More Than a Sprinkling of Success — 133 Fish

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Thursday morning I fished with Mr. Al Trevino of San Antonio, TX.  Al graduated from Holy Cross High School back in the day and has remained close friends with a number of his classmates, including David G. who resides in Nolanville.  Dave was kind enough to put Al up for the night and feed him so he didn’t have to make a long, early morning drive for our 7:15a trip start.  Al has been in the sprinkler installation and repair business for 38 years, and now at nearly 60 years old, wants to downshift a bit, hence the getaway from the job for a little R&R on Lake Belton.

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Al Trevino of San Antonio took his already solid “bite detection skills” which he’s developed using ultralight tackle in fishing for crappie and adapted well to the tactics we employed for white bass.  This led to a much better than average “hook to land ratio” for Al.

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday morning, 14 December, 2017

HOW WE FISHED: Our trip broke down into two distinct parts.  From trip’s start and until 9:30a, we jigged slowly for white bass which were congregated in moderate-sized schools in ~36′ on bottom. These fish were pretty reluctant to charge a bait, so, we fished with an “easing” tactic and enjoyed a steady pick of 49 fish before the bite shut down in this segment of the lake.  From 9:30a and until the fishing shut down altogether for the morning around 11:15a, we initially contacted a very large group of fish (several hundred individuals in the school) in 43′ on bottom.  The location of these fish was revealed to us as we watched for bird activity, and, although the birds action over these fish was slight and short-lived, it was enough of a clue to get us where we wanted to be.  We stayed in one “Spot-Lock” setting using the Ulterra for nearly 2 straight hours and put another 84 fish in the boat including white bass, short hybrid, largemouth bass, and freshwater drum.  These fish were much more aggressive and were duped by a smoking tactic.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:   1) The bird activity on the main lake has fallen to near nil since this last cold front dropped the water surface temperatures into the high 50’s for the first time this fall.

TALLY: 133 FISH, all caught and released

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:15a

End Time:  11:30a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  46F

Water Surface Temp:  59.1F

Wind Speed & Direction:  NW10, shifting to NNW13-14 around 10a

Sky Conditions:  High, thin, grey cloud cover at 100% in the eastern half of the sky, slowly creeping westward at a rate sufficient to keep the direct sun from shining on the water at any time during this morning’s trip.

Water Level: 2.84 feet low

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT:

14DEC17

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  960/1007 – easing for reluctant white bass on bottom through 9:30 for 49 fish

**Area 2059/1945 – smoking for aggressive mix of species in lower12′ of the water column thru 11:15a for an add’l 84 fish

 

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@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

I’ve Got This, Dad — 81 Fish, Stillhouse

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning I fished with Troy Hensley of Killeen, TX, and his son, Trace, who just recently turned four.  Troy is a US Army combat veteran originally from Kentucky, who served in Iraq with the 1st Cavalry Division, and a faithful member of Memorial Baptist Church in Killeen where he volunteers in the nursery and small group ministries.

 

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Troy Hensley Jr. and his 4-year-old son, Troy Hensley III (nicknamed Trace) braved the elements this morning and cashed in on some solid fishing under cold, westerly breezes.

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Little Trace reeled this schoolie largemouth bass in ‘all by himself’.  Trace is getting to that age where his mind wants to do things by himself but his body isn’t quite there yet.  He often let Troy know, “I’ve got this, Dad.” as he struggled to keep up with the big guys.

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED: Monday morning, 11 December, 2017

HOW WE FISHED: Thanks to a slow, steady drop in water temperature, the fish are more reliably grouping up in deep water and in large schools now.  They had begun to do this weeks ago, but the weather moderated and warmed and the trend slowed down.  We found groups of active fish willing to chase our 3/8 oz. slabs while we employed a smoking tactic, and, for less enthusiastic schools and toward the end of the morning bite, we found that an easing tactic or snap-jigging tactic was more effective.  For a brief spell we found some fish that had moved up in to water under 20 feet in depth, but they did not bite well, nor for very long, on the bladebaits we threw their way.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:   1) I saw the first sub-60 water surface temperature reading of the fall this morning after a series of mornings with lows in the mid- to high-30’s, followed by a low of 40 this morning.

TALLY: 81 FISH, all caught and released

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:15a

End Time:  11:30a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  40F

Water Surface Temp:  58.9F

Wind Speed & Direction:  W9-10

Sky Conditions:  High, thin cloud cover at 20%, slowly increasing to 30% by trip’s end

Water Level: 3.04 feet low

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT:

11DEC17

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  SH002C – pre-sunrise fish well-spread on a deep, 38′ flat within yards of the river channel

**Area SH001C – solid fishing for over an hour on heavily grouped, bottom-oriented white bass right on the channel break

**Area vic 091 – shallow bladebait work for 3 whites and 2 blacks

**Area 101- solid fishing for over an hour on heavily grouped, bottom-oriented white bass right on the channel break

**Area SH001C – fishing tapered to nil as we revisited this area, but not before giving up another 20 fish

 

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@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Hearty Army Boys from Fort Hood — 23 Fish, Lake Belton

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning I fished with two brothers from Fort Hood, Zach and Jeremiah Schaeffer.  Zach is 13 and Jeremiah is 10.  Their mom, Kayla, signed them up for this fishing trip through the Fort Hood SKIESUnlimited Program.  I was impressed with the way they hung with me in the cold, especially as we sped from one area to another creating a wind chill well down in the 20’s.

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From left: Zach and Jeremiah Schaeffer with a few of the hard-earned white bass we had to work for in this morning’s tough, cold conditions.

 WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Saturday morning, 09 December, 2017

HOW WE FISHED:  Simply put, the fishing was tough today.  A mild, reinforcing cold front moved in overnight on top of the already cold conditions we’ve had since this past Tuesday.  The fish were glued to the bottom and our presentations just had to nearly knock them in the head to get a reflex bite as they were not much interested in feeding.  There was next to no bird activity this morning.  All of the fish we put in the boat (2 largemouth, 3 drum, 3 short hybrid, and 15 white bass) came on slab presented with an easing tactic.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:   1) Due to an extended cold spell, the water surface temperature, which was a over 64F on Monday, had dropped to 61.5 this morning.  Fish were very, very tight to the bottom. 2) When we found a school of fish worth jigging for, all of the fish we were to catch from that school came in the first few minutes spent over those fish; the longer we stayed over them, the more our results tailed out to nothing.

TALLY: 23 FISH, all caught and released

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:00a

End Time:  11:00a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  32F

Water Surface Temp:  61.5F

Wind Speed & Direction:  NW10-13

Sky Conditions:  Bright blue, clear skies

Water Level: 2.73 feet low

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT:

09DEC17

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  vic 561

**Area  vic 2055

**Area B2063 through B2064

**Area  vic 211

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@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

A Pair of Old Salts — 87 Fish, Belton

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Monday morning I fished with U.S. Navy retirees Captain Ray Johnson and Chief Petty Officer Mac McElroy, both of Harker Heights, TX.  This would be the last balmy day before the most recent wet cold front pushed into central Texas.

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Retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Mack McElroy of Harker Heights with a nice Belton Lake hybrid striper we took under birds before the most recent cold front moved in.  Note Mack is wearing shorts in December.  Mack retired from the Navy after serving in the Seabees.

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Long-time client retired U.S. Navy Captain Ray Johnson of Harker Heights with our first hybrid of the morning.  Ray served as a flight surgeon and pediatrician for nearly 30 years beginning at age 18.

 WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass and hybrid striped bass

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Monday morning, 04 December, 2017

HOW WE FISHED: Conditions were favorable this morning with a manageable SSE wind and light grey cloud cover all morning.  We fished under birds in shallower, more turbid water in one of Belton’s tributaries for the first two hours, then moved to deeper, clearer water to enjoy another 90+ minutes of action, also under birds.  We put all of our “tributary fish”, most of which were white bass, in the boat using smoked slabs.  Because the clear water fish we fished for during the second half of the trip were scattered and moving, we used slabs, but found ourselves spot-hopping frequently to keep rods bent.  As the bite slowed, I experimented with downrigging for the suspended hybrids I still saw at 20-25 feet deep using bucktails with soft plastic trailers.  Our short experiment quickly accounted for one keeper hybrid, but, my clients showed a preference for action and numbers, so, we went back to slabbing as the situation allowed.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:   1) Much like the bite last Tuesday, although fish were active enough and abundant enough to draw birds, they were not “over the top” aggressive, thus, we had to “spot hop” frequently to keep up with active fish using artificials.

TALLY: 87 FISH, all caught and released

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:10a

End Time:  11:30a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  70F

Water Surface Temp:  63.7F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSE11-15

Sky Conditions:  Light grey skies

Water Level: 2.72 feet low

GT = 10

Wx SNAPSHOT:

04DEC17

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  2036 thru 1342 – spot hopping under birds throughout this area through 8:35a

**Area 840 through 497 until 10a – smoking slabs for a mixed bag of white bass and hybrid striper

**Area  1142 through 347 through 1009 until 11a – – smoking slabs for a mixed bag of white bass and hybrid striper; one downrigged hybrid on a jig and trailer

 

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@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

GREY SKIES, SOUTH WIND, & 255 FISH – Lake Belton

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Saturday  I fished a full day trip (from just before sunrise to just after sunset, with an off-the-water lunch break in the middle).  In the morning, Mr. Jim Downing, Mr. Coby Whiteside, Mr. Chad Parsons, and Chad’s 16-year-old son, Chase Parsons made up my 4-man crew.  In the afternoon, Jim and Coby continued on with me, and we were joined by Jim’s 7-year-old son, Noah, and Coby’s 10-year-old daughter Aubree.

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ABOVE: Coby Whiteside and his 10-year-old daughter, Aubree, with one of the hybrid we landed near trip’s end with live shad.

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ABOVE: Jim Downing and his 7-year-old son, Noah, with a hybrid striper they battled together near sunset.

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ABOVE: Fish number 100, 101, 102, and 103 held by (from left) Coby Whiteside, Chase Parsons, Chad Parsons, and Jim Downing.  This foursome put 182 in the boat during the morning half of today’s full day trip.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass and hybrid striped bass

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Saturday morning, 02 December 2017

HOW WE FISHED:

AM Portion: We had really “fishy” conditions this morning with a mild SSE breeze at around 6-9mph and at least some thin, grey cloud cover for the entire trip, save a about 45 minutes right at the 1:45pm start of our afternoon trip.  Helpful bird activity led the way to an abundance of caught fish from around 7:35am until 11:15am.  We fished two distinct locations with the first yielding primarily white bass and the second yielding a mix of white bass and hybrid striped bass. Every last fish we caught was caught on a 3/4 oz. white Redneck Fish’n’ Jigs slab Model 180 with my Hazy Eye Stinger hook attached used with a smoking tactic.  Most of the fish we encountered were in the lower 1/3 of the water column. We finished the morning trip with 182 fish landed.

PM Portion: In contrast with the morning, not a single bird (and there are hundreds now residing on Lake Belton) was helpful in finding fish this afternoon.  We found fish exclusively using sonar and in 5 distinct locations.  Each location but the last produced primarily white bass, which worked out well to provide steady action for my two younger guests.  Again, we smoked with white slabs.  Around 4:30pm, and with about an hour’s worth of fishing light left, I gave Jim and Coby the option of continuing on in pursuit of white bass, or intentionally pursuing hybrid striped bass using live shad.  Since the kids’ wrists had about given out anyway, they gave the thumbs up for a hybrid hunt.  We put out a full compliment of 6 downlines with two set at 20′, two set at 25′, and two set at 37′.  The 25′ rods were our best producers.  In our final 50 minutes we were able to pick up five keeper (18″ or greater) hybrid, thus putting our afternoon tally at 73 fish landed, and our grand total for the day at 255 fish landed.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:   1) For the first time this fall, the Hazy Eye Stinger hook accounted for more hooked fish than the treble hook; I expect this ratio will continue to increase as the water continues to cool.  When under active birds, the hybrid were much more likely to suspend and move horizontally whereas the white bass stayed glued to bottom.  The movement and feeding of the hybrid was the primary factor for the presence of birds.

TALLY: 255 FISH, all caught and released

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  7:00a

End Time:  5:45p

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  53F

Water Surface Temp:  64F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSE6-9 all day

Sky Conditions:  Light grey cloud cover for all but the period from 1:45 through 2:30pm

Water Level: 2.66 feet low

GT = 20

Wx SNAPSHOT:

02DEC17

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS (MORNING):

**Area  2035 through 1339 under birds for white bass (122 fish by 9:15am) on smoked slabs

**Area 2059 white bass by smoking slabs

**Area 836 through 1304 – mid-morning bird action for mixed white bass & hybrid stripers

**Area 1294 through 344 – late-morning bird action for mixed white bass and hybrid stripers

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS (EVENING):

**Area 1297 – lethargic white bass (9 fish)

**Area  1338 through 297 – lethargic white bass (24 fish)

**Area 2052/2061/2062 – lethargic white bass (10 fish)

**Area 2060 – moderately active white bass (25 fish)

**Area vic 1294/344 – hybrid stripers on live shad at sunset (5 fish)

 

 

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@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

SKIFF Trip #25 – Rachel & Aaron Cherry Land 50

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Tuesday morning I fished with Rachel and Aaron Cherry of Nolanville on the 25th SKIFF program trip of the 2017 season.  SKIFF, which stands for Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun, exists to provide fishing trips at no charge to the children of military men and women separated from their kids due to their military duty.  The Cherry kids’ dad is currently serving in South Korea.

 

RACHEL CHERRY

ABOVE: Rachel Cherry with our largest fish of the trip, a nice 19″ hybrid striped bass.

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ABOVE:  Aaron Cherry with a nice freshwater drum (nicknamed “gaspergou”) we caught on the same slabs we were using for white bass and hybrid stripers.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday morning, 28 November 2017

HOW WE FISHED:  This fishing trip divided evenly into two distinct halves.  The first half was spent in the more shallow, turbid waters of one of Belton Lake’s tributaries fishing for white bass under birds.  The second half was spent in deeper, clearer water nearer the dam fishing for white bass and hybrid stripers, also under birds.  All of our fish were caught on slabs fished via a smoking tactic.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:   1)  When under active birds, the hybrid were much more likely to suspend and move horizontally whereas the white bass stayed glued to bottom.  The movement and feeding of the hybrid was the primary factor for the presence of birds.

TALLY: 50 FISH, all caught and released

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  7:00a

End Time:  11:00a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  53F

Water Surface Temp:  63.7F

Wind Speed & Direction:  S11-13 for the entire trip

Sky Conditions:  30% broken white cloud cover

Water Level: 2.62 feet low

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT:

28NOV17

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS (MORNING):

**Area  2058-708 under birds (primarily terns) over several acres — fish were in tight, distinct “clumps” and were pretty stubborn

**Area 836-1142 under birds (primarily gulls) over several acres — whites were on bottom; hybrid suspended; fish were not as tough as at 2058-708, but were still not overly aggressive.

 

 

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@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

Guy Trip – 67 Fish, Lake Belton

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Saturday evening I fished with Diego Rubio and his 5 1/2 hear old son, Henry.  Big sister was supposed to make it, too, but wasn’t feeling well after too much turkey and time spent with cousins over the holiday, so, this was a “guy trip”.

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Although not our “target species”, largemouth and smallmouth very much become part of the catch all winter long as they school up and inhabit deep water where white bass and hybrid are typically found.

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We encountered active white bass and hybrid striped bass all afternoon, but only in short spurts.  Once a “spurt” came and went, we’d have to motor to another small concentration of light bird activity, then use sonar to stay on fish.

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass and hybrid striped bass

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Saturday evening, 25 November 2017

HOW WE FISHED: The undesirable light winds and bright, clear skies remained this afternoon as we began a 4-hour trip at 1:45p.  By 2:15 gulls began to work over open water atop bait being driven by gamefish.  These fish and birds worked all afternoon, but not for any length of time at a given area.  So, we had to look for birds, get to them quickly, catch a few while the birds were still helpful in indicating the presence of fish, then hope to catch a few more in the minutes after the bird action ended.  Then, we had to repeat this process multiple time at multiple areas to string together a full afternoon.  Henry did very well for his age, staying engaged the entire time despite the lack of variety in angling tactics this time of year.  He caught numerous fish on his own, as well as a few via “assist” from dad and me.  Everything we caught was on smoked 3/8 oz or 3/4 oz slabs.  Although I put live baits out this afternoon, they did not perform well.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:   1) Fish continue to present in a fairly scattered fashion with multiple small pods of fish fanning out over large areas of bottom. 2) Fish fed throughout the afternoon, right up until just after sunset, but only in short “spurts” of 15-20 minutes each.  Once a “spurt” was over, another would occur elsewhere, again, pointing to the scattered nature of the fish.

TALLY: 67 FISH, all caught and released

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  1:45p

End Time:  5:45p

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  74F

Water Surface Temp:  63.7F

Wind Speed & Direction:  Light & variable winds

Sky Conditions:  Clear, bright skies

Water Level: 2.54 feet low

GT = 20

Wx SNAPSHOT:

25NOV17

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1544 – Smoking for white bass and hybrid under birds; fish remained active for a few minutes longer after birds settled

**Area 1296- Smoking for white bass and hybrid under birds; fish remained active for a few minutes longer after birds settled

**Area 973- Smoking for white bass and hybrid under birds; fish remained active for a few minutes longer after birds settled

**Area 1929- Smoking for white bass and hybrid under birds; fish remained active for a few minutes longer after birds settled

 

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@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

Arrrrgh! Clear and bright conditions make it tough — 49 Fish

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Saturday morning I fished with Mr. Kevin McConnell and his wife, Dori, accompanied by their daughter and son-in-law, Carly and Vince Ortega.

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ABOVE: Dori and Kevin McConnell with a pair of nice hybrid stripers taken just moments apart and then released.

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ABOVE: Carly and Vince Ortega (Kevin and Dori’s daughter and son-in-law) with Vince’s best fish of the morning.

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Carly with one of several nice hybrid she boated under tough conditions involving light winds and bright sun.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass and hybrid striped bass

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Saturday morning, 25 November 2017

HOW WE FISHED:   We faced the toughest of conditions this morning — bright & calm.  The fish were definitely negatively impacted by this as evidenced by the fact that we found ample quantities of fish but had difficulty getting them to respond for any length of time.  The typical scenario this morning involved pulling up over top of fish using sonar, getting slabs down to them, pulling 2-4 within the first few minutes, then seeing the school remain in place but refusing to respond further.  Anticipating a tough bite this morning, I captured live shad as bait and, in the final half of the trip, deployed these baits using rods in rod holders at the midpoint on the gunwale while I had one person in each of the 4 corners of the lower deck of the boat working slabs.  The slabs produced white bass with slow consistency, and the bait produced better quality fish in the form of hybrid stripers.  The fish we encountered during the second half of the trip were indicated to us by very light bird (gull) activity.  Once the gull activity died and the fish settled, we went with 6 bait rods out.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:   1) Fish continue to present in a fairly scattered fashion with multiple small pods of fish fanning out over large areas of bottom. 2) Live shad definitely outperformed artificials this morning on the hybrid stripers

TALLY: 49 FISH, all caught and released

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:45a

End Time:  11:30a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  50F

Water Surface Temp:  63.7F

Wind Speed & Direction:  Light & variable winds all morning

Sky Conditions:  Clear, bright skies

Water Level: 2.54 feet low

GT = 20

Wx SNAPSHOT:

25NOV17

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  1882-1680-1934 – heavily congregated but reluctant white bass in ~34-36′ taken on smoked slabs

**Area  837 – moderately paced action on slabs and live shad for white bass on bottom and suspended hybrid indicated by gulls

**Area 2054- moderately paced action on slabs and live shad for white bass on bottom and suspended hybrid indicated by gulls

**Area 1391- moderately paced action on slabs and live shad for white bass on bottom and suspended hybrid indicated by gulls

**Area 1269- moderately paced action on slabs and live shad for white bass on bottom and suspended hybrid indicated by gulls

 

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@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

Visit from Mom on His Pre-deployment checklist — 59 Fish, Belton

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Thursday evening I fished Mrs. Denise Andrin of Golf, Illinois, and her son, Joe Gross.  Joe is a Wisconsin National Guardsman currently stationed at North Fort Hood where his aviation support unit is preparing to deploy.  In order to deploy, Joe had to put his academics at Marquette University, a Catholic university located in Milwaukee, on hold until his unit redeploys.  Joe was grateful for an opportunity to get away from the spartan barracks life at North Fort Hood.  Like most troops there for pre-deployment training, he has no vehicle to get around with during off-duty hours.

SIT STILL

 

Denise Andrin of Golf, Illinois, and her son, Wisconsin National Guardsman Joe Gross, spent some time together for Thanksgiving prior to Joe’s forthcoming deployment to Asia.  Although our catch of 59 fish consisted mainly of white bass, we had a handful of nice hybrid stripers in the mix, as well.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday evening, 24 November 2017

HOW WE FISHED:   We fished only 2 areas this evening, both indicated by the presence of gulls.  These gulls were feeding on shad driven to the surface by white bass, hybrid stripers, and other gamefish pursuing them from beneath.  After the gulls helped us know where to start looking, we relied on sonar to seal the deal.  Once we positioned atop the fish shown on sonar using the i-Pilot Link system built into both my Minn Kota trolling motor and my Humminbird Solix, we used a vertical presentation with 3/8 oz. and 3/4 oz. slabs to do the catching.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:   1) Fish continue to present in a fairly scattered fashion with multiple small pods of fish fanning out over large areas of bottom.

TALLY: 59 FISH, all caught and released

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 1:45p

End Time: 5:30p

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 75F

Water Surface Temp: 67.3F

Wind Speed & Direction: SSW wind at ~13 thru 4p, then slowly dropping off to SSW10

Sky Conditions: 15% cloud cover in the eastern sky at first light, then building to 80% high, thin coverage by trip’s end

Water Level: 2.50 feet low

GT = 20

Wx SNAPSHOT:

24NOV17

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic 1544 – smoking for active fish under gulls in ~40′

**Area vic 1916 – smoking for active fish under gulls in 34′

 

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@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

Bluebird skies and calm winds a tough combination — 57 Fish @ Stillhouse

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Thursday morning I fished with Mr. Jim Deuser of Sun City in Georgetown, TX, accompanied by his adult son, Dan, and Dan’s 16-year-old son, Jake, both of San Antonio.

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From left: Jim, Jake, and Dan Deuser with a sampling of our take from Stilhouse this morning.  With post-frontal calm, bright conditions forecast for this morning, my instinct was to avoid Belton which often produces poorly under such circumstances.

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow, based on a short, sunrise recon I did there on Thanksgiving Day after seeing the forecast called for bright skies and calm winds, and knowing that Belton is typically notoriously tough under such conditions.

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday morning, 24 November 2017

HOW WE FISHED:  Helpful gull activity pointed the way to fish during the first half of our trip, putting us atop 2 separate schools of white bass.  We fished with slabs in a smoking-style retrieve to catch these fish.  After the birds lifted, the light SW breeze we had died and there was no cloud cover.  Things got very tough from this point on. We got on one school of very sluggish white bass on a breakline where a deep flat met the channel.  After that, we downrigged for one more white bass.  We than closed out the trip flatlining in more turbid, more shallow water for a mix of white bass and largemouth bass.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:   1) The 2 groups  fish we found under birds were both scattered over a large area in small, loosely related “packs” of fish, each covering ~100 yard diameter.  2) Thus far, I’ve only encountered helpful bird action from gulls at both Belton and Stillhouse; no terns yet.

TALLY: 57 FISH, all caught and released

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:45a

End Time: 11:00a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 46F

Water Surface Temp: 62.7F

Wind Speed & Direction: WNW breeze under 3 until 8:15, then calm until 9, then a light S. breeze tapered quickly up to S11 for the last 2+ hours on the water.

Sky Conditions: 15% cloud cover in the eastern sky at first light, then building to 80% high, thin coverage by trip’s end

Water Level: 2.59 feet low

GT = 30

Wx SNAPSHOT:

24NOV17

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 2056 – fish under birds at sunrise and for ~ 1 hour hence

**Area 1997/1950 – fish under birds also beginning around sunrise, but we did not get to them until the fish at 2056 had run their course, so, once we got to them, they were winding down.

**Area vic 569 – smoking tactic for white bass on Lampasas River channel breakline

**Area 114 thru 343 – flatline crankbait circuit for 4 largemouth and 1 white bass

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@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle