This morning I fished Belton Lake with Robert K. of Harker Heights, TX. Rob’s wife, Priscilla, bought him this trip for their anniversary, so, he got to fish while she worked the weekend shift today at Scott & White. We boated 73 white bass, 1 largemouth, and 1 hybrid striped bass, all via vertical jigging.
Rob, shown here with our largest white bass of the day, is a Sergeant First Class in the U.S. Army Military Police with 16 years of service to the nation.
Today’s trip had a number of “what a small world” moments. Come to find out, Rob spent his childhood in Bridgewater,New Jersey, just miles from where I was born in Plainfield, and even closer to where I spent my 5th-10th grade years, in Middlesex. We frequented the same fishing spots, went to the same sporting goods stores, and ate at some of the same restaurants. It was like a high school reunion, minus the Algebra II.
At first light, before sunrise, plenty of birds were working over open water, but, they were sipping shad off the top that were not driven there by gamefish.
We focused our efforts today on bottom-oriented fish in 27-38 feet of water at 4 different areas. The fish at each area behaved in much the same manner. There would be a few fish up off bottom that gave away a larger school’s position. We would set up over these fish and catch 6-8 fish, then the fish would lose interest. We’d then use the trolling motor to search within yards of our initial contact and find another “patch” of fish, and so on. Each time we located fish, we located multiple “patches” of fish within yards of our initial stop. This happened at Areas 1137, 959, 297, 787, and 212-959.
At each stop we used primarily the 3/4 oz. white TNT180 slabs. The easing tactic was particularly effective today, accounting for about 40% of our catch, with the balance falling to a straightforward slabbing tactic.
One of Rob’s main goals was to “get good with electronics”, so I emphasized sonar interpretation and especially the use of the flasher mode which is so helpful in vertical presentations (which is why ice fishermen use that format almost exclusively).
The winds were light but with a southerly and westerly component, so the bite was consistent but weak.
By trip’s end we’d put together a very respectable catch given the so-so conditions we faced.
TALLY = 75 Fish
Start Time: 7:15a
End Time: 12:30p
Air Temp: 49F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: 53-54F
Wind: Changing steadily from SSE4-5 to SSW4-7 over the course of the trip up until 11:15, then changing abruptly to NNW2-4 at that time.
Skies: Clear skies transitioned to fair over the course of the trip.