Topwater Takes an Uptick — 27 Fish, Belton Lake Fishing Guide Report, 02 July 2012

This morning I fished with father and son Larry and Adam H. Larry came out with me once before on a cold November day in 2010. Low temperatures were not a concern today!!

This hybrid landed by Adam was our largest of the trip. It fell for a hefty 7.5 inch gizzard shad.

Larry works in the oil business out of Houston and Adam is in construction in Dallas. The two linked up and had a pleasant overnight stay at the Hilton Garden Inn near Scott and White Hospital in Temple and then shot down FM2305 this morning where I picked them up at Temple Lake Park.

The fishing was a bit sluggish starting out this morning. Once again we found no topwater action at first light and beyond sunrise.

We gave Areas 1104, 1105, and 1106 a try right off the bat as they have been steady producers in the early mornings of late, but, this morning they only produced 2 blue cats and a missed keeper hybrid that pulled the hook out at boatside.

We searched several more areas, found some fish, and got all but ignored as we presented live shad in these locations.

Around 9:10a, our luck began to change for the better. As we approached Area 475/688 with downriggers down in search mode, we popped 2 white bass back-to-back, then boated a nice hybrid as we got even closer. As we got nearly on top of Area 475, we began to see eruptions on the surface, then a few more, then the entire area began to boil with aggressively feeding fish. This school consisted of large white bass (13-14″) and short hybrid (16-18″) and they were pushing hard after large threadfin shad going 4.5+ inches. We stowed the downriggers quickly and broke out Cork Rigs and Spooks and began consistently putting fish in the boat. We encountered a lot of missed fish at first, but a few refinements to technique eliminated a lot of that.

This action went strong for about 40 minutes, then geared down and went for another 15 minutes before falling off altogether by around 10:40 or so. During this spree we boated a total of 20 more fish on both topwater and on several live bait rods I managed to keep down in between unhooking fish that the fellows caught on topwater.

We experienced a lull until around 11:00 when we made one final move to Area 1106. There is a subtle breakline here and fish were loosely holding along and above it. We got live baits down to the fish at 25′ and got our final two hybrid (both solid keeper fish) here on gizzard shad.

On these summertime live shad trips targeting hybrid, there can be slow times as you wait to see if a bite will develop once you get baits down to fish seen on sonar. Such times allow for good storytelling. Larry and Adam told me how, back during the Gulf War in 1991, they were living in Saudi Arabia while working in the oil business. As American troops moved in, many amenities were lacking. They told of how they enjoyed taking in U.S. soldiers to allow them to eat, do laundry, and make long distance calls back to the States from their home there and of how Adam (then about 6 years old) and his sister liked to get their photos taken with the troops. A lot of people talk about “supporting the troops”, but not so many really do it. Thanks, Larry!

TALLY = 27 FISH, all caught and released

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Start Time: 6:15a

End Time: 11:45a

Air Temp: 76F at trip’s start.

Water Surface Temp: 83.8F

Wind: SE5-6 early, then increasing to SE12-13 by trip’s end.

Skies: Skies were grey and humid the entire trip.

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