WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Tuesday afternoon I fished with Terry Balz of Seaton, TX. Terry and I worked at Wilsonart at the same time a number of years ago, where both of us got to know another angler and Wilsonart employee by the name of George O’Connor. Mr. O’Connor is an excellent hybrid striped bass angler who specializes in using artificial lures (only) for making his catches. George is getting up there in years and recently sold his readily distinguishable red and white Champion center console to Terry. Today’s trip was intended to give Terry a reintroduction to Lake Belton, the fish species there, and a few of the seasonally-appropriate techniques useful in pursuit of those species.
Mr. Terry Balz of Seaton, TX, came out with me after buying a new boat to see how everything comes together on the water using electronics, “fish sense”, and seasonally-appropriate presentations to consistently put together catches of fish on Lake Belton.
WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass using artificial lures.
WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton
WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday evening, 27 February 2018
HOW WE FISHED: Fishing varied with the weather today. We began under ideal conditions (a warm SE breeze under 13mph and grey clouds in the midst of a warming trend) and caught 50 fish in our first 2 hours at just one location. Then, the wind died, allowing the cool water to chill the air immediately above it, thus resulting in a heavy fog for about 30 minutes. A clearing SE breeze picked back up and warmed things up, allowing our last hour on the water to be productive, as well, after a hour-long dry spell. We fished for those first 2 hours with a number of tactics mainly to introduce Terry to them, although a slow smoking tactic was by far the most effective. We also used snap-jigging and deadsticking tactics. In our last hour, I moved from out of the 50+ foot water into just 28′ where we found a flock of about 15 terns leading the way to some pre-sunset white bass action. When we first arrived, I maneuvered us right under the terns and we took fish via an easing tactic and by smoking. When it became apparent that the fish were widespread along the bottom, we finished up by throwing bladebaits and fishing them in a lift-drop fashion.
OBSERVATIONS/NOTES: 1) The fish were really fired up this afternoon with perfect conditions (at least until the storm moved in). We had WSW winds at 12mph, grey cloud cover, and a warming trend with surface temps at 52.5F. 2) In comparing notes with fellow guide Jason Weisberg, the afternoon bite seemed more aggressive; we both observed large schools of suspended fish in deep water readily taking our presentations.
TALLY: 72 FISH, ALL CAUGHT AND RELEASED
Start Time: 2:15p
End Time: 6:30p
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 67F
Water Surface Temp: 56.1F
Wind Speed & Direction: SE7 for 2 hours with grey cloud cover, then calm with fog for an hour, then a returning, clearing SE7-9 wind leaving 60% cloud cover.
Sky Conditions: Grey clouds for 2 hours, heavy fog for the 3rd hour, then clearing to 60% clouds for the final stretch through sunset.
Water Level: 2.37 feet low and rising slowly thanks to abundant, but light and well-spaced, rainfall.
GT = 0
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area between B0041C & 1490 – mixed bag of hybrid, white bass, largemouth, and drum out of 52′. Most fish suspended from 40-45′. Slow smoking excelled.
**Area 561 – found fish under terns as low light kicked in near sunset. Caught via smoking, easing with slabs, then lift-dropping with blades.
Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)