WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Tuesday, March 13th, I ran a Spring Break morning fishing trip with Mr. George VanRiper of Harker Heights and two of his grandsons, Jake (age 12) and Kaden (age 9) Howley, also of Harker Heights. The boys were well-mannered, eager to do well, and willing to be coached. Hence, on a day with pretty tough weather conditions, they did very well.
From left: Jake and Kaden Howley with hybrid stripers caught and released just seconds apart. Hybrid were patrolling in packs of 5-10 fish in about 25 feet of water over a deeper bottom.
U.S. Army veteran George VanRiper and his grandson, Kaden, with a pair of stipers. Fish came through under the boat in groups, so catching a few at a time was the rule, not the exception.
Our morning got started off right when white bass went on a 90-minute feeding frenzy under a thin grey blanket of clouds. We put 101 fish in the boat in this short span of time.
WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip during which we caught a mix of white bass and hybrid stripers
WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake
WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday morning, 13 March 2018
HOW WE FISHED: Fishing today broke down into three very distinct parts. Part one, which spanned from sunrise around 7:45a to 9:15am, consisted of using a smoking tactic with 3/8 oz. slabs with Hazy Eye Stinger hooks attached to catch aggressively feeding white bass which were suspended in the lower 2/3 of the water column in about 25 feet of water. During this time we amassed a catch of 101 fish. Part two, which went from ~10:00am to 10:30am, consisted of snap-jigging and easing for increasingly disinterested white bass hugging bottom in 20 to 31 feet of water. We made 3 “short hops” in one area, pulling only a few fish each time. We took only 8 fish during this bright, calm part of the morning. Part three, which spanned from 10:30 to 11:50am, consisted of fishing live shad via tightlining for fish suspended at 25-27′ over a deeper bottom. We landed another 14 fish, including 2 largemouth bass, 1 short hybrid, and 11 keeper (18″ or greater) hybrid striped bass.
OBSERVATIONS/NOTES: 1) The low light white bass feed we witnessed this morning exceeded the frenzy encountered this past Saturday morning in aggression, but did not last quite as long. 4 anglers landed 101 fish in under 90 minutes. 2) Male white bass observed dripping milt. 3) The mild, dry cold front that pushed through Sunday and Monday dropped the surface temperature from 60-62F, down to 58.5F.
TALLY: 123 FISH, ALL CAUGHT AND RELEASED
Start Time: 7:30a
End Time: 11:55a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 43F
Water Surface Temp: 58.5F
Wind Speed & Direction: SSW2-4 most of the trip.
Sky Conditions: ~70% high, thin, grey cloud cover at sunrise, dissipating by 9:15am, then bright with sparse white cloud cover <10%.
Water Level: 2.48 feet low and falling
GT = 5
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 692/1369 – white bass frenzy under low light conditions – 101 fish in 90 minutes
**Area vic 382 – snap-jigging for small white bass hugging bottom
**Area B0053C – suspended, small “packs” of hybrid stripers took live shad (medium threadfin) set at 25′ on tightlines
Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)