WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Saturday afternoon I fished with U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army veteran Harry Payne of Kempner and his two adult sons, Matt Payne of Killeen, and Brian Payne of Harker Heights. Harry gave the boys a fishing gift certificate as a Christmas present so they could all do something in the outdoors together. Harry occasionally fishes Lake Belton, typically heading to one particular spot to fish for whatever bites there. His personal best day was 36 fish. Harry took note of the way my boat is laid out and how I make use of my electronics and told Matt and Brian, “If I hit it big in Vegas I’m getting us a boat like this.” So, Matt and Brian, I’m putting this in writing for you, just in case!
From left: Brian, Matt, and Harry Payne with a sampling of the larger white bass we found just prior to sunset. Smaller white bass were most common earlier in the trip as we jigged in deeper, clearer water. We put a total of 63 fish in the boat this evening.
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: Saturday evening, 04 March 2018
HOW WE FISHED: Fishing started well and ended well today, but we had a tough “middle”, thanks to nearly calm conditions. We began vertical jigging in 48′ with 3/8 oz. slabs equipped with Hazy Eye Stinger hooks. Everyone got hit and hooked up routines, taking our fish count to 24 in the first hour. As the bite was waning, we pulled off to chase some birds, but that did not result in finding active fish. For the middle two hours of the trip (~3:45 – 5:45) we looked over multiple parts of 7 different areas and only put another 11 fish in the boat during this time. Based on observations made while fishing this past Tuesday evening, I relocated us for the final hour of our trip. Fortunately, the winds picked up from jsut south of east during this time and added fuel to the low-light bite fire. As I began glassing, I found 3 terns in the distance acting “fishy” over a small patch of water. We ran there, found fish, and began sacking them up. Our last 50 minutes on the water saw another 28 fish come over the gunwale with several more lost at the boat. We used a variety of tactics, all successfully, for these fish, including snap-jigging, slow smoking, and easing, as the fish were found from bottom, up to within about 12 feet of the surface.
OBSERVATIONS/NOTES: 1) The fishing rose and fell with wind today. 2) The season’s first migrating Sandhill cranes were witnessed headed north over the past 2 days. 3) At dusk, some very light, occasional surface action was witnessed as the most aggressive of the white bass population near us pushed shad all the way to the surface.
TALLY: 63 FISH, ALL CAUGHT AND RELEASED
Start Time: 2:30p
End Time: 6:45p
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 67F
Water Surface Temp: 58.2-58.6F
Wind Speed & Direction: SE7 for the first hour, going calm for the next two hours, then returning to ESE7-9 in advance of drizzling rain just after nightfall.
Sky Conditions: 100% grey the entire trip.
Water Level: 2.46 feet low and rising slowly thanks to abundant, but light and well-spaced, rainfall.
GT = 0
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area vic B0026C – 24 fish snap-jigging 3/8 oz. slabs in 48′
**Area vic 1941-1942 – 11 fish snap-jigging 3/8 oz. slabs in 32-36′
**Area B0045C – 28 fish in last 50 minutes of light with 3/8 and 3/4 oz slabs in 20-24′ with snap-jigging, easing, and slow smoking (easing best)
Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)