WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, December 28th, I fished with 10- and12-year-old brothers Peyton and Grayson Hedgecoth, both students in the Little River-Academy school district. The boys were accompanied by their dad, Eron Hedgecoth, who acted a photographer/videographer, but did not fish. Grayson and Eron came out with me once before this past summer when we did a multi-species trip focused on blue catfish and white bass. The boys were out to beat the results of that 74-fish outing. At exactly 11:28, and with 88 fish landed for the morning, I told the boys we’d stay until 11:45 or until we’d caught 100 fish, whichever came first. The boys really concentrated on their vertical jigging and, by 11:40 AM, they rose to the challenge, putting our 100th fish in the boat!
Peyton Hedgecoth, age 10, with a nice Lake Belton hybrid striped bass taken on a white slab with an air temperature at about 38F. Dad made sure the boys were well-dressed and that allowed them to stick with it for a full morning trip.
Grayson Hedgecoth, who just turned 12 yesterday, landed this hybrid taken in around 38 feet of water after some wide-spread bird activity helped us in locating the fish.
WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass. We encountered largemouth, drum, crappie, and hybrid striped bass as a by-catch.
WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake
WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday morning, 28 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”, and when they were glued to bottom and unwilling to chase, we used a snap-jigging tactic. There seemed to be no middle-ground on this trip for which an “easing” tactic would have been appropriate. The fish were either on or off, no in between. The smaller 3/8 oz. slab outperformed the 3/4 oz. slab today, and, the stinger hooks accounted for about 60% of the catch.
OBSERVATIONS/NOTES: 1) I delayed our start time today until 8am and we still waited a bit for the birds, bait, and fish to get in gear. No need to get out in the pre-dawn chill! 2) Although we enjoyed some helpful bird action during the first half of the morning, the birds only got us in the general vicinity of the fish, as the fish they were working over were spread pretty far and wide. Also, the bird action did not last very long at any one location before dissipating and reforming, typically many yards away.
TALLY: 100 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 8:00a
End Time: 11:40a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 37F
Water Surface Temp: 52.9F
Wind Speed & Direction: NE <5mph all day
Sky Conditions: 100% grey clouds
Water Level: 2.87 feet low
GT = 15
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area B0012C (under birds)
**Area vic 838 (under birds)
**Area B0013C (under birds)
Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)