a bit of an edge over the white, perhaps due to the grey cloud cover which was in greater abundance today than over the weekend.
I emphasized over and over to the boys that, when working vertically for white bass, technique is everything. I provided examples and gentle reminders about using the proper cadence, about how to start the MAL Lure’s blade spinning, how to keep fish from dropping off at the boat, and more. By the last half of the trip all four boys were remaining tangle-free and landing just about every fish that hit.
The bite weakened around 9:45 — it took us nearly 25 minutes via downrigging to land our last two fish (which turned into 3 fish) as we tried to get our tally to 50 before wrapping up, as the vertical bite completely fell apart by then.
Start Time: 6:30A
End Time: 10:15A
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 82F
Elevation: 2.89′ low, -0.04′ 24-hour change, 1 CFS flow
Water Surface Temp: 83.8F
Wind Speed & Direction: SSW8 prior to sunrise, slowly increasing to SSW 13, then gusting .
Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous with 97% illumination
GT = 55
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 854 – SH0058C – low light downrigging
**Area 062-194 – vertical work with MAL Lures for whites under largemouth
**Area 1427 – vertical work with MAL Lures for whites under largemouth
**Area 258 – last 2 fish caught here on the slope from among a larger, disinterested group
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) Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com