WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Thursday morning I fished an abbreviated trip with Mr. Jack Swingler and his son, Otto. Otto coordinated this trip as a gift to his dad for his 60th birthday. We got going around 7:25, but, due to a meeting Otto had to attend in Austin, we had to crank up to run back in by 10:15. I started us off with livebait after the still-stubborn hybrid stripers with it in mind that if we didn’t pick up a bunch of fish really quickly, we’d change over to white bass since neither fellow had a preference as to species. Although we did pick up one hybrid and had a few more missed pulldowns, by 8:45 I had us redirected to white bass which provided us with ample action right down to the last minute.
With a compressed schedule to find and catch fish this morning, Jack took just one hybrid striper on a slow bite and we then transitioned to white bass fishing for the last 90 minutes of our trip.
We found very cooperative white bass with both sonar and by observing feeding gulls. We wrapped up our trip with exactly 75 fish boated and left the fish biting to be back to the dock in time for Otto (left) to make a meeting in Austin.
WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip in which we fished for hybrid stripers early on with live bait, then switched over to fishing for white bass with artificials in the latter part of the trip.
WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake
WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday morning, 12 April 2018
HOW WE FISHED: This morning we fished with live shad for hybrid stripers right off the bat, but the action was slow, so, given our limited timeframe this morning, I switched us over to white bass by 8:45am. We enjoyed non-stop white bass action for 90 minutes and left them biting to get Otto back to Austin on time for a meeting. We fished two distinct areas for white bass. The first was an all-vertical bite in 28′ and produced mainly 1-year class fish. I laid out the “gamble” of leaving fish to find fish, and both Otto and Jack were okay with leaving our small fish for the chance to hook some larger ones, so, we made a move to a second area and were fortunate to find laughing gulls and terns aggressively working over a patch of water. In the heavy chop, we could see white bass chasing mature shad and pinning them against the surface. We began working vertically, but transitioned to sight-casting for these fish. The average size of the fish at this second stop was larger than that of those fish at our first stop, so we rode this area out until the clock dictated we stop.
OBSERVATIONS/NOTES: 1) Once again, no spawning shad after seeing the first spawning activity last Monday, 02 April. 2) Hybrid activity has been spotty and unpredictable.
TALLY: 75 FISH, ALL CAUGHT AND RELEASED
Start Time: 7:25a
End Time: 10:15a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 64F
Water Surface Temp: 64.5F
Wind Speed & Direction: SSW13-17 (much less than forecast)
Sky Conditions: <100% cloud cover
Water Level: 2.01 feet low and slowly falling
GT = 70
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1940/993 – 1 hybrid and several white bass on live shad
**Area vic 709 – aggressive white bass action
**Area B0074C – aggressive white bass action under laughing gulls
Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)