WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Saturday, August 29th, I fished with brothers Stiles and Miles Parker from the Austin area.
Stiles works in the building supply industry, and Miles works in the custom auto industry. The two share a boat and do a bit of fishing on their own, usually on Decker Lake east of Austin. Today was, at their request, more of a learning trip than a catching trip, although the catching went very well.
PHOTO CAPTION #1: Stiles (left) and Miles Parker with a few of the white bass we downrigged for early in the morning before the vertical bite kicked in allowing us to work MAL Lures beneath the boat for even more fish.
PHOTO CAPTION #2: Miles with a rare 16.25 inch long white bass. I see 15,000 to 18,000 fish come over the side of my boat each year from Belton and Stillhouse, and not 3 of them will reach this size — a real prize!
WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow
HOW WE FISHED: The first 75 minutes of the morning was straight downrigging with 3-armed umbrella rigs equipped with Pet Spoons. As the skies brightened and the wind picked up from the S, then swung SSW, the bite improved as the fish moved onto a deep flat with largemouth working shad near the surface, and white bass working shad near bottom.
We swapped back and forth between downrigging to find concentrations of bottom-hugging white bass and Spot-Locking atop them to work MAL Lures (white and chartreuse — it didn’t matter which) through them vertically. The fellows were really blown away as I introduced them to Garmin LiveScope technology.
With the settings set where I have them, we were able to see all of our lures simultaneously, as well as several feet fore and aft of the boat down in ~40 feet of water. This allowed us to see schools of white bass cruising toward us, thus allowing us to time the rise of our MAL Lures precisely to get bit — just like “leading” a flying bird while shooting a shotgun. On multiple occasions we had large, dense schools of white bass (several hundred in number) bass directly beneath us. Stiles nicknamed these “mosh pit whites”.
Whenever the action slowed, we downrigged, found more fish tight to the bottom, and then switched over to vertical work once again. The bite was just about done as 10:30 rolled around, so, once our 70th fish came over the gunwale around that time, we called it an “educational” morning, and headed on in.
TALLY: 70 fish caught and released (69 white bass, 1 largemouth bass)
OBSERVATIONS: Black bass on top meant white bass on bottom.
Start Time: 6:30A
End Time: 10:35A
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 79F
Elevation: 2.80′ low, -0.04′ 24-hour change, 1 CFS flow
Water Surface Temp: 84.0F
Wind Speed & Direction: S4-5 through around 8:45, then increasing to 8-9 and shifting SSW.
Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous with 86% illumination
GT = 65
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1976 to SH0031G to 854 – downrigging with balls around 29 for suspended fish
**Area 070 – first stop for vertical work with MAL Lures
**Area vic SH0033G – vicinity of widespread largemouth/white bass action
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