PRE-FRONTAL FEEDING FRENZY – 200 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Wednesday, December 1st, I fished Lake Belton with Dr. Jack Greene and his son, Harrison, both of whom came in for a Thanksgiving visit from Lexington, KY, to visit family.  Attending, but not fishing, was Jack’s dad, John, who coordinated the trip.

John is a retired physician, Jack is a working physician, and Harrison is working as part of a small business doing concrete slab leveling.

Harrison shared that most of his Kentucky-based fishing was done on private ponds for largemouth and crappie, and in small streams for smallmouth bass.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next three openings will be on 22 & 23  December, and January 4th.  Weekday mornings are always best.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  Dr. Jack Greene and his son, Harrison, landed 200 fish on Lake Belton using a combination of Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs for bottom-oriented fish, and MAL Heavy Lures for more active, suspended fish.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Wednesday (AM), 01 December 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

Although it was hardly noticeable, a very mild cold front pushed through Central Texas today around noon.  Beginning around 10AM, a wind shift to the west began in advance of the front’s arrival.

Fishing had already been excellent thanks to a low-light bite that continued well into the 9 o’clock hour, producing 114 fish by 9:30.  Just a handful of birds working over a large patch of water just after sunrise was our clue to get us to the right place at the right time.

As we found very aggressive fish feeding throughout the lower half of the water column, we used MAL Heavy Lures (white blade, chartreuse tail) to catch them as long as they showed on sonar off bottom.  Once the action sank to the bottom, we immediately switched over to slabs and kept right on catching at a high, steady rate.

I stayed as long as I could on this area because the winds had gone slack prior to the west wind starting, and the skies were bright, so, I was concerned about finding additional active fish if the fish we were on gave up.  I just count it a blessing that these fish kept right on biting until those west winds kicked in.  At that point, the fish we were on had fed for right at 2 solid hours and tapered off.

I searched two other locations.  We picked up just two fish at the first, then, as the west wind started to come on strong, we found a “pile” of fish in about 27 feet of water that would put us right at the 200 fish mark by giving up 84 fish in our final hour or so on the water.

As is often the case, these late morning fish tended to flare up aggressively, then settle back down much more quickly than in the first three hours following sunrise.  This was the case with these fish — we worked ’em with MAL Heavy Lures for 6-7 minutes catching suspended fish like crazy, then, over a 2-3 minute span, all of the action settled to bottom and we once again transitioned to the Bladed Hazy Eye Slab and kept right on catching them.

At 11:20, we’d landed 189 fish.  I told Jack and Harrison we’d give it until 11:30 or 200 fish, whichever came first.  Harrison brought fish #200 onboard with about 90 seconds to spare!

When all was said and done, we landed exactly 200 fish, including 8 freshwater drum, 6 juvenile hybrid stripers, and 186 white bass.

Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs and MAL Lures found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 200 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: 1) For the second morning in a row, fish fed for an unusually long time at just one location — 2 full hours — from 7:30A to 9:30A. 2) As was the case yesterday, if the fish were suspended, the MAL Heavy Lure was the ticket; once they settled on bottom, we immediately changed to the 3/8 oz. slab. 3) I noted that Jack’s wearing of polarized glasses significantly hindered his ability to use the Garmin LiveScope.

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 7:15A

End Time: 11:30A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  50F

Elevation: 1.9 feet low, 0.01 fall, 39 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 63.2F

Wind Speed & Direction:  S3-5 for first two hours, then going nearly slack, then picking W7 in advance of the approaching, mild cold front, increasing to W11 by trip’s end.

Sky Condition: 30% white cloud cover on blue skies all AM

Moon Phase: Waning crescent moon at 11% illumination.

GT = 45

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic 0335 – 114 fish caught on MAL Heavy with white blade, chartreuse tail when fish were suspended, then on the 3/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab once the action settled to bottom.

**Area 737 – 2 fish caught on the 3/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab.

**Area vic 560 – 84 fish caught on MAL Heavy with white blade, chartreuse tail when fish were suspended, then on the 3/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab once the action settled to bottom. One short hop.

 

Bob Maindelle

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)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide #BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing #bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport #fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday #Fitec #mepps

SHOW AND TELL – 160 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Tuesday, November 30th, I fished Lake Belton with returning guest Allen Naff of Bertram, TX.

Allen retired twice, first from the Attorney General’s office, then from Germania Insurance.  He’d been out with me once before on a May trip with his granddaughter, Logan, when she graduated from high school several years ago.

Since then, Allen bought a Lowe fishing boat and wanted to see my sonar units and trolling motor in use under “real world” conditions before he finalizes his own set up.

As it turned out, this was a great day for “show and tell”.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next three openings will be on 22 & 23  December, and January 4th.  Weekday mornings are always best.

PHOTO CAPTION:  Allen Naff of Bertram, TX, with a “double” he took.  One white bass was hooked on the Bladed Hazy Eye Slab’s treble, and the other white bass was hooked on the stinger!

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  Allen and I found the key to catching today was to use the MAL Heavy Lure when the fish were aggressive and up off bottom chasing bait, then to switch over to the Bladed Hazy Eye Slab once they headed to bottom and became more lethargic.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday (AM), 30 November 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

We fished only two areas today.  The first was on a gently sloping bottom in ~20′.  This area gave up 6 low-light fish, all of which were single “cruisers” caught on the MAL Heavy Lure (white blade, chartreuse tail for me and silver blade, white tail for Allen because he brought his own rods).  When we quickly determined this was not where the action was going to be, I began glassing and spotted some tentative gulls.  There were only about a dozen gulls, and they weren’t going crazy, but there was enough interest shown in one “patch” of water to make me come in for a look.

I am glad we did.  These birds led us to 2.75 hours of solid fish catching for an additional 154 fish without ever moving the boat off of Spot-Lock.

At first, the fish were feeding aggressively, chasing bait to the surface on occasion, and appearing continuously on sonar from bottom (in 32′) up to within 12 feet beneath the surface.  As long as there were suspended fish present, we took them easily on the MAL Heavy Lures.

Once these fish settled down and were still present, but only along bottom, I immediately switched up over the the Bladed Hazy Eye Slab (3/8 oz. white) having learned this lesson early yesterday.

At 10:50, we left these fish biting (although they were almost done) to see if we could find fish in one more location so Allen could once again observe the use of sonar, and the sonar/trolling motor interface of i-Pilot Link.  We never found anything more than bait at the handful of areas we looked at, and called it a great morning with 160 fish at a few minutes past 11AM.

When all was said and done, we landed 160 fish, including 1 largemouth bass, 9 freshwater drum, 4 juvenile hybrid stripers, and 146 white bass.

Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs and MAL Lures found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 160 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: 1) Fish fed for an unusually long time at just one location — 2.75 hours — from 7:45A to 10:30A. 2) If the fish were suspended, the MAL Heavy Lure was the ticket; once they settled on bottom, we immediately changed to the 3/8 oz. slab. 3) Here is the temperature profile from the surface to 60′:

0 feet 63.5F
5 feet 63.5F
10 feet 63.7F
15 feet 63.7F
20 feet 63.7F
25 feet 63.7F
30 feet 63.7F
35 feet 63.7F
40 feet 63.5F
45 feet 63.7F
50 feet 63.5F
55 feet 63.5F
60 feet 63.2F

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 7:15A

End Time: 11:25A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  43F

Elevation: 1.89 feet low, 0.02 fall, 39 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 63.5F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSE until 9AM, then going slack, then picking up from the S and rapidly ramping up to S12 starting at 10:15A

Sky Condition: 30% white cloud cover on blue skies all AM

Moon Phase: Waning crescent moon at 20% illumination.

GT = 25

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic 0363 – 6 fish caught on MAL Heavy with white blade, chartreuse tail — all single “cruisers”

**Area vic B0198C – 154 fish caught on MAL Heavy with white blade, chartreuse tail when fish were suspended, then on the 3/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab once the action settled to bottom.

 

 

Bob Maindelle

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)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide #BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing #bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport #fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday #Fitec #mepps

COLD WATER TRANSITION – 67 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Monday, November 29th, I fished Lake Belton with returning guest Gary Jones of Temple.

Gary just took delivery on a new Boston Whaler center console and was therefore keen to ask a lot of questions, mainly in regards to the positioning of equipment, power distribution for electrical accessories, and batteries.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next three openings will be on 22 & 23  December, and January 3rd.  Weekday mornings are always best.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: For the first time since turnover, the Bladed Hazy Eye Slab outperformed the MAL Lure.  This follows 4 straight days of cooling weather following the cold front which moved in on Thanksgiving Day.  Shown is the white, 3/8 oz. version of that bait.

 

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Monday (AM), 29 November 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

After 4 straight days of northerly winds which first began on Thanksgiving Day, the winds changed direction this morning, first blowing out of the west for ~2 hours following sunrise, then going nearly slack for ~45 minutes, then beginning to blow out of the SSE, building quickly from a ripple to a 10-11 mph breeze, beginning around 10AM.

We enjoyed about 45 minutes of widespread bird action which allowed us a catch of 8 fish directly beneath the birds by casting to birds and/or fish boils, counting down the MAL Heavy anywhere from 6 to 8 seconds, then executing a plain-Jane, moderately paced retrieve straight back to the boat.  After the birds began to relax a bit, we found still-active fish which were now on bottom, and worked them with a vertical tactic, again, with the MAL Heavy Lure (white blade, chartreuse tail).  Due to the steady cooling of the water over this past 4 day stretch, and the diminishing activity level of the fish, I decided to give the Bladed Hazy Eye Slab (white, 3/8 oz.) a try.  I’ve been carrying these rods on the boat for over two weeks now and occasionally using them when the conditions and/or bite was tough.

The response was quite favorable; so much so that we stuck with the Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs for the remainder of the trip.  We are only ~3 degrees away from that temperature where the fish began turning off the the faster moving MAL Lure last December, so, it is no surprise that this change in preference is occurring.  The very small willow-leaf blade on the lure moves at a much slower upward speed that does the larger blade on the MAL Lure, so, I get the benefit of the blade’s flash, without having to impart the speed the MAL Lure demands.

Combining the “easing” tactic used with these slabs with Garmin LiveScope was a “can’t miss” proposition.

When all was said and done, we landed 67 fish, including 3 largemouth bass, 2 freshwater drum, and 62 white bass.

Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs and MAL Lures found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 68 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: 1) We caught all of our fish in 20-28 feet of water; although bait can be found much deeper, I did not find any gamefish deeper than 28′.  2) This was the first time since turnover that the slab outproduced the MAL Lure.

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 7:05A

End Time: Noon

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  37F

Elevation: 1.87 feet low, 0.02 fall, 39 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 61.4F

Wind Speed & Direction:  W5 for 2 hours, then going slack, then changing to SSE and building to SSE10-11 by trip’s end

Sky Condition: Cloudless blue skies all AM

Moon Phase: Waning crescent moon at 30% illumination.

GT = 225

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area B0123C – 18 fish caught on MAL Heavy with white blade, chartreuse tail under birds; sight casting for 8, then used vertically for another 10

**Area vic B0111C – 26 fish caught on Bladed Hazy Eye Slab, white, 3/8 oz.

**Area 737 – 9 fish caught on Bladed Hazy Eye Slab, white, 3/8 oz.

**Area 099 – 3  fish caught on Bladed Hazy Eye Slab, white, 3/8 oz.

**Area 1799 – 2  fish caught on Bladed Hazy Eye Slab, white, 3/8 oz.

**Area B0159C – 9  fish caught on Bladed Hazy Eye Slab, white, 3/8 oz.

 

Bob Maindelle

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)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide #BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing #bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport #fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday #Fitec #mepps

WHEN COATS DON’T CUT THE MUSTARD – 53 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Friday morning, the day after Thanksgiving, Mr. Tom Bierschenk of Leander brought three of his grandkids out for a morning of white bass fishing on Lake Belton.

Joining him were Andrew (age 15), Claire (almost 12!), and Anabelle, (age 9).  Tom is a University of Texas-trained chemist working with fluorocarbon applications in the medical industry.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next three openings will be on 22 & 23  December, and January 3rd.  Weekday mornings are always best.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left: Andrew, Claire, and Anabelle Bierschenk with a portion of their 53 fish catch on a morning which started out at 43F, chilled by a northerly breeze as the sun rose through grey cloud cover the day after Thanksgiving 2021.

PHOTO CAPTION:  When it’s so cold that coats don’t cut the mustard …  yes, that’s Claire and Anabelle huddling on the floor of my boat on our way to another fishing area!

 

 WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Friday (AM), 26 November 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

The howling north wind which cranked up just after sunrise on Thanksgiving day settled back but was still pushing from the north this morning after dropping the overnight temperature to 43F and causing grey cloud cover to form.  We’ve had a lot of frontal activity in a short period of time and the fish have been very fickle, but, so long as we had both wind and clouds, I felt we could catch fish at a clip fast enough to keep my young crew engaged.

We worked MAL Heavy Lures (white blade, chartreuse tail) vertically for a solid 4+ hours and the kids’ technique was really on right from the start.  We experienced a bit of wide-spread, low-light bird action which got us in the general vicinity of some white bass early in the trip.  At this point we used no sonar as we fished so the kids could get their presentation down pat.

As we worked the kinks out of their retrieve, I then introduced Garmin LiveScope, and, although there was a tendency to “fiddle” with individual fish instead of working the lure as the they had been doing successfully, the kids all adjusted well when I explained the downside of doing this.  From that point on the kids used the sonar to help them time the rise of their lure past actively feeding white bass.

We caught fish in four locations. The fish we caught early on were all glued to bottom.  Our second area found fish suspended from 20-30 feet over a 38′ bottom; their location was given away by scant bird activity.  Our third area saw fish on bottom and suspended at up to 20′ over a 32′ bottom, so we had fish racing off bottom to overtake the kids’ MAL Lures, as well as fish beginning their chase from both a moving start and from a standstill as we move the MAL Lures past them as they suspended.

Our final 10 fish of the morning came under birds which worked just briefly in 28′.  Most of these fish were taken as they raced from off of bottom in 26′ of water to grab the MAL Lure as it ascended.

When all was said and done, we landed 53 fish, including 1 largemouth bass, 1 juvenile hybrid striped bass, 2 freshwater drum, and 49 white bass.

Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs and MAL Lures found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 68 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: Light but helpful bird action was observed throughout the morning.

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 7:10A

End Time: 11:30A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  46F

Elevation: 1.89 feet low, 0.09 fall, 39 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 62.1F

Wind Speed & Direction:  NNW8 increasing to NNW11

Sky Condition: Light grey cloud cover all morning

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 60% illumination.

GT = 60

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 027 thru 1781 – 8 fish caught on MAL Heavy with white blade, chartreuse tail used vertically

**Area B0145C – 12 fish caught on MAL Heavy with white blade, chartreuse tail used vertically

**Area B0050G – 23 fish caught on MAL Heavy with white blade, chartreuse tail used vertically

**Area B0104C – 10 fish caught on MAL Heavy with white blade, chartreuse tail used vertically

 

Bob Maindelle

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)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide #BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing #bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport #fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday #Fitec #mepps

RACING THE WEATHER – 42 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Wednesday afternoon, November 24th, I fished with Devon Linzy and Chris Levy, along with Chris’ two sons, John (age 12) and Jude (age 15).

Devon hails from Buckholts, TX, and was hosting Chris and his family, who traveled in from Denham Springs, LA, for a little hunting and fishing over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next three openings will be on 22 & 23  December, and January 3rd.  Weekday mornings are always best.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left: Devon Linzy, and Chris, John, and Jude Levy.  We enjoyed two solid hours of fishing followed by two hours of struggle as our winds failed in advance of an approaching cold front.

 

 WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Wednesday (PM), 24 November 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

This was an odd afternoon.  As I kept an eye on the weather, it became clear that high winds were going to prevent a quality outing on Thanksgiving morning, the time that Devon and Chris had originally scheduled.  So, I reached out to them on Tuesday to see if they had the flexibility to bump up to Wednesday afternoon, and they were able to do so.

As we got on the water, the fish were feeding under mostly cloudy skies with a pretty stiff S. wind at 14-15.  Everyone got the hang of using the MAL Heavy Lures and then got the hang of using them in conjunction with Garmin LiveScope and we were catching fish steadily.  We put 31 fish in the boat in our first two hours and I was hoping for an even better ending to the trip.

Right around 3:30, the wind downshifted significantly to just 6-7 mph, still from the S.  The fish really turned off at that exact point in time.  In our third hour, we picked up just 10 more fish, and in our final hour, that trickled down further to just a single additional fish as the winds went completely slack in our final 35-40 minutes on the water.

The incoming front which was fueling all of this wind and weather change was due to enter into Central Texas air space around 3AM the following morning (which it did).

As it turned out, the 42 fish we landed was still 42 fish more than we’d have boated on a trip cancelled by wind the following morning.  That forecast for high winds was accurate, as we saw NW winds at over 20 mph straight-line by 8A with gusts over 30 by 9A.

When all was said and done, we landed 42 fish.

Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs and MAL Lures found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 68 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: The fish all but quit at 3:30p after the winds induced by pre-frontal warming stopped blowing.  No low-light sunset bite this evening as the winds went calm several hours before our next cold front’s arrival.

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 1:30P

End Time: 5:30P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  72F

Elevation: 1.80 feet low, 0.03 fall, 39 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 63.8F

Wind Speed & Direction:  S14-15 at trip’s start, tapering down quickly right at 3:30 to S6-7, then fading to flat calm by sunset

Sky Condition: Blue skies with 60% white cloud cover at trip’s start with grey clouds building to the point of light, occasional sprinkles in our last hour

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 78% illumination.

GT = 75

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 376 – 9 fish caught on MAL Heavy with white blade, chartreuse tail used vertically

**Area 2032 – 8 fish caught on MAL Heavy with white blade, chartreuse tail used vertically

**Area 1024 – 14 fish caught on MAL Heavy with white blade, chartreuse tail used vertically

**Area 1659 – 11 fish caught on MAL Heavy with white blade, chartreuse tail used vertically

 

 

Bob Maindelle

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)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide #BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing #bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport #fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday #Fitec #mepps

PRE-FRONTAL WARMING – 68 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Wednesday morning, November 24th, I fished with long-time client Steve Niemeier and his grandson, Caleb Fowler, a 16-year-old Belton ISD high school student.

As Caleb works his way through his junior year of high school, we talked a bit about post-graduation plans and options.

His grandfather and I agreed that going into a field you truly enjoy, and shrewdly managing your money would be prudent no matter what direction a young man heads in.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next three openings will be on 22 & 23  December, and January 3rd.  Weekday mornings are always best.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  Steve Niemeier and his grandson, Caleb Fowler, with a few of the quality white bass we took on MAL Heavy Lures (white blade, chartreuse tail).

PHOTO CAPTION: Steve came up with this 7.75 pound bluecat hanging around the white bass we were targeting in ~28′.

 WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Wednesday (AM), 24 November 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

This morning’s fishing was average for this time of year and for where the trip fell in the frontal cycle.  We were due to have developing wind and cloud cover thanks to pre-frontal warming in advance of the next cold front which was due in around 9PM later this day.

That southerly wind and cloud cover did develop, and the fish fed, albeit not super aggressively.

We found fish fairly easily and, as is often the case when the fish are in a neutral mode, we caught fish as soon as we got lures down to the fish, but the fish would turn off after a few minutes, forcing us to hop around to get our lures in front of nearby fish which would not come our way.

We hit 4 areas, and did “short hops” at each.  All but 3 or 4 of our fish were taken on the MAL Heavy Lure (white blade, chartreuse tail) fished vertically.  Those other 3-4 came on a Bladed Hazy Eye Slab when we experimented with it to see if it would do any better when the bite started to tail off.  We determined it really did not … once the fish turned off, they turned off to everything, regardless of retrieve speed.

We wrapped up right at the 4 hour mark so I could make it on time to an appointment and then get turned around for an afternoon trip.

When all was said and done, we landed 68 fish.

Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs and MAL Lures found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 68 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: Average fishing this morning on a day with classic pre-frontal warming.

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 7:00A

End Time: 11:00A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  54F

Elevation: 1.80 feet low, 0.03 fall, 39 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 63.8F

Wind Speed & Direction:  S12 at trip’s start, tapering down to S9 by sunset

Sky Condition: Blue skies with 60% white cloud cover

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 78% illumination.

GT = 45

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1659 – 7 fish caught on MAL Heavy with white blade, chartreuse tail used vertically

**Area B0113G – 20  fish caught on MAL Heavy with white blade, chartreuse tail used vertically

**Area 1827 – 11 fish caught on MAL Heavy with white blade, chartreuse tail used vertically

**Area 788 – 30  fish caught on MAL Heavy with white blade, chartreuse tail used vertically; 3 short hops

 

 

Bob Maindelle

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)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide #BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing #bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport #fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday #Fitec #mepps

FISHING COUSINS – 75 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Tuesday afternoon, November 23rd, I fished a “Kids Fish, Too!” package trip with cousins Bella Jaimes and Isabel Matthews, chaperoned by Isabel’s dad, Derek Matthews, and the girls’ granddad, John Matthews, a U.S. Army Vietnam veteran.

This entire crew fished with me once before, five years ago.  At that time we mixed in some sunfishing and downrigging with the more technical use of slabs for the sake of variety, given the girls young age at that time.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next three openings will be on 22, 23, and 30 December.  Weekday mornings are always best.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left: Isabel Matthews and Bella Jaimes now (November 2021)

PHOTO CAPTION: Front, from left: Isabel Matthews and Bella Jaimes then (October 2016) with Derek (left) and John Matthews in the background.

 WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday (PM), 23 November 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

Thanks to a steady southerly wind and light cloud cover, we had a pretty solid bite all afternoon and even enjoy two distinct bouts of bird activity at two separate locations in our final 90 minutes.

All of the fishing this afternoon was vertical using the MAL Heavy Lure with white blade and chartreuse tail in conjunction with Garmin LiveScope.  The girls fished side by side and so the commotion each created with their retrieve compounded the attraction to the fish.

Some of the common mistakes folks make in using the MAL Lure, like reeling fish in too far, altering their retrieve speed when a pursuing fish is spotted on LiveScope, or retrieving too fast or too slow, were quickly overcome by the girls when I pointed these things out, and, by the mid-point of the trip the girls were both catching fish consistently without any further coaching.

All of our fish came from 20-30 feet of water.  White bass deeper than 30′ have been a rare thing in the past two weeks or so.

When all was said and done, we landed 75 fish.

Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs and MAL Lures found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 75 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: 1)The fish quit right as the sun set below the horizon.

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 2:05P

End Time: 5:35P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  68F

Elevation: 1.77 feet low, 0.02 fall, 39 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 64.3F

Wind Speed & Direction:  S12 at trip’s start, tapering down to S9 by sunset

Sky Condition: A thin white haze over a blue sky all afternoon.

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 85% illumination.

GT = 75

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 0152 – 15 fish caught on MAL Heavy with white blade, chartreuse tail used vertically

**Area 1024 – 40 fish caught on MAL Heavy with white blade, chartreuse tail used vertically

**Area 692 – 8 fish caught on MAL Heavy with white blade, chartreuse tail used vertically

**Area 691/788 – 4 fish caught on MAL Heavy with white blade, chartreuse tail used vertically

**Area B0061C- 8 fish caught on MAL Heavy with white blade, chartreuse tail used vertically

 

Bob Maindelle

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) Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide #BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing #bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport #fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday #Fitec #mepps

WHITE BASSIN’ WITH A RATTLER GASSER – 60 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Tuesday, 23 November, I fished with a really nice married couple from San Saba — Travis and Sarah Ringo.

The Ringos have two boys, 7 & 3, and got to take a little vacation from work and parenting, spending their overnight in Salado, and their morning on Lake Belton.

Travis runs his own construction company and Sarah helps kids with special needs in the San Saba school district.

In his spare time, Travis captures rattlesnakes with an old school method his grandpa taught him!!

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next three openings will be on 22, 23, and 30 December.  Weekday mornings are always best.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  Travis and Sarah Ringo of San Saba took a little break from work and kids to spend some time together on Lake Belton.  The pair landed 60 fish this morning.

 WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday (AM), 23 November 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

For the second morning in a row we were plagued by clear, bright skies, and this morning those skies were accompanied by a lack of wind for our first 2.5 hours.  This made the fishing pretty tough.

We found fish, but they were very reluctant to get excited and definitely did not stay excited very long. This put us in a position of having to do multiple “short hops” just about everywhere we went in order to get our baits in front of fish that had not yet seen them.  We were not able to sit in one spot and have fish come to us.

The MAL Heavy Lure with white blade and chartreuse tail performed well by exciting a few fish out of each generally disinterested group we found.  We worked it vertically at all but the first location at which we found fish.

The last area we hit from ~11:15 to 11:50 was the only place we experienced any consistency, and, it so happened that this took place as we experienced the first wave action (beyond a ripple) all morning, as well as some high, thin, white cloud cover developing.

One of Travis’ goals was to see the Humminbird Solix and Minn Kota Ulterra with i-Pilot Link in action, as he just got a 12″ Solix unit for his Carolina Skiff with the same trolling motor I have, and has only had it on the water once.  In addition to the fishing, I tried to point out some of the fundamentals of unit settings (sensitivity, scroll speed, frequency), as well as contour following, creation of waypoints, and more.

When all was said and done, we landed 60 fish, including 3 largemouth bass, 2 juvenile hybrid stripers, and 55 white bass.

Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs and MAL Lures found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 60 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: 1) Next front is due in around 4AM Thanksgiving morning. 2) No helpful bird activity this morning.

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 7:00A

End Time: 11:50A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  36F

Elevation: 1.77 feet low, 0.02 fall, 39 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 64.3F

Wind Speed & Direction:  Light and variable for the first hour, a southerly ripple for the next 90 minutes, then a slowly building S. wind hitting ~12mph in the final 90 minutes

Sky Condition: Clear, “bluebird” skies with a light white haze developing in the last hour

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 85% illumination.

GT = 50

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 0152 – 18 fish on multiple short hops caught on MAL Heavy with white blade, chartreuse tail used vertically and horizontally

**Area 0148 – 7 fish on multiple short hops caught on MAL Heavy with white blade, chartreuse tail used vertically

**Area 1846 – 13 fish on multiple short hops caught on MAL Heavy with white blade, chartreuse tail used vertically

**Area 1659 – 6 fish on multiple short hops caught on MAL Heavy with white blade, chartreuse tail used vertically

**Area 147/1657 – 16 fish caught on MAL Heavy with white blade, chartreuse tail used vertically

 

Bob Maindelle

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) Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide #BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing #bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport #fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday #Fitec #mepps

10X MORE THAN HER LIFETIME TOTAL — 35 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Monday, 22 November, I fished with Lillian (Lily) DeJournett, accompanied by her dad, Shawn, a U.S. Army veteran originally from Missouri.

Shawn has been out with me a couple times and knew, based on what he experienced, that under the right conditions, Lily would enjoy fishing, too.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next three openings will be on 15, 22, and 23 December.  Weekday mornings are always best.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  Lily DeJournett, who landed 35 fish with me this morning, had only caught 3 other fish in her lifetime.  She got VERY excited as she hooked, reeled, and landed every one of these fish!!

 WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Saturday (AM), 20 November 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

Although this is my favorite time of year to fish, the fishing is very much influenced by weather, especially cold fronts.  Today, we got on the “backside” of a front as the winds were starting to settle down from their peak velocity overnight.  Due to the timing on this front, there really was no ideal time to fish it, as it came in around sunset yesterday and had just about blown out by noon today.

So, I had a new angler facing tough conditions which meant Lily really had to earn every fish she landed today … and she did!

Finding fish was not really an issue — we found fish just about everywhere we looked, but getting more than one, two, or three fish to get excited enough to stay biting more than a few minutes after our arrival was a real chore.

Ultimately, finesse won out.  We started with an MAL Heavy Lure (generally too fast), then dropped back to a 3/4 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab (too big), then we scaled our slabs back to the small, 3/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab (in white). We worked them by reeling them slowly upwards from bottom and began enjoying a bit of consistency.  A few times we even tried the “easing” tactic, but that was a bit advanced, so, we went back to what was working and what Lily could do consistently.

When all was said and done, we landed 35 fish, including 1 largemouth bass, 3 freshwater drum, and 31 white bass.

Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs and MAL Lures found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 35 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: 1) Next front is due in around 4AM Thanksgiving morning. 2) The temperature profile looked like this:

0 feet 65.6F
5 feet 66.1F
10 feet 66.3F
15 feet 66.3F
20 feet 66.3F
25 feet 66.4F
30 feet 66.4F
35 feet 66.4F
40 feet 66.4F
45 feet 66.4F
50 feet 66.4F
55 feet 66.4F
60 feet 66.4F

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 6:50P

End Time: 11:40P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  47F

Elevation: 1.75 feet low, 0.01 fall, 39 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 65.6F

Wind Speed & Direction:  NW10 before sunrise slowly tapering down to NW7 by trip’s end

Sky Condition: Clear, “bluebird” skies

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 92% illumination.

GT = 25

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic 0148 – 19 fish, all on 3/4 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab (white)

**Area 1819 – 9 fish, all on vertically worked Bladed Hazy Eye Slab, white, 3/8 oz.

**Area vic 165 – 7 fish, all on vertically worked Bladed Hazy Eye Slab, white, 3/8 oz.

 

Bob Maindelle

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) Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide #BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing #bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport #fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday #Fitec #mepps

REALLY HAD TO WORK TODAY — 102 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Saturday, 20 November, I fished with long-time clients Jerry Worley and David Vahrenkamp who first got to know one another (and me) through Memorial Baptist Church in Killeen.

This morning was tough.  Now, you may see our total of 102 fish catch and think, “That doesn’t sound like a tough day,” however, these two fellows are very experienced, AND I fished a bit through the morning to help understand what the fish wanted, thus adding to our total, AND I extended our trip by 1.5 hours in order to try to reach our goal of 100 fish.

Today was the first day of a returning south wind following north winds which came in with a cold front which hit early morning Thursday.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next three openings will be on 15, 16, and 22 December.  Weekday mornings are always best.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  It’s “no shave” November for Jerry Worley and David Vahrenkamp.  Those beards helped reduce the chill on our boat ride through this morning’s 47F chill and wind as we worked long and hard to boat 102 fish, taking 5.5 hours to do it on a morning that had the fish and fishing a little “off”.

 

 WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Saturday (AM), 20 November 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

What had been a reliable bite under birds in the low-light conditions before, during, and just after sunrise was essentially non-existent today.  Unfortunately, any birds which tried to get on fish and bait were immediately pounced on by boats which ran their outboards right into the fish, thus shooting themselves in the foot by pushing both fish and birds away.  We got away from the zoo of weekend “bumper boats” and found fish with sonar instead, well away from any congregations of anglers.

The fish were in a pretty funky mood this morning.  Here’s what I mean … first, we never saw a single area where fish carpeted the bottom in a feeding posture (as has been the case on EVERY SINGLE trip since late September) until about 11:50AM; second, we had a number of occasions where we observed white bass move through the area we were fishing (as viewed on Garmin LiveScope) without so much as sniffing our baits; and third, most of the fish we caught today were suspended at the 24-25′ mark feeding on shad which were also suspended from that level down to bottom.

I quickly ascertained that the MAL Lure was going to have to be moved too quickly for the fish I was observing, so, we switched over quite early to the Bladed Hazy Eye Slab (white, 3/4 oz.) and it did well with its small spinning blade which moves at a speed much slower than is necessary to move the MAL Lure’s blade.

Fully 50-60% of our catch came as a result of LiveScope today.  Because the fish were suspended and moving, the LiveScope could be used to help time the retrieve of our lures so as to intersect with a fish’s direction of travel as it passed beneath us.

We really hopped around a lot today as well, fishing 9 areas, finding fish at 6 of them, and doing multiple short hops with the Minn Kota’s jog function at most of those 6 areas.

With two more cold fronts due in before Thanksgiving, the fishing is going to keep “teetering” back and forth between awesome and tough with a few “average” days thrown in if the length of time between fronts stretches any number of days.

When all was said and done, we landed 102 fish, including 1 largemouth bass, 13 juvenile hybrid striped bass, 13 freshwater drum, and 75 white bass.

Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs and MAL Lures found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 102 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: 1) Next front is due in in the early morning hours of Sunday, 21 Nov.

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 6:45P

End Time: 12:15P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  47F

Elevation: 1.71feet low, 0.03 fall, 39 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 66F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SE9 before sunrise, increasing to SE14 by trip’s end

Sky Condition: 40% cloud cover before 8:30, then about an hour of light fog, then slowly clearing back to 40% cloud cover

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 98% illumination.

GT = 50

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic 0363 – 4 fish, all on horizontally worked MAL Heavy Lures under low-light conditions

**Area B0117C – 26 fish, all on vertically worked Bladed Hazy Eye Slab, white, 3/4 oz.

**Area vic 560 – 18 fish, all on vertically worked Bladed Hazy Eye Slab, white, 3/4 oz.

**Area 178 – 11 fish, all on vertically worked Bladed Hazy Eye Slab, white, 3/4 oz.

**Area B0109G – 36 fish, all on vertically worked Bladed Hazy Eye Slab, white, 3/4 oz.

**Area B0111G – 17 fish, all on vertically worked Bladed Hazy Eye Slab, white, 3/4 oz.

 

 

Bob Maindelle

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) Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide #BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing #bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport #fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday #Fitec #mepps