This past Saturday morning, May 27th, I fished with Mr. Rusty Janes and his wife Carol, accompanied by a family friend of theirs, Sue Arnold, and Sue’s son Jordan Arnold. Jordan is a Private First Class (PFC) in the 1st Cavalry Division stationed at Fort Hood, and so his mom and the Janeses planned to visit him over the long Memorial Day Weekend.
From left: Sue Arnold, PFC Jordan Arnold, Rusty Janes, and Carol Janes with one of the 58 fish we landed on this warm, drizzly Memorial Day 2017 weekend on Lake Belton.
Both families are from the town of Peculiar, Missouri, and drove down about 10 hours to get here.
Starting off this morning I did a quick check at the same wind-protected area where I found schooling white bass action on the surface yesterday between 6:30 and 7 AM, but none was to be found there this morning.
Next, it was out to deep, clear water in an effort to find and catch hybrid striped bass. We devoted the remainder of our trip to this effort. At our first stop, it took a good bit of doing to draw fish to us, and even when we did, the fish were a bit lethargic. We had a number of very quick pull downs not resulting in hooked fish even after my crew got the hang of the process to go through in order to come tight on a fish using circle hooks.
We made a short “spot hop” some yards away from our initial stop where sonar showed a few fish holding tight to bottom, and that produced essentially the same thing.
On what would be my third and final move in deep water, I found a bottom hugging school of white bass in 43 feet of water. We changed over from fishing with bait temporarily to use spinning rods I had equipped with slabs. I gave everyone very quick instructions on how to work the slabs, and Sue landed a white bass immediately. As I watched everyone’s technique and kept an eye on sonar, as well, I noted that larger signatures with better color began to move in to the commotion we were creating with the slabs. To test my theory that these were hybrid, I dropped a single, large bait down and it immediately got smacked by a nice hybrid, which Rusty’s subdued.
We brought in all the slabs, dropped down four fresh baits, and from that point on till 10:45, we never stopped landing hybrid for more than a few minutes between fish. We arrived at that area with 14 fish in the boat, and left with 58 fish landed, including several that went 4.5 to 5.0 pounds.
My crew joked that it seemed ironic for them to have spent the morning fishing on a catch and release basis with plans to turn right around and head to Red Lobster for a nice, Memorial Day weekend seafood lunch together. Come to think of it, that is a bit peculiar.
TALLY: 58 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:30a
End Time: 10:45a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 77F
Water Surface Temp: 74.3F
Wind Speed & Direction: SSE9-12 all morning
Sky Conditions: 100% cloud cover all morning
Water Level: 0.99 feet above full pool and falling; 45 cfs release at Belton Dam
GT = 0
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area vic 1380 – slow action on live bait for 75 minutes
**Area 1556/672 – 47 fish over 2.5 hours w/ 80% legal hybrid
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)