A “Double Triple” for the DeLeon Brothers! — 55 Fish

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning I fished a Ft. Hood SKIESUnlimited program trip with the DeLeon brothers, Uziah and Santino, who are headed to 6th and 3rd grade, respectively.  The boys were accompanied by their mom, Rhoda, who signed the boys up for this “Fishing 101” activity from among the many options open to military and DoD kids through the SKIESUnlimited program.  If interested, contact Brenda Brown at 254.287.4592.

From left: Uziah and Santino DeLeon with a “double triple” — that’s 2 sets of 3 fish — 6 fish total, all caught at the same time.  We found very aggressive white bass and largemouth bass feeding under terns in open water as heavily clouded grey skies continued for the fourth day in a row, keeping temperatures low and fish on the prowl.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass and sunfish

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED:  Monday morning, 13 August 2018

HOW WE FISHED:    We started the morning looking for topwater action where it had consistently appeared last week prior to my shift to Belton.  Unfortunately the recent rains had discolored the water a good bit, and the heavy early morning clouds kept the shallows fairly darkened, so, although we saw a few pods of fish feeding, this did not produce for us.  We moved on an did a bit of sunfishing which the boys had looked forward to on their previous trip with me, but which rain had prevented.  After an “intro” to sunfish in which the boys landed 4 fish, we were headed to a second sunfishing area under still-murky conditions thanks to the lingering cloud cover, when I spotted a flock of about a dozen terns feeding over top of topwater feeding whites and largemouth.  This was just right for downrigging.  Over about a 75 minute span, this area produced exactly 40 white bass and a single largemouth bass, included 4 sets of triples (3 fish at a time on a single rod’s 3-armed umbrella rig).  We left about 45 minutes at the end of the trip to do some more sunfishing during which time we landed 10.  We wrapped up right at 10a so Santiago could make it to on-post swimming lessons on time.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:    

TALLY: 55 fish, all caught and released

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:45a

End Time: 10:00a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 73F

Water Surface Temp:   84.1F

Wind Speed & Direction: Calm through 8:40a, then a SW wind tapering up to 9 and slowly shifting through S. to ESE while maintaining a steady velocity.

Sky Conditions: 100% cloud cover

Water Level: 7.19 feet low and rising thanks to locally heavy rains over the weekend

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT:  

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 201 and 203 for sunfish

**Area 1043 to 1512 to 056 – areas triangulating aggressive white bass and largemouth bass feeding under terns in 27-33 feet of water.  Caught via downrigging

 

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingelleTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

Zack Marhover: Recipient of most recent free SKIFF program fishing trip — 50 fish caught!

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning I fished a SKIFF (Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun) program trip with Zack Marhover, age 14, the son of Lieutenant Colonel Eric Marhover.  Zack will head into the 8th grade where he enjoys participating in band and robotics classes.  LTC Marhover has been in the military a total of 28 years and is currently the battalion commander for a military police battalion based at Fort Hood, but which is spread over all of the SW United States.  As a result, he spends about 40% of his time on temporary duty assignments away from Fort Hood and his family, doing his best to be home on the weekends.  Since we planned this trip many weeks in advance, his travel status was unknown at the time of the reservation, and, as it turned out, he was able to join Zack for this experience this past Saturday, although he did not wet a line.

SKIFF serves to put the kids of soldiers on the water at times when duty pulls parents away from their families.  Begun in 2009, SKIFF offers trips free of charge to any military family wherein kids are separated from their parent due to that parent’s military obligations from short-term commitments like gunnery or field time at Ft. Hood, to lengthy deployments, and anything in between.  Simply call me, Bob Maindelle, at 254.368.7411 to reserve a date.

 

14-year-old Zack Marhover caught 50 fish this past Saturday morning during a SKIFF trip provided free of charge to kids who are separated from their parents due to those parents’ military duties.

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass

WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake

WHEN WE FISHED:  Saturday morning, 11 August 2018

HOW WE FISHED:   Although the timing of today’s bite was very similar to yesterday’s (i.e. light surface action up shallow for the first hour, a lull in the second hour, and an open-water surface feed for the 3rd and 4th hour, the intensity of today’s bite was much less than yesterday’s.  I suspect that this is because we had a weather change on Friday, and only a continuation of that weather on this day.  Still, there were lots of fish feeding on the surface making for simple fishing for my young client.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:   Today’s bite followed the same timing as yesterday’s, but lacked the intensity.

TALLY: 50 fish, all caught and released

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:20a

End Time: 10:00a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 73F

Water Surface Temp:   84.1F

Wind Speed & Direction: Calm through 8:40a, then a SW wind tapering up to 9 and slowly shifting through S. to ESE while maintaining a steady velocity.

Sky Conditions: 100% cloud cover

Water Level: 7.75 feet low and rising thanks to locally heavy rains overnight from Fri. to Sat.

GT = 20

Wx SNAPSHOT:  

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  1924 thru 903 – downrigging and casting to surface feeders lightly feeding under low light conditions

**Area  B0098C thru B0099C – open water surface feeding over a 2 hour span

 

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingelleTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

Winds from the West, Fish Bite Best — 208 Fish @ Belton

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning I fished with Mr. Mike White and his friend, Mr. Chris Lester, both returning clients who first came out with me last fall just as the water temperature was beginning to fall steadily.  When Mike booked the trip about a month ago, I let him know that summer fishing, although fairly predictable, does not typically yield the numbers that fall and spring trips to.  He acknowledged this and let me know that his aim was to better understand the tactics needed to pursue summertime fish.

 

Chris Lester with our largest fish of the trip.  With 208 fish landed, only about 6 were hybrid, and just one of those was of legal size.  The white bass certainly dominated the surface bite today.

 

The white bass we caught today were primarily 2-year class fish (~70%) with the balance being smaller 1-year class fish like the one in Mike’s (green shirt) left hand.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass

WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake

WHEN WE FISHED:  Friday morning, 11 August 2018

HOW WE FISHED:   We spent our first 60 minutes throwing popping corks to distinct, small groups of fish (perhaps 30ish in number), which were showing themselves on the surface as they chased shad under low light conditions from 6:30a to 7:30a.  We put 24 fish in the boat during this time and then encountered a lull as the winds were calm and the sky darkened as a band of storms, of which we were on the eastern edge, moved from south to north.  Things were very quiet for about an hour as this weather change occurred, with little topwater action other than by occasional rough fish rolling.  Then, it happened … the winds began to blow from the west, going from 0 to ~12 mph over the next 45 minutes.  As that significant environmental event took place, a massive open water white bass feed began to take place involving thousands of fish spread over many acres.  Groups of several hundred fish would drive young-of-the-year threadfin shad to the surface and feed on them for as long as the baitfish stayed pinned there — typically for 6-10 minutes at a time.  At any given time, 6-10 pods of such activity could be seen across the lake’s surface.   Once the baitfish escaped, another melee would erupt nearby, and so it went until the last shad was consumed at around 11:10am.  During this time, Mike and Chris landed exactly 208 fish including just a handful of short hybrid and one legal hybrid.  Although the popping cork rig produced well, a long-casting 8′ spinning rod combined with a Pflueger Arbor reel and a compact 3/8 oz. slab in a natural baitfish color performed even better primarily because the longer casts provided for more coverage and greater standoff distance from these fish which definitely left about a 40′ “buffer” around the boat when it was being propelled by the trolling motor.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:  This was one of the two most massive feeds I’ve ever witnessed on Lake Belton in 26 years of fishing this body of water.  Spectacular!!  After the west wind began, no more rain fell, although the skies were heavy and grey and it remained quite humid.  All storms passed to our west and from S. to N.

TALLY: 208 fish, all caught and released

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:20a

End Time: 11:10a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 73F

Water Surface Temp:   83.4F

Wind Speed & Direction: Calm through 8:40a, then a W wind tapering up from nil to 12mph over about 40 minutes, then scaling back to ~8mph

Sky Conditions: 100% cloud cover

Water Level: 7.88 feet low

GT = 35

Wx SNAPSHOT:  

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  793 – 1791 topwater action under low light early morning conditions

**Area  174-1463-1391 extended topwater action over open water in conjunction with a weather change

 

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingelleTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

Happy Birthday, David! — 59 Fish on Stillhouse

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning I fished with Mr. David Hudgens of Belton, accompanied by his 13-year-old son, William, and his 11-year-old daughter, Kaylee.  David works in the information technology department at McLane’s in Temple, William is headed to 8th grade where he’s looking forward to continuing to play tennis, and Kaylee heads into 6th grade where she will continue to pursue the sport of soccer.  This fishing trip was a birthday gift to David from his folks, Bill and Debra Hudgens.

Miss Kaylee took the “big fish award” hands down!  This nice largemouth went just shy of 4 pounds and came on a Pet Spoon fished at 34′ over a deeper bottom while we were targeting white bass.  Although it is difficult to tell from this photo, the bass appeared to have recently fed on a single, large fish, possibly a small white bass, as its abdomen was bulging noticeably out to the sides (look at the tip of the pectoral fin).

Although a “triple” eluded us today, the kids landed multiple doubles and singles as the 3-armed umbrella rigs worked their magic behind the Cannons.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED:  Wednesday morning, 08 August 2018

HOW WE FISHED:   We spent our first 90 minutes throwing Cork Rigs to smallish, schooled white bass feeding on young-of-the-year shad in shallow water.  These were young-of-the-year white bass and 1 year class fish, but provided lots of visual, engaging action for the kids and really gave them an opportunity to practice casting with spinning gear under “real-world” conditions.  After this action died, we headed to deeper, clearer water to downrig for the remainder of the morning, visiting 3 distinct areas and catching fish at each one.  As the lack of topwater action by schoolie-sized largemouth would indicate, the fish were not really jazzed this morning, thus, we had to work for the fish we caught.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:  There was a noticeable lack of topwater action by largemouth bass this morning, hence, to find large concentrations of bait and the white bass hanging near them, we had to visit a number of areas and do a lot of looking with sonar.

TALLY: 59 fish, all caught and released

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:40a

End Time: 11:00a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 77F

Water Surface Temp:   83.8F

Wind Speed & Direction: SSW under 5 through 8:15a, then building to SSW12

Sky Conditions: ~10% cloud cover

Water Level: 7.58 feet low

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT:  

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 117 white bass on Cork Rigs under low light; young of the year whites

**Area SH0049C white bass on Cork Rigs under low light; one year whites

**Areas 1968 thru SH0041C, 1440, and 1448 – white bass on downriggers with Pet Spoons on 3-armed umbrella rigs

 

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingelleTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

Black Helicopters Overhead and a Conspiracy to Catch White Bass — 59 Fish

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Monday morning I ran a multi-species trip on Stillhouse Hollow for a gentleman from the Round Rock area and his two sons, ages 7 & 9.  Due to this fellow’s job with Homeland Security, he preferred not to be named, nor to show photos of himself or his family.

Folks often ask what I mean when I refer to white bass being in a certain “year class”.  This simply refers to how long the fish have been in the reservoir since being spawned.  Of the fish shown in this photo, the top fish is right at 13.5 inches and is a “three year” class fish, heading towards its fourth “birthday”.  The fish in the middle is a “two year” class fish of about 11.25 inches in length.  The smallest fish, a “one year” class fish is right at 9.75 inches.  These sizes are fairly normal for our relatively infertile central Texas reservoirs.  In more fertile waters (like those found in east Texas, like Tawakoni, Cedar Creek, Richland-Chambers, and others, growth rates are higher because food is more abundant.

 

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This was a multi-species trip focused on sunfish and white bass

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED:  Monday morning, 07 August 2018

HOW WE FISHED:   We fished for the first hour and 15 minutes following sunrise up in shallow water for small white bass aggressively herding shad to the surface, thus making their whereabouts known.  The boys had very limited prior fishing experience, so, learning to cast with spinning gear was our first prerequisite.  After the first 10-15 minutes both boys were casting unaided and with enough distance and accuracy to land their own fish.  The boys and their father landed 23 white bass.    Once the sun’s angle increased, and with no cloud cover to reduce its intensity, the white bass action on top stopped around 7:45a.  We hit two locations searching for sunfish and found fish at the second stop after finding no fish at our first stop (water was a bit turbid thanks to overnight winds blowing into this area).  The boys landed 17 sunfish.  Our last hour was spent in pursuit of larger, suspended white bass holding at around 34 feet deep.  We accessed these fish with downriggers equipped with Pet Spoons on a pair of 3-armed umbrella rigs.  The boys and their dad landed a total of 18 white bass in the 1 and 2 year class, and a single largemouth at this area.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:  

TALLY: 59 fish, all caught and released

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:30a

End Time: 10:40a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 76F

Water Surface Temp:   84.4F

Wind Speed & Direction: Calm through 7:45am, then starting due south building to 12mph

Sky Conditions: ~10% cloud cover

Water Level: 7.48 feet low

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT:  

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 093 – small white bass caught from surface-feeding schools of fish on Cork Rigs.

**Area 420 – sunfish

**Area 1242-SH0047C – downrigging for white bass with one largemouth

 

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingelleTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

Mixed Bag Angling for a Mixed-Ages Crew — 68 Fish on Stillhouse

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Wednesday morning I fished with Dave K. and his family from Round Rock, TX, including his wife, his 6-year-old daughter, and his twin 3-year-old sons.  Dave requested I not post photos/last names, so, instead of the normal family photos I typically illustrate these posts with, I’ve included some sonar screen shots, instead.

Topwater action generated by schoolie-sized largemouth led us to find white bass feeding on the same bait in the same general area on a deep flat.  Downriggers were very effective at presenting multiple baits which imitated the forage size well.  Multiple baits yielded multiple hookups.  This DownScan screenshot taken from my Lowrance HDS16 Carbon shows just a small patch of the bottom which was blanketed with hundreds of white bass.

This screen shot was also taken off of my Lowrance HDS16 Carbon with the FishReveal technology turned on, thus placing colored sonar images overtop of the DownScan screen.  All the fish are shown by the DownScan in light blue, and those fish directly under the boat showed in shades ranging from green (most intense echo) to yellow, then red, then purple-blue (in order of decreasing return-echo strength).

After the bite died and I dropped my clients off at the end of their trip, I returned to the area where we had found our white bass.  I found that the fish moved off the flat they were feeding on and were holding, suspended, over the river channel totally disinterested in feeding.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This was a multi-species trip focused on sunfish and white bass

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED:  Wednesday morning, 01 August 2018

HOW WE FISHED:   We fished for the first 2 of 3 hours in three distinct locations for sunfish, catching a total of 40 sunfish of 3 different species: redear, bluegill, and longear.  In our third and final hour I spotted largemouth bass herding bait to the surface over open water.  I moved into these fish, found white bass in the lower third of the water column feeding on the same small shad the largemouth were pushing around and deployed twin downriggers with 3-armed umbrella rigs set to present just a few feet above the white bass.  We landed 28 white bass in right at an hour’s time as they came in as multiple singles, multiple doubles, and multiple triples.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:  

TALLY: 68 fish, all caught and released

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:30a

End Time: 9:30a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 66F

Water Surface Temp:   82.9F

Wind Speed & Direction: Calm through 8:15am, then starting NNW building to 7mph

Sky Conditions: 0% cloud cover

Water Level: 7.18 feet low

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT:  

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 201, 888, 420 – sunfishing for the first 2 hours or so under low light, and while waiting for wind to build; 40 sunfish

**Area vic 1512 to 1951 – very aggressive, schooled, suspended white bass holding in lower third of the water column beneath schoolie-sized largemouth; caught 2 largemouth and 26 white bass coming in singles, multiple doubles, and multiple triples

 

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingelleTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

Kinda Like Fly Fishing — 57 Fish with AJ Cotto

WHO I FISHED WITH:    This morning I fished with AJ Cotto.  AJ is a 12-year-old whose parents are both in the military.  AJ and his sister fished with me last July 4th, on a Kids Fish, Too! trip, accompanied by his parents.  This morning, his college-aged brother, Jose, came along as a spectator while AJ did all the fishing.  Due to some recent travel in from the west coast which involved a lot of hotel-hopping, AJ’s body and sleep patterns were all a bit off.  By request, we began the trip 30 minutes later than normal and (again, by request) fished for only 2.5 hours.  Regardless, AJ did very well, and, thanks to an incoming cold front, enjoyed the best fishing of the day in the shortened time we were on the water.

 

ABOVE: White bass were forcing young-of-the-year shad (top half of photo) to the surface this morning very aggressively in a pre-frontal feed which lasted for 2 hours before the wind shifted to the north.  Most fish we landed regurgitated shad they had eaten.  Once particularly successful white bass actually belched up 16 such shad.  We used  hand-tied streamers (bottom half of photo) to very closely mimic this forage and AJ proceeded to “wear ’em out”.

AJ Cotto with one of the many white bass he landed during a topwater feeding spree after quickly learning to use spinning gear to cast our “float ‘n’ fly” rig.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Monday morning, 30 July 2018

HOW WE FISHED:  We enjoyed 2+ solid hours of topwater fishing for white bass feeding on young of the year shad on the surface.  These small baitfish were about 0.75 inches in length, so, I rigged a weighted popping cork (to provide weight for casting distance) with a hand-tied streamer selected to match the forage size, and a fluorocarbon leader.  I then provided AJ with instruction on how to cast a spinning outfit (which he’d not done before).  AJ’s distance and accuracy slowly improved and, in the end, he wound up putting 54 fish in the boat before an incoming cold front shut the fishing down hard.  After that occurred, we downrigged for 3 more fish before his mom arrived back to pick him up around 9:30am.  These fish we caught on topwater were smaller yearling fish, but just right for our scenario.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:  1) A mid-summer cold front moved in around 9:10am, shifting the wind suddenly.  The north winds blew for 2 more days before returning to the SE on Thursday, 02 Aug.  The pre-dawn temperature on Wednesday morning, 01 Aug. was 66F. 2) This week’s temperature profile was as follows:

0 feet 86.5°

5 feet 86.5°

10 feet 86.5°

15 feet 86.5°

20 feet 86.5°

25 feet 86.5°

30 feet 85°

35 feet 80.3°

40 feet 74.3°

45 feet 68.4°

50 feet 65.1°

55 feet 62.8°

60 feet 61.1°

TALLY: 68 fish, all caught and released

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:00a

End Time: 9:30a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 76F

Water Surface Temp:   86.5F

Wind Speed & Direction: SW4-5 through 9:10am, then shifting suddenly NNW12-13 with the arrival of a summer cold front’s leading edge

Sky Conditions: 20% cloud cover prior to the front’s arrival, then 100% grey cloud cover as the front arrived, with partial clearing to 80% cover within 20 minutes after the front’s arrival

Water Level:  7.09 feet low

GT = 5

Wx SNAPSHOT:  (which did not accurately forecast the timing of the cold front’s arrival)

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area SH0049C – two solid hours of non-stop surface action by 1-year class white bass.

**Area vic 1888 – downrigging in deeper, clearer water after the cold front’s wind shift killed the topwater bite; 1 white and 2 largemouth in 3 passes

 

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingelleTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MICAH! — 68 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:   This morning, Saturday, July 28th, I conducted a “Kids Fish, Too!” trip for two young men from the Morgans Point area — Micah Briggs and Jacob Sullivan.  Both boys were accompanied by their dads, Stan Briggs, who makes his living in commercial real estate, and Joe Sullivan, a psychologist.  This trip was in celebration of Micah’s birthday.  Stan and his wife, Becca, decided to give this a try after friends of theirs had a good experience with doing a birthday fishing outing for their son, Luke Phillips, back in May of 2017 as he turned 8.

 

Back row, from left: Stan Briggs and Joe Sullivan; front row, from left: Micah Briggs and Jacob Sullivan with the first two white bass of the morning taken via downrigging at mid-morning, just after the wind began to move the water.  Gamefish activity was subdued until the wind began to blow.

 

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This was a multi-species trip focused on sunfish and white bass

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Saturday morning, 28 July 2018

HOW WE FISHED:  Given the age and limited prior experience of the two boys, we focused on sunfish early while the sunfish were shallow and abundant in the low-light conditions.  We fished successfully in under 6′ along the edge of hydrilla with slipfloats.  After the wind began to build, we checked two areas intending to fish for white bass with downriggers.  The first area held bait and fish, but we got no response as seen on sonar.  Our second and final stop for white bass produced consistently from 8:20 through 9:50 and yielded 22 white bass all of which were 2 and 3 year class fish with healthy proportions.  All came as singles and doubles on 3-armed umbrella rigs with Pet Spoons on the business end.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES: The white bass bite did not begin this morning until the wind began to blow and had a chance to move the water for about 20 minutes or so, around 8:20a.  Despite similar conditions this morning as compared to yesterday morning, the bait was definitely more relaxed today, appearing “blanketed” over the bottom as opposed to being balled up and suspended as was the case yesterday.

TALLY: 68 fish, all caught and released

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:30a

End Time: 10:00a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 77F

Water Surface Temp:   85.8F

Wind Speed & Direction: Calm through 8:00am, then starting W3 and building to W6-7

Sky Conditions: <10% cloud cover

Water Level:  6.98 feet low

GT = 45

Wx SNAPSHOT:  

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 201 – sunfishing for the first 90 minutes or so under low light, and while waiting for wind to build; 46 sunfish

**Area vic 1969 to SH0048C – scattered but willing white bass taken as singles and doubles via downrigging with balls set 2-8′ above fish; 22 white bass

 

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingelleTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

Ah, The Old Triple-Triple Trick! — 92 Fish with the Bearry Family

WHO I FISHED WITH:   This morning, Friday, July 27th, I fished with Mr. Steve Bearry and his sons, 16-year-old John, and 15-year-old David.  Mrs. Susan Bearry coordinated the trip, kicked the boys out the door early and, no doubt, enjoyed a little peace and quiet.   In the meantime, “the boys” and I tore ’em up on Stillhouse this morning under very favorable high pressure, stable, “cookie cutter” weather further enhanced by a westerly breeze.

On three separate occasions we landed a “triple”, consisting of 3 fish caught on a single three-armed umbrella rig at the same time.  David landed two of the triples and John got the other, hence, a “Triple-Triple”.

 

 

This was a quick snapshot of our third “triple” of the day, courtesy of John Bearry.  A triple occurs when each of the lures on the 3-armed umbrella rig catches a fish, thus allowing 3 fish to be landed on one rod.  During the summer months I typically downrig with a pair of such rigs deployed, thus having 6 baits in the water at any given time.

 

From left: Steve, John, and David Bearry with a few of the 92 fish we landed this morning.  We caught smaller fish (one year class) early on in our first hour, then got a mix of fish, consisting mainly of 2 year class fish, during the remainder of the morning.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Friday morning, 27 July 2018

HOW WE FISHED:  As with most summer trips with solid results, we downrigged to find ’em, then capitalized on what we found by using Spot Lock through the i-Pilot Link system after placing a cursor on the Humminbird Solix 15 screen and giving the trolling motor a command to stop on top of schooled, bottom-oriented fish; we then worked vertically for as long as the school would tolerate our presence.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES: As the temperature eased back to around 99 or 100 degree highs the past two afternoons, the water surface temperature fell, as well, going from 87.3 down to 85.5 this morning.  The westerly breeze definitely coincided with better fishing today, as we observed a full 90 minutes of sporadic topwater action over  large tracts of water.  The bait is growing out well; soon a bump up in Pet Spoon size will be appropriate.

TALLY: 92 fish, all caught and released

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:40a

End Time: 10:50a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 77F

Water Surface Temp:   85.5F

Wind Speed & Direction: Due W under 7 the entire trip

Sky Conditions: <10% cloud cover

Water Level:  6.92 feet low

GT = 40

Wx SNAPSHOT:  

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area SH0026C through SH0027C – slow fishing at early morning for smaller fish

**Area  1524 through 1515 – slow fishing at early morning for smaller fish

**Area SH0041C to 1241 to SH0047C – accounted for a majority of our fish via downrigging and vertical work

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingelleTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

What is a “Kids Fish, Too!” Trip? — 74 Fish with the Capner Kids

WHO I FISHED WITH:   This morning, Wednesday, July 25th, I fished a “Kids Fish, Too!” trip with the Capner siblings including Alden (age 10), Elijah (age 9), Jasmine (age 9), and Trinity (age 6).  Mr. De Carson of Temple, TX, is friends with the kids’ grandparents and offered to treat the kids to a morning fishing trip while their grandparents volunteered in a ministry they all serve at.

My “Kids Fish, Too!” trips are intended just for kids (only), although parents, grandparents, chaperones, etc. are welcome to come along to assist me.  These trips are less expensive than adult trips, they are shorter than adult trips, and we focus on quantity over quality, hence, sunfish are a part of our quarry on most Kids Fish, Too! trips.  These are just right for elementary-aged kids and their shorter attention spans and (typically) limited prior experience.  The summer break from June through August is the best time for taking younger kids, although our mild central Texas climate typically produces kid-friendly fishing right on into early October.

 

 

Oldest brother Alden, age 10, with two of the 76 fish he and his siblings landed on this morning’s Kids Fish, Too! trip to Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir.  These two fish were part of a “triple” Alden landed (three fish at one time, each on one of the three Pet Spoons on our downrigged umbrella rig).

 

Elijah, age 9, chipped in with a mess of white bass and sunfish of his own.  Elijah really excelled at vertical jigging as he kept focused and got the hang of the retrieval cadence right off the bat.

 

 

Jasmine, age 9, landed the largest of our 40 sunfish with this nice bluegill/redear hybridized sunfish which went 7.25 inches in length and weighed over a quarter-pound.

 

Trinity, age 6, with her first white bass.  It was caught on a downrigger using a Pet Spoon selected to match the size of the forage fish we saw all over the surface of the lake this morning.

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass and sunfish

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Wednesday morning, 25 July 2018

HOW WE FISHED: Today we started small and worked our way up in size and technical complexity.  We began the day’s adventure with each kid wielding a bream pole with a fixed length of line, a single hook, a small split shot, and a float which helped suspend pieces of worm over the areas we fished for sunfish.  It looked like a scene out of Huckleberry Finn.  The kids got the hang of watching for the float to submerge and responding quickly with an upward lift of the pole, and from that point on it was non-stop catching.  I moved the boat only one time, and then only a few yards, as the kids amassed a catch of 40 sunfish before the novelty of that portion of our trip wore off.  Among the sunfish were longears, bluegills, and redears.

With a solid start under our belt and the need for “instant gratification” met, we took it up a notch and pursued larger fish in the form of white bass, first by using downriggers.  We started with the youngest (Trinity), and worked our way up to the oldest (Alden), making sure each had a chance at catching one of these freshwater pelagics.

As we were downrigging, I noted an abundance of fish congregated on or near bottom in a number of the locations we downrigged over as we covered water quickly and efficiently.  I felt our chances of being able to stop over top of these fish and work for them vertically was pretty high, thus began the third chapter of our trip.  I used Spot Lock connected to my Humminbird Solix 15 via the i-Pilot Link system to pin us right on top of one of the schools of fish holding at around 38′.  We got light spinning outfits geared up with tailspinners down to the fish and the white bass really put on a show for the kids.  We landed fish after fish until the kids just wore out thanks, in part, to the light winds and increasing heat under cloudless skies.

Now, with only the two boys remaining interested in fishing, we closed out our trip by doing one more run with the downriggers, this time starting with Alden, then alternating back and forth with his brother until, finally, they, too, were ready to call it a good morning with exactly 76 fish landed including 40 sunfish and 36 white bass.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES: Yesterday’s north wind subsided just after sunset last night, leaving near-calm conditions this morning.   We focused on sunfish until the forecast SE wind began to ripple the surface around 8:00am.  Around this time, gamefish quickly ramped up their feeding, as evidenced by at least light surface activity taking place in any direction one looked.  The feed went strong until about 9:30 and then tapered off quickly

TALLY: 76 fish, all caught and released

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:30a

End Time: 10:00a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 76F

Water Surface Temp:   87.3F

Wind Speed & Direction: SE under 3 the entire trip, despite easterly breezes being forecast

Sky Conditions: <10% cloud cover

Water Level:  6.82 feet low

GT = 10

Wx SNAPSHOT:  

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 201 – sunfish

**Area SH0048C to SH0041C to 1221- downrigging for white bass, followed by vertical work once fish were found congregated, then reverting to downrigging for “mop up”

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingelleTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle