WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Saturday evening I welcomed the Beavers family aboard. Joining me were James and Andrea, and their 4 kids: William (age 4), Emersyn (age 6), Annistyn (age 8), and Brylynn (age 10), all of Salado, TX. James is employed in the oil and gas industry, and Andrea holds a degree in nursing.
We originally had this trip planned during the COVID-related non-essential business closure and, fortunately, were able to reschedule, which, in retrospect, help us out as the warming water put more fish up shallow than would have been the case on our originally scheduled date.
I chose to conduct this trip on Stillhouse to avoid the congestion and recreational traffic on Lake Belton on a Memorial Day weekend afternoon, and because of Stillhouse’s better population of sunfish.
PHOTO CAPTION: Back row: Dad and mom, James and Andrea. Front row, from left: William, Annistyn, Emersyn, and Brylynn.
WHEN WE FISHED: 23 May, 2020, PM
HOW WE FISHED: With a 6 year age spread, you can imagine the great differences in attention span between the four kids. My goal was to start off with some smaller, more numerous, “instant gratification” sunfish in order to get fish in the boat and build the kids’ confidence, and then move on to tactics requiring a bit more patience in tradeoff for some larger white bass.
This plan worked well, thanks to the capable hands-on assistance by James and Andrea.
We made four stops at similar, shallow water areas looking for sunfish moving up into these warming areas now in the mid-70’s with some fresh aquatic vegetation and some flooded shoreline vegetation (thanks to the reservoir being about a half-foot high).
At each of these locations we used worm fished beneath a float to present these baits to sunfish. Each of the four locations produced multiple fish from 2.75 inches up to 6 inches, including bluegill sunfish, longear sunfish, and green sunfish.
After about 2 hours’ time the novelty of this sort of fishing wore off on the kids, in age order. Once Brylynn lost interest and headed for the snack collection, only James and I were holding rods in our hands and we knew it was time for a transition.
So, we took a boat ride to a new fishing grounds and, using downriggers, quickly hooked up with 3 white bass using a 3-armed umbrella rig equipped with Pet Spoons. Things looked good after that initial success, but the action waned and sent us searching over multiple areas before we connected with our next bunch of fish.
When all was said and done, the kids landed 34 sunfish and 10 white bass, all of which were released to fight again another day.
TALLY: 44 fish caught and released
Start Time: 4:45P
End Time: 8:30P
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 90F
Elevation: 0.52′ high, 0.17′ fall, 565 CFS flow
Water Surface Temp: 76.3F
Wind Speed & Direction: SSE14
Sky Conditions: 40% white cloud cover on a bright sky through 6:45, then a low bank of grey clouds in the west obscured the setting sun.
GT = 55
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area vic 1967, 1572 (2 hops), and 641 for sunfish
**Area vic 754, SH0035C, and 0281 for white bass
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)