WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, December 26th, I fished with John and Ryan Evans from Littleton, Colorado. They came for a visit to Killeen to see John’s dad, a U.S. Army veteran, who retired here. John works for a software firm and Ryan is working his way through college with a job in the hunting/fishing department at Dick’s Sporting Goods with aims to become a game warden after graduation. This father and son team are typically icefishing for kokanee, rainbow, and lake trout this time of year. In fact, they have a trip planned for this coming Sunday after their drive back to Colorado.
John Evans of Littleton, CO, with one of several hybrid striped bass we landed while “smoking” slabs through more aggressive fish.
From left: Ryan and John Evans with a few of the white bass we took this morning. A majority of our white bass came on a snap-jigging tactic as we employed light 3/8 oz. slabs with Hazy Eye Stinger hooks affixed to the line tie.
WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass. We encountered largemouth, drum, and hybrid striped bass as a by-catch.
WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake
WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday morning, 26 December, 2017
HOW WE FISHED: Slab are now, and will continue to be, the go-to bait for me through at least early March. The presentation varied today with fish activity level. When fish were actively feeding several feet off bottom we used a “smoking tactic”; when fish were less aggressive but still up off bottom, we used an “easing” tactic; and when they were glued to bottom and unwilling to chase, we used a snap-jigging tactic. The smaller 3/8 oz. slab outperformed the 3/4 oz. slab today, and, the stinger hooks accounted for about 60% of the catch. The fact that Ryan and John had icefishing (vertical jigging) experience, really flattened their learning curve. Less experienced clients would likely have caught less than half of what we landed today.
OBSERVATIONS/NOTES: 1) Thanks to the light fog layer, our bite did not start until after 8am.
TALLY: 102 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 7:30a
End Time: 12:30p
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 46F
Water Surface Temp: 55.4 – 56.2F
Wind Speed & Direction: ENE11
Sky Conditions: 100% grey clouds with steady, light mist
Water Level: 2.84 feet low
GT = 80
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 187 (only area where fish were active enough for smoking retrieve for any length of time)
**Area vic B0005C
**Area vic 1945/2059
Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)