This past Saturday afternoon I fished with Mrs. Marcia Kuenast and Mrs. Tracie Byrd.
From left: Tracie Byrd with a 2-year class fish, and Marcia Kuenast with a 14 1/8″ 3-year class fish
As the action reach a peak just past the halfway point of our 4-hour trip, fish aggressively chased their hooked schoolmates 2/3’s of the way from the bottom toward the surface. Here, Marcia landed two fish on the same lure, one on the treble hook and one on the Hazy Eye stinger hook affixed to the line tie.
Marcia contacted me back in December initially hoping to arrange a trip for her and her brother who would be visiting from Minnesota. Unfortunately, he had to undergo surgery and his physician did not clear him for air travel in time for this visit. So, Marcia invited Tracie who cares for Marcia’s horse in their shared interest in dressage.
Tracie and her husband, Tom, fished Belton Lake with me last spring towards the end of the strong hybrid bite that typically occurs in conjunction with the annual threadfin shad spawn.
Marcia’s prior fishing experience came mainly in fishing for panfish with her dad in small, natural lakes in Minnesota, as well as during some canoeing trips to the Boundary Waters up that way.
I let both ladies know that afternoon trips often start slow and end better, as the low-light sunset period kicks in and motivates fish to feed. Marcia asked about the results of the morning trip, and I let her know that the Martinez party managed to land 116 fish. I followed that up by letting here know that afternoons typically produce about 70% of the morning’s catch, all other things being equal. (That would amount to 81 fish if the statistics held true this afternoon).
After demonstrating the tactics we would employ, and then practicing them at dockside, we headed out to hunt for fish. We immediately found a flock of actively feeding terns dipping shad from above a school of feeding white bass in 47 feet of water.
What we experienced at this first stop was nearly identical to what we found during the morning trip, and what we would continue to find the remainder of this afternoon. Fish would initially be found on bottom, then, as we hooked and reeled several fish in, the school would being to rise upward in the water column to just shy of halfway off bottom. This would put the fish out of reach for the normal “easing” tactic I typically employ, thus requiring that we use a slow smoking tactic to get our baits in front of as many fish as possible.
The fishing peaked from 4:00 to 5:00p, but we caught fish steadily from start to finish. We definitely beat the odds today as Marcia and Tracie put together a catch of 117 fish. Our success was aided by the WNW wind that continued to blow steadily at 11-13 instead of slacking off around 3pm as it was forecast to do.
TALLY = 117 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 1:50p
End Time: 5:50p
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 56F
Water Surface Temp: 55.1F
Wind Speed & Direction: WNW11-13
Sky Conditions: Cloudless, fair sky
Water Level: 0.67 feet above full pool
GT = 0
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Areas 1692/980, 549, 1058/986, vic 763
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