Army Brothers Earn 2 “First Fish Awards” Saturday — Belton, 10 June ’17

This past Saturday morning, June 10th, I fished with Mrs. Joanne Rich’s two boys, Omari and Jayden. Mrs. Rich signed the boys up for this fishing trip through the Fort Hood SKIESUnlimited program, and also joined us as a chaperone.



Omari landed the first fish of our trip, and the first fish of his life, just minutes after we arrived at our first stop of the morning.  This fish earned Omari a TPWD “First Fish Award”.


After catching his first fish (a white bass) by casting to surfacing fish in shallow water, Jayden later landed this larger white bass using downrigging gear in 28′.  Mom looks a bit unsure about this whole fishing thing.

For the second day in a row, the early morning topwater bite was both light and brief thanks in part to choppy water created by a southeasterly wind. I have to think this chop makes it that much more difficult for the white bass to see and pin the young of the year shad up against the surface.

Regardless, both boys landed the first fish of their lives as we cast to what few surface feeders showed themselves. Omari’s first fish was a largemouth bass, and Jayden’s first fish was a white bass.

After the topwater bite died by 7 AM, we made use of downriggers for an additional hour, slowly but steadily picking up more white bass mostly one at a time, but with a pair of doubles thrown in for good measure.

After the action died on downrigging, we changed up and pursued sunfish in shallow water. We visited five areas, two of which produced well, allowing the boys to catch a variety of sunfish species.

With about 30 minutes left in the trip, I quickly looked over three distinct areas attempting to locate some blue catfish to fish slip floats over, but, thanks to the winds approaching 14 to 15 mph, the deeper, more open water I had hoped to fish was not a good choice for novice anglers attempting to observe light bites on a slip float.

We ended up the day with exactly 26 fish landed, and two “first fish” awards earned by the boys for their efforts.


To participate in such courses, children must first be registered with Child and Youth Services (CYS).  Registration is free and is accomplished by contacting Parent Central Services at 254.287.8029.

Once registered, parents may go online to enroll their children for the myriad courses available.  Payment must be made for courses in advance.

Military families separated from their sponsor may be eligible for deployment benefits in the form of SKIESUnlimited course credits.  Mission Level 1 credits may amount to $300 per child and Mission Level 2 credits may amount to $150 per child.  Parent Central Services can help parents understand which applies to their situation.


TALLY: 26 FISH, all caught and released

Wx Snapshot:




Start Time: 6:15a

End Time: 10:45a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 74F

Water Surface Temp: 80.1F

Wind Speed & Direction: SE

Sky Conditions: Fair skies with 40% cloud cover

Water Level: 0.46 feet above full pool and falling; 1,589 cfs release at Belton Dam

GT = 0


**Area 1746 – light topwater white bass action

**Area 488 thru 1923 – downrigging for whites at mid-morning

**Area 492, 1583,1794 – sunfish up shallow


Bob Maindelle

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)