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
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
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)