WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Tuesday morning I fished with a really nice couple, Steve and Erica Allen, from Tuckerton, New Jersey, right on the southern New Jersey Atlantic coastline. The Allen’s son, also named Steve, recently enlisted in the U.S. Army and will be deploying to Europe with his armor unit soon. They came to visit before his departure and decided to come fishing with me while waiting for Steve’s duty day to end on post. Steve and Erica routinely fish in the freshwater ponds and bogs in their area for bass and pickerel with artificial lures, so they were no strangers to most of the tactics we used today.
Got your hybrids?? Check!! With foul weather bearing down on us, the hybrid turned on just long enough for Steve and Erica to catch the first ones of their lives — then we had to bug out!!
WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip.
WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake
WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday morning, 03 April 2018
HOW WE FISHED: We targeted white bass in shallow water (under 26′) during the low-light time from 7:45 to around 9:45a using 3/8 oz. white slabs with Hazy Eye Stinger Hooks attached. Once the bite began to taper off we changed over to horizontally cast bladebaits to cover a bit more water and “mop up”. We landed exactly 100 fish during this time and then decided to pursue fewer, but larger, fish using live bait. Using freshly netted, live threadfin shad, we landed largemouth bass and white bass, but really were gunning for hybrid. We hit our third area and were still “hybrid-free” when a severe thunderstorm warning popped up on my i-Phone. It looked like we were going to be denied a hybrid on this trip, but, I saw fish on sonar which I knew were hybrid, so, I kept chumming and thumping and, just as the breeze began to pick up from the west about 30 minutes in advance of the storm’s arrival, the fish turned on. Erica missed her first one right at the boat and was just about heart-broken. Then Steve got a pulldown and did a very nice job fighting his all the way into the net. Once the pressure was off and we broke the “hybrid-barrier”, Erica relaxed and soon after put her own hybrid in the boat. Both Steve and Erica had now landed the first hybrid striped bass of their lives. Just a few minutes later after we’d re-baited, a loud clap of thunder occurred a bit too close for comfort and we called it done right then. By the time I hopped in the cab of my truck after getting the boat on the trailer, it started pouring with ample thunder and lighting. We landed 111 fish in all.
OBSERVATIONS/NOTES: 1) No spawning shad after seeing the first spawning activity yesterday — likely due to the sudden cold spell that took place during the daylight hours yesterday, despite an overnight warmup.
TALLY: 111 FISH, ALL CAUGHT AND RELEASED
Start Time: 7:45a
End Time: 11:35a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 69F
Water Surface Temp: 65.3F
Wind Speed & Direction: SW10-11
Sky Conditions: 100% grey cloud cover as a mild cold front moved in briefly.
Water Level: 2.12 feet low
GT = 70
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 380 – 100 whites on slabs/blades
**Area B0055C – a few whites on livebait while attempting to catch hybrid
**Area vic 1882/1819/2027 – a few whites on livebait while attempting to catch hybrid
**Area B0065C – whites, largemouth, and 2 hybrid on livebait as storm approached
Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)