WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Monday evening I conducted the 2019 season’s 21st S.K.I.F.F. trip. Joining me was 5-year-old Hazel Gibson and her mom, Jennifer Gibson. Back on August 17th, I fished with Hazel’s two siblings, 8-year-old Riley Gibson and 10-year-old Vince Gibson. Due to the age difference, I thought pairing Hazel’s siblings with one other young man their age would work best, in addition to providing a shorter, less technically demanding trip just for Hazel.
Hazel’s father, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant (E-6) Alan Gibson, has served for 12 years and is currently serving as a scout in a Ft. Hood cavalry unit. SSG Gibson recently received orders sending him to Afghanistan.
This fishing trip was provided to this military family at no charge. S.K.I.F.F. stands for Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun. This program began in May of 2009. It is funded by the donations and fundraising efforts of the Austin Fly Fishers and other organizations they have partnered with. S.K.I.F.F. provides the children of military personnel separated from their families due to duty commitments with the opportunity to go fishing. In mid-2019, SKIFF also began providing trips to dependents whose parents’ military-related disabilities prevent them from taking their own children fishing. I coordinate and conduct these 3.5 to 4 hour adventures on Belton Lake and Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir, just outside the gates of Fort Hood in Bell County, TX, year ’round.
PHOTO CAPTION: 5-year-old Hazel Gibson, daughter of U.S. Army Staff Sergeant (E-6) Alan Gibson and Mrs. Jennifer Gibson of Harker Heights, with two of the 35 fish she landed during a free S.K.I.F.F. outing on Stillhouse Hollow.
WHAT WE FISHED FOR: Sunfish and white bass
WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir
WHEN WE FISHED: 16 September 2019, PM
HOW WE FISHED: I tried to keep it simple tonight while making sure we had fish coming over the side of the boat routinely. We began by sunfishing with a bream pole up in shallow water for the first half of our adventure, resulting in a catch of 30 sunfish, including bluegill, longears, and redears.
When Hazel’s interest in sunfishing dropped off, we headed out to deep water and used downriggers in two distinct areas to catch another 5 white bass and a single largemouth bass.
TALLY: 36 fish caught and released
OBSERVATIONS: The winds reversed 180 degrees over the course of the day today. At sunrise, we had westerly winds around 12mph which swung around to ENE by the start of this evening’s trip as a less than tropical storm-strengthed disturbance in the Gulf moves closer to the Texas coast and is due to impact our weather through mid-day Friday.
Start Time: 5:15pm
End Time: 7:45pm
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 93F
Elevation: 0.81 low, 0.02′ 24-hour fall, 1 CFS flow
Water Surface Temp: 87F
Wind Speed & Direction: ENE9-11 with weather and wind becoming increasingly influenced by an organized low pressure system spinning in the Gulf.
Sky Conditions: 40% cloud cover
GT = 0
#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area SH0134C – 30 sunfish
**Area vic 1150 – 3 white bass and 1 largemouth downrigging with balls set at 20′
**Area vic SH0133C – 2 quality white bass downrigging with balls set at 28′
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)