SLOW BUT STEADY — 22 FISH @ STILLHOUSE

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Tuesday, February 23rd, I fished with father and son pair Michael and Joey English who drove in from Leander, TX.

Michael is retired from the City of Austin where he worked in several of the city’s drinking water plants, and Joey is in high school.

I presented the option several days in advance to pursue either quantities of fish at Belton or quality fish at Stillhouse, and, since Michael indicated the two had done their fair share of fishing previously, they opted for quality fish at Stillhouse.

 

 

PHOTO CAPTION: Deep water and slow presentations were the key to getting bit once again this morning.  100% of our fish came on a slowly moved 3/8 oz. Hazy Eye Slab with stinger hook.  Over 50% of the catch was made on the stinger.  P.S. – I promise you Joey was fully awake — he just had the sun in his eyes!!

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday (AM), 23 February 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

Today’s fishing played out much the same as yesterday’s.  Cold water is definitely dragging on the fishing and will for a while to come.

We enjoyed the assistance of some birds (mainly gulls) in helping to generally locate active fish in the first 70 minutes following sunrise.  The fish these birds led us to stayed biting until around 9:30A.  The fish we caught were all out of small packs of 12-30 fish each.  For every 4 or 5 of these “packs” we had move slowly under the boat, we encountered one pack from which we could raise 4 or 5 fish and get 1 or perhaps 2 of them to actually bite.  This made the fishing slow, but steady.

Side imaging was crucial to finding these “packs” of fish spread over the large areas of bottom signaled by the birds.

Because aggressive fish were in such short supply due to the still-cold water, I tried to coordinate working together to double or triple up after a single hookup briefly excited other nearby fish, and we had some success at this.

The go-to tactic was S-L-O-W-L-Y smoking my smallest slab — the 3/8 oz. version of the Hazy Eye Slab — upward and away from pursuing fish to give the appearance of forage escaping.  Fish, although moving slowly, were not densely populating areas sufficiently to make snap jigging profitable.

Once we passed 9:30, the wind was still very light and the fishing took a dive for about an hour.  Around 10:30, a sudden WSW breeze started blowing at 14 and, about 20 minutes thereafter, the fish turned on for a while longer.  This was certainly not an aggressive feed, but, a return to the slow but steady catch rate we’d enjoyed earlier in the morning.

For our efforts, we boated 22 fish this morning, and missed another 8 as Michael and Joey worked to get the timing down on hooksetting on these slow-biting fish.

Hazy Eye Slabs, MAL Lures, and Stinger Hooks are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 22 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:   Working together to double or triple up after a single hookup briefly excites other nearby fish is something that can be exploited by experienced anglers.  We did this to a limited extent today.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  7 A

End Time: 11:40 A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 39F

Elevation:  0.53′ high with a 0.01’ 24-hour drop and 1 CFS flow thru the dam.

Water Surface Temp: 47.3F 

Wind Speed & Direction:  Light and variable from the E through 9:45A, then picking up quickly to SSW14 thereafter

Sky Condition: Cloudless blue skies

Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous moon at 83% illumination

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT:  

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Productive Areas:

1536 thru 0098 – moderate action on slabs by chunky white bass in first 2.5 hours of the morning with bird assistance.

SH0102C to SH0092C – over channel

 

Bob Maindelle

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

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

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