Before that Long Drive to College — 94 Fish, Lake Belton, 08 June ’17

This past Thursday morning, June 8th, I fished with Mike Mansell, his son Peyton, and Denver Holman, a friend of the family. My intention was to introduce the three to a number of effective summertime tactics for Belton and Stillhouse.




Graduating Belton High School quarterback Peyton Mansell with one of several nice hybrid he landed before heading off to play football as an Iowa Hawkeye.


Mike Mansell, a West Pointer and Army dentist, with his best hybrid of the trip.


Family friend Denver Holman chipped in with a few white bass, hybrid, and catfish of his own.

Mike is a dentist in the U.S. Army and, as our conversation later revealed, a fellow West Point graduate. Peyton is headed to college to play football as an Iowa Hawkeye. Denver is the younger brother of Peyton’s girlfriend, who is on an athletic scholarship at Abilene Christian University.

As was the case yesterday, we experienced a solid topwater feed by white bass up until the sun began to shine directly on the water around 7:10 AM. By the time the fish quit hitting our paddletail grubs, my threesome had landed over 30 fish.

We remained in this general vicinity, moved out a bit deeper, and continued to take fish using tandem rigged Pet Spoons behind downriggers.

When the early, shallow bite dried up, we moved out to deeper water to hunt hybrid with livebait and to specifically target blue catfish using fresh, dead shad.

Sonar revealed hybrid striper slightly up off bottom in around 40 feet of water, so we put live threadfin shad down to tempt them and, over about an hour’s time landed 13 legal hybrid plus a number of white bass in addition to a few blue cat.

Once sonar revealed that the hybrid had moved out and that the blue cat had moved in, we switched over to fishing slip floats to present fresh, dead shad at depth to tempt them. Although most of the blue cat were small, they were more than cooperative, and very engaging. By 10 AM we had landed right at 80 fish. With about 30 minutes remaining in our trip, I offered that we could try one last area for hybrid once again and everyone was agreeable to that.

As I searched for hybrid, I found heavily congregated white bass s lying belly-to-bottom over a 15 yard area in about 42 feet of water. This scenario is just right for summertime “smoking” tactics using slabs. We quickly got set up over top of these fish using my Ulterra trolling motor’s Spot Lock function. This smoking tactic accounted for a quick, final 13 white bass. We were also able to boat one more legal hybrid using a chunk bait on the opposite side of the boat from that which the three were jigging from.

We ended our morning with 94 fish boated including 14 legal hybrid stripers.


TALLY: 94 FISH, all caught and released

Wx Snapshot:



Start Time: 6:15a

End Time: 10:45a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 73F

Water Surface Temp: 80.1F

Wind Speed & Direction: ESE

Sky Conditions: Fair skies with light haze and 10% wispy white cloud cover

Water Level: 0.53 feet above full pool and falling; 1,589 cfs release at Belton Dam

GT = 0


**Area 794 thru 024 – topwater whites on grubs

**Area 1748 & 133 – downrigging tandem rigged Pets for whites

**Area 152 – hybrid on live shad; bluecat on fresh, dead shad

**Area vic 344 – whites on smoked slabs; one hybrid on chunk bait

Bob Maindelle

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)





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