WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Monday, Dec. 28th, I fished with Gary & Rachel Davidson, and their teenaged sons, Elijah and Micah Garrett, all from Kerrville, TX.
This was Gary’s fourth trip with me since early October, and Rachel’s third. Since the boys were joining them for the first time, and given the season, water temperature, and weather all factored in, I thought fishing Stillhouse would serve us best. It typically means fewer, but much better quality, fish.
Once again, the weather I anticipated based on the forecast when I went to bed was not what we experienced this morning. I was expecting a cloudy but dry day with winds from the NNE at 8-9. What we got was a damp fog with occasional drizzle, and a lack of breeze, save for a few unsustained puffs from the ENE. Perhaps I need to go to bed later!?!
Anyway, if I had to be on Belton or Stillhouse under these conditions at this time of year, I would definitely prefer Stillhouse as it seems to produce in a pinch in the winter.
PHOTO CAPTION #1: Over ten pounds of bass came aboard in under 15 seconds! Rachel landed this 3.25 pound fish as Gary tangled with this 7.00 pounder simultaneously. The fish were taken in 42 feet of water on a 5/8 oz. white Hazy Eye Slab with stinger hook attached.
PHOTO CAPTION #2: This was just for starters! We met at 7:30A, and took this photo just after 8:00A as we were about to leave our first area fished. The Davidsons wound up putting 102 fish in the boat over the course of the morning.
WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow
WHEN WE FISHED: Monday (AM), 28 December 2020
HOW WE FISHED:
The weather definitely had the fish in granite gear this morning. We really had to work to put our fish in the boat this morning, and face an abnormally high “rejection rate” on lures presented well which were just completely refused by the fish.
Birds were somewhat helpful in that on a few occasions they would circle up high over large expanses holding fish, but, they rarely dove down to feed, and, if it were not for sonar, we would have been hard-pressed to figure just where the fish were even when the birds gave us some clues.
We found fish in small bunches roaming the deep flats were much harder to catch than fish more tightly congregated on breaklines. As usual, the brighter the grey sky got, and the better the breeze pushed, the more fish we landed.
Although we gave bladebaits a try for a short while, landing 2 fish and missing 2 more on them, the remainder of our fish came on the 5/8 oz. white Hazy Eye Slab with stinger hook attached. The majority of our catch was hooked with the stinger, as is typical for Dec. – early March fishing.
One major observation made today was that, even with 8-foot rods, the distance we needed to move our lures up off bottom was higher than everyone could consistently, smoothly lift their lures to. So, we adjusted by simply reeling the lures upward at a slow rate intended to match the rate of rise we’d successfully lured our fish off bottom with. As soon as we implemented this change, our catch rate improved considerably.
We ended up with 102 fish, including several white bass exceeding 15 inches, and one exceeding 16 inches. In addition to the two nice largemouth shown in the photo, Gary also landed another 4.75 pounder.
Hazy Eye Slabs and Stinger Hooks are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/
TALLY: 102 fish caught and released
OBSERVATIONS: 1) Even with 8-foot rods, the distance we needed to move our lures up off bottom was higher than everyone could consistently, smoothly lift their lures to. So, we adjusted by simply reeling the lures upward at a slow rate intended to match the rate of rise we’d successfully lured our fish off bottom with. As soon as we implemented this change, our catch rate improved considerably. 2) Edge/breakline fishing was much more productive than flats fishing.
Start Time: 8:00A
End Time: 1:45P
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 49F
Elevation: 1.26 high with a 0.02’ 24-hour fall and 1 CFS flow thru the dam
Water Surface Temp: 53.8F
Wind Speed & Direction: Light and variable under 4mph from ENE
Sky Condition: Dark grey with fog and mist all morning
Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous moon at 97% illumination
GT = 120
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Areas 1312, 0101/0270, 0287/1301, SH0034G (blades between here and channel), SH0096C/1358, SH0005C, 1515
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
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