On Friday morning, February 3, I welcomed aboard eight-year-old Jackson Rogers, chaperoned by his grandfather, Dwight Stone, for a 3.5 hour “Kids Fish, Too!” fishing trip in celebration of his eighth birthday.
“Kids Fish, Too!” trips are less expensive and shorter in duration than my standard trips, and all of the focus of the trip is on the children’s success.
Here is how the fishing went…

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Next available dates are Feb. 5, 6, 7, & 8 (AMs)

PHOTO CAPTION: This 4.25-pound largemouth was a personal best for Jackson.  He lured it in, hooked it, fought it, and brought it to net all by himself.


PHOTO CAPTION: That is a pair of bonafide 15″ white bass, considered trophy class fish by TPWD, taken just 40 minutes apart under cool conditions with a diminishing fog.  The fish both struck a white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED: Friday, 02 Feb. 2023 (AM)


As water temperatures continue to rise, thanks to slightly above average temperatures for February for several consecutive days, and nighttime temperatures overnight in the low 60s,  a noticeable uptick in fish activity levels has been apparent.


We got off to a great start right at 8 AM with a light south breeze and fairly heavy gray cloud cover.


Jackson quickly got the hang of the slow-smoking tactic.


While sitting atop a feeding school of white bass, Jackson landed his first three fish after getting the hang of smoothly and continuously reeling his white, 5/8 ounce Bladed Hazy Eye Slab.


No sooner did we begin firing on all eight cylinders, then an unexpected, heavy fog moved in, and, quite literally, put a damper on things . We struggled for the next 30 minutes as what was a brightening sky began to darken once again, bird activity slowed to nearly zero, and the bite soured.


Slowly, the skies brightened, even though the fog remained, and the fish began to start feeding again, as did the birds, although we nearly had to be directly beneath any birds to actually see them due to the fog’s thickness. We only fished three locations all morning with the fishing getting gradually more productive at each one.


By the time the fog finally lifted just after 11 AM, the bite was on a downhill slide.


Boom-Pa, as Jackson refers to Dwight, and I both thought Jackson was just about done around 11:10 or so with 47 fish to his credit. We weren’t sure if he was going to get up and grab a rod again after mentioning that his wrist was sore, and sitting down to take a granola mix break.


I challenged him to make it an even 50 fish or to fish until 11;30, whichever came first.  By 11:25, Jackson had landed his 50th fish of the trip and began to rally. He asked if we could stay a little longer so that he could catch 52 fish. Of course, we did just that, and headed in around 11:35.


Although Jackson may not have set the hook on every one of those 52 fish, he did reel each one in and hoisted each one over the gunwale to me. His catch included 47 white bass, two of which measured right at 15 inches, two largemouth bass, the largest of which was 4.25 pounds, and three freshwater drum.


Before leaving the parking lot, Dwight made plans to do this same thing in May for his granddaughter, Jemma who will turn 10, and we kicked around dates in September to do likewise for his grandson,  who will turn five.


Here is a tutorial on the snap-jigging method … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGtrnAQ_T94&t=55s


Here is a tutorial on the slow-smoking tactic … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIPopSLUYoQ

TALLY: 52 fish caught and released.


OBSERVATIONS: Here was the water temperature profile taken down to 50′ on 02 Feb.:

0 feet,52.6F
5 feet, 51.4F
10 feet, 50.0F
15 feet, 49.9F
20 feet, 49.9F
25 feet, 49.5F
30 feet, 49.2F
35 feet, 48.8F
40 feet, 48.7F
45 feet, 48.4F
50 feet, 48.3F


Start Time: 8A

End Time: 11:35A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 61F

Elevation: 17.23 feet low

Water Surface Temp: 52.6F on the surface.

Wind Speed & Direction: S4-9 all morning

Sky Condition: Grey skies quickly turning into a morning-long fog

Moon Phase: Waning crescent moon at 45% illumination.

GT = 5




Area 1950 – 3 fish slow-smoking with the white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab
Area SH0083C/2020 – 23 fish slow-smoking with the white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab
Area SH0268G – 26 fish fish slow-smoking with the white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab


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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