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