WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Thursday evening I fished Lake Belton with Mr. Lin McCraw and four teenagers, including Lin’s two sons, Cole and Wil, and family friends Marvin Jordan and Jace Sims. I came prepared for both white bass which I felt confident we would catch, as well as for hybrid striper, which I was less confident about based on recent, spotty fishing for that species in the still-cold water. Lin makes his living as an attorney up in the McKinney area in north Texas and came down for a visit to his ranch near Gatesville.
From left, Jace Sims and Cole McCraw handle a nice pair of hybrid that fell for cutbait as a large school of fish fed on shad in 25′ over a 40′ bottom.
Wil McCraw with one of ten hybrid we landed in a short, intense feed which took place under birds around 5pm. That’s his dad in the background.
Marvin Jordan calmly listed to my coaching and did a great job boating our largest fish of the trip, a 4.125 pound hybrid striped bass, also taken on cutbait.
WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip during which we caught both hybrid stripers and white bass.
WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake
WHEN WE FISHED: Friday evening, 09 March 2018
HOW WE FISHED: As most afternoon trips do, today’s trip started slow and ended better. For our first two hours we vertically jigged for smaller white bass holding tight to bottom in 22-35′ with 3/8 oz. slabs with Hazy Eye Stingers affixed. During our third hour we encountered quickly moving schools of fish pushing bait toward the surface from beneath. Most of the action was in 25′ over a 40-45′ bottom. We found hybrid willing to take cutbait (but not live shad) and put 10 in the boat with a few more missed before this action under birds died down to nil. Our final hour was spent slow-smoking slabs in 26′ at a breakline. Birds got us close and sonar closed the deal.
OBSERVATIONS/NOTES: 1) The hybrid bite is “teetering” on the brink of taking off. The bite over the past 10 days has been spotty, but a few more degrees of water temperature rise should see a big improvement. 2) Chunk bait far outperformed live bait for the hybrid we encountered.
TALLY: 104 FISH, ALL CAUGHT AND RELEASED
Start Time: 2:30 pm
End Time: 6:40 pm
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 68F
Water Surface Temp: 59-61F
Wind Speed & Direction: SSE13-15
Sky Conditions: 65-80% grey clouds
Water Level: 2.44 feet low
GT = 15
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area vic 788 to 382 (with 3 short hops) vertical jigging with 3/8 oz. slabs in 25-35′
**Area vic 1024 vertical jigging with 3/8 oz. slabs in 22′
**Area B0049C – fishing under birds with cutbait for 10 hybrid holding at 25′ over 40-45′
**Area B0052C – slow smoking slabs for white bass in ~26′ during last-light bite
Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)