This past Wednesday morning, June 8th, I fished with Mr. Phil Moore of Killeen, and his two brothers-in-law, David Norwood of Colorado, and Garvon Golden from the Dakotas. This trip was in celebration of Phil’s 70th birthday.
Phil Moore, the birthday boy, with one of the 18 keeper hybrid we landed today after a nice topwater blitz by white bass and largemouth right at first light.
David Norwood of Colorado with one of the hybrid we took from 40′ on live shad.
Former Lake Belton white bass C&R record holder Garvon Golden with a hard-pulling hybrid he landed.
I have been off the water for 10 days on a fishing vacation to Flaming Gorge Reservoir. So, today I was a bit unsure of what I would find, but, thanks to help from a network of fishing friends, I had some pretty reasonable expectations as to where fish would be, and what mood they would be in.
We met up at 6:10 AM, and by 6:25 AM had all three guests hooked into white bass which were forcing young of the year shad to the surface and gorging on them. The “nervous water” that they created as they fed was a giveaway so long as your eyes could pick up on this clue. We moved to three or four different schools of fish all within about 1/4 mile stretch of lake making as many casts to each school as we could before the fish sounded, thus forcing us to move on to another school. Our lure of choice for this was a paddle tail grub chosen to simulate the size and color of these small young of the year shad. “Schoolie” sized largemouth bass were mixed in with these white bass.
For more details on fishing this grub, see my article from this past Sunday’s Killeen Daily Herald: http://kdhnews.com/sports/fishing/bob-maindelle-paddle-tail-grubs-work-wonders-on-topwater/article_5bed357a-48e9-11e7-bec7-4bca38980d36.html
When it was obvious that the rising, direct sun had put these white bass down for keeps, we moved into phase 2 of the trip which was the pursuit of hybrid striped bass using live shad in deep, open water.
I looked at and fished four distinct areas this morning, and all of them had white bass, hybrid striper, and blue catfish holding on them. This time of year large schools of small blue catfish are a huge concern while bait fishing. These small catfish have very small mouths, and will attack a bait, kill it, and then begin nibbling on it from the tail end forward, rarely getting hooked, but regularly causing the rod tip to bobble up-and-down. Once the blue catfish move in, I just leave instead of dealing with the frustration that these blue cat cause.
Fishing these four areas with livebait allowed for three hybrid to be caught at our first stop before blue cat showed up, a handful of white bass to be caught at our second stop before blue catfish showed up, one hybrid to be caught before blue catfish showed up at our third stop, and, finally, at the final stop we would make, we got hybrid to respond in good numbers before the blue cat showed up. At this final stop we were able to put 14 legal hybrid in the boat in addition to several white bass, and then, finally, blue catfish towards the end of our trip at around 10:50 AM.
For our efforts today, we landed 79 fish including 18 legal hybrid striped bass, two freshwater drum, and a mix of blue cat, white bass, and largemouth bass.
TALLY: 79 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:15a
End Time: 10:50a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 75F
Water Surface Temp: 79F
Wind Speed & Direction: WNW8
Sky Conditions: Cloudless, fair skies all morning
Water Level: 0.57 feet above full pool and falling; 1,589 cfs release at Belton Dam
GT = 0
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area vic 1641-794 – throwing grubs to topwater whites and largemouth until sun hit water
**Area 1947 – 3 hybrid until bluecat moved in
**Area 152 – nice steady catch of 14 hybrid over a 90+ minute span
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