The following blog entry appears in the form of a report to those who support the Soldiers' Kids Involved in Fishing Fun (S.K.I.F.F.) program which serves to put the children of deployed or deceased soldiers on the water at no charge to their families...
(L to R) Ivan, Jason, and Robbie (and their moms!) braved the sprinkles and cashed in on a mixed bag catch this evening!!
07 June 2012
Dear Friends of S.K.I.F.F.,
This evening I welcomed aboard Jason (10 yrs.) and Ivan (6 yrs.) Venne, accompanied by their mom, Olga; and Robbie (6 yrs.) Rodriguez, accompanied by his mom, Teri. These ladies' husbands, Major Jason Venne and Lieutenant Colonel Rob Rodriquez, are deployed together in Kuwait with 2-8 Cavalry. They were (literally) the last Americans out of Iraq and still have not made it back to the U.S. as they wrap up all the loose ends.
Mrs. Venne with her son, Jason Jr.
Mrs. Rodriguez with her son, Robbie.
I met Mrs. Venne at the Harker Heights Farmers Market over the Memorial Day Weekend when, instead of battling hordes of recreational boaters, I set up a booth to advertise SKIFF during the Memorial Day Parade.
Our weather was quirky today. An early June low pressure system brought 3/4" of rainfall overnight along with a NNW breeze, heavy cloud cover, and light rain during our trip. The boys were so excited about this trip, however, that a monsoon would not have deterred them.
All 3 boys had little or no prior fishing experience, so, we started off simply, and increased the level of complexity (and patience) required as we worked our way through the trip.
We began by targeting sunfish in shallow water. At Area 200 we found abundant, willing sunfish in less than 4 feet of water and used poles (without reels) to fish for these fish. We boated exactly 35 fish here before the novelty began to wear off.
Next, we "took it to the next level" and downrigged for larger fish. We used Pet Spoons set down around 22-24 feet at Area 820, just above the thermocline, to boat 15 more fish, including a mix of white bass, largemouth bass, and an unusual number of drum which, based on the fact that we saw eggs oozing out of the females, must have been congregated heavily in this area for spawning.
Our final attempt at "really big fish" came as we used live bait to tempt largemouth bass. We began working over top of some open water hydrilla at Area 057 and landed one largemouth almost immediately, but then things quickly quieted down (beneath the boat, that is, as with 3 young boys it was never quiet on the boat). We shifted to rock at Area 042/433 instead of weeds and, in the last 15 minutes of the trip caught 4 additional fish per boy as a very nice way to end our day with a total of 55 fish boated for our efforts.
The majority of our Fort Hood men and women in uniform have, thankfully, been in a bit of a down cycle as far as deployments are concerned so far in 2012, but, it looks like the Fall will see the deployment of a significant force from here.
Thanks to all of you, we'll be ready to lend some aid to their kids and spouses when duty calls. Thank you for your ongoing support!!
TALLY = 55 FISH all caught and released
Start Time: 4:45p
End Time: 9:05p
Air Temp: 76F at trip's start.
Water Surface Temp: 81F.
Wind: Winds were NNW7 entire trip.
Skies: Skies were 100% cloudy due to a low pressure system which moved directly over us bringing 0.75" rain overnight.