1 Family, 2 Fishing Trips, 143 Fish – The Oliver Family Reunion

WHO I FISHED WITH:   This past Thursday and Friday I had the joy of fishing with the Oliver family during a bit of a mid-summer family reunion.  Mr. Joe Oliver coordinated everything such that on Thursday his son Corey (visiting from Oregon) and Corey’s kids, Cullen and Presley (8-year-old twins) and Harper (age 6) would fish, capably assisted by the kids’ uncle (Corey’s brother) Thomas.  Then, on Friday, Joe made arrangements for his daughter, Amber, from Academy, TX, to fish with her three kids, Ben (age 11), Beau (age 4 1/2), and Addie (age 2), once again aided by Uncle Thomas.

We agreed my “Kids Fish, Too!” style of trip would be best (a little shorter, much less expensive, and with all the focus solely on the kids’ success) and, fortunately both the weather and the fish cooperated so that all concerned had a memorable time.

Now, it could be my years of experience as a guide that has helped me to read between the lines when it comes to dealing with kids, or it could be the preparation I received for this vocation through my years in children’s ministry, but, somehow I have developed a “knack” for understanding the subtle messages from children, including Joe’s grandkids.  For example, when 6-year-old Harper says, “I need to pee”, what she really means is that she needs to pee.  Or, when 4 1/2-year-old Beau says, “I want to catch sunfish”, what he is actually communicating is that he no longer wants to be patient enough to wait on a larger white bass to strike, but would rather enjoy the fast action provided by sunfish.  And, when little Addie, age 2, says “I want to go home now” in reality she is communicating that she wants to go home … now. You see what I mean?  Very subtle … but I pick up on this stuff.

We landed 50 sunfish and 14 white bass on Thursday, and we landed 76 sunfish and 3 white bass on Friday, for a total of 143 fish.

THURSDAY’S CREW: From left: Corey, Cullen, Harper, Thomas, and Presley.

 

FRIDAY’S CREW: From left:. Addie, Amber, Ben, Thomas, and Beau.

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  These were multi-species trips in which we caught white bass and sunfish.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday and Friday mornings, 12 and 13 July 2018

HOW WE FISHED: 

ON THURSDAY: The windless, clouded start to the day was not appealing to the white bass, so we left them alone after slowly picking up a few fish at our first stop, and went up shallow for sunfish.  We fished two areas for sunfish, then tried once again for white bass once the winds picked up lightly but consistently from the SW.  As we searched for fish, we spotted largemouth bass chasing shad to the surface and found white bass in the same vicinity.  This area gave up the balance of the white bass we caught, all on downrigged 3-armed umbrella rigs equipped with Pet Spoons.  As we closed out our trip, the kids got to participate in an on-the-water rescue as we assisted a stranded boater whose motor quit get back to the launch site by giving him a tow.

ON FRIDAY: Taking a lesson learned from the day prior, we started our day this morning going for the “instant gratification” bite of sunfish up shallow and just kept right on sunfishing but for two short attempts at downrigging for white bass.  Once we landed one “big fish” (a white bass) for each of the kids, they’d had enough of that and we went right back to the sunfishing.  We wound up fishing 3 different areas for the sunfish, all of which produced well thanks to the abundance of hydrilla now found all around the shoreline on Stillhouse.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:  In additions to seeing schooling action at 1221 through 484, I also observed schooling action at Area 250, but we did not fish over these fish.

 

TALLY: 64 Fish on Thursday, 79 Fish on Friday, hence a total of 143 fish, all caught and released

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:30a both days

End Time: 10:00a both days

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  75F both days

Water Surface Temp:   84.8F both days

Wind Speed & Direction: SSW7 or less the entire trip on Thursday; SSE5 or less the entire trip on Friday

Sky Conditions: ~20% cloud cover both days

Water Level:  6.24 feet low both days

GT = 50

Wx SNAPSHOT:   (Thursday only)

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

THURSDAY

**Area SH0043C – sunfish

**Area 1221 through 484 – downrigging for white bass

 

FRIDAY

**Area 201 sunfish

**Area 203 sunfish

**Area 1241 through 1239 – downrigging for white bass

**Area 189 sunfish

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingelleTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

A Tough Day on the Pond — 55 Fish

WHO I FISHED WITH:   This morning, Monday, July 9th, I fished with Geoffrey Van Riper of Harker Heights, accompanied by his son, Greg (age 7), and Greg’s cousins, Jake (age 12) and Kaden (age 9) Howley, also of Harker Heights.  The boys’ grandfather, George Van Riper, treated them all to this trip, and went out on his own boat fishing with a buddy of his while Geoffrey and I worked with the boys.

 

 

From left: Mr. Geoffrey Van Riper, his son, Greg Van Riper, and Greg’s cousins, Jake and Kaden Howley, with a few of the white bass we found today by covering a lot of water using downriggers.

 

Greg Van Riper holds the largest of the white bass we caught today.  This fish was with a small school of white bass over open water, holding about 26′ beneath the surface, feeding on shad.

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This was a multi-species trip in which we caught white bass and sunfish.

WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake

WHEN WE FISHED: Monday morning, 09 July 2018

HOW WE FISHED:  With 3 boys aboard ranging from 7 to 12, I had to keep things moving on this very tough fishing day so that no one got disinterested.  Suspecting today would be tough based on the weather forecast, I came prepared to fish horizontally with downriggers, vertically with slabs and tailspinners, up shallow for sunfish, and for catfish using livebait.  As it turned out, we landed 12 white bass including one triple, one double, and 7 singles as we downrigged over open water where I’d spotted small schools of white bass surface feeding.  We also landed 43 sunfish including bluegill, green, and longears using slipfloats up shallow.  I only encountered one scenario where I suspected a vertical presentation would pay off (but it didn’t), and, I never found any concentration of catfish, nor did I think it wise to invest the time required to sit in one spot long enough to chum them in.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:  1) Lots of “popcorn” white bass scattered and suspended, forcing young-of-the-year shad to the surface for seconds, then disappearing.  2) Fishing has been very inconsistent thanks to very unstable weather. 3) Three other Lake Belton anglers reported poor results today when I check in with them.

 

TALLY: 55 FISH, ALL CAUGHT AND RELEASED

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:15a

End Time: 10:30a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  72F

Water Surface Temp:   84.8F

Wind Speed & Direction: S7 or less the entire trip

Sky Conditions: ~20% cloud cover at trip’s start, increasing to 100% coverage with rain on the way by trip’s end

Water Level:  3.32 feet low

GT = 60

Wx SNAPSHOT:   

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area B0097C – sunfish

 

 

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingelleTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

Battle on Belton – 31 Fish with the Snelgrooes/King Crew

WHO I FISHED WITH:   This past Thursday morning, July 5th, I fished with returning guest Rick Snelgrooes of Liberty Hill, TX, accompanied by his son, Sean, Sean’s friend Grant, and Grant’s dad, Brian King.  The Kings live in Orange County, CA, where Sean and Grant played soccer together before the Snelgrooes family moved to Texas a little over a year ago.

 

 

Rick Snelgrooes took the only hybrid striped bass during this morning’s trip.  This fish, and a number of white bass suspended along with it, held in 31 feet of water over a deeper bottom and were very difficult to fool today..

 

From left: Sean Snelgrooes, Brian and Grant King, and Rick Snelgrooes, each with white bass which we either downrigged for or caught on tailspinners fished vertically.

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This was a multi-species trip in which we caught white bass, largemouth bass, hybrid striped bass, blue catfish, and crappie.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday morning, 05 July 2018

HOW WE FISHED: Fishing was tough today.  After a very light, short topwater feed right around (obscured) sunrise, the fishing slowed greatly and stayed tough all morning.  Although we found several areas holding good concentrations of suspended fish, these fish would not budge when shown downrigged baits going horizontally, tailspinners and slabs going vertically, and live bait hung right at eye level.  The majority of our fish today were taken via downrigging just one or two at a time.  We did stop a number of times to try to tempt heavily schooled fish with vertical presentations and when we did score it seemed that the fish we caught were the minority nearer the bottom than out of the “masses” suspended above them.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES: 1) With a northerly component to the wind today, fishing was slow and tough.  On a number of occasions I encountered heavily congregated, suspended fish around 31 feet which we could not tempt with vertical for horizontal presentations, nor after fishing for them at several times over the course of the 5 hour trip. 2) Belton vertical temperature profile to 60′:

0 feet 82.9°

5 feet 83.4°

10 feet 83.7°

15 feet 83.7°

20 feet 83.7°

25 feet 83.4°

30 feet 82.6°

35 feet 77.9°

40 feet 72.1°

45 feet 67.1°

50 feet 64.3°

55 feet 62.8°

60 feet 61.5°

 

TALLY: 31 FISH, ALL CAUGHT AND RELEASED

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:10a

End Time: 11:20a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  72F

Water Surface Temp:   82.9F

Wind Speed & Direction: ENE5 or less the entire trip

Sky Conditions: Under 80-100% grey cloud cover

Water Level:  3.19 feet low

GT = 125

Wx SNAPSHOT:   

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic 929 downrigging in the vicinity of light, widespread topwater action

**Area vic B0082C – downrigging

**Area vic B0096C – downrigging and working tailspinners vertically

 

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingelleTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

What To Do When We Struggle – Life Lessons with the Boettgers – 62 Fish

WHO I FISHED WITH:   This past Tuesday morning I fished with Brian Boettger and his 4-year-old son, Landon, both of Nolanville, TX.  Brian fished with me once before on a father-and-son trip with his dad, Mickey, and was now “paying it forward” via a gift certificate he received from his girlfriend some time ago.  We wrapped up right at the 4 hour mark this morning with 62 fish boated and released. I commented to Brian how I noted that Landon was obviously very mechanically inclined.  He easily figured out how to work the triggering mechanism on the brush clip I use to secure the boat when sunfishing, and he also clearly understood the concept of the shift mechanism used to put the boat in and out of forward and reverse gears, all at just 4 years of age — impressive!

LIFE LESSONS: Brian was very intentional about trying to teach Landon new things over the course of the trip.  There were several occasions when Landon struggled with a particular task.  When Brian observed this, he asked Landon, “What are the two things we do when we struggle?”   Landon would reply, “We ask for help and we make ourselves stronger.”  Over the course of the trip Landon learned a number of different fishing techniques and overcame his fear of holding caught fish as Brian patiently worked with him.

Triple!!  One fish was hooked on each of the 3 Pet Spoons on the 3-armed umbrella rig — one of my summertime staples.

This largemouth was mixed in with a school of aggressively feeding white bass which went for a vertical presentation after we spotted them on sonar and then caught a few as the downrigger balls swept over them.

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This was a multi-species trip in which we caught white bass, largemouth bass, freshwater drum, green sunfish, longear sunfish, and bluegill sunfish.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday morning, 04 July 2018

HOW WE FISHED: Given that one of our objectives was to make sure 4-year-old Landon had a good time, learned a few things, and stayed engaged, I tried to transition from one method to another several times over the course of the morning.  We started off downrigging in two separate locations.  We picked up 9 fish at our first stop. At our second location we found a heavily congregated, bottom-oriented school of white bass which we set up over top of and vertical jigged for using the i-Pilot Link system.  After passing over a school of white bass, I backtracked to them on Down Imaging, placed a cursor over top of them, then gave the Ulterra a Spot Lock command.  The trolling motor then navigated back to the fish while I handed out appropriate rods and gave everyone instructions on what to do once we were in a dead hover over top of the fish.  We picked up 3 fish on the downriggers and then worked vertically for 34 more white bass.  When this dissipated, we headed shallow for sunfish, picking up another dozen fish.  We then wrapped up the trip with another round of downrigging, adding 4 more fish to the tally; 62 fish in all.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES: Very little in the way of topwater action once again despite adequate sighting conditions.

TALLY: 62 FISH, ALL CAUGHT AND RELEASED

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:15a

End Time: 10:20a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  77F

Water Surface Temp:   83.8F

Wind Speed & Direction: S9 or less the entire trip

Sky Conditions: Under 5% white cloud cover on a blue sky.

Water Level:  5.92 feet low

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT:   

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1440 to SH0031C  – white bass on downriggers for 9 fish

**Area SH0041C – white bass on downriggers leading to vertical work with tailspinners for 37 fish

**Area SH0038C – for 12 sunfish

**Area SH0037C  – 3 white bass & 1 drum on downriggers

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingelleTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

Miller & Sons — July White Bass Fishing on Stillhouse – 35 Fish

WHO I FISHED WITH:   This past Monday morning, July 2nd, I fished with Mr. Mike Miller of Harker Heights and his two adult sons, Jordan and Luke.  The trip was a Fathers’ Day gift to Mike from his wife, Luanne.  Of the three, Jordan fishes the most regularly and owns his own boat.  I had initially planned to take the threesome to Lake Belton for a mixed bag of white bass and hybrid stripers, but, after mulling things over, the fellows let me know they preferred to stay close to their campground at Union Grove Park and fish on Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir, instead.  Mike, who is more of a salt water angler, didn’t really fish that much but enjoyed the time on the water with his boys.

 

Jordan Miller with a pair of white bass caught early on in the trip on Pet Spoons downrigged around 31 feet deep over a deeper bottom.

Luke Miller with a 3-year-old fish landed later in our trip as the winds picked up to just barely white-capping, around 12-13 mph.

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This was a multi-species trip in which we caught white bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Monday morning, 02 July 2018

HOW WE FISHED: Although we attempted on a number of occasions to tempt somewhat-congregated schools of white bass/largemouth bass into biting on topwater presentations and on vertical presentations, the only tactic that produced on this fairly clear morning with low wind speeds was downrigging.  We successfully downrigged at 4 distinct locations and looked over 3 other locations which did not produce fish.  The 3-armed umbrella rig was the go-to bait this morning, decked out with small Pet Spoons.  The fishing was slow but steady, aside from the initial “low light” bite right before and during sunrise which gave up a disproportionate number of fish over a 25-30 minutes span.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES: Very little in the way of topwater action once again despite adequate sighting conditions.

TALLY: 34 FISH, ALL CAUGHT AND RELEASED

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:10a

End Time: 10:20a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  77F

Water Surface Temp:   83.6F

Wind Speed & Direction: S10 at trip’s start increasing to S15 by trip’s end

Sky Conditions: Under 20% white cloud cover on a blue sky.

Water Level:  5.86 feet low

GT = 35

Wx SNAPSHOT:   

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area SH0040C to SH0031C  – white bass on downriggers

**Area 660 to 1241 – white bass on downriggers

**Area vic 1704 – white bass on downriggers

**Area SH0039C to SH0018C – white bass on downriggers

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingelleTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

They Potty-Train Fish, Don’t They? — 60 Fish with the Trinkles

WHO I FISHED WITH:   This past Saturday morning, June 30th, I fished with returning guests Shaun Trinkle and his sons, Bradley and Wyatt.  The Trinkles are a military family spending their last few days here at Fort Hood before heading for their next duty station.  Bradley is 7 years old and Wyatt is 4.  Despite his young age, Wyatt hung in there for the entire 3.5+ hours of this “Kids Fish, Too!” trip tailored just for kids.

FUNNY STORY: While Bradley (7) and Wyatt (4) were looking at one of the fish Bradley just landed, the fish “spurted” some semi-solid grey matter onto the floor of the boat from its anal vent.  I asked the boys if they knew what just came out of the fish.  Bradley ventured a few guesses (water, fish, worms, etc.) but none were correct.  I told them the correct answer was more gross than any of the things they had guessed.  After they gave up on guessing, I informed the boys that the grey stuff on the floor of the boat was fish poop.  After the “eeeews” died down, I kidded the boys that fish don’t wear diapers and their parents don’t potty train them.  At this, Bradley “volunteered” a little something about Wyatt saying, “Yeah, well Wyatt, he took a reeeally long time to potty-train; it was a bear!

From left: Bradley, Shaun, and Wyatt Trinkle with 2 of the 60 fish the boys caught during their Saturday morning excursion.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This was a multi-species trip in which we caught white bass, largemouth bass, and sunfish.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Saturday morning, 30 June 2018

HOW WE FISHED: We began our trip downrigging for white bass, doing very well right off the bat under low light conditions, then seeing the action taper off as the skies brightened.  We landed 18 white bass and a largemouth in this early bout of action before transitioning to fishing for sunfish up shallow in hydrilla beds.  The sunfishing yielded 24 fish as we used slipfloats to present live bait to a variety of sunfish species.  We wound up the trip going back to downrigging; as we worked our baits at around 26’ over a deeper bottom, sonar revealed a school of feeding, bottom-oriented, heavily congregated white bass.  I stopped the boat, put her in a hover over top of this school by navigating back to them with the i-Pilot Link connection between the Humminbird and Minn Kota Ulterra, and we fished vertically using tailspinners and slabs, putting a final 16 white bass and one more largemouth in the boat, thus ending the trip on a good note.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:

TALLY: 60 FISH, ALL CAUGHT AND RELEASED

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:30a

End Time: 10:10a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  77F

Water Surface Temp:   83.4F

Wind Speed & Direction: S10 at trip’s start increasing to S15 by trip’s end

Sky Conditions: ~40% white cloud cover on a blue sky, decreasing to 25% by trip’s end

Water Level:  5.76 feet low

GT = 25

Wx SNAPSHOT:     N/A

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area SH0040C – 18 white bass, 1 largemouth on downriggers

**Area 189 and SH0038C – sunfish on hydrilla

**Area Sh0039C – 16 white bass and 1 largemouth; found fish via downrigging and capitalized on the find by fishing vertically with tailspinners and slabs

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingelleTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle