WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Tuesday, August 23rd, I fished with Mr. Lynn Barnett of Gatesville, TX.
Lynn and I first met when he brought me onboard to do a sonar training session earlier this year. As he began to follow my reports and see the success I have through the summer using downriggers, he asked me to help him to use his own downriggers better.
We agreed that having him come aboard my boat to see both my own downriggers, and the accessories I use along with them, would be the the best bet.
My next open date will be on September 14th.
Here is how the fishing went …
PHOTO CAPTION: Triple!! That what Lynn Barnett of Gatesville started this morning’s downrigging tutorial fishing trip off with.
VIDEO CAPTION: After finding aggressive white bass using downriggers and side-imaging, we got to the “center of mass” of the school we’d found quickly and worked MAL Dense Lures (white body/chartreuse tail) through them for quite a while. This is a 2-fish catch sequence is taken off Garmin LiveScope via the ActiveCaptain app.
WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow
WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday, 23 August 2022
HOW WE FISHED:
Before Lynn’s trip, I’d mentally pieced together an “outline” of the points I wanted to be sure to explain and demonstrate to him. Those things included:
1. Where I mounted my downriggers and why I mounted them there.
2. The importance of using a heavy ball.
3. The release clip I’ve crafted just for white bass.
4. Adjusting sonar to see the downrigger balls and thermocline.
5. The mounting and use of a Retro-Ease Weight Retriever.
6. The construct of my 3-armed umbrella rigs.
7. The selection and use of the downrigging-specific rods and reels I use.
8. Setback distance for the lures used for white bass.
9. Methods for lowering the ball efficiently.
10. Methods for adjusting ball depth up or down after deployment.
11. Boat control considerations to prevent running over your line when a fish is hooked.
12. What interested vs. disinterested fish look like on sonar (DI and 2D).
13. Using downrigging as a search tool for congregations of active fish.
14. Maintaining ideal boat speed.
15. When to downrig vs. when to stop and work vertically and/or horizontally.
16. The “season” for downrigging.
As we worked through all of these things, we had twin downriggers running, each equipped with 3-armed umbrella rigs. Our very first hookup of the morning was a triple — one white bass on each of the three lures on the umbrella rig.
We went on to take additional singles and doubles, as well.
At one point, the density of fish showing both below us and out to our deeper, port side, was such that I pointed out to Lynn that we would do better to stop and work MAL Dense Lures as the time and effort it would take to rig up, catch one or two, reel them in, turn the boat around, line up on the fish, etc. would be much greater than simply sitting in their presence and catching them.
We caught fish very steadily, first vertically, then, once the vertical bite soured, we took them horizontally with the sawtooth method. Once the sawtooth method failed to produce and side-imaging showed the fish were thinning out, we resumed downrigging, this time with Lynn setting everything up and adjusting ball depth on the fly.
By 9:30AM Lynn had seen all he’d come to see and landed exactly 50 white bass doing it. We headed back in, dropped him off so he could get back to the shop in Gatesville, while I headed back out and took advantage of the cloud cover and cooler temperatures to do some scouting.
Our tally of 50 fish consisted of 49 legal white bass, and 1 short.
TALLY: 50 fish caught and released
OBSERVATIONS: The mild cold front which caused the record-setting 9+ inches of rain in the DFW area on Sunday and Monday and which dropped 1/2″ of rain here yesterday continued to cause a mild NW breeze at 6-7 mph with abundant grey cloud cover.
Start Time: 7:00A
End Time: 9:30A
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 73F
Elevation: 8.59 feet low, 0.01′ rise in last 24 hours, 1 CFS flow
Water Surface Temp: 83F
Wind Speed & Direction: NW6-7
Sky Condition: 95-100% grey clouds
Moon Phase: Waxing crescent moon at 13% illumination.
GT = 4
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
Area SH0213G – 39 fish found by d’rig, then caught with vert. & horiz. MAL Dense work
Area 874/876 – final 11 fish taken by downrigging only on multiple passes thru this area
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)
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