South Wind, Game On!! — 39 Fish, Belton Lake, 28 Dec. 2013

afternoon I fished with returning guest Joe R., his son, Joey, and his 9 year old nephew, Ryan, who traveled to Central Texas from near Waller, TX on the west side of Houston to spend some time with his aunt, uncle, and cousin.

L to R: Joey, Joe, and Ryan.  With fishing conditions improving this afternoon after a multi-day stretch of tough clear, calm, bright conditions, the fish responded well.  We had our first southerly winds and some cloud cover move in.  We caught a few fish at each of the stops we made and found the fish much more responsive with some willing to chase baits short distances to feed.

I was more than a little concerned going into this afternoon’s trip as for the past several days I’ve struggled in the face of calm, clear, cold conditions.  However, as launch-time approached at 1:45p today, a ripple on the water turned into a breeze, and the breeze turned into wind, and the wind into waves, and, just like that it was game on.

We fished 5 distinct areas today, and found active fish at each locale.  The situation was similar at each area..  The 31-34 foot mark was where the fish were holding. Also, our action seemed to come very quickly and have a short duration to it — we caught fish as soon as we dropped our slabs down, saw them get “frisky” and rise up off the bottom after hooked schoolmates for a few minutes (10-12), then “cool off” allowing for one or two more fish to be caught. Then the action would die completely, thus requiring that we move and search out more fish.

A few keys to success today included: 1) matching forage size, which we accomplished with the TNT180 slab in 3/4 oz. white, which is a good all-around bait size for Belton, 2) we held our baits still for extended periods while slabbing to give the fish a chance to hit, and 3) we used “short-hops” which means we moved the boat a boat-length or two at a time after initially contacting fish to ensure fish just beyond our initial “slabbing radius” were also exposed to our presentation.

The winter months are tough months to have younger kids (under 6th grade or so) along, as there is not much variety to offer them in order to keep them engaged.  Winter fishing for whites and hybrid is pretty much a one-trick pony, and that trick is slow, methodical vertical jigging.  The boys did very well, though, all things considered. 

As our trip wrapped up I (half-) jokingly told Joe that although the 4 of us caught 39, had just he and I fished, we’d likely have ended up with 70-80.  That seems counter-intuitive, but, this technical fishing requires concentration in getting the bait correctly adjusted and in setting the hook when that one tap comes along.  The two of us tried repeatedly handing off hooked fish to the boys for them to reel in which typically has a 50%+ loss factor, plus, we both had to be on the lookout for the boys’ safety with the wind working on the open water we were in and so this reduces your ability to focus a bit.

To his credit, Joe wanted this trip to be a good one for the boys, so, lost fish or not, we made sure both Joey and Ryan got to reel in any hooked fish they cared to — and both boys wound up hooking and landing a few fish of their own, as well.

TALLY = 39 FISH, all caught and released



Start Time: 145p
End Time: 5:35p
Air Temp: 61F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: 53.5F 
Wind: Winds were just beginning to push from the SSE as we got on the water, and quickly built to 9-11mph as we fishied
Skies: Skies began fair, but quickly greyed over as the evening progressed.
Other Notes: GT25

Areas Fished with success:
**  672/489 (no birds)
**  1270 (no birds)
**  300/151 (no birds)
**  1318 (no birds)

**  714/1288 (no birds)

Bob Maindelle
Holding the Line Guide Service

Salado, Texas

Cove Football’s First Family goes Fishing! — 28 Fish, Stillhouse, 28 Dec. 2013

This morning I fished with Tracy, Josh, Caleb, and Matthew W. of Copperas Cove targeting white bass on Stillhouse Hollow

 L to R:  Caleb, Josh, Matthew, and Tracy.  We worked for every fish we caught today, winding up with 28 fish boated for our efforts.

This trip was rescheduled from 21 Dec. when a hard, wet cold front ripped through Central Texas. Josh arranged this trip as a Christmas present to his cousins, Caleb and Matthew, who are Tracy’s two boys.  Josh’s Uncle Tracy and Tracy’s brother, Jack, have led the Copperas Cove High School ‘Dawgs for many years now as football coaches, and Josh, after playing there, went on to lead the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders as quarterback right from his freshman year. 

Despite the fact that today’s conditions were more bearable than our originally scheduled date, the impact of that cold front and several hard fronts before it was still being felt by the fish.  Our water temperatures have hovered just above/below 50F, skies have been clear, and winds calm, which all add up to very tough fishing, and this morning was no exception.

Despite some so-so bird action at sunrise, we found no cooperative white bass beneath these birds.  In fact, the birds had just about gone back to roost around 10am before we boated our first white bass after putting 2 drum and 2 largemouth in the boat before that happened.

Finally, alongside the old Lampasas River channel in about 27 feet of water we encountered a decent school of white bass that showed clearly on sonar in that they were active enough and high enough off bottom for sonar to unmistakeably pick up multiple “fish arches”.  With nearly 2 1/2 hours of jigging practice now under their belts, the boys were all ready to correctly present our baits (3/4 oz. TNT 180 slabs in white) to these fish.  As is often the case on these cold-water fish, we included elongated pauses as we worked our baits to give these sluggish fish a chance to respond.

As often happens when active fish are encountered, as we caught fish, we attracted more fish to catch as the fish we hooked struggled to the surface, defecated, and regurgitated what they’d eaten while being reeled in, thus essentially creating a “chum slick” right where our baits were working beneath the boat.  Tracy was our most consistent fisherman, and was certainly a “coachable coach”.  He listened to and put into practice the key elements of line control and depth control very consistently and was rewarded for that attention to detail.

boated exactly 24 white bass by working in and around this area for
approximately 70 minutes.  After the action here died, we looked over 3
similar areas and found nothing more going on.

he brought in one of the nicer white bass we caught, Caleb looked at
Josh and said, “This was a great present.”   That meant a lot to me to hear that, as I
often can get so focused on producing numbers of fish for people, that I
forget about the relational aspect of fishing, and the enjoyable time
away from the stressors of life, and the fellowship that it offers.

I was impressed that this family clearly has woven their faith into their lives and their livelihoods — they’re the kind of folks you wish your entire clientele was like.

TALLY = 28 FISH, all caught and released



Start Time: 7:15a
End Time: 11:45a
Air Temp: 35F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: 52.6F 
Wind: Winds were 0-2mph and from WSW to WNW for our entire trip
Skies: Cloudless, fair skies.
Other Notes: GT10

Areas Fished with success:
**  1317 (no birds)

Bob Maindelle
Holding the Line Guide Service

Salado, Texas

Kiddie Cast & Blast — Stillhouse Hollow, 27 Dec. 2013

This morning I fished with
with retired U.S. Army NCO Lance H., his two boys, Dylan and J.J., his nephew, Antonio, and a family friend, Matthew B., whose dad is currently deployed to Kuwait. 

First came the casting (we fished until each boy boated a fish so we could take a nice group photo)

…then came the blasting (shooting pellet guns at aluminum cans along the shore in the great outdoors!). L to R: Matthew B., Dylan H., Lance H, Jason (J.J) H., and Antonio

Lance has been wanted to do something “outdoorsy” with his boys for a long time now, and with the decent weather, and time off from work and school, today seemed like a good day.

 After encountering very tough fishing conditions yesterday thanks to clear, windless skies, I called Lance (after seeing this morning’s forecast for more of the same) and suggested we fold in an activity in addition to the fishing, as I suspected we’d have a short, sunrise bite today as we did yesterday, and that the fishing would once again shut down pretty quickly after 90-120 minutes.

As it turned out, that is exactly what happened, so, once we’d boated at least a fish per kid, we then headed to the shore, broke out the pellet guns, and set up our own shooting gallery using a large log for a bench rest and piles of rocks as elevated platforms on which to place our soda can targets.

As we worked with the kids we got to show them the fundamentals of the sight picture they should look for, muzzle awareness, the use of the safety mechanism, and how to use several different sorts of airguns.

After about an hour (and a copious quantity of snacks) the novelty of target shooting wore off and we rounded out and finished up our morning with a lakeside lesson on how to cast a closed-face reel, as Dylan and J.J. had each received one of these as a Christmas present.  As luck would have it, we found a really nice jointed crankbait with enough heft to it to cast a good long way.  I removed the hooks, showed the boys how to tie an improved clinch knot, and we used that as our “casting plug” until each of the boys was able to cast reasonably straight and far.

TALLY = 6 FISH, all caught and released



Start Time: 7:20a
End Time: 12:05p
Air Temp: 35F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: 51.6F 
Wind: Winds were calm for the entire trip today
Skies: Cloudless, fair skies.
Other Notes:

Areas Fished with success:
**   1316 (3 terns, 1 gull)
**   1308 (no birds)

Bob Maindelle
Holding the Line Guide Service

Salado, Texas

Great Job, Abby!! — Belton Lake, 26 Dec. 2013, 19 Fish

This afternoon I fished with my friend and long-time Belton Lake multi-species angler Rodney T., accompanied by his granddaughter, Abby.

We knew calm winds and bright skies meant tough fishing, but we took lemons and made lemonade, boating a mix of 19 white bass and short hybrid in about 2 hours and 20 minutes’ time.

While out on the water at Stillhouse with a party of 4 this morning, Rodney contacted me and, long story short, we decided to put together a trip for Abby who is visiting from the northern Virginia area for the holidays, along with her mom, dad, brother Scotty, (and Great Dane).

We struggled to get the fish count out of the teens this morning and the weather forecast didn’t hold much hope for improvement, but, even catching a few is better than sitting around eating leftovers or watching TV, so, out we went.

I’d fished with Abby twice before, both in the summer time — once using live shad for hybrid and once throwing bladebaits for warm water white bass, so, this was our first cool water trip thus allowing for an introduction to “slabbing” (vertical jigging) for white bass.

Abby got the hang of slabbing very quickly, so, each time she was able to perform a certain skill well, I added a new skill so she’d be exposed to as much as time would allow for.  We started off with the basics of line control and depth control, then we added the jigging stroke, then we threw in an “easing” tactic for changing cadence, then we moved her up to observe sonar while doing all of these things, and, finally, began some basic sonar interpretation skills.

We found small clusters of fish in 25-38 feet of water.  When I marked fish on sonar, we’d hover over them, catch 2 or 3  and then the bite would die.  We’d move a boat length or two, catch a few more, and then the bite would die again.  Slowly we put together a bag of 19 for our efforts with both Rodney and I missing more fish than is typical thanks to soft, tentative bites, almost like the fish were nudging the slab instead of taking it into their mouths.

By sunset it was getting cool and the fish had done all they were going to do, so we came off the water so Rodney and clan could head over to the “Christmas in Lights” display at Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area (BLORA).

Great job, Abby!!

TALLY = 19 FISH, all caught and released



Start Time: 3:00p
End Time: 5:25p
Air Temp: 53F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: 53.2F 
Wind: Winds were calm at trip’s start, with a gentle N. breeze beginning around 4:35 at 3mph
Skies: Cloudless, fair skies.
Other Notes:

Areas Fished with success:
**  1297/098 (no birds)
**  973/297 (no birds)
**  1079 (no birds)

Bob Maindelle
Holding the Line Guide Service

Salado, Texas

Three Generations Aboard! — Stillhouse, 26 Dec. 2013, 15 Fish

This morning I fished with with a Class of 1991 West Point classmate of mine, Bobby B., originally from New Bern, NC.  His dad, Bob, a U.S. Army veteran and pastor, from the Raleigh, NC, area joined us, as did Bobby’s two sons, Wayne and Greg. 

We had a very short sunrise bite today for all of about 90 minutes, then the fish just shut down on us under clear, bright skies and windless conditions, but, everyone managed to hook up a few times and have something to contribute when ‘picture-taking time’ came.  L to R:  Greg, Wayne, Bobby, and Bob

Bobby and his wife, Amy (also a West Pointer), are both lieutenant colonels stationed at Fort Hood, living in Harker Heights.  The Army has taken their family to Japan, Germany, Korea, and Hawaii among other places, and all through it they’ve made family a priority and have stayed close-knit.

The fishing story today was not quite so heart-warming.  We had high, clear skies and windless conditions which are the toughest fishing conditions there are.  Add to that the background of already cold water (in the low 50’s on the surface) and we just struggled.

We caught all the fish we caught from 3 different areas and all in the first 90 minutes of the day.  After that sunrise bite died, is just got really tough.  We tried downrigging to cover some ground with baits in the water and, several times, marked fish only to try to return to them and find them gone.

Fishing aside, I got to hear about “Mr. Bob’s” flyrod techniques for farm pond panfish back in North Carolina and catch up on how a few classmates Bobby and I have as mutual friends were doing.

There is no more influential variable in fish activity level than local weather, and, in this cold water season days without wind AND cloud cover are much more difficult than those with. 

TALLY = 15 FISH, all caught and released



Start Time: 7:30a
End Time: 11:45a
Air Temp: 53F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: 53.2F 
Wind: Winds were calm at trip’s start, with a gentle N. breeze beginning around 4:35 at 3mph
Skies: Cloudless, fair skies.
Other Notes:

Areas Fished with success:
**  1312 (~15 gulls/terns)
**  643 (no birds)
**  1310 (no birds)

Bob Maindelle
Holding the Line Guide Service

Salado, Texas

No Longer Dreaming of a “White” Christmas, 47 Fish, Stillhouse, 24 Dec. 2013

This morning I welcomed aboard Adrian, David, and Glenn.  Adrian is local and had fished with me once before last winter.  David is in the Air Force serving his first enlistment at Travis Air Force Base in California, and Glenn, from Palm Springs, CA, was here visiting for the holidays.

From L to R: Glenn, Adrian, and David with a sampling of their released catch of 47.  The fish have definitely been impacted by the extended cold and unstable weather.  Low and slow was the name of the game today with all of our fish fooled by meticulous vertical jigging.

Since my last trip with clients on the 13th of Dec., we’ve had some very rough, unstable weather, forcing postponement of two trips, and we’ve had a significant decrease in the water surface temperatures.  I got out for two short “scouting” trips during this 11 day time span and both proved the fishing to be pretty tough.

Despite 2 consecutive days  with overnight lows in the high 20’s, I felt pretty good about our chances today due to the stability of the weather.  Once the water temperatures hit the low 50’s or high 40’s, the cold fronts no longer seem to spur the strong feeding pre-frontal that we see in late October into late November/early December, and we’re at the point of the season now.

I expected a short, early morning bite at a minimum today, but was pleasantly surprised to find fish willing to cooperate from sunrise through about 11:15a.

Our search for fish was aided by bird action as gulls and terns dipped down to feed on the shad being forced near the surface by white bass, however, there is a whole lot more misleading bird action now than there is helpful bird action, as both loons and cormorants are now here in great numbers and the gulls and terns are working over them to a much greater extent than they are working over top of fish.

Our approach today was slow, methodical and 100% vertical.  We worked to find fish, pinpointed them with sonar, held over top of them, and worked 3/4 oz. white TNT180 slabs near them and were sure to include short “deadstick” pauses in our presentation.

Although I tried experimenting a number of times with easing, smoking, and lift-dropping, the fish were just not willing to move that far or fast after the baits to yield success on these approaches.  Of the 47 fish caught, only 2 responded to a slow smoking retrieve, and that was at the peak of the bite.

I also noted that the fish were quite deep.  We did not catch any fish shallower than 31 feet, with some coming from as much as 52 feet of water.

For our efforts today we boated 47 fish including 1 largemouth bass, 1 crappie, 4 freshwater drum, and 41 white bass, all of which were legal size, with some going as much as 13 1/4″.

If the boys were dreaming of a white (bass) Christmas, that dream came true this Christmas Eve!

If you are reading this and have wanted to learn to fish vertically aided by sonar, this is the absolute best time of year to get out and do it.  There is really no substitute for experience in this technique.   Unless it is raining and blowing hard from the north at the same time, I’ll be fishing!!

TALLY = 47 FISH, all caught and released



Start Time: 7:30a
End Time: 11:45a
Air Temp: 28F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: 51F 
Wind: Winds were calm at sunrise, tapering up to SSE7 by trip’s end.
Skies: Cloudless, fair skies.
Other Notes: GT=10

Areas Fished with success:
**  Most consistent action came in Area 1312/1173/1314/1308 boundaries
**  Caught a few at Area 340/590
**  Caught a few at Area 1315/069

Bob Maindelle
Holding the Line Guide Service

Salado, Texas

The Kid Came Ready to Fish! 57 Fish, Stillhouse Guide’s Report, 13 Dec. 2013

This morning I welcomed returning guests Rob and Drake R. aboard for a white bass fishing trip on Stillhouse Hollow.  This trip was in celebration of Drake’s upcoming birthday. 

We caught fish on slabs fished vertically early on, then found a good school up shallow enough to effectively cast to, ending up with 57 fish on this rainy, cool December morning.

It was 43F, cold, and rainy.  It could have been 25F, frigid and snowing and I believe Drake’s enthusiasm would have been the same.  This kid came ready to fish!

Drake, now a freshman at Stoney Point High School in Round Rock, surprised me right off the bat this morning.  It’s been about a year and a half since he last came out with me, yet, when I began to go over my safety briefing and my tutorial on vertical jigging successfully, he recalled not only what to do, but also why we did it — sharp!

We had southerly winds, heavy overcast and the ambient temperatures at sunrise were higher than any day in the past week thanks to the overnight cloud cover retaining heat.  This, plus the fact that we have a mild, dry, cool front moving in, all made me very confident that we’d catch fish today.

As we got on the water, the birds started working right at sunrise (obsured) and worked a full 4 hours.  As I’ve observed on Belton Lake the past few outings, the fish are moving and scattered, so the bird action imitates that.  One minute a dozen birds are repeatedly striking the water in one spot, then, 30 seconds later those same birds are 80 yards away doing the same thing, while another small flock is doing the same thing in the same general area, but never for very long over top of a single patch of bottom. 

To keep up with the action we just fished and watched birds and sonar.  When the catching stopped, the birds lifted, and the sonar cleared, it was time to go looking.  Sometimes we caught 3-4 fish on a stop, other times it was 10-15.

We worked deep with white TNT180 slabs to begin the day, then, as the skies lightened a bit we found action up shallower in 16-18 feet of water and were able to cover ground by casting bladebaits horizontally for whites that were found from the middle of the water column down to bottom.  White Cicadas got the nod in this circumstance.

By 11:20, despite the fact that we were still on top of fish, the fish had had enough and began to suspend and grow lethargic.

In all, we boated 57 fish including 55 white bass and 2 drum. Several of our white bass went right at 14 inches with one boated by Rob which taped at 14 5/8″.

TALLY = 57 FISH, all caught and released



Start Time: 7:15a
End Time: 11:35p
Air Temp: 43F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: 50.6F 
Wind: Winds were SSE7 at obscured sunrise, tapering to SSE3.
Skies: 100% clouds and moderate precip. until 8:30, then very light precip. thereafter.
Other Notes: GT=30

Areas Fished with success:
**  between 1017/340, several yards back off the lip
**  1307 (18-20′ now due to water 10-11 feet low
**  1308 (finished the trip here with fish suspended at ~40 feet over 45-50 feet)

Bob Maindelle
Holding the Line Guide Service

Salado, Texas

Old Indian Tricks — 48 Fish, Belton Fishing Guide’s Report, 03 Dec. 2013

This morning I fished with Mr. Larry L. and Mr. Tom K., both of Lampasas, TX.


fish were really scattered and never really got into a “groove” this
morning, but, we persisted and were able to boat a mixed bag of nice
hybrid, as well as white bass and “short” hybrid.

Larry had fished with me once before about a year ago.  Since then he’s retired from his teaching/coaching job with the Lampasas school district.

is a retired Army veterinarian who also ran his own veterinary practice
after the military.  Now, he just keeps up with his wife and 2 cats!
 Larry and Tom got to know one another through church — they both go to
the First Street Church of Christ where Larry serves as an elder.
got going as the sun rose this morning, but nature was just kind of
flat for about the first hour.  We checked 3 or 4 typically productive
areas and found only small pods of fish here and there.   There was no
bird action to speak of.
8am, we spotted the first bird activity of the morning.  They behaved
in much the same way as on this past Saturday morning’s trip — the
gulls and terns would circle intently over an area, a few would dip to
feed, and then they’d ‘lift and shift’ a hundred or two hundred yards
away.  They did this over and over again for nearly 2 hours.  We kept up
with them and steadily caught fish, but only a few at a time as the
fish were moving the bait and not sitting still whatsoever.  The general
confines of this activity were within the bounds of Areas 1304, 1142,
and 1144.
observed that our catch rate actually increased after the birds settled
down.  I theorized that as the fish slowed down, stopped chasing bait
so aggressively, and settled back down to the bottom, they became less
mobile.  So, once we found fish, they were more likely to stay in that
area, and so our attempts at jigging for them were more successful as we
hovered over top of them for greater lengths of time than when they
were chasing hard after bait.  That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.
45 minutes after the birds settled, the fishing finally also slowed
down in this area and we pushed on looking for fish without the
assistance of birds, strictly using electronics.
found what were were looking for at Area 717.  As we pulled in at idle
speed there were fish glued to the bottom for several yards, and several
fish up off the bottom chasing bait.  As we got the boat positioned, we
began “smoking” and worked these suspended fish over pretty well.
 After they settled down, we focused on jigging on bottom for a few more
added to our tally, and when that began to wane, we switched over to
lighter, smaller slabs to put a final 4 fish in the boat.  By this time
we’d reached the bitter end.  The sun was high and bright, the wind was
calming, and the fish, bait and birds were all at rest.  Time to head in
for lunch!
we traveled from area to area, Tom asked me for any “old indian tricks”
I might be able to share with him.  I showed him the “buoy trick”, the
“foam trick”, and the “spark plug trick”.  He said these alone were
worth the price of the trip!!

Not a stellar day, but not a bust either — such is winter-time fishing between fronts.

TALLY = 48 FISH, all caught and released



Start Time: 7:00a
End Time: 12:15p
Air Temp: 48F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: 58F 
Wind: Winds were SSW11 dying to SSW3.
Skies: 25% clouds on a fair sky.
Other Notes: GT=20

Areas Fished with success:
**  1304/1142/1144 (50 G/T)
**  717

Bob Maindelle
Holding the Line Guide Service

Salado, Texas

Deer Camp 2013 – 85 Fish, Stillhouse Hollow Lake Guide’s Report, 30 Nov. 2013

This afternoon I fished on Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir with father and son team Joe and Joey R. of Georgetown, TX.


Joe and Joey close out a nice Thanksgiving weekend at “deer camp” with a side trip spent fishing for white bass.

Joey got this one all by himself!

Joe is a landscaper by trade; he and his family
spend holidays at a deer camp near Salado.  We met about a year ago as I
was coming into the dock following a fishing trip on Stillhouse.  We
struck up a conversation, I gave him a business card, we stayed in
touch, and finally, today, made it happen for him and his son.

improved this afternoon over this morning as the winds picked up a bit,
the winds shifted to due S. from out of the SE, and the skies, though
still clouded, brightened a good bit.
is only 5 years old and cool-weather fishing involves nearly 100%
vertical jigging which requires concentration and is somewhat technical.
 So, I started our trip off with a lesson on jigging for Joe, then
one-on-one’d with Joey to keep him engaged to the point where both of
them could enjoy the outing.
made 5 stops and caught fish steadily at 3 of them.  100% of our fish
came off the bottom via a vertical jigging approach using the 3/4 oz.
TNT 180 slab.  Mixed in with the white bass was the occasional
freshwater drum, but no other 
by-catch today.
Joey did take rod in hand and fish (and caught fish independently),
there were a few other things he took more of a liking to.  These
included:  1) using my water-bailing scoop as a transfer scoop to
deposit unhooked fish back into the lake with, 2) using my Boga Grip to
to transfer unhooked fish to the livewell with for photos, and 3) taking digital
photos with a broken smart phone he’d been entrusted with by his mom for
the weekend.   Actually, “taking digital photos” is an understatement
— I believe he was actually creating a moment-by-moment photo
documentary of our trip which clearly portrayed every single piece of
fishing equipment on my boat. 

Occasionally, dad would issue a
“challenge” to see who could hook and land a fish the quickest or see
whose fish was the biggest.   And so it went … Joe and I worked to make
sure that young Joey enjoyed his big day in the outdoors.  And he did!!

the sun (which finally shone directly for about 40 minutes) was about
30 minutes away from setting beneath the western horizon, it became
obscured by a grey cloud bank.  When this happened, our winds also died
out, and the fishing tapered off very quickly right around 5pm.

TALLY = 85 FISH, all caught and released



Start Time: 1:45p
End Time: 5:45p
Air Temp: 58F at trip’s start.

Water Surface Temp: 57F 
Wind: Winds were S8-9 and tapering to near calm in the last 30 minutes.
Skies: 100% cloudy and grey until ~4:20p when the sun broke through briefly.

Other Notes: GT=20

Areas Fished with success:
**  074   (35 fish)
**  1039  (14 fish)
**  1301/1302 (36 fish)(7T)

Bob Maindelle
Holding the Line Guide Service


Salado, Texas

Yeah, You Can Put that in Gumbo! — 44 Fish, Belton Lake Fishing Guide’s Report, 30 Nov. 2013

This morning I fished on Belton Lake with father-daughter anglers Kevin M. of New Orleans, LA, and Lauren V. of Temple, TX.


hybrid went 3.50 lbs. and Kevin’s went 3.75 lbs.  These fish were taken
minutes apart around 10:50a when a small flock of terns dove on the
shad these fish and their schoolmates were pushing to the surface.  Both
came on 3/4 oz. slabs.

is a geologist working in the oil industry and Lauren is investing her
life into helping veterans overcome post-traumatic stress disorder and
related-issues in her work with the Veterans’ Administration.

off a really good day yesterday, the winds were a bit more easterly
this morning, with 100% grey cloud cover the entire morning.  Both the
fish and the birds were a bit “funky” today.  We enjoyed the presence of
active, flying, feeding birds for the last 3.5 hours of our 4.5 hour
trip, but, the birds rarely stayed over one area very long.  They would
circle, dip down after a few shad, then move 100 or 200 yards and do the
same thing.  Likewise, the fish we found were also scattered and “flighty”; we rarely encountered more than a few fish at at time.

be sure, we caught fish, but the fish we encountered were scatted both
horizontally and vertically.  We jigged for fish on the bottom, “smoked”
for suspended fish, and even downrigged a bit for fish that were spread
horizontally and on the move.

all was said and done we put together a catch of 44 fish including
short and keeper hybrid up to 3.75 pounds, white bass up to 13″, and 2
largemouth bass thrown in for good measure.

past experiences have primarily been in saltwater in both the
Chesapeake Bay complex, and in the Mississippi Delta region of
Louisiana.  Never before had he targeted or landed either white bass or
hybrid striped bass, so, today was a day of firsts for him.

As the fish and bird action wound down, our conversation turned to food, specifically Louisiana fare.  Having spent some time at Fort Polk, LA, as a young man in the military, I was able to compare notes with Kevin and Lauren.  We joked that with a good roux as a base, it really didn’t matter what you put in gumbo, which led my two guests to volunteer some of the stranger ingredients they’d witnessed.  Topping the list: black birds!!

TALLY = 44 FISH, all caught and released



Start Time: 7:00a
End Time: 11:35a

Air Temp: 50F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: 57F 
Wind: Winds were SE6.
Skies: 100% cloudy and grey.

Other Notes: GT=55

Areas Fished with success:
**  1141/835/1144 (30T, 15 G)
**  838 (12T)