A Pair of Old Salts — 87 Fish, Belton

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Monday morning I fished with U.S. Navy retirees Captain Ray Johnson and Chief Petty Officer Mac McElroy, both of Harker Heights, TX.  This would be the last balmy day before the most recent wet cold front pushed into central Texas.


Retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Mack McElroy of Harker Heights with a nice Belton Lake hybrid striper we took under birds before the most recent cold front moved in.  Note Mack is wearing shorts in December.  Mack retired from the Navy after serving in the Seabees.


Long-time client retired U.S. Navy Captain Ray Johnson of Harker Heights with our first hybrid of the morning.  Ray served as a flight surgeon and pediatrician for nearly 30 years beginning at age 18.

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


WHEN WE FISHED: Monday morning, 04 December, 2017

HOW WE FISHED: Conditions were favorable this morning with a manageable SSE wind and light grey cloud cover all morning.  We fished under birds in shallower, more turbid water in one of Belton’s tributaries for the first two hours, then moved to deeper, clearer water to enjoy another 90+ minutes of action, also under birds.  We put all of our “tributary fish”, most of which were white bass, in the boat using smoked slabs.  Because the clear water fish we fished for during the second half of the trip were scattered and moving, we used slabs, but found ourselves spot-hopping frequently to keep rods bent.  As the bite slowed, I experimented with downrigging for the suspended hybrids I still saw at 20-25 feet deep using bucktails with soft plastic trailers.  Our short experiment quickly accounted for one keeper hybrid, but, my clients showed a preference for action and numbers, so, we went back to slabbing as the situation allowed.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:   1) Much like the bite last Tuesday, although fish were active enough and abundant enough to draw birds, they were not “over the top” aggressive, thus, we had to “spot hop” frequently to keep up with active fish using artificials.

TALLY: 87 FISH, all caught and released


Start Time: 7:10a

End Time:  11:30a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  70F

Water Surface Temp:  63.7F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSE11-15

Sky Conditions:  Light grey skies

Water Level: 2.72 feet low

GT = 10




**Area  2036 thru 1342 – spot hopping under birds throughout this area through 8:35a

**Area 840 through 497 until 10a – smoking slabs for a mixed bag of white bass and hybrid striper

**Area  1142 through 347 through 1009 until 11a – – smoking slabs for a mixed bag of white bass and hybrid striper; one downrigged hybrid on a jig and trailer


Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

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