This past Monday morning, June 27, I fished a daddy-daughter trip with Katie Schulte and her dad, Mike Schulte.
It was daddy-daughter day today! Katie and Mike Schulte stuck with it through some pretty slow fishing under near-calm conditions this morning and each landed several nice hybrid when all was said and done.
All but one of our fish today came on live bait. I used a combination of shad, sunfish, and shiners. None really outperformed the other.
Katie is a Harker Heights High School graduate now entering her senior year at Howard Payne University, where she plays inter-collegiate volleyball. Upon graduation she desires to go into the dental field. Mike is a long-time local builder and real estate appraiser whose business is based in Harker Heights.
A few days before Father’s Day Katie contacted me about doing a trip just for her and her dad, and today was the day she made that happen.
We met up at Belton Lake Park at 6:15a and immediately began keeping an eye out for topwater action, although none appeared this morning. We put downriggers set at between 18 and 22 feet and began patrolling the area where, over the past two weeks, morning action has been solid. Downrigging allows us to catch fish while at the same time searching for large concentrations of fish to tempt with live bait.
The downrigging this morning really did not reveal much, and only yielded one white bass right around 7 AM. I didn’t see enough as we were downrigging to let me know where the bait and gamefish were concentrated, and so once the sun rose we transitioned over to fishing bait. Even the bite on live bait this morning was pretty slow. Most of our fish today came just one at a time with an occasional 2 to 3 fish burst, but nothing more intense than that.
On a number of occasions we saw healthy groupings of game fish, typically between 18 and 25 feet deep, holding in a suspended posture over a deeper bottom. In almost all of these situations, it was very tough despite the number of fish and the fact that they were congregated together, to get a bite going.
Since I had a variety of bait to try, we tried baits of various species and sizes, including large and small threadfin, large and small gizzard shad, large and small sunfish, and large and small shiners, but none seemed to really outperform the other.
I extended our trip by about an hour and a half, and in the end we wound up catching 22 fish with roughly half of those consisting of keeper hybrid. Katie was also quite pleased to land two very stout freshwater drum (also known as gasper gou).
Clear, bright, and calm or low-wind conditions as we experienced this morning often diminish results, and today was no exception. We caught fish, including several solid hybrid stripers, but didn’t knock the ball out of the park this morning.
TALLY = 22 fish, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:15a
End Time: 11:45a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 77F
Water Surface Temp: 85.2F
Wind Speed & Direction: Variable SSE to SSW 3-4.
Sky Conditions: Less than 20% white cloud cover on a fair sky.
Water Level: ~25+ feet above full pool with a release of 5,744 cfs ongoing. Lake is still rising due to even heavier flows out of Lake Proctor upstream from Belton.
GT = 30
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 009 to 018 with only one white bass caught
** Area 1764 – slow results on bait
**Area 1771 – slow results on bait
**Area 019 to 018 – slow results on bait
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)