This morning I met Will and Amy M. of Salado for a father-daughter fishing trip on Stillhouse Hollow. Amy is 9 1/2 years old.
Will and Amy boated white bass, crappie, drum, several species of sunfish, and largemouth today by employing several different techniques.
Amy landed our big fish of the trip today -- this 2.50 pound largemouth that went for a doctored Pet Spoon presented at around 27 feet.
I received an email from Will inquiring about a fishing trip for him and his daughter; in it, he described their adventures together thus far, which included a few trips to Salado Creek, and a kayak trip up the Lampasas River during the annual spawning run. He was hoping to take things to the next level, so, we endeavored to do exactly that.
The first order of business was getting the basics of spinning gear use and casting down for Amy. In all of 3-4 practice casts she was able to learn to do all she would need to in case some topwater action erupted.
With that, we were on our way to the fishing grounds. We spent a bit of time looking for some topwater action but found nothing.
We then headed to search for white bass. We found fish consistently holding from 24 to 31 feet deep over deeper water generally from Area 1085, through Area 453, and on to Area 822. These fish responded well to our downrigged Pet Spoon presentation. In all, we boated 27 fish in this area by around 9:45. 25 of these fish came via downrigging (with one more hooked and missed), and 2 came via a vertical retrieve as we attempted to hover over a congregation of fish and work them over with slab spoons (which was minimally effective). Of these 27 fish, 4 were largemouth, 1 was a drum, and 22 were white bass.
Although the action remained steady albeit a bit slower than it was earlier in the morning, by around 10:30 or so Amy was ready for a change of pace. So, we got out the sunfish poles, went shallow, and put an even dozen bluegills in the boat in about 20 minutes' time.
For the grand finale, we headed out to some deep breaklines and used live bait to target largemouth bass. We struck out at our first two areas over some mid-depth hydrilla, but then made up for some lost time and scored well over some deeper timber. At Area 1086 we boated an additional 13 fish including a ~50/50 mix of largemouth and white bass. Most of the largemouth came on our live baits, and most of the whites came via a "smoking" tactic using TNT180 slabs to match the forage size. Will also managed to boat a nice crappie in the mix, as well.
By about the 5 hour mark, as most kids her age do, Amy started to show signs that the novelty of this particular trip had about worn off. This is where the wise parent acknowledges that the time has come to wrap up if he or she desires to have a fishing partner for life. To his credit, Will did exactly that, and we called it a very good day right there and then and enjoyed the cooling breeze on our ride back in to the courtesy dock.
TALLY = 52 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:45a
End Time: 12:05p
Air Temp: 73F at trip's start.
Water Surface Temp: 79-80F
Wind: Winds were SSW8-10.
Skies: Skies were hazy at sunrise, clearing to fair by trip's end.