WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Friday evening I fished with Mr. Todd Walker and his 12-year-old son, Rylee. This was the ninth Spring Break 2018 trip I conducted. It was Rylee’s interest in fishing that got his dad back into the sport. The pair typically pursue largemouth bass from the bank in the north Austin area, often hitting 180-acre Lake Pfluegerville, near their home. We faced tough, bright, windless conditions this afternoon, with an extra dose of recreational boat traffic as folks got of work and tried to cram in a little Spring Break time on the water. We struggled, catching only a handful of fish in our first two hours using a variety of tactics at a variety of locations, but, finally, downrigging cracked the code allowing a catch of 68 fish when all was said and done.
Todd Walker and his 12-year-old son, Rylee, wore out the white bass on downriggers under tough, calm, bright conditions on Spring Break Friday.
WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass
WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake
WHEN WE FISHED: Friday evening, 16 March 2018
HOW WE FISHED: Our first 2 hours were as slow as they get — only 8 fish taken from 3 areas after stopping and fishing at 6 areas. Finally, around 5:45p, after going back to the very first area where we’d found (and caught 2) fish, I saw an abundance of fish carpeting the bottom in 26-31 feet along a gentle slope. We stopped and attempted vertical jigging, using a snap-jigging tactic and got exactly 1 strike, despite the continued presence of fish on sonar. I had just about decided to leave the segment of the lake we were fishing and go elsewhere, but I thought to give fishing horizontally with downriggers a try before we pulled up stakes altogether. That horizontal presentation turned out to be the ticket. Fishing horizontally for inactive fish allows the angler to present the bait over top of a lot of inactive individuals in order to tempt the low percentage that are still willing to make a move toward a bait. Long story short, we established a pattern of trolling in an ellipse that allowed thorough coverage of the patch of bottom these fish were inhabiting, and we got 1, 2, or 3 fish per angler (x 2 anglers) on just about every pass we made until the fish shut down right at sunset. In this manner, we put an additional 60 fish in the boat, include a number of “triples” (3 fish on a 3-armed umbrella rig at the same time).
OBSERVATIONS/NOTES: The now-stable weather has seen the fish settle into a pattern, doing essentially the same things at the same times and in the same places, thus making fishing very predictable. Should be solid until our next change in weather.
TALLY: 68 FISH, ALL CAUGHT AND RELEASED
Start Time: 7:30a
End Time: 11:30a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 67F
Water Surface Temp: 60.7F
Wind Speed & Direction: SSW 18-20
Sky Conditions: 100% light grey cloud cover
Water Level: 2.49 feet low and falling
GT = 0
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 378/380 – white bass via smoking (primarily), blades, and downrigging
**Area B50056C – white bass on live shad
Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)