TIME WITH GRANDKIDS — 47 FISH @ STILLHOUSE

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Thursday morning I fished Stillhouse, very capably assisted by Mr. Cliff Brown of Texas Boat World, as we worked together to put his grandkids, Isaiah, Michael, Kinsley, and Caleb, on fish.

Caleb and Isaiah live here locally, as does Michael, who just moved here recently from El Paso where his dad still serves on active duty, and Kinsley is here visiting from West Virginia for a few weeks.

This trip was a “Kids Fish, Too!” package trip intended just for kids.  It is shorter and less expensive than my standard trips, and focuses only on the kids’ success.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left, front row: Michael, Kinsley, Caleb, and Isaiah.  And that’s “Poppy” Cliff Brown in the back row.

WHEN WE FISHED:  04 June, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED: We started our day off with downriggers down searching for bait and for suspended and bottom-oriented white bass.  After landing only one fish in the first area we searched, we enjoyed about an hour’s worth of action at the second area we covered.  Fishing was a good bit tougher today, as the only white bass we found were close to the bottom and surged upward at the downrigger balls and trailing baits.  We found very few hunting packs of white bass up suspended and patrolling for shad.  Of the two times we stopped downrigging to try to hover atop fish and work slabs for them vertically, we hooked only one white bass in that manner and lost it at the boat.  In all, we landed 10 white bass during this low-light period with a few other opportunities missed.

When I got concerned about the slow fishing wearing on the kids’ patience level, we switched over to fishing for sunfish up in shallow hydrilla.  We hit two areas, landing 33 sunfish, including longears, bluegills, and greens.

In our final hour, I took a poll, found the kids’ interest in pursuing the larger white bass was renewed, and we headed out after a few additional white bass.  We were able to land another 4 singles, all on the same 3-armed umbrella rig with Pet Spoons which we’d used earlier.   These fish did come from very small, suspended groups of fish numbering only 2-5 individual fish each.

Our final tally was 14 white bass and 33 sunfish, for a total of 47 fish landed for the morning.

This was pretty slow action where the white bass were concerned.  As I was cleaning up the boat in the park following the trip, I got a text from a fishing buddy, James C., over at Belton.  He wrote, “Tough day. 3 bites and 1 smallmouth.  Spoke to 3 other boats.  One caught 7, another 2 cats, another 4.  Hope you fared better.”

TALLY: 47 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  No topwater action worth noting as of yet.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:15A

End Time: 10:45A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 72F

Elevation:  0.59′  high, 0.01′ drop, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  78.8F

Wind Speed & Direction: SW2-4

Sky Conditions: Clear blue skies

GT =  40

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  SH0058C to 040 for downrigged white bass

**Area  515 and SH0125C for sunfish

**Area SH0119C to SH0018C for white bass

 

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)

 

#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

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

BACK TO STILLHOUSE — 63 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Tuesday morning I returned to Stillhouse with another boat full of kids after doing well there fishing for a combination of white bass and sunfish this past Saturday.

I fished with Dave K. and his kids, Savannah (age 7), Cole, and Caden (4-year old twins).

PHOTO CAPTION: Multi-lure rigs seem to shine in the summer months when young-of-the year shad are abundant.  The white bass we took today all came on 3-armed umbrella rigs equipped with Pet Spoons

WHEN WE FISHED:  02 June, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED: We started our day off with downriggers down searching for bait and for suspended and bottom-oriented white bass.  After striking out in the first area we searched, we enjoyed about an hour’s worth of action at the second area we covered.  The downrigging was simple, effective, and enjoyed by the kids, so, we stuck with it as long as their interest level remained high, then transitioned to vertical jigging for the sake of variety when I judged a bit of variety was in order.

Once this bite dissipated, and at about the 2 hour mark on this 3.5 hour long “Kids Fish, Too!” package trip, we moved up shallow and gunned for sunfish.

We landed 21 white bass and 42 sunfish.  The sunfish came on bait presented under floats in shallow hydrilla cover.

 

TALLY: 63 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  No topwater action worth noting as of yet.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:45A

End Time: 10:15A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 68F

Elevation:  0.6′  high, 0.00′ drop, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  78F

Wind Speed & Direction: ENE2-4

Sky Conditions: Clear blue skies

GT =  0

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  1128-040 for downrigged white bass

**Area  039 – SH0058C for downrigged and smoked white bass

**Area  SH0121C for sunfish

 

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)

 

#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

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

FROM BOOM TO BUST — 21 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Monday evening I fished with Lamar Story, Bruce Dvorak, and Carl Hughes.  The three have been friends for about 40 years.  Lamar serves as one of the gatekeepers at the Westcliff Park on Lake Belton.  Bruce and Carl came down from the Dallas area to do some fishing on Monday and some golfing on Tuesday with Lamar.

After a great morning with 96 fish in the boat, this afternoon’s trip was disappointing both in terms of quality and quantity.  We landed only 21 fish, and only three of these were more than yearling white bass.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: No spin or sugarcoating here, nor reporting on just the good trips.  After a better-that-average morning, we struggled this afternoon. From left: Carl Hughes, Lamar Story, and Bruce Dvorak spent the final four hours of the evening with me on Lake Belton and landed just 21 fish.

WHEN WE FISHED:  01 June, 2020, PM

HOW WE FISHED:  We had trouble finding fish to fish for this afternoon.  We never found a single, solid concentration of fish holding on or near bottom to stop atop of and fish for “in detail”.  The fish we found were scattered, generally small fish which were in small packs of 4-8 fish each suspended up about mid-way in the water column.  We ran dual downriggers over them equipped with Pet Spoons fished on 3-armed umbrella rigs and caught mainly singles.

I anticipated at least light topwater action by white bass pushing shad to the surface right at sunset, but, sunset was heavily obscured by cloud cover and the fading light scenario we normally enjoy at sunset did not take place.  Several herons on station anticipating the same action I was left early after failing to see what we all hoped to see.

Between the near-calm winds and increasing water temperature pushing us toward summer patterns, it was just a tough outing all the way around.

TALLY: 21 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  No evidence of spawning shad whatsoever.  Fish are beginning to move off of deeper bottom features.  Summer fishing patterns slowly beginning to unfold.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  4:40P

End Time: 8:50P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 82F

Elevation:  0.26′  high, 0.25′ drop, 1607 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  78.3F

Wind Speed & Direction: ENE2-4

Sky Conditions: Grey skies all evening

GT =  N/A

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area B0167C (off east tip) – downrigging for scattered, suspended fish

**Area vic B0170G to 171 – downrigging for scattered, suspended fish

**Area vic 357 – downrigging for scattered, suspended fish

 

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)

 

#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

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

ANALYZE THIS! — 96 FISH @ LAKE BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Monday, June 1st, I fished with co-workers and friends Aaron Baggett and Josh Bias, both professors of psychology at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, TX.  COVID-19 fouled our first attempt at fishing together, then a babysitting situation scuttled our second attempt.  The third time was a charm.

PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Aaron Baggett and Josh Bias with a few of the 96 fish we landed this morning, including 95 white bass and 1 freshwater drum.

WHEN WE FISHED:  01 June, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED: We got on it early this morning — early enough that we were waiting on topwater action to begin.  When it did, it went for about an hour, thanks to grey skies ushered in by a light NE wind. During this time we sight-cast spoons to individual fish using spinning gear with large arbor reels for distance.  When the white bass gave up on pushing shad to the surface, they continued feeding subsurface up shallow until 7:50AM.  During this time, we downrigged successfully for singles, doubles, and a few triples using 3-armed umbrella rigs equipped with Pet Spoons.

From 8A to 9:15A things got very quiet.  We struggled to find fish and observed a number of Belton regulars, mainly retirees, moving and looking for fish, as we were doing.

Around 9:15 things began looking up for us when we experienced the first brighter sky conditions of the morning.  Within minutes of the grey skies thinning (although still fully obscuring the sun), the fish began to get active.  We found our first late morning fish on bottom in 40 feet of water in a school about 25 yards in size.  We fished them with a smoking tactic using my Hazy Eye Slabs equipped with stinger hooks.  When the fish thinned, slowed their feeding, or dispersed, we moved a few boat lengths very slowly to try to maintain contact with them, and did so with consistency for about an hour.

After this, I noted that the fish moved to our south, over deeper water, and suspended from 25 feet down to 40 feet over a 60+ foot bottom.  When we found tight congregations, we smoked for them.  When we found more loose congregations, we employed the downriggers.  We flipped back and forth between smoking and downrigging until around 11:15 when nothing but sparse suspended fish remained in the area.

TALLY: 96 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  No evidence of spawning shad whatsoever.  Fish are beginning to move off of deeper bottom features.  Summer fishing patterns slowly beginning to unfold.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:15A

End Time: 11:15A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 72F

Elevation:  0.26′  high, 0.25′ drop, 1607 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  77.3F

Wind Speed & Direction: NE2-5

Sky Conditions: Grey skies all morning

GT =  55

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1019 to B0197 – early morning downrigging for 6 smallish white bass

**Area vic B0041G to B0042G – 57 white bass via smoking slabs in 2 short hops

**Area vic B0148C and south to the 60′ countour – 19 fish in 2 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)

 

#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

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

SKIFF TRIP WITH THE DENHARTOG BOYS — 69 FISH @ STILLHOUSE


WHO I FISHED WITH:  On Saturday, May 30th, I conducted the season’s 6th Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun (SKIFF) program trip with the DenHartog boys who, accompanied by their mom, Valerie, traveled down the day before from Rockwall, TX, to participate in this trip.

The boys’ father, US Air Force Major Adam  DenHartog is currently assigned as the Senior Air Defense Liaison to Saudi Arabia, which is a one year deployment.  The boys’ mom received her undergraduate degree in teaching from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton in the early 2000’s and now substitute teaches in addition to being a stay-at-home mom.

ABOUT SKIFF:  This fishing trip was provided to this military family at no charge.  S.K.I.F.F. stands for Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun.  This program began in May of 2009.  It is funded by the donations and fundraising efforts of the Austin Fly Fishers and other organizations they have partnered with.  S.K.I.F.F. provides the children of military personnel separated from their families due to duty commitments with the opportunity to go fishing.  SKIFF trips are also provided, free of charge, to Gold Star families who have lost their service member while he or she was on active duty.  In mid-2019, SKIFF also began providing trips to dependents whose parents are bona fide disabled veterans.  I coordinate and conduct these 3.5 to 4 hour adventures on Belton Lake and Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir, just outside the gates of Fort Hood in Bell County, TX, year ’round.  Call or text 254.368.7411.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Jason and Matthew DenHartog caught 48 white bass and 21 sunfish during their SKIFF fishing trip taken as their dad is deployed to Saudi Arabia with the U.S. Air Force.

WHEN WE FISHED:  30 May, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED: Although the morning was bright, we had enough wind to ripple the surface, albeit from the north.  We began the trip by downrigging for white bass suspended over 35-50 feet of water with our downrigger balls set around 24-28 feet.  The boys got the hang of using the downriggers pretty quickly and therefore were able to help rerig their own lines once fish were landed, thus allowing us to “make hay while the sun shone”.   As we downrigged successfully, I began to note schools of feeding white bass forming up on the bottom amidst a strong presence of bait in the area.  At one point, we were able to stop downrigging and Spot-Lock over once such school to work slabs vertically through them.  We caught well this way, but the boys expressed a preference for the downrigging, so, we went back to that tactic until the novelty wore off on that.

At this point it was time to make a transition.  We headed up shallow to aim for sunfish using floats and bait.  The hydrilla crop is coming on strong this year thanks to clear water and rising temperatures, and this is home to thousands of sunfish of a variety of species: bluegill, longear, green, redear, and their hybrids.  The boys got the hang of watching their floats (not the fish approaching their baits) and setting the hook quickly, thus avoiding time-consuming deep hook removal.

After making a few short hops in one cove and landing 21 sunfish, the boys were ready for another transition.

We went back to downrigging, found one nice school of fish which we slabbed for,  and then rode the downrigging tactic out to the boys’ satisfaction right to the last minute of the trip.  We landed another 19 fish in our closing hour.

TALLY: 69 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: A nice blanket bait in the lower 1/5th of the water column in the vicinity of Area 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:45A

End Time: 10:45A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 63F

Elevation:  0.6′  high, 0.01′ rise, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  77.3F

Wind Speed & Direction: N4-5

Sky Conditions: 15% white, thin hazy cover on a blue sky

GT =  NA

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1114/644 – produced 48 fish in two separate stops, one at low-light, the other at the start of our final hour on the water

**Area 231 – produced 21 sunfish

 

 

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)

 

#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

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

THIS WAS FOR THE BYRDS — 82 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  On Friday, May 29th, I fished with returning guests Tom and Tracie Byrd of Weir, TX, accompanied by Tom’s sister, Patty Williams.  This trip was arranged by Tom in celebration of Tracie’s 71st birthday.  Tom, a former USAF fighter pilot, and Tracie live “in the country” on the outskirts of Austin where they keep up with their own horses and board a few others’ horses, as well.  Patty is a long-time Frost Bank employee.  The Byrd’s have been out with me for a number of years, typically in celebration of Tracie’s birthday.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Tom and Tracie Byrd and Patty Williams with nice Lake Belton white bass taken on Hazy Eye Slabs during the late morning.

WHEN WE FISHED:  29 May, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED:  With the annual spring peak hybrid bite (and shad spawn) nearly over, we opted to chase white bass this morning, instead.  We started off the low-light portion of the trip downrigging and covering water resulting in a catch of 6 singles taken on Pet Spoons affixed to 3-armed umbrella rigs.  The area we fished did not hold large concentrations of fish, nor bait, so we moved on spending about 70 minutes or so looking over multiple prime hybrid-holding areas, finding little.

As we arrived at yet another prime hybrid haunt, sonar revealed strong fish signatures, but they were clearly not hybrid.  Rather, there were multiple large (300-400 fish) schools of fish in the area holding from bottom all the way up to 1/3 of the way to the surface.  When fish are in this posture, they are ripe for plucking, so, we Spot-Locked, got slabs down and started pulling fish.  We made two “short hops” here to stay on the fish and wound up pulling 57 white bass from out of this school before the action dissipated.

We moved a few hundred yards, keeping a sharp eye on sonar, and, in water about 10′ deeper, encountered yet another very large school of white bass.  Again, we Spot-Locked, worked our slabs well, and brought another 19 fish over the gunwale until the fish finally cooled off for good around 11AM.

TALLY: 82 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: Very light spawning shad activity at SHAD028 this morning, which was a wind-impacted shoreline given the NW breeze we had.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  7A

End Time: 11A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 66F

Elevation:  0.26′  high, 0.25′ drop, 1607 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  75.5F

Wind Speed & Direction: NW10

Sky Conditions: 30% white, thin hazy cover on a blue sky

GT =  60

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1019 to B0197 – early morning downrigging for 6 smallish white bass

**Area vic B0041G to B0042G – 57 white bass via smoking slabs in 2 short hops

**Area vic B0148C and south to the 60′ countour – 19 fish in 2 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)

 

#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

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

WALL-TO-WALL OLIVERS — 81 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Thursday, May 28th, I fished with the Oliver clan which has their roots right here in the Belton/Temple Area.  Ramrodding this morning’s trip was Joe Oliver.  Accompanying was Joe’s Dad, “Paw”, Joe’s brother, Jack; Joe’s daughter, Amber, and Joe’s daughter-in-love (-law), Ashley, the wife of Joe’s son, Thomas.

I fish anywhere from 180-220 paid trips each year and enjoy nearly every single one, but, when the Olivers are due to be aboard I eagerly anticipate the time spent with them.  They love one another, are courteous, godly, supportive, and easy going.  Plus, Joe always brings me a cold Coke Zero and gives it to me at the end of the trip!

PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Jack, Paw, Joe, Amber, and Ashley Oliver with a sampling of their 81 fish landed primarily on Hazy Eye Slabs worked vertically in deep (47-53 feet) water.

WHEN WE FISHED:  28 May, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED:   Although both the shad spawn and the annual peak hybrid bite are quickly fading, by Joe’s request we gave the hybrid a shot in the first half of our trip using live shad.  We caught 13 fish on the shad, none of which were hybrid.  We landed drum, blue cat, and white bass.  In addition to the season now being past peak, our conditions in the early part of this morning’s trip left much to be desired.  It was clear, calm, and bright with just a slight ripple from the NW.  As we fished bait, the wind swung through the west and finally went WSW.  Once that southerly component kicked in, I wrapped up our bait effort and got us right onto feeding white bass with more appropriate light spinning gear.

From the mid-point of our trip to the last retrieve at about 10:50A, we took our fish count from 13 fish in the first 2 hours up to 81 fish landed in the last 2 hours.

These feeding white bass were found from bottom, up to 1/3 of the way toward the surface and were milling around in a fairly large (perhaps 90 yard) area.  We had a few regurgitate the shad they were feeding on and those shad were about 3.25″ long, which was even larger than the profile of the slabs we were using.  A smoking tactic worked well.

TALLY: 81 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: It appears the shad spawn is over for 2020.  This is now 4 consecutive days without any sign of spawning en masse.  Yes, there are a few splinter schools here and there in the shallows at first light, but not tens of thousands at a time as was the case as recently as Saturday, May 23rd.  I’m still waiting to see what happens on a stiff southerly wind, but such is not in the forecast for another 4+ days.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  7A

End Time: 11A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 82F

Elevation:  0.51′  high, 0.25′ drop, 1607 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  75.5F

Wind Speed & Direction:

Sky Conditions: 30% white, thin hazy cover on a blue sky

GT =  85

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic 1292 – 13 fish on bait; mixed bag; no hybrid

**Area vic 2059 – 58 fish; 2 short hops

**Area B0041G – 10 fish

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)

 

#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

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

THE MAN’S FIRST HYBRID STRIPER — 45 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Tuesday evening I fished with returning guest Frank Sumner of Killeen.  Frank brought as his guest Mr. Steve Arnold.  Steve leads the men’s ministry at their church and, on numerous occasions, taken Frank out on his own fish-and-ski style boat in pursuit of fish, primarily on Stillhouse Hollow.

As we got acquainted before beginning our trip, Steve shared about his desire to catch a hybrid striped bass — something he’d never experienced before.

PHOTO CAPTION: Above, Steve Arnold with the first hybrid striped bass of his life.

PHOTO CAPTION:  Steve’s fishing buddy, Frank Sumner of Killeen, with one of the 45 fish we landed last night.  Most of the action took place in the final 90 minutes of the evening.

WHEN WE FISHED:  26 May, 2020, PM

HOW WE FISHED:  This afternoon the tough conditions of the late morning continued with bright, clearing skies, a NNW wind, and bright sun following turbulent weather which brought rain the night before.  We had a tough time finding active fish in our first two hours.  During that time we got on one pod of fish in about 42 feet of water which gave up a few white bass on both slabs and live bait, but, other than that, we did a lot of hopping around looking without much catching.

Once 6:30P rolled around, our luck started to change as the light level and temperature started to drop off toward sun set.  I rigged up both downriggers with 3-armed umbrella rigs rigged with Pet Spoons, and we began presenting baits along a curvi-linear breakline in about 40 feet of water.  At first we picked up a single white bass, then a double, then a hybrid striped bass (Steve’s first!!!) and a white bass, then the white bass kept coming as they moved into and began feeding in this area.  Because of Steve’s interest in hybrid, I stopped using the downriggers though they would surely have put more fish in the boat, and switched over to live shad to increase our shot at landing additional hybrid.  This accounted for 2 more hybrid, both landed by Frank, before this area went quiet.

We moved on to a NW-facing, sloped area which often produces best in the evening, since the wind was blowing onto that feature at the time.  Sonar revealed white bass, just body-height off bottom, in about 42 feet of water.  We Spot-Locked on these and plucked a few more fish right up to sunset when we noted white bass sporadically feeding on shad at the surface around us.

This led me to look around a bit more closely, and I spotted more consistent action up shallower.  We moved up into under 16 feet of water and used the very same Hazy Eye Slabs we’d been fishing vertically with to cast horizontally into these fish feeding just sub-surface.  This was not the frothing frenzy on the surface which you see at times in the summer months, rather, fish were just occasionally chasing shad close enough to the surface to dimple the surface or make a slight boil.

The key here was accurate casting and a fast retrieve to keep the lure from sinking too far.

When dark fell and the fish quit, we’d landed 45 fish including 3 legal hybrid,  a 4-pound class blue cat, and a nice mess of white bass.

TALLY: 45 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: Light near-surface action in shallow water just after sunset this evening near Area 021.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  4:30P

End Time: 8:50P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 82F

Elevation:  0.93′  high, 0.22′ rise, 17 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  77.6F

Wind Speed & Direction: NNW14 at trip’s start, steadily decreasing to near calm by dark

Sky Conditions: 30% white cloud cover on a blue sky

GT = 20

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic 1292 – smoking slabs for slow early evening action

**Area B0040G – downrigged to find fish; fished live shad once found

**Area vic B0075C – low-light pre-sunset slabbing for bottom-hugging white bass

**Area vic 021 post-sunset near-surface action

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)

 

#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

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

LIKE AN ENEMA WAITING TO HAPPEN — 87 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Tuesday, May 26th, I fished with returning guest Dwight Stone of Georgetown.  Dwight brought with him three buddies, as well: Blake Hoekstra, a retired accountant, Larry Brewer, who is soon to retire from the HVAC business, and Otto Riedel who works in the medical industry, producing IV bags.

With overnight storms, resulting turbulent weather, a north wind, and clearing skies all before us, I told the fellows from the get-go that we’d be wise to focus on catching any fish we could locate, be it white bass, hybrid striped bass, blue catfish, or whatever else might swim beneath us, as the conditions were not in our favor.

Now, I know you’ve got to be wondering about the title of this report.  Over the course of the morning I shared that the facts and figures that go into these reports are very simple for me to generate, however the creative stuff can be a bit more challenging.  Further, I shared that coming up with catchy titles is often the most challenging part.

About this time, the fellows began recounting using a recreational water-fun device called an “Air Chair” (or something like that).  Essentially, it is a seat attached to a hydrofoil intended to tow one person seated upon the device behind a boat.  Think of it like a tricycle for would be water-skiers who are too young, too old, or too uncoordinated to water ski.  Anyway, Larry and Otto were carrying on and recounting fond memories of pulling family members around Lake Georgetown and other places on the Air Chair, when Dwight abruptly announced, “You know, I really don’t like that Air Chair thing — it’s like a an enema waiting to happen.”

Now, if your brain created a picture of the Air Chair, I know it is also capable of creating a picture of a nearly 280 pound fellow suffering a bowel flush due to an Air Chair ride going really wrong.  I’ll spare you the details Dwight shared on the aftermatho of this, as this is a G-rated blog.  So, there’s your explanation on the title.  Now, about fishing …

 

PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Blake Hoekstra, Otto Riedel, Larry Brewer, and Dwight Stone.  That white bass Otto is smirking about exceeded 14″ — one of the largest white bass I’ve seen come out of Belton in 3+ years.

WHEN WE FISHED:  26 May, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED:  This morning, once again (2nd consecutive day) saw very limited spawning shad activity — yet another sign of this solid mid-April to early June fishing beginning to shut down.

We got in on the ground floor of some strong white bass action in 43 feet of water.  I say this because there was little to go on in the way of sonar returns when I stopped the boat to fish for what turned out to be a solid 2-hour-long bite.  This quickly blew up into a full-on feed as the northern-most part of a storm cell which went right between Georgetown and Austin brought increased wind and cloud cover from the west.  During the majority of this feed, we had white bass both on bottom and suspended up as much as 1/3 of the way toward the surface, showing on sonar.

As these weather conditions cleared and brightened, the fish turned off hard, giving up only 2 fish in our final hour on the water.

Although we put bait down a few times to probe for hybrid, sonar made it pretty clear that the white bass ruled the roost in the areas we fished, so, to increase efficiency and decrease deep-hooking, we used 3/4 oz. white Hazy Eye Slabs fished vertically to catch the lion’s share of our fish this morning.

TALLY: 87 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: Minor spawning between SHAD026 and SHAD027 this AM.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  7:00A

End Time: 11:30A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 64F

Elevation:  0.93′  high, 0.22′ rise, 17 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  76F

Wind Speed & Direction:  NW 9 at trip’s start increasing to NW14

Sky Conditions: 70% grey skies through 10A, clearing quickly thereafter.

GT = 65

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic 714 to 1489

 

 

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)

 

#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

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

108 FISH ON A RAINY MEMORIAL DAY MORNING

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Memorial Day 2020, we donned full raingear and took on the elements for a great trip on a deserted Lake Belton with Steve Niemeier and his grandson, Caleb Fowler.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:    Steve Niemeier braved the elements this morning and was rewarded with a 108 fish day, which included a mess of white bass and some icing-on-the-cake hybrids.

PHOTO CAPTION: Caleb Fowler, Steve’s grandson, started us off right with this, our first legal hybrid of the morning, and our third fish of the day.

WHEN WE FISHED:  25 May, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED:  This spring’s peak hybrid bite seems to be fading as more and more white bass teem on the deep-water haunts the hybrid typically use earlier in the spring, and as some thermal separation begins to show on sonar, along with the appearance of fry-sized young-of-the-year shad beginning to show up on the surface when calm.

We pursued hybrid this morning with live shad, but did not hesitate to work over the multiple schools of white bass we encountered, at least until their energy level dropped from its peak and they began to settle back to bottom after we initially got them stirred up.

We ended up with just 2 legal hybrid and 1 short this morning.  One of those legal fish came on live shad right within minutes of getting our baits down at the first area we fished.  The other came at the last place we stopped and popped up out of a large school of white bass as Steve worked a slab through it.

The white bass were aggressive and bottom-hugging, but, once we started working our slabs through them, they fired up and rose higher in the water column.  Lots of 2- and 3-year class fish in the mix which has been a real change versus the plague of small fish over most of 2019.  These fish are strong and aggressive as their rising metabolism drives them to feed.

TALLY: 108 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: No spawning shad observed, thanks to turbulent weather, rain, and N. wind right at first light through (obscured) sunrise.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  7:10A

End Time: Noon

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 64F

Elevation:  0.7′  high, 0.1′ fall, 17 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  73.2F

Wind Speed & Direction:  NE 10, shifting and increasing to NW14 by trip’s end

Sky Conditions: 100% grey skies with light rain for the first 2 hours, then occasional brief breaks in the cloud cover.

GT = 60

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic B0039G – 6 fish incl. 1 legal hybrid on bait in an area I was drawn to by low-light topwater action

**Area vic 717/B0037C – white bass blanketing bottom here.  Caught them at will on slabs; moved in search of hybrid

**Area vic  B0075C – a smaller cluster of what turned our to be white bass; moved in search of hybrid

**Area vic  1556 – saw a few fish as we searched for hybrid; developed the bite with bait and thumping; turned into more white bass

**Area vic  344 – white bass blanketing bottom here, 1 hybrid on smoked slab

 

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)

 

#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

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle