Today I fished with father and son team Larry and Brett L. Larry serves as an assistant football coach at Lampasas High School and Brett works at the Wildflower Country Club and golf course in Temple.
Father and son fishing means father and son results. Here Brett (L) and Larry (R) lip one of the many 13-14+ inch white bass we boated today.
Larry and Brett had both done a good bit of white bass fishing in the past, having fished the spawning run in the Sabine River and Angelina River, and having fished in the slack water of Lake Livingston.
We had a stiff constant northwest breeze today which got the fish going early and kept them going until beyond 11 AM. Our first success of the morning came at Area 130/1159. This area features a slow taper from 20 feet out to 27 feet. As we found fish scattered and tight to the bottom on sonar, we hovered over top of them, made long casts into the wind, and worked our blade baits lift–drop style all the way back to the boat. I chose half-ounce Cicada blade baits for this duty. By 9:15 AM the bite in this area died, and we once again began searching for fish. By this time we had boated 34 fish and nearly every one was a beefy 13-14 inch white bass.
A loosely organized and fairly wide ranging flock of terns helped solve the location puzzle for us pretty quickly. We once again found ourselves on top of fish at Area 334. With these fish down between 28 and 31 feet, I decided to go with a smoking tactic at first, and when that produced less than I'd hoped for, we switched over to straight vertical jigging with TNT180's in 3/4 oz. We added another nine fish to our tally here, but as went the terns, so went the fish – they, too, were loosely organized and fairly wide ranging. We wound up catching nine fish here.
We caught up with another more concentrated flock of terns working over top of Area 335. These fish were right on the shoulder (or breakline) where a deep flat rolls off into the old river channel. This group of white bass were much more tightly bunched thus making them much more competitive. Given the fishes' demonstrated reluctance to chase a smoked slab at our last stop, and given that the hour was now late in the morning, we decided to start with a straight vertical jigging approach, assuming these fish would be a bit sluggish. This area produced at a moderate pace, but it produced well. In an hour's time, with 3 rods going, we added 45 more white bass to our tally. These fish were mixed in the year class from one to three years old.
Since neither Larry nor Brett had any experience with downriggers I did a little on the water demonstration to show their effectiveness. As the fishing began to wane around 11 AM, I put down twin tandem rigs (that's four lures in the water total), and we worked a 60 yard stretch of breakline in the vicinity of Area 335. Larry's rod went off first just minutes after we got going, and he came up with a single; then, both rods went off and both men came up with a double (that's four fish landed at once). I watched sonar closely as we trolled and saw a strong congregation of fish at Area 1158. I marked that area and we returned to vertical jig over it after quickly stowing the downrigging gear. Our fish count stood at 93 as we begin fishing this location, and by the time the fish had turned off, we had boated another 20 fish including 19 white bass and one freshwater drum.
We decided to call it a real good day right there with scarcely more than five minutes gone by without catching a fish at any point in the day's trip.
I particularly enjoyed today's company and conversation. Larry has an evangelist's heart and is now honing his evangelist's skills. His forthcoming retirement coupled with his good standing and reputation in his community will allow him to reach a lot of people in Lampasas and the surrounding area with the Gospel and the message of hope it brings. May God bless you in that pursuit, Larry.
TALLY = 113 Fish, all caught and released, including 1 drum, 1 largemouth bass, and 111 white bass
Start Time: 7:20a
End Time: 11:40a
Air Temp: 53F at trip's start.
Water Surface Temp: 59.8F
Skies: Clear, "bluebird" skies.