Windy and Windy, with a Chance of Wind!! — 114 Fish, Lake Belton

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Saturday I fished with Mr. Matt Laakso and his adult son, Mitch, both from the north Austin area. Matt did a sonar training with me soon after getting his own boat which is now about 3 months old.  After experiencing the sonar training, he decided to come fishing with me, as well.

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From left: Father and son Matt and Mitch Laakso with a sampling of the white bass we caught on what turned out to be an extremely windy morning as a dry cold front moved into the area.

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Matt took our largest fish of the trip, a nice 20″ hybrid, just before the waves began to whitecap as straight-line windspeed reached 13mph.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Saturday morning, 18 November 2017

HOW WE FISHED:  There were quite a few predictions as to the timing of the dry cold front’s arrival this morning, based on various meterological models.  We experienced near-calm conditions with a solid “pre-frontal” bite for nearly two full hours, the first hour of which took place under helpful gull activity.  Once the wind began to increase and shift through the west toward the north, the bite moderated.  We had 87 fish landed through 10:20, then worked another hour and twenty minutes to reach and exceed the 100 fish mark.  All of our fishing was done vertically using 3/8 oz. slabs before the heavy winds began around 10:30.  Once the winds peaked, we bumped up to 3/4 oz. slabs in order to maintain good contact with bottom and to effect good line control.  Before the front hit we used a smoking tactic; after the front began racing in, we used an easing tactic.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:   1) Boat traffic this morning was unusually light due, in part, to “the weatherman’s” prediction of high winds this morning. 2)  I noted that as the wind ramped up rapidly from 9:45 to 10:30, the bite went soft, but, once it reached peak velocity, the fish turned on again.

TALLY: 114 FISH, all caught and released

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:45a

End Time: 11:45a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 70F

Water Surface Temp: 68.3F

Wind Speed & Direction: SSW under 5mph for first 90 minutes; wind shifted to W, then WNW, then NNW by 9:45 all around 9mph; wind began to ramp up quickly and steadily to NNW18 by 10:30 and was blowing NNW20 with higher gusts by trip’s end at 11:45.

Sky Conditions: 10% cloud cover

Water Level: 2.36 feet low

GT = 10

Wx SNAPSHOT: N/A

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  2035 thru 592 — fastest fishing of the morning under birds in low light conditions, smoking with 3/8 oz. slab with Hazy Eye Stinger Hook

**Area  593 – smoking with 3/8 oz. slab with Hazy Eye Stinger Hook

**Area  1747/1552 – smoking & easing with 3/4 oz. slab with Hazy Eye Stinger Hook

**Area  2052- smoking & easing with 3/4 oz. slab with Hazy Eye Stinger Hook

**Area vic 2041 – easing only with 3/4 oz. slab with Hazy Eye Stinger Hook

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

No Longer California Dreamin’ — 136 Fish

WHO I FISHED WITH: Today I fished with Rick Snelgrooes, his 13-year-old son, Sean, from Liberty Hill, TX, and Rick’s father-in-law, Steve Rohner, in visiting from California.  Rick moved his family to Texas from California earlier this year.

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From left: Sean and Rick Snelgrooes, and Steve Rohner with a sampling of the fish we took from under birds on this cloudy, breezy November morning.

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Rick with the largest fish of the trip, a 19″ hybrid striper that came on a 3/4 oz. slab with Hazy Eye Stinger hook attached.  This fish was suspended in over 52′ of water.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Wednesday morning, 15 November 2017

HOW WE FISHED: With ideal conditions (southerly breeze and cloud cover), the fish fed hard under birds this morning for a full 2.25 hours, then continued feeding in the lower third of the water column after the birds lifted for another half-hour.  By 9:45 most of this action was over, so I headed to deeper, clearer water to continue looking for fish.  We found a scant number of birds circling in open water, with 3 times as many resting, indicating a feed had taken place here, too, but was winding down.  We caught a few fish here and moved on to our last area.  In the deepest (52′) water we fished this morning we found a lethargic school of white bass mixed with a few hybrid.  We fished these until they tapered off right around 10:55.  All fish caught this morning were caught on the 3/8 or 3/4 oz. slab with the Hazy Eye Stinger hook attached. We used a smoking retrieve while the fish

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:  Although this is true in most every season of the year, right now the morning bite is far outperforming the evening.

TALLY: 136 FISH, all caught and released

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:45a

End Time: 10:55a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 68F

Water Surface Temp: 67.2F

Wind Speed & Direction: SSE9-11

Sky Conditions: 100% grey cloud cover

Water Level: 2.33 feet low

GT = 135

Wx SNAPSHOT:

15NOV17

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area spanning from 1022 thru 592 thru 103 under birds for 2.25 hours

**Area 2047 scant action

**Area vic 2049 – open water birds wrapping up a feed

**Area vic 717 – last of the morning bite in 52′

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

An Evening of Firsts and Personal Bests — 38 Fish

WHO I FISHED WITH: Today I fished with Mr. Kenn Renner, his son and daughter-in-law, Justin and Ariana Renner, and Kenn’s father-in-law, George Walter.  Thanks to an incredibly aggressive feed in the morning, this evening’s action was pretty subdued, but, we celebrated a few firsts and personal bests with the nearly 40 fish we landed.  At age 78, George landed the first fish of his life, and, at age 20, Ariana also landed the first fish of her life.  Justin landed the largest fish he’d ever landed, and everyone caught more fish on this trip than they’d ever caught before.

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Justin Renner with the largest fish of the trip AND the largest fish of his life.

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Although white bass are the “staple” for this time of year, we also landed hybrid, largemouth bass, and freshwater drum.  From left: Justin and Ariana Renner, George Walter, and Kenn Renner.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday evening, 14 November 2017

HOW WE FISHED: Fishing was tough this evening.  Instead of finding large, bottom-hugging schools of white bass in a feeding posture, every area I checked had only a sprinkling of fish, if that.  We  got slabs down when we saw action and “picked” at them, a few at a time.  Right at last light we got right under some helpful gulls which helped us put our last 4 fish in the boat.  All fish caught were caught on 3/8 oz. slabs.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:  N/A

TALLY: 38 FISH, all caught and released

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 1:30p

End Time: 6:00p

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 77F

Water Surface Temp: 69.2F

Wind Speed & Direction: SSE9-11

Sky Conditions: 30-40% grey cloud cover

Water Level: 2.33 feet low

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT:

14NOV17

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 2050

**Area 2051

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

Thanks for the Gift Certificate, Miss Christa!! — 203 Fish in 4 hours

WHO I FISHED WITH: Today I fished with returning guests Mike McLaughlin, his son-in-law, Keith Duncan, and Keith’s son, Alex.  Mike’s wife has given him a fishing gift certificate each year for the past 5 years, and today was the day to cash in Christmas 2016’s gift.

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We made 4 stops today and landed roughly 50 fish at each.  As we hovered in place courtesy of the Ulterra trolling motor’s Spot Lock function, all of commotion drew in drum and catfish.  This 4.25 pounder fell for Keith’s slab.

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We caught white bass non-stop for nearly 4 hours under balmy, cloudy, breezy conditions — just right for temperate bass like whites, hybrid, and stripers.  From left Mike, Alex, and Keith.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday morning, 14 November 2017

HOW WE FISHED: Fishing was easy this morning, although there was no helpful bird activity.  We were successful time and again in finding deep, heavily schooled white bass in feeding postures right from the first drop of our slabs around 7am, and until the fish quickly stopped feeding around 10:45.  We searched several areas after this time, but found nothing else to fish for.  100% of our fish were caught with a slab with a Hazy Eye Stinger hook attached, used in either a smoking retrieve (90%) or an easing retrieve (10%).

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES: ~200-300 ring-billed gulls seen standing along the shoreline, but none led us to fish.

TALLY: 203 FISH, all caught and released

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:45a

End Time: 11:15a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 66F

Water Surface Temp: 67.4F

Wind Speed & Direction: SSE9-13

Sky Conditions: 70-80% grey cloud cover

Water Level: 2.33 feet low

GT = 40

Wx SNAPSHOT:

14NOV17

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 2046 — 51 fish by 8am

**Area 2047 — 103 fish by 8:45am

**Area 956 — 160 fish by 9:45am

**Area 2033/2048 — finished up with 203 fish by 10:45

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

CSA Construction Assembles a Nice Catch –146 Fish

WHO I FISHED WITH: Today I fished with Mr. Ray Elliott, Mr. Drew Kelm, and Miss Jessie Singleton.  Ray and Drew are co-workers at CSA Construction out of Houston and are working on a 3-year-long project building a drinking water treatment plant on Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir.  They thought they’d take in some local fishing since they’ll be in the area for while.  Jessie is Drew’s fiancee’, and quite an outdoorsy young lady. Hopefully her dad will demand a sizeable dowry for her, as she is not only an Aggie, but has earned her concealed handgun license, can run a boat, handle a spinning rod deftly, can drive (and park) the largest of pickup trucks, and outrun all of the 4th grade boys in her elementary school classroom! The two plan to wed in June ’18.

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From left, Jessie Singleton, Ray Elliott, and Drew Kelm with a sampling of the mixed bag angling we experienced on Belton Lake this morning.  We landed white bass, hybrid striped bass, largemouth bass, freshwater drum, and crappie.  Judging by the slime on his line,  we think Ray missed a catfish, and we know by the quarter-sized scale on Drew’s hook that he missed a buffalo fish.

 

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We found a few crappie — all quality fish, and, strangely enough they all came out of in excess of 50 feet of water with no cover visible on sonar.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Saturday morning, 11 November 2017

HOW WE FISHED: Thanks to thick cloud cover, the started a bit later than over the past several days with thinner cover which let a bit more sunlight through.  We fished 4 distinct areas.  Our first area involved vertical jigging with white slabs in ~35′.  At our second area, birds led the way to the action as ~ 8 gulls, 1 tern, 3 comorants, and 1 blue heron all worked a 2 acre area in which white bass were feeding heavily on shad.  Although some action did make it all the way to the surface, most was subsurface.  We used slabs vertically and bladebaits horizontally in this situation.  Our third and fourth areas fished were nearly identical with fish on deep, wind-impacted slopes in ~50 feet of water.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES: 1) A wind with a southerly component returned today.  2) We caught fish under birds for a 4th consecutive day, however, the action did not begin until about an hour after sunrise today.

TALLY: 146 FISH, all caught and released

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:40a

End Time: 11:45a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 58F

Water Surface Temp: 67.1F

Wind Speed & Direction: ESE9-13

Sky Conditions: 100% heavy grey cloud cover

Water Level: 2.25 feet low

GT = 105

Wx SNAPSHOT:

11NOV17

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 2044 – vertical work with slabs for a smaller school of white bass congregated on bottom in 35′

**Area 2045/2043 – horizontal blades and vertical slabs in 15-18′ for fish under birds

**Area vic 1945 & 1381 – deep vertical slab work for fish on windward slopes in 50+ feet of water.

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

Belton Boy Battles Buffalo (and 106 other fish, too)!

 

WHO I FISHED WITH: Today I fished with Steve Niemeier of Temple and his grandson, Caleb Fowler, age 12, of Belton. Steve makes his living as a certified pubic accountant, and Caleb is a 6th grade student at one of the Belton middle schools where he’s currently playing football as a defensive lineman.

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As we grew accustomed to the sporty, but lighter pull of multiple white bass on the light spinning tackle we were using, Caleb got a rude awakening when this 9.25 pound smallmouth buffalo came knocking.

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We definitely had to work for our catch today.  Although we amassed a tally of 107 fish, we had to stop at 10 distinct areas (each of which gave up at least a few fish) to do it.  Here Steve Neimeier and Caleb Fowler show some of the 2015-spawned crop of fish we landed.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Friday morning, 10 November 2017

HOW WE FISHED:  The raw weather brought in by the cold front that came in on Tuesday and kept winds northerly on Wednesday and Thursday moderated a bit today.  We had slightly warmer temperatures, ENE winds, and persistent grey cloud cover.  The same general areas and habitats that have been producing this week continued to produce, but the fish were definitely more reluctant to feed today.  We had very limited success going horizontal with bladebaits under lowlight conditions, and often had to “re-ignite” fish that had begun chasing smoked slabs and then quit doing so.  We did this by using an easing tactic, getting the struggling, hooked fish up above its schoolmates, and then observing sonar to see if they followed the hooked fish upwards.  If they did, a more aggressive smoking tactic would then produce once more.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES: 1) The number of birds on Belton continues to increase. 2) Once again, birds led the way to the morning’s first catch.  3) The wind shift to the east definitely put a damper on the fish activity.  4) We made 10 different stops to put together our 107 fish tally; no single spot just gave up a lot of fish.

TALLY: 107 FISH, all caught and released

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:40a

End Time: 10:50a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 49F

Water Surface Temp: 66.5F

Wind Speed & Direction: ENE6-7

Sky Conditions: 100% heavy grey cloud cover

Water Level: 2.25 feet low

GT = 40

Wx SNAPSHOT:

10NOV17

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  1573, vic 525-526, 2039, vic 2037-163 – low light vertical jigging under birds for 40 fish

**Area  2040 and 2041 – sluggish whites in 42′ – 13 fish

**Area vic 2027 – most active fish of the trip, 34′ – 33 fish

**Area 2042 – 10 fish

**Area 2041 (again) – 11 fish

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

 

 

Fishing Belton with Dave & Stephanie Covington — 82 Fish

WHO I FISHED WITH: Today I fished with Dave and Stephanie Covington of Belton, TX.  Dave makes his living as part of his family’s real estate business (Covington Real Estate, Inc. on Main St. in Belton).  He has been out with me twice before, once with his brother, Barrett, and once with his then 5-year-old son, Levi.  This was Stephanie’s first trip with me.  I could tell right off the bat that cold, dark, damp early mornings in the outdoors were not particularly high on Stephanie’s list of fun things to do, but, she was a trooper and a good student, and did very well this morning.

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Hybrid, birds, and bait were a winning combination this morning.  The first significant number of migratory gulls and terns arrived with this strong cold front and immediately began to assist in the fish-finding equation.  Here, Dave and Stephanie hold hybrid landed seconds apart as we fished under birds.

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The white bass were in a much more active mode right at (obscured) sunrise this morning.  We caught them on bladebaits fished horizontally and slabs fished vertically.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday morning, 09 November 2017

HOW WE FISHED:  With continued cold, cloudy, breezy conditions, the white bass and hybrid striper put the feed bag on once again this morning right at sunrise (obscured).  We found fish shallower (20-25′) early on under birds and amassed a catch of 40 fish, half on blades and half on slabs (smoked).  After this shallow water bite died we moved on to deeper water where white bass in the 0-2 year classes just carpeted the bottom in 34-38 feet and fell for smoked slabs.  The small 3/8 oz. bait in white with a Hazy Eye Stinger hook attached was all that was needed.  The fish were so aggressive that Stephanie actually caught 2 fish on one lure at the same time.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES: 1) The number of birds on Belton continues to increase. 2) Once again, birds led the way to the morning’s first catch.  3) Stephanie had enough of the cold at the 2.5 hour mark, hence a lower tally than over the past few days, with 82 landed this morning; the indicators were all in place for a morning of at least 100 fish had we gone the full 4 hours.

TALLY: 82 FISH, all caught and released

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:40a

End Time: 9:15a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 43F

Water Surface Temp: 68.4F

Wind Speed & Direction: N13 at (obscured) sunrise, tapering quickly back to N9 for the remainder of the trip

Sky Conditions: 100% heavy grey cloud cover

Water Level: 2.22 feet low

GT = 50

Wx SNAPSHOT:

09NOV17

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 818 and 2037 – blades and smoked slabs in under 25′ for 40 fish

**Area 211 – smoked slabs in 34-38′ for 42 fish

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

105 FISH THIS MORNING — WET WEATHER GEAR REQUIRED!!!

WHO I FISHED WITH: Today I fished with Clay Lohse of Abileen, TX.  This was Clay’s 3rd trip with me this year.  Clay is a husband and father who works as a nurse and is studying to become a nurse practitioner through a master’s degree program.  He is very much a student of fishing, working on understanding fish behavior and seasonal movements and locations in order to become a better fisherman.  We spent 20 or 30 minutes before launching this morning pouring over a map of his “home” lake, Fort Phantom Hill Reservoir, in the cab of his truck by flashlight, and theorizing where fish might hold through the seasons.

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It’s cold.  It’s raining.  Why is this man smiling?    BECAUSE WE LANDED 105 FISH IN THIS SNOTTY WEATHER!!!

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White bass were biting, short hybrid were biting, largemouth were biting — and we were the only ones on the entirety of Belton’s 13,000 acres this morning.  Loved it!!

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Wednesday morning, 08 November 2017

HOW WE FISHED:  Long story short — the fishing was definitely cold front-impacted early on.  The bite steadily gained momentum to a peak around 11am.  We began having to fish very slowly and methodically for fish mostly unwilling to chase a bait; by the end of the trip, a full-speed smoking retrieve did the trick.  At 11am, we sat at 55 fish, but were over top of a large school of very willing white bass sprinkled with a few hybrid.  I told Clay we’d give it 45 minutes to catch 45 fish and take our tally to 100 or more.   We (literally) caught fish at a rate of 1 per minute in the last 45 minutes of the trip, and ended the day with 105 fish.  We eased early on, then threw blades for small, well-spread bottom-oriented schools in ~25 feet of water.  After that, we moved deeper and used slabs with Hazy Eyes Stingers attached for the remainder of the trip, fishing 36 to 52 feet at 4 separate locations.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES: 1) We enjoyed this fall’s first fishing under birds this morning with action under ring-billed gulls. 2) The fishing improved steadily as the morning progressed.  3) Opaque white far outperformed silver under the grey, low-light conditions.

TALLY: 105 FISH, all caught and released

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:50a

End Time: 11:45a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 51F and falling to 41F throughout the trip thanks to a slow moving, damp cold front that began moving in yesterday.

Water Surface Temp: 68.4F

Wind Speed & Direction: NNW12-13, gusting to 19

Sky Conditions: 100% heavy grey cloud cover with light, steady rain beginning around 10am

Water Level: 2.19 feet low

GT = 50

Wx SNAPSHOT: N/A

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic 2032 – limited early morning success on suspended small fish over 30′

**Area 2036 – sluggish, heavily schooled white bass on this timbered, slow tapering underwater point

**Area vic1819 – better action on heavily congregated white bass holding on upwind side of the slope in 36′

**Area  717 – massive school of mixed white bass from 0-3 years in same location and at same time as yesterday, 52′

**Area 212/1392 – found lots of fish, but they wouldn’t “stay put” even with thumper and jigging/catching commotion

**Area 211 – grand finale with over 50 fish caught in 45 minutes in 36′ during a lull in the rain and wind

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

202 FISH DURING “FISHING 101” COURSE!

WHO I FISHED WITH: Today I fished with Chris Lester and Mike White, both of whom work at the Blackland Research and Extension Center in Temple.  They are both husbands, dads with 10-year-old boys, pontoon boat owners, and, according to them, in need of a little instruction on successfully pursuing fish on Lake Belton. They were interested in seeing how all of the components come together, including boat, sonar, trolling motor, and bait selection and presentation — kind of a “Fishing 101”.

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With action like this under the boat all morning, it took only 5 hours to put 202 fish in the boat.  The steady action on aggressive fish was fueled by the incoming cold front, grey cloud cover, and good breeze.  There were several hundred fish in this school which fed hard for over an hour.

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By the time we got to fish number 40, Mike said, “I think that is more fish than the two of us have caught on Belton in our lifetimes, combined!!”.

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As often happens when fishing over top of a large school of fish for an extended period of time, during which time feces and regurgitated baitfish sink to the bottom after being voided/vomited by hooked fish, bottom feeders like buffalo, drum, and catfish eventually show up.  This smallmouth buffalo fell for Mike’s slab.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday morning, 07 November 2017

HOW WE FISHED: With Daylight Saving Time now concluded, we began at 6:40a.  I searched shallow water first (under 18 feet) to no avail.  Next, I moved on to some gently sloping terrain on the north side of the lake, where the wind had been impacting up until it shifted in the early hours of the morning.  I found ample schools of white bass in 36-40 feet of water in two separate, but similar, areas.  I “spot hopped” twice at the first area and fished just one hover at the second area.  This yielded 106 fish by 8:50am.  We them moved to the south shore (wind impacted) and found smallish, suspended schools of white bass and short hybrid working bait at 12-20 feet deep over a 34 foot bottom.  A smoking retrieve did the trick for these fish, as it did for the first batch we encountered.  Our final stop of the day came in 49-51 feet of water where the single largest school of fish I’ve observed so far this fall fed and fed and fed, allowing us to take our tally to exactly 202 fish landed before we called it a day at the 5 hour mark around 11:45am.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES: 1) No helpful bird action yet.  2) This was very easy pre-frontal fishing with fish activity spurred on by the change of wind and weather.

TALLY: 202 FISH, all caught and released

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:40a

End Time: 11:45a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 69F and falling throughout the trip thanks to a slow moving cold front easing into the area on a north wind

Water Surface Temp: 70.9F

Wind Speed & Direction: N8, slowly increasing to N13-14 by trip’s end

Sky Conditions: 100% thin, grey cloud cover – not quite enough light coming through to force you to squint.

Water Level: 2.15 feet low

GT = 40

Wx SNAPSHOT:

07NOV17

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  vic 957 – smoking for aggressive fish, followed by easing when the fish settled down

**Area  2035 – smoking for aggressive fish, followed by easing when the fish settled down

**Area  2034 – smoking with extra handle turns to get the bait to and past suspended fish at 12-20 feet over a 34′ bottom.

**Area  717 – massive school of mixed white bass from 0-3 years, with ~20% short hybrid in the mix

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

Hybrid See, Hybrid Do! — 150 FISH on Lake Belton, 04 Nov. ’17

WHO I FISHED WITH:   Today I fished with Tearanie (pronounced like the word “tyranny”) Hoyle and his girlfriend, Angela Smith.  Angela treated Tearanie to this trip on the occasion of his 40th birthday.  Tearanie recently retired from the U.S. Army after 20 years of service, primarily as a mechanic supporting logistics units.  Angela, a Killeen native and Killeen High School grad, is a nursing professor at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (UMHB) in Belton.

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BAD EXAMPLE!  This 3-year old hybrid was not setting a good example for his 1-year old cousin and wound up getting them both in trouble.  Hybrid see, hybrid do!!

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Although we caught plenty of white bass smaller than these, some quality white bass did show up in today’s catch under ideal breezy, grey sky conditions.

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Umm, Angela.  I don’t think you’re supposed to catch the largest fish of the trip when you take your boyfriend out fishing for his birthday.  Just sayin’.

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Catchin’ two-at-a-time!  That’s Crazy Town!  (a little inside humor there)

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Saturday morning, 04 November 2017

HOW WE FISHED:   The fish began feeding around 8:00am and didn’t stop until about 11:45a.  All of our fish were caught on gently sloping terrain in 36-43 feet of water.  We simply let the Spot Lock feature on the Ulterra do its thing, hovering us over top of these fish, and worked single slabs for slower, less aggressive fish and tandem rigs for more aggressive fish for a grand total of 150 fish in just under 4.5 hours.  We caught all of these fish from just 4 locations. 

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES: 1) I saw the first gulls of the fall today — only 8 of them (and they didn’t help us find fish), but, it’s a start.  2) All of the fish we caught stayed in the lower third of the water column in 36-43 feet of water; even fish chasing hooked schoolmates would not rise above this level. 3) The school size of white bass is increasing as smaller schools merge and form into fewer, larger schools.  The schools I encountered on sonar today easily numbered 200+ individuals as clearly seen with down- and side-imaging technology on the Humminbird Solix 15.

TALLY: 150 FISH, all caught and released (1 crappie, 1 largemouth bass, 3 drum, and a mix of 145 white bass and hybrid stripers of various year groups)

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:30a

End Time: 12:00 noon

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  72F

Water Surface Temp:   70.9F

Wind Speed & Direction:   S8-11 the entire trip

Sky Conditions:  100% thin, grey cloud cover –  enough light coming through to force you to squint.

Water Level: 2.15 feet low

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT:

04NOV17

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic 1008 – caught 90 fish here by 9:45a in 2 “short hops” in same general vicinity

**Area 2033 – 20 fish

**Area 930/717 – 18 fish

**Area 1392 – 22 fish

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle