TRES HERMANOS — MUY FRIO — 71 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  On this cold, rainy Monday, January 24th, I fished with three of the four Fullerton brothers – Ian (age 12), Josh (age 10), and Christian (age 7), on what was the 2022 season’s second SKIFF trip.

The boys’ dad, U.S. Army Chaplain Derrick Fullerton, is currently deployed to Europe; we’d been talking about putting this trip together since well before he departed.

Since the boys mom, Karen Fullerton, homeschools all four of her boys, their schedule is flexible.  When I saw low pressure weather moving our way and moderate temperatures accompanying that weather, I reached out to see if the older boys could make it.

SKIFF is an acronym for Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun. It is a program now in its 13th year, sponsored by the Austin Fly Fishers, and supported by individuals and entities, all of whom desire that kids separated from a parent by that parent’s military duty, be given an opportunity to experience the outdoors through fishing during that time of separation, free of charge.  The program offers a time of respite for the home-front parents who may need a short break from single-parenting.  Reservations for SKIFF trips may be made by phoning or texting 254.368.7411.   Children must be 5 years of age or older.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next few openings will be on January 31st and February 2nd.  Weekday mornings are always best.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Josh, Ian, and Christian Fullerton endured very tough weather conditions to put together a mixed bag of 71 fish, including white bass, hybrid, largemouth, and drum.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Monday (AM), 24 January 2022

HOW WE FISHED:

What a crazy weather scenario! Meteorologists began calling for a chance of rain today as far back as last Thursday, but, with each passing day, the chance of rain and the forecast accumulation grew less and less.

As I left the house, there was between 31 & 61% chance of rain over the 4 hours I’d be with the boys, and only 7/100th of an inch accumulation called for.  Well, you guessed it — we had a cold, continuous rain the entire morning with air temps starting at 50 and falling to 48 by 11AM.  We got more than a half-inch of rain!

The boys were true troopers and so eager to catch fish I just didn’t want to let them down.  Their mom told me as she dropped them off that this trip had been the topic of conversation for a few days, and that the boys were in no way difficult to rouse this morning.

We endured a dark, wet, cold first two hours, landing only 5 fish during that time.  With the boys all wet to the skin, we took a warm-up break with all 4 of us huddled in the single cab of my truck with the heater blasting on our reddened hands.  Snacks helped get the boys’ mind off the cold and, after about 30 minutes, they were chomping at the bit to get back out again!

Fortunately, although a light drizzle continued to fall, the skies had brightened and the light SW breeze continued.  Through rain-speckled glasses, I stared at the rain-splattered side-imaging absolutely scrubbing it for any signs of white bass life we could find.  At 10:55, we had a breakthru!

I got on the fish I’d found in 31 feet of water, Spot-Locked on them, got the boys ready for action and our luck instantly changed.  For the next hour and twenty minutes the boys watched their baits descend on Garmin LiveScope into fish piled up on bottom.  As they retrieved their slabs (white, 5/8 oz. Hazy Eye Slabs) upwards slowly, the fish followed, overtook them, and struck.  We caught white bass, juvenile hybrid, largemouth bass, and freshwater drum.  By making 3 “short hops” in the same general area, we added 66 fish to our tally in that final effort before mom’s minivan pulled up about quarter past 12.

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

TALLY: 71 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: The water temperature profile was as follows:

0 feet 53.1F
5 feet 53.2F
10 feet 53.5F
15 feet 53.5F
20 feet 53.5F
25 feet 53.6F
30 feet 53.6F
35 feet 53.6F
40 feet 53.6F
45 feet 53.5F
50 feet 53.2F
55 feet 53.2F
60 feet 53.2F
65 feet 53.2F

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 7:30A

End Time: 12:15P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  50F

Elevation: 2.8 feet low, 0.02 fall, 34 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 53.1F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SW6-8 all morning.

Sky Condition: Varying degrees of grey with precipitation 100% of the trip

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 62% illumination.

GT = N/A

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Areas 097 – 5 fish early, then B0103C/1614/473 in the last 1.5 hours

 

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 BASS IN A JIFFY – 101 FISH @ STILLHOUSE

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Tuesday, 18 January 2022, I fished with Brian Jackson and Joshua Cunningham in pursuit of white bass on Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir.

The two first met while both working for Jiffy Lube in the Austin area some years ago.  Joshua is now a manager there, and Brian has moved on to Colorado, but came back to visit Joshua for a few days, during which time the two went on a multi-day fishing marathon resulting in fewer than five largemouth bass landed from Decker Lake and the Colorado River.

They decided if the marathon was to end memorably, they’d better call a professional!  That call came in just after 7P last night, and at just before 7A this morning, we met in person for the first time at the boat ramp on Stillhouse Hollow.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next few openings will be on January 24th, 25th, and 26th.  Weekday mornings are always best.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: From left, Brian Jackson and Joshua Cunningham booked a last minute trip for white bass on the only decent day of weather forecast all week.  We caught and released 101 fish on 5/8th oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday (AM), 18 January 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

Today’s weather was about as stable as weather was going to be all week, with a cold front just having passed through over the weekend, and another due in mid-afternoon tomorrow.

This morning started off with a gentle SSE breeze which slowly warmed as it built up to 15+ mph by trip’s end.  The skies were partly cloudy, then went fully cloudy (and grey) with a few minutes of the lightest of sprinkles falling, followed by rapid clearing and warming thereafter.

Helpful (albeit quite brief) bird activity led us to our first 15 fish of the morning, then we were on our own to find ’em with sonar thereafter.  We caught fish in six distinct areas ranging from 34 to 46 feet in depth.

The fishing was nearly identical at each location, with the fish being most enthusiastic as we first presented our lures, then getting increasingly reluctant thereafter until we finally could not convince any additional fish to follow and strike.

We used white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs exclusively this morning and used only a slow-smoking tactic to fish them with.

Our final catch totaled 101 fish landed, including 4 freshwater drum, 1 largemouth bass, and 96 white bass up to 14.25 inches.

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

TALLY: 101 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: We landed white bass from out of 46′ of water at two distinct locations today, which was the deepest we’ve taken fish from on Stillhouse thus far this winter.

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 7:20A

End Time: 12:15P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  41F

Elevation: 2.50 feet low, 0.03 fall in last 24 hours, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 52.6F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSE8 at trip’s start, increasing steadily to SSE15-16 with gusts to 21

Sky Condition: High, wispy white cloud cover at 35% on a blue sky, then full grey cloud cover for about an hour, then clearing rapidly thereafter to cloudless.

Moon Phase: Full moon at 100% illumination.

GT = TBD

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Areas 790 (15 fish), Area 838 (53 fish), Area vic Sh0014G (12 fish), Area 121 ( 2 hops, 5 fish), Area 0221 (11 fish), and Area SH0125G (5 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)

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

ESCAPING WINTER’S GRIP — 62 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Friday morning, January 14th, I fished with a crew of four — two from the Austin area, and two who escaped winter’s grip up in Minnesota.

Joe Menk and Mike Lotta with PCI, a financing company, left cold winds and snow flurries behind at the Minneapolis Airport to meet with salesmen Frank and Jeff Gladding down in Austin.  When all the business was addressed, there was some time remaining to relax a bit out in our mid-70 degree afternoon on Lake Belton.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next few openings will be on January 18th,19th, & 21st.  Weekday mornings are always best.

 

 

PHOTO CAPTION: From left, Joe Menk, Mike Lotta, Jeff Gladding, and Frank Gladding each with Lake Belton white bass taken in ~30 feet of water on the white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab.

 

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Friday (PM), 14 January 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

The various weather forecasts I watch were all abuzz about the strong cold front due in Saturday which was when this trip was originally scheduled for.  The high winds (gusts in the 40 mph range) would not allow for that trip to happen, so, I offered to bump this crew up to Friday afternoon, instead.  As I made that offer, I was hoping we’d get in on some of that “pre-frontal” fishing that takes place before strong fronts roll in, but, unfortunately, the timing on this one left those ideal conditions taking place under the cover of darkness late Friday night and into early Saturday morning, so, we fished under the “lull between fronts” kind of conditions instead.  Even so, it was nice to be outdoors without gloves or long underwear on!

We were able to find fish, but, when we did, the schools we found would give up a handful of fish before the school would lose interest and stop pursuing aggressively as they did when we first arrived and presented our slabs.  So, this meant we had to do two things: 1) move routinely, and 2) make use of “short hops” whenever side imaging revealed fish nearby to our left or right as we fished from a Spot-Locked position.

In this way we were able to catch fish steadily up through about 4:45pm (with a 1:40pm start).  The last 45 minutes leading up to sunset was very tough as the winds lightened significantly and, although we found and sat over top of fish, they were loathe to pursue more than a foot or 18 inches off bottom.  We landed only 3 fish during this final portion of the trip.

All of our catching today came on slowly smoked white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs worked in conjunction with Garmin LiveScope.

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

TALLY: 62 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: No helpful bird activity during this afternoon trip, despite the presence of plenty of both gulls and terns.  We noted that the schools of fish we found this afternoon lost interest, but did not move; rather, they just became increasingly difficult to catch to the point of not budging off bottom no matter the speed of our retrieve (or lack thereof).

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 1:40P

End Time: 5:45P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  74F

Elevation: 2.54 feet low, 0.02 fall in last 24 hours, 34 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 56.3F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSW12-14 through 4:45P, then dropping off sharply

Sky Condition: High, wispy white cloud cover at 25% on a blue sky

Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous moon at 89% illumination.

GT = 55

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Areas 1815 (2 hops, 13 fish), B0005G (2 hops, 7 fish), 1814 (3 hops 18 fish), 1624 (2 hops, 14 fish), 709 (2 fish), 620 (2 hops, 8 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)

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

INVESTING IN MORE THAN THE STOCK MARKET — 70 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Thursday, 13 January 2022, I fished with returning guest Bryan Reed, accompanied by his co-worker and first-time guest, Neil Poehlmann.

The fellows work together at a local Edward Jones financial services company and decided they needed to intentionally take some down time away from the office and invest a little of the money they’d worked hard to earn in reducing their stress level and taking in some of what the Lord has given us.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next few openings will be on January 17th, 18th, & 19th.  Weekday mornings are always best.

 

 

PHOTO CAPTION: When I communicated with Bryan about which lake we’d fish, I told him to choose Belton for numbers or Stillhouse for size.  Stillhouse did not disappoint.  Bryan’s fish went 14 7/8″ and many were within 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch shy of that.

PHOTO CAPTION: This pair of 13-inch range white bass looked clean and healthy with plump bellies from eggs beginning to develop within them.  All of our fish came on 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs this morning.

 

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday (AM), 13 January 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

The best winter days include wind and cloud cover at the end of a warming spell.  Of those three things, we only had wind going for us today.  A steady 8-10 NW breeze rippled the water all morning, peaking briefly at ~12-13 mph around 9:30-10:00A.

My past several trips on Stillhouse over the past 3 weeks have played out very similarly with sparse bird activity pointing the way to fish in the first 70-90 minutes, then using sonar to search for fish the remainder of the morning.

We caught fish from 6 distinct locations this morning and did some “short hops” at 3 of these to stay on top of the fish and ensure were were dealing with “fresh” fish which had not seen our presentations over and over again.

100% of our fishing and catching this morning was done with 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs in white used in conjunction with Garmin LiveScope. A “slow smoking” tactic got the job done.

Fish are not straying very far from the main river channel as they slowly migrate upstream, eating as they go.

We’re experiencing a fairly steep water temperature rate of decrease, and this weekend’s blustery weather will likely only reinforce that trend.

 

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

TALLY: 70 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: Temperature profile:

0 feet 54.7F
5 feet 55.3F
10 feet 55.9F
15 feet 55.9F
20 feet 55.9F
25 feet 55.9F
30 feet 55.9F
35 feet 55.9F
40 feet 55.6F
45 feet 55.4F
50 feet 55.2F
55 feet 54.9F
60 feet 54.8F
65 feet 54.8F

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 7:15A

End Time: 11:59A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  38F

Elevation: 2.31 feet low, 0.02 fall in last 24 hours, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 53.9F

Wind Speed & Direction:  NW8-10 all morning

Sky Condition: Thin but complete grey cloud coverage

Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous moon at 83% illumination.

GT = 50

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Areas 0265 (19 fish), 988 (2 hops for 9 fish), 0113 (16 fish), 567 (2 hops for 4 fish), 1317 (2 hops for 6 fish), and SH0001C (16 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)

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

SAME BASS TIME, SAME BASS CHANNEL — 40 FISH @ STILLHOUSE

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Monday, January 10th, I spent the morning on Stillhouse fishing with returning guest Ronnie Trower of Harker Heights, TX.

If that name sounds familiar, it’s likely because you’ve either dealt with Ronnie while boat shopping at Texas Boat World, or while competing against him in the many bass tournament series he’s fished in through the years.

Ronnie contacted me about a month ago to reserve a mid-January date to specifically search together for concentrations of white bass in hopes of finding largemouth bass mixed in with them, and to dial in his sonar units for accomplishing this task.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next few openings will be on January 12th, 17th, & 18th.  Weekday mornings are always best.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: Ronnie Trower with a 4.07-pound, slab-caught, deep-water, winter largemouth bass from Stillhouse Hollow.

PHOTO CAPTION: This pale fellow had been out deep for quite a while judging from the lack of coloration.  All of our fish came on the 3/8 oz. and 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs (white color).

 

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday (AM), 10 January 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

I wasn’t wild about our weather this morning — it wasn’t impossible, but I knew we’d have to work for a catch.

Since we were going to fish out of Ronnie’s boat, job one was to inspect Ronnie’s transducers.  This is a fundamental thing so many anglers overlook.  A transom-mounted transducer off by just a few degrees simply will not render the detail necessary to spot fish at a distance in deep water.  We tweaked a few things here and launched.

Over the course of the morning we searched approximately twenty potential fish-holding areas, and found catchable fish at six of them.

At each location, the fishes’ attitude was about the same.  We could get many to approach, get a few to follow, and even fewer to strike.

We both worked Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs in white successfully.  Ronnie’s most productive bait was the 3/8 oz. version, while I opted for the 5/8 oz. version.  Larger slabs and the chartreuse color did not perform as well.

As for presentation, we found that a fast “easing” tactic or a slow “smoking” tactic worked best.  The fish did not at all care for a slab that was jigged or jerked or snapped, rather, it needed to be rising steadily and naturally to get hit consistently.  Jigged slabs caught drum and little else.

Of the six areas we fished successfully, scant bird activity put us in the vicinity of the first two, then we found the last four by covering water and studying (scrutinizing) side imaging.

Once we found fish, we both moved to the front deck, Spot Locked and relied on Garmin LiveScope to track our presentation and fish response.  Ronnie has equipped his Avid bass boat with a Rite Hite Turret so his LiveScope transducer works independently of the trolling motor’s steering. He opted for the faster of the two motor speeds on this device and likes the two-button foot control switch which pans the transducer back and forth on demand.  A “pointing arrow” on the device’s shaft helps the angler keep up with which way the transducer is oriented.

Most of our fish came out of 34-40 feet of water.  It was during this time of year last year when a Georgetown client and I landed a 5-fish, 38+ pound haul under similar conditions using identical tackle and tactics.  It is that time of year!!

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

TALLY: 40 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: The fish demonstrated a real reluctance to rise above the 26-28 foot level.  Can’t really explain why that was — I suspect light level.

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 7:20A

End Time: 12:40P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  35F

Elevation: 2.25 feet low, 0.04 fall in last 24 hours, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 53.9F

Wind Speed & Direction:  NNW6-11 all morning

Sky Condition: Thin but complete grey cloud coverage

Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous moon at 57% illumination.

GT = 100

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Areas vic 2019 (2 hops), vic 0095 (2 hops), 1527 (2 hops), vic 331, vic 0224/0230, and vic 0113

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

CATCHING UP WITH DWIGHT — 75 FISH @ STILLHOUSE

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Tuesday, January 5th, I spent the morning on Stillhouse fishing with returning guest Dwight Stone of Georgetown, TX.

I always enjoy fishing with Dwight because we share interests in fishing and shooting, and because he is also a follower of Christ.  Further, like me, he isn’t really hung up on a particular species of fish — he just likes “getting his string stretched”, so, although we targeted white bass, when largemouth or blue cat or drum come along, he enjoys catching them, too.  Finally, we both like good barbeque.  So, there’s always much to talk about and catch up on since our last trip.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next few openings will be on January 12th, 17th, & 18th.  Weekday mornings are always best.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: Dwight Stone and I got into a quality white bass on Stillhouse this morning primarily using the 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab with a vertical, slow-smoking approach.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday (AM), 05 January 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

Although still chilly, this morning’s 38F start was still warmer than yesterday’s 30F start.  Winds were just south of west, but, NOAA indicated a mild front and accompanying wind shift would arrive this morning.

We had a strong bite at sunrise, but, even during this time, and as is normally the case as the water cools, we encountered many disinterested or mildly interested fish for every one fish which perked up and responded to our presentations.  This bite slowly tapered off through 10AM.  At exactly 10:03 AM, a wind shift occurred, ushering in the weather disturbance.  The fish responded positively.

To that point (2.5 hours of fishing by 10AM) we’d landed 33 fish.  In the 2 hours which followed that wind shift, we caught another 42 fish, so it seemed that little wrinkle in the weather spurred the fish on a bit.

All of our fishing was vertical using white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs.  I knew fishing Stillhouse would involve deeper water than I’ve been fishing at Belton, so the extra weight helped get our baits to bottom more quickly and made us more efficient.

A smooth, slow-smoking tactic used in conjunction with Garmin LiveScope did the trick.

When all was said and done, we landed exactly 75 fish, including 6 freshwater drum, and 69 white bass.

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

TALLY: 75 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: No helpful gull activity witnessed today.  Caught fish in as much as 44′.

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 7:20A

End Time: 12:00P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  38F

Elevation: 2.11 feet low, 0.03 fall in last 24 hours, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 58.4F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSW7 at trip’s start and until 10:03AM, then a sudden wind shift and increase in velocity to NW11 occurred.

Sky Condition: Blue, cloudless skies

Moon Phase: Waxing crescent moon at 10% illumination.

GT = 25

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Areas 0256, 0091, vic 1528, SH0001C (3 hops), vic 121, and 980 — 80 fish, all caught on a slow-smoked Bladed Hazy Eye Slab (5/8 oz. white)

 

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

30 DEGREE START, 80 FISH FINISH — LAKE BELTON, 04 JAN.

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Tuesday, 04 January 2022, I fished with first time guests Clint and Chandler Zimmerhanzel on Lake Belton in pursuit of white bass.

Clint was high bidder on a gift certificate I provided to the Ralph Wilson Youth Club Fall Fundraiser at the Wildflower Country Club & Golf Course in Temple, TX, and today was the day he chose to redeem it.

Clint is a Texas Farm Bureau Insurance agent at their Harker Heights agency (txfb-ins.com).  Chandler, a University of Mary Hardin-Baylor nursing graduate, works in the pediatric intensive care unit at one of our local hospitals.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next few openings will be on January 12th, 17th, & 18th.  Weekday mornings are always best.

PHOTO CAPTION: Chandler and Clint Zimmerhanzel pushed through a 30F start to an 80 fish finish on Lake Belton this morning.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: We landed 11 largemouth in a total catch of 80 fish, which comes to 13+%, all of which were 14-17 inches.  That’s a decent tournament bag on Lake Belton without even trying to catch this species!

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday (AM), 04 January 2022

HOW WE FISHED:

Two keys to success this morning: wind & birds.  Despite the recent cold snap, and despite clear skies, the returning south wind (and a good bit of it — up to 14+mph this morning) was enough to trump all of that and get the fish pushing shad all throughout the water column.

When those shad got near the surface, the birds (mostly Forster’s terns today, not gulls) keyed in on them and gave a great visual as to where the fish were.  Still, prudent use of sonar was useful to find exactly where the fish were after birds identified the general proximity.

Due to the winds, and because I wasn’t sure of the the Zimmerhanzels’ experience level, I rigged up with 5/8 oz. white Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs and they turned out to be a good choice.

All of our fish were taken on a slow-smoking vertical tactic in under 34 feet of water.

When all was said and done, we landed exactly 80 fish, including 11 largemouth bass, 7 juvenile hybrid striped bass, 3 freshwater drum, and 59 white bass.

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

TALLY: 80 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: Despite the cold spike we’ve had since just after sunset on Saturday, the water temperature did not drop drastically, and the fish were still biting well today thanks to a stiff SSE breeze all morning.  Temperature profile was as follows:

0 feet 59.6F
5 feet 59.8F
10 feet 60F
15 feet 60F
20 feet 60F
25 feet 60F
30 feet 60F
35 feet 60F
40 feet 60F
45 feet 60F
50 feet 60F
55 feet 60F
60 feet 59.8F
65 feet 59.8F

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 7:20A

End Time: 11:45A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  30F

Elevation: 2.40 feet low, 0.03 fall, 34 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 62.1F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSE9 at trip’s start and staying there through 9:30, then ramping up to SSE14 by trip’s end.

Sky Condition: Bright, cloudless skies

Moon Phase: Waxing crescent moon at 4% illumination.

GT = 75

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Areas 1933, 216, 1799, 2052, 840, and 1604 with bird assistance at all but 1604.

 

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 BASS AND CAKE POPS — 100 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  On this New Year’s Day 2022, I fished with siblings Jordynn (age 9), Jacob (age 8), and Jessica (age 7) on what was the 2022 season’s first SKIFF trip.

The children’s father, Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas Ryan, is an aviator with 19 years in the U.S. Army.  He is currently deployed to Europe as a battalion commander.  The kids’ mom, Lieutenant Colonel Lindsay Ryan, also an Army aviator with 16 years in the military, arranged the trip for the kids after seeing a post about the opening on the Fort Hood Area Events Facebook page.

One of the girls told about getting a “Cake Pop Maker” for Christmas, baking cake pops (like a lollipop — but with a ball of cake on the stick instead of a ball of hard candy) in it, putting icing on, and packing them up to send to their dad in Germany.   I don’t know what condition the cake pops will be in upon arrival, but, anything from home will be welcome, I’m sure!

SKIFF is an acronym for Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun. It is a program now in its 12th year, sponsored by the Austin Fly Fishers, and supported by individuals and entities, all of whom desire that kids separated from a parent by that parent’s military duty, be given an opportunity to experience the outdoors through fishing during that time of separation, free of charge.  The program offers a time of respite for the home-front parents who may need a short break from single-parenting.  Reservations for SKIFF trips may be made by phoning or texting 254.368.7411.   Children must be 5 years of age or older.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next few openings will be on January 5th & 12th.  Weekday mornings are always best.

PHOTO CAPTION: The Ryan family: (from left) Jessica, Jacob, Lindsay, and Jordynn landed 100 fish in just under 3 hours’ time as prefrontal weather put the fish in overdrive this morning in advance of a major cold front due in in the forthcoming overnight hours.

PHOTO CAPTION: Jacob landed our largest fish of the trip, this 19.25″, 3.5 pound hybrid striped bass which fell for a white 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab.

PHOTO CAPTION: The birthday girl, Jessica Ryan, who turned 7 today, with a nice 15.5″ largemouth bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Monday (AM), 01 January 2022

HOW WE FISHED:

This morning’s fishing was pretty straightforward. Thanks to a stiff southerly breeze and moderately thick, complete gray cloud cover, the fish started feeding at 7:46AM, drew attention from birds, and from that point until 10:30 it was just a matter of staying in the center of mass of the action in 32-34 feet of water.

Given that I had three elementary-aged kids with minimal prior experience, and given that we faced a pretty stiff breeze, I opted to rig up each of my rods with white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs.  These have the same length as the smaller 3/8 oz. slabs, but are thicker and wider, so, they sink faster and provided more feel for the kids.

We simply allowed these slabs to sink to the bottom, and reeled them up with a “slow smoking“ approach and got hit routinely as our lures rose towards the surface, both by fish which pursued from off the bottom, as well as by suspended fish. The bird activity stayed strong all morning

We fished five areas this morning landing 24 at our first stop, 14 at our second stop, 16 at our third stop, and 24 at our fourth stop.  Truth be known, the fish were so active that we could have stayed put at any one of these areas, but, with young kids, when they start getting “fidgety”, moving the boat if only 50 yards or so, provides a mental break and a transition which gets them re-engaged at the next stop and keeps them focused.  By this fourth stop we’d tallied up 78 fish and it was once again time for a short move as the younger two kids were getting antsy.

I let the kids know that it was exactly 10AM.  I told them that if each of them were to catch just 4 more fish (1 dozen total) we’d have a respectable catch of 90 fish.   I let them know I’d give them 20 minutes to accomplish this task (as mom had suggested this as a wrap-up time).

Now, with a goal to reach, the kids redoubled their efforts and the fish starting coming in over the sides as each one focused and employed all of the fundamentals they’d learned over the course of the morning.  We easily landed the 90th fish by 10:10.  It was then that Jessica, the birthday girl, asked mom if (for her birthday), they could stay a bit longer and shoot for 100 fish.

By now the kids were all-in on meeting goals, so, slabs went back down and by 10:30 (still a half-hour shy of my normal 3.5 hour trip length for kids), we hit our 100 fish goal.   Mom and I knew that would be a good stopping point, so, we packed in the gear, took some great photos, and headed back in.

When all was said and done, we landed exactly 100 fish, including 1 largemouth bass, 7 juvenile hybrid striped bass, 1 legal hybrid striped bass, and 91 white bass.

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

TALLY: 100 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: The pre-frontal bite was on this morning.  The very powerful, incoming front is due to drop the temperate of Texas’ entire atmosphere about 50 degrees in a short 10 hour span beginning around 8p this evening.

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 7:30A

End Time: 10:30A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  72F

Elevation: 2.31 feet low, 0.03 fall, 34 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 62.1F

Wind Speed & Direction:  S12 all morning.

Sky Condition: Grey skies just thin enough to cause “squinting” levels of light to come thru the entire morning.

Moon Phase: Waning crescent moon at 2% illumination.

GT = 60

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Areas 2054, 1933, vic 812, 1805, and 133 all produced well with the last 4 providing very helpful, ample bird action to point the way to 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)

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

FOOLING A FEW FISH HERE, & A FEW FISH THERE — 38 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Thursday afternoon, December 30th, I fished with Todd Spiva and Patricia Perry from Leander, Texas.

Todd got Patricia a gift certificate for Christmas 2020, and the two’s schedules finally cleared and coincided sufficient to allow them this afternoon together on Lake Belton.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next few openings will be on January 5th & 12th.  Weekday mornings are always best.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: Todd Spiva and Patricia Perry had to really work to put together a catch this afternoon after morning clouds and wind gave way to a bright, calm weather scenario this afternoon.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday (PM), 30 December 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

After a solid morning, fueled by a remnant WNW breeze following a mild front’s passage yesterday, fishing got much tougher this afternoon.  The winds shifted and lightened during the midday, and the clouds thinned.  We now faced a nearly calm, fairly bright set of conditions.

We found fish with consistency, but after exciting just 2-3 fish into biting, the schools we found lost interest quickly and only half-heartedly followed our baits at a pace too slow to overtake them, and only for a short distance.  We saw this happen over and over again as the fish were simply turned off.

We had a short 9-fish run right around 4:30 as the sun was now low in the sky and at a time that a patch of clouds dimmed things down for about 20 minutes.  Other than that short spurt, we had to keep hopping around and be satisfied to fool a few fish here and a few fish there.

When all was said and done, we landed exactly 38 fish, including 3 juvenile hybrid striped bass, 1 largemouth bass, 1 drum, and 33 white bass.

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

TALLY: 38 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: We saw a spike in fishing pressure today as nice weather coincided with holiday schedules to put a lot more folks on the water than has been the case lately.

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 1:15P

End Time: 5:30P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  74F

Elevation: 2.27 feet low, 0.00 fall in last 24 hours, 34 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 63.2F

Wind Speed & Direction:  Light S wind, under 4mph all afternoon.

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

Moon Phase: Waning crescent moon at 15% illumination.

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Areas 1659, 1675, B0112G, 499, and B0122C (w/ 2 short hops) with slow-smoked 3/8 oz. white Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs

 

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

JAYD & THE J-DOG JUNK REMOVAL CREW – 143 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Thursday morning, December 30th, I fished with Jayd Bosiacki and the crew of J-Dog Junk Removal, based in Killeen.

Jayd invested time, money, and effort into his crew this holiday week by taking them bowling, to an escape room, and, on this morning, fishing on Lake Belton.

Joining us were Blake Cyr, Shawn Barr, Jayd’s dad, Don Bosiacki, and Taylor Graham.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next few openings will be on January 5th & 12th.  Weekday mornings are always best.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Blake Cyr, Jayd Bosiacki, Shawn Barr, Jayd’s dad, Don Bosiacki, and Taylor Graham.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday (AM), 30 December 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

A very mild front passed over Central Texas yesterday, barely shifting our winds at that time, but, this morning, the impacts were definitely more notable.  The air was drier, the temperatures cooler, and the winds blew from the WNW for the first 90 minutes following sunrise.

Fortunately, everyone on the J-Dog crew had prior fishing experience with spinning gear, so I had to do very little in the way of coaching to get these fellows ready to catch.

I did park us in 20+ feet of water and demonstrate the slow-smoking tactic we’d be using all morning.

Due to the number of folks aboard, casting would not be an option for safety reasons, so, I brought only spinning rod and reels rigged with white, 3/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs.  I had 5/8 oz. and 3/4 oz. versions of the same rigged and ready to swap out if need be, but, the 3/8 oz. baits performed well from start to finish.

Our efforts were aided in the first 90 minutes by helpful gull action.  The only downside of fishing under birds during a holiday is that everybody and their brother can spot birds, so, you are just about guaranteed to have company — and we did.

Regardless, we got a great start under those birds and, after they dispersed, put the valuable lessons the fellows had learned by repetition to use under more difficult conditions when the fish slowed down, the winds decreased, and the skies began to clear.

Every last fish the 5 fellows landed came on a rising 3/8 oz. bait fished with a slow-smoking tactic moving toward the surface, with their efforts enhanced by Garmin LiveScope.

When all was said and done, we landed exactly 143 fish, including 3 juvenile hybrid striped bass, 1 freshwater drum, and 139 white bass.

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

TALLY: 143 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: We saw a spike in fishing pressure today as nice weather coincided with holiday schedules to put a lot more folks on the water than has been the case lately.

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 7:40A

End Time: 11:40A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  51F

Elevation: 2.27 feet low, 0.00 fall in last 24 hours, 34 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 63.2F

Wind Speed & Direction:  WNW 9 at trip’s start, fading to near calm by trip’s end

Sky Condition: 70% cloud cover, decreasing to 20% by trip’s end

Moon Phase: Waning crescent moon at 15% illumination.

GT = 86

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Areas 1798, B0025G, 132, and 677/1604 all produced the same way with slow-smoked 3/8 oz. white Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs

 

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