Pre-Frontal Fishing with David and Pastor PJ — 116 Fish @ Stillhouse

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Monday morning I fished with Mr. David Lynn and his pastor, Pastor PJ Condit, of Community Christian Church in Round Rock.  David had been trying to treat PJ to such a trip since before the flooding began in mid-October and I kept putting him off until we turned the corner and the fishing got solid once again.  We eased into that situation going into the week of Thanksgiving, and the fishing has steadily improved.

David is a small business owner, operating Hallmark Services in Georgetown.  His company specializes in installing flooring, doing bathroom and kitchen remodeling, decking, doors & windows, and other miscellaneous repairs.

Since both Belton and Stillhouse are fishing well right now, I laid out the pros and cons of each lake and listened to David’s input, leading us to agree upon fishing Stillhouse.  The pros of Stillhouse: less traffic, bigger white bass, good fishing grounds protected from the forecast north wind.  The pros of Belton: more but smaller white bass, the possibility of landing hybrid stripers.

As we fished during the arrival of a mild, dry cold front which hit around 9:45am, the white bass bite spiked and stayed strong right up until the winds began to subside around 11:30.  During this time we landed 115 white bass and 1 drum.  The white bass had good bodies —  plump bellies, good width across the back, and were generally in very good shape.  They are, no doubt, beginning to develop eggs and milt for the spawn.

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,  December 03, 2018

HOW WE FISHED:   We found scattered but active fish over a 25′ flat using Humminbird side-imaging on the 1.2 MegaHertz frequency with CHIRP activated.  I observed groups of 10-20 white bass in all directions, so, we Spot Locked with the Minn Kota and began throwing bladebaits.  We scarcely went more than 2-3 casts without one, two, or all three of us hooking up on white bass from ~7:45 through about 9:15.  The action lulled a bit as the usual low-light, early morning bite began to die.  However, the bite was re-energized as a mild, dry cold front pushed in on a sudden wind velocity increase right around 9:45.  Fishing stayed solid through 11:30.  After the flats fishing died down, we relied on vertical tactics with a smoking tactic far out-performing easing or snap-jigging this morning.  We relied on the Cicada for our flats work and on my own Hazy Eye Shad slab/stinger hook combos for the vertical work.

OBSERVATIONS:    The gull/tern population, though still paling in comparison to that at Belton, has about doubled on Stillhouse over this past week.  The white bass are definitely showing signs of fattening up for the spawn.  Fish caught today had excellent body conditions, were defecating grey feces indicating they’ve been feeding well, and several regurgitated partially digested shad, indicating they were feeding hard.

TALLY: 116 fish, all caught and released

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:00a

End Time: 11:30a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 49F

Water Surface Temp: 57.6F

Wind Speed & Direction: Calm at trip’s start, turning light N by 7:45, then increasing suddenly at 9:45 with the arrival of a mild, dry cold front.

Sky Conditions:  Bright and cloudless at trip’s start, clouding up to 90+% grey clouds in a “snowmobile track” pattern.

Water Level:  8.84′ high with a 0.39′ overnight drop and a flow of 1,539cfs

GT = 50

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:   

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area SH0068C to SH0075C – bladebaits on a mid-depth flat

**Area SH007C to SH0071C – smoking slabs

**Area SH0076C – smoking slabs while the bite was still strong, then slowing down to slow easing as the fish shut down

 

 

Bob Maindelle, Belton Lake Fishing Guide

Full-time, Professional Fishing Guide and Owner of Holding the Line Guide Service

Belton Lake Fishing Guide, Stillhouse Hollow Fishing Guide

 

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

WINDS FROM THE WEST … FISH BITE BEST — 127 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Saturday morning I fished with a great bunch of fellows, three of whom work together as civilians on West Fort Hood.  Jerry Saikley coordinated the trip and was patient enough to wait through a few weeks being “on hold” as we contended with the recent flooding issues after his original date was scratched due to the high water closing Belton’s ramps.

Joining Jerry were Jason Woods, Jeff Burns, and Mark Lockhart.  We caught a real break and had a stiff westerly breeze blow all morning, beginning around 7:50.  As the old saying goes, “Winds from the west, fish bite best.”  This morning was no exception.  Although the bird activity I thought we might encounter fell short of what it could be this time of year, anytime the fish feed a full 4+ hours is a good day in my book.

During this trip Jerry eclipsed his personal best fish which previously was a ~7 pound largemouth bass.  He landed a 14-pound class yellow cat, followed by a 14-pound class smallmouth buffalo — both on a light spinning rig intended for white bass.

 

Everything was biting on this morning’s west wind.  Jerry Saikley took this “personal best” flathead (yellow) cat which we fished over a school of white bass.

From left: Jeff Burns, Jerry Saikley, Mark Lockhart, and Jason Woods

 

White bass have begun to orient on bottom in non-current induced areas away from the river channel.  Jason caught two at a time on the same lure using a slab with one of my Hazy Eye Stinger hooks attached.
 
A bumper crop of drum is present on Lake Belton, possibly a positive side-effect of the zebra mussel invasion.
And for his final act, Jerry landed a second “personal best” in the same trip — a smallmouth buffalo which fell for his slab down in about 40 feet of water.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass.  We also landed drum, yellow cat, smallmouth buffalo, hybrid striped bass, and largemouth bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake

WHEN WE FISHED: Saturday morning,  December 01, 2018

HOW WE FISHED:     Due to a technical issue with an on-board battery which I had to swap out, we got off to a slightly delayed start, but, with the skies bright and the winds calm, not much was going on anyway.  It wasn’t until the west wind kicked in around 7:50 that things began to happen for us.  At that time, fish began to feed, and, by 8:30, we encountered the one and only instance of birds leading the way to fish of the entire morning.  We enjoyed a “steady pick” of fish using both a snap-jigging tactic (roughly 90% of the time), with an occasional departure to using the smoking tactic when I observed more active, aggressive fish in the area, based on sonar observations.

OBSERVATIONS:   Received credible reports of suspended fish found in more current-influenced segments of the lake.

TALLY: 127 fish, all caught and released

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:30a

End Time: Noon

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  55F

Water Surface Temp:  58.1F

Wind Speed & Direction:  W10 beginning at 7:50, building to W16 by trip’s end

Sky Conditions:  100% grey cloud cover

Water Level: 3.3 feet high and falling by about 0.57 feet daily w/  ~3,700 cfs flow from dam

GT = 15

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:   

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  353 to B0107C – snap-jigging

**Area B0109C to B0110C to 738  – snap-jigging with some smoking at times with some bird activity (~15 minutes max)

**Area  099 to B0107C – snap-jigging

**Area B0022C  – snap-jigging

 

Bob Maindelle, Belton Lake Fishing Guide

Full-time, Professional Fishing Guide and Owner of Holding the Line Guide Service

Belton Lake Fishing Guide, Stillhouse Hollow Fishing Guide

 

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

BELTON BOUNCING BACK

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Friday morning, November 30th, I fished with Mike and Tammy Thompson.  Their daughter, Elizabeth, got them a fishing gift certificate for Christmas last year and today was the day they decided to cash that in. Mike retired from Extraco bank and Tammy retired from the Texas Dept. of Transportation.  They spoke highly of their church, First United Methodist Church in Belton, where they serve together as volunteers in a food bank ministry.

We originally scheduled for this past Tuesday, but the 30F sunrise temperature forecast for that day deterred them.  In the mean time, multiple additional Belton Lake boat ramps opened, and I was able to fish with them on Lake Belton.  This was my first trip with clients since the flooding began in mid-October.

Mike and Tammy Thompson enjoyed the balmiest day in quite some time on newly reopened Lake Belton.  Tammy took this hybrid on a 3/4 oz. slab this past Friday, November 30th.  By trip’s end the couple had amassed a catch of 80 fish.

PHOTO CAPTION #2: White bass have begun to orient on bottom in non-current induced areas away from the river channel.
PHOTO CAPTION #3: A bumper crop of drum is present on Lake Belton, possibly a positive side-effect of the zebra mussel invasion.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass.  We also landed numerous drum, hybrid striped bass, and largemouth bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake

WHEN WE FISHED: Friday morning,  November 30, 2018

HOW WE FISHED:     

The first fish we located were on bottom in about 28 feet of water. I saw a few birds tentatively searching in this area and suspected that bait, if not game fish, were present. We started off with an aggressive vertical tactic which I call “smoking.”

This was too aggressive as I noted the fish stayed put on bottom and did not respond well to this retrieve. We scaled back and slowed down and instead used a snap-jigging tactic. This got results, but we could see that there were many more fish present than were willing to feed, so we left this area to return to it later and moved on.

The second stop we made was under aggressively working birds — a mix of gulls and terns. About 30 birds fed on shad forced to the top of the water by white bass and hybrid striped bass beneath them.

These fish were obviously aggressive and did fall for the smoking tactic as we presented larger, ¾-ounce slabs to them.

 Once the birds settled down and rested on the water, we once again downshifted and used smaller baits with a snap-jigging tactic close to the bottom. Once the fish turned off to this, we moved.

 

We returned to the first area we had fished and found those fish now more cooperative, although there was no more helpful bird activity observed the remainder of the morning.

We continued using the snap-jigging tactic with lighter, 3/8-ounce slabs through the conclusion of our trip at around 11:45 a.m.

By that time, we had amassed a catch of 80 fish, including hybrid striped bass, white bass, largemouth bass and freshwater drum. Our largest fish was a 4-pound hybrid striper which fell for a ¾-ounce slab as we fished under the birds.

OBSERVATIONS:     Temperature profile from 0 to 60 feet:

0 feet 58.2F

5 feet 58.2F

10 feet 58F

15 feet 58F

20 feet 58F

25 feet 58F

30 feet 58F

35 feet 57.8F

40 feet 57.8F

45 feet 57.8F

50 feet 57.6F

55 feet 57.6F

60 feet 57.6F

 

TALLY: 80 fish, all caught and released

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:00a

End Time: 11:45a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  67F

Water Surface Temp:  58.3F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSE6-10

Sky Conditions:  100% grey cloud cover

Water Level: 4.37 feet high and falling by about 0.57 feet daily w/  ~3,700 cfs flow from dam

GT = 40

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:   

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area B0104C under low light –  snap-jigging

**Area B0105C/6C/7C – best action of the morning under birds ~35 minutes – snap-jigging

**Area B0104 to 1804 to 812 – snap-jigging

**Area B0108C – snap-jigging

 

Bob Maindelle, Belton Lake Fishing Guide

Full-time, Professional Fishing Guide and Owner of Holding the Line Guide Service

Belton Lake Fishing Guide, Stillhouse Hollow Fishing Guide

 

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

Daddy-Daughter Day — 65 Fish on Stillhouse

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Wednesday morning, Nov. 28th, I fished with Mr. John Jonse, accompanied by his daughter, Tiffany Stork.  Tiffany got her dad a Christmas fishing gift certificate around this time last year after her husband’s boss at the time, Mr. Joe Oliver, recommended me (thanks, Joe!!).

We had a great trip thanks in large part to John and Tiffany having such a good attitude about things.  Tiffany mainly wanted her dad to have a good time, and her dad wanted to catch anything but inanimate objects (i.e. sticks, cans, etc.) which had evidently become the norm for him on the infrequent occasions he went fishing.  So, when, in the first 15 minutes of the trip, we landed 9 fish, John got the sneaking suspicion fairly quickly that this wasn’t going to be one of his “average” fishing trips.

We wound up catching a total of 65 fish and had a lot of laughs doing it.  Tiffany sent me a very nice note afterwards expressing how glad she was about being with her dad as he enjoyed something so much.

 

John Jonse and his daughter, Tiffany Stork, enjoyed some father-daughter time and a 65-fish morning on Stillhouse as John cashed in a fishing gift certificate presented to him last Christmas.

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass.  We also landed numerous drum.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Wednesday morning,  November 28, 2018

HOW WE FISHED:    With temperatures 20F warmer than yesterday’s start, and with some cloud cover early on, today’s bite got off to a slower start.  Although we did experience the low-light bite right at sunrise, there was then a pretty noticeable lull until around 9:30am.  Things picked up suddenly as the wind began to blow harder.  The fish turned on for about a 40 minute span and then tapered back down.  During this time we caught fish via both smoking and snap-jigging.  When things settled down, we went with a strictly snap-jigging tactic.

OBSERVATIONS:    The timing of this morning’s bite was a bit off from the previous several days, peaking around 9:45am.  No helpful bird action this morning.

 

TALLY: 65 fish, all caught and released

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:00a

End Time: 10:50a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  50F

Water Surface Temp:  57F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSW6 increasing to SSW14

Sky Conditions:  ~20% white cloud cover

Water Level: 10.22 feet high and falling by about 0.28 feet daily w/  ~1530 cfs flow from dam

GT = 40

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:   

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  vic 1683 – low light bite via smoking and snap-jigging

**Area   vic 745 – snap-jigging

**Area  SH0074C – snap-jigging

**Area  SH0073C – snap-jigging

 

 

Bob Maindelle, Belton Lake Fishing Guide

Full-time, Professional Fishing Guide and Owner of Holding the Line Guide Service

Belton Lake Fishing Guide, Stillhouse Hollow Fishing Guide

 

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

Cookie-Cutter Fishing — 70 Fish on Stillhouse with the Adkins

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Tuesday morning I fished with father and son team Martin and Westin Adkins, originally from the Los Angeles, CA, area.  Martin is retired, owns an RV, and was camping at the Lake Georgetown Corps of Engineers campground at Cedar Breaks Park when the notion struck to go on a fishing trip with his son who flew in for a visit.  They called Monday afternoon and we met up at 7:15am Tuesday morning for a 70 fish outing on Stillhouse Hollow.

 

Westin Adkins (left) and his father, Martin Adkins, had a 70 fish morning on Stillhouse this past Tuesday.  Fishing is very consistent now thanks to minimal weather fluctuations and stable water temperature.

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass.  We also landed numerous drum and a single channel cat.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday morning,  November 27, 2018

HOW WE FISHED:    We caught fish steadily from 7:15 to 10:30 this this morning with the typical low-light, sunrise spike producing the fastest pace catching of the morning, during which we caught fish both via smoking and then reverted to snap-jigging as the fish settled back.  During the middle hours some scant bird action by gulls was helpful to get “in the neighborhood”; we then relied upon sonar to seal the location deal.  Fish size was a good distribution of 1/2, 1.5, and 2.5 year fish.  The Redneck Fish’n’ Jigs Model 180 slab in 3/8 oz. with Hazy Eye Stinger hook (seen here) is my best producer.

OBSERVATIONS:    Fishing is very consistent now with fish doing the same things in the same places at the same times daily thanks to only minor weather fluctuations.  We are losing as much heat at night as we are gaining during the day, so the water temperature has also stabilized right at 56.5-57.5.

 

TALLY: 70 fish, all caught and released

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:15a

End Time: 11:30a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 30F

Water Surface Temp: 56.7

Wind Speed & Direction: WSW6-8

Sky Conditions: ~25% white clouds on a blue sky

Water Level: 10.4 feet high and falling by about 0.29 feet daily w/  ~1530cfs flow from dam

GT = 5

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:  N/A

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  1712/1683 – low light feed right at sunrise; combo of smoking and snap-jigging

**Area  SH0064C – bird assisted; snap-jigging

**Area   SH0072C – bird assisted; snap-jigging

 

Bob Maindelle, Belton Lake Fishing Guide

Full-time, Professional Fishing Guide and Owner of Holding the Line Guide Service

Belton Lake Fishing Guide, Stillhouse Hollow Fishing Guide

 

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

AND THE BEST PART … HE TIPPED ME WITH SAUSAGE!!! — 77 FISH w/ DIRK MILLER

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Monday morning I had the pleasure of fishing with a true Central Texas native, Dirk Miller, owner of Miller’s Smokehouse on Central Ave. in Belton.  It was one of those win-win situations … I had a party which had to cancel last minute on Monday’s trip and so I posted a discounted trip on Facebook and, within the hour, Dirk let me know he’d like to go.  He was already planning to try to kayak fish at Fayette (which would have been tough after the winds exceed the forecast by quite a bit).

Dirk is an avid multi-species angler, so, we had a lot to talk about.  I really enjoyed our conversation about the trophy blue cat fishery over on Tawakoni.

At trip’s end, Dirk paid for the trip and then some, AND presented me with jalapeno and cheese stuffed summer sausage and a mess of beef-pork blend “snack sticks” (think Slim Jim, only way bigger and way better).  Now, bear in mind, this was above and beyond that upon which we had dined on during our numerous snack breaks on the water!  I texted my wife and told her to put our lunch plans on hold, as they had just changed for the better!!

We saved the best for last.  This big ol’ channel cat took Dirk’s slab, came to net, and we called it a great day right then and there and headed for the boat ramp.

 

Despite the incoming cold front, the white bass really thumped our slabs this morning and fell for a variety of retrieves.

 

Oh yeah!!!  I’ve received some good tips through the years.  This ranks right at the top.

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass.  We also landed numerous drum and one chunky channel cat.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED:  Monday morning,  November 26, 2018

HOW WE FISHED:   We fished through the tail-end of a mild, dry cold front’s arrival this morning with winds 13-14 from the NNW the entire time, making for a wind-chill well below freezing.  However, the moving water got the fish feeding well, allowing us to land fish consistently for the entire 4+ hours we fished.  The fish were most aggressive in the first 90 minutes and actually chased a slab as we used a smoking tactic.  After the skies brightened and mid-morning rolled around, the bite slowed and we had to downshift to snap-jigging, but the fish thumped us steadily and kept it busy enough to ward off the chill.  We ended up with 77 fish including about a dozen drum, one channel cat, and the balance of white bass, mainly in the 1.5 and 2.5 year class.

OBSERVATIONS:   We had a strong start and a strong end, with a slow hour in the middle.  The fish really turned on in the last 90 minutes before the obscured sunrise; this action coincided with the appearance of many schools of small shad feeding on the surface all over the lake after the winds had been calm for about an hour.

 

TALLY: 77 fish, all caught and released

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:00a

End Time: 11:30a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 34F

Water Surface Temp: 56.6

Wind Speed & Direction: NNW13-14

Sky Conditions: Full, grey cloud cover all afternoon

Water Level: 10.78 feet high and falling by about 0.18 feet daily w/ 1,182 cfs flow, increasing to ~1530cfs around noon

GT = 55

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:  

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area SH0070C – low light smoking

**Area SH0067C- 1701-SH0064C – snap-jigging

**Area  vic 713  – snap-jigging

**Area  SH0071C  – snap-jigging

 

 

Bob Maindelle, Belton Lake Fishing Guide

Full-time, Professional Fishing Guide and Owner of Holding the Line Guide Service

Belton Lake Fishing Guide, Stillhouse Hollow Fishing Guide

 

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

Mom: The Coordinator!! — 81 Fish with the Torralvas

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Wednesday afternoon I fished with Mr. Joe Torralva and his son, Adan, as well as Adan’s uncle, Scott Mullins, visiting from Virginia.  Joe just came along for the ride while Adan and Scott did all the fishing.  All of this was nicely coordinated in advance by Joe’s wife, Nicole, the week prior.

Scott runs an HVAC business on the East Coast where he pursues multiple species on multiple bodies of water, including targeting striped bass on the famed Buggs-Kerr Reservoir where some of the first freshwater stripers were stocked decades ago.

Joe works in the drinking water treatment business.

 

Adan Torralva of Temple, TX, and his uncle, Scott Mullins, of Virginia, put together an 81 fish catch using a  slab/Hazy Eye Stinger hook combination under fully clouded skies.

Freshwater drum have become a very common by-catch this season.  Here, Joe Torralva looks on as his son, Adan, hefts a drum approaching 4 pounds.

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass.  We also landed numerous drum and largemouth bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED:  Wednesday evening,  November 21, 2018

HOW WE FISHED:    As we began the trip, we still had a light easterly wind pushing the water and rippling the surface.  We scored over 20 fish on our first stop in ~50′ of water at the end of a gentle, deep point.  By the time these fish quit, the wind had laid down to calm.  We struggled to find fish for the next hour; however, gulls continued to work during this time, primarily attracted to loon activity.  The fish really turned on in the last 90 minutes before the obscured sunrise; this action coincided with the appearance of many schools of small shad feeding on the surface all over the lake after the winds had been calm for about an hour.  A smoking tactic used with a moderate cadence was the best producer this afternoon

OBSERVATIONS:   We had a strong start and a strong end, with a slow hour in the middle.  The fish really turned on in the last 90 minutes before the obscured sunrise; this action coincided with the appearance of many schools of small shad feeding on the surface all over the lake after the winds had been calm for about an hour.

 

TALLY: 81 fish, all caught and released

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 1:15p

End Time: 5:15p

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 60F

Water Surface Temp: 56.6

Wind Speed & Direction: <E6

Sky Conditions: Full, grey cloud cover all afternoon

Water Level: 11.6 feet high and falling by about 0.14 feet daily w/ 1,186 cfs flow

GT = 105

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:  

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area   SH0069C – deep fish in lower 1/3 of water column taken on moderate smoking tactic

**Area   vic 089 – suspended fish responding to thumper in ~30′, suspended at 20-25′ and taken with a moderate smoking tactic

**Area  SH0068C – fish in ~25′ which fed hard for last 90 minutes prior to  obscured sunset.  Took eased, smoked, and snap-jigged slabs, as well as blades

 

 

Bob Maindelle, Belton Lake Fishing Guide

Full-time, Professional Fishing Guide and Owner of Holding the Line Guide Service

Belton Lake Fishing Guide, Stillhouse Hollow Fishing Guide

 

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

Stillhouse Gives Up 100+ Fish Two Mornings In a Row

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Wednesday morning I fished with Mr. Steve Niemeier and his grandson, Caleb Fowler, of Temple, TX.  Steve has taken many trips with me through the years and has learned of the ebb and flow of the fishery, and thus times his trips well to coincide with peak times in the fishing calendar, typically coming out in April for hybrid  and in November for fast action and a mixed bag.

Caleb Fowler and his grandfather, Steve Niemeier put together a 105 fish morning despite bright, windless conditions early on in the morning.

 

Steve landed a double the fell for his horizontally worked Cicada bladebait.  Note the gloves and balaclava — it was 34F when we launched this morning.

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass.  We also landed numerous drum and largemouth bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED:  Wednesday morning,  November 21, 2018

HOW WE FISHED:   This trip broke down into three segments.  First, we encountered fish feeding under low light conditions in over 25 feet of water.  These fish were patrolling a mid-depth flat and came under our fixed boat position in waves.  We caught these fish in spurts for about a half hour, beginning around 7:15am.

Next, we noted the action moving shallower into 20-25 feet of water and bait popping up all around us, leading me to believe the fish were spreading more horizontally as they often do in shallower water.  We spent the next 45 minutes casting bladebaits horizontally and caught fish steadily.

As the sun climbed, the sky brightened, and the winds remained near calm, the action slowed.

We moved to a more current-influenced area and found more sluggish fish holding on a lip (or breakline) from 25 to 30′ deep.  We snap-jigged for these fish with both slabs and Gulp! on jigheads and caught fish steadily from around 8:45a through around 10:30, doing several “short hops” in the area to stay on top of fish.

Finally, from 10:30 to 11:30, we found one final group of fish feeding strongly on the outskirts of a raised area of bottom.  I suspect these fish ramped up their feeding activity in conjunction with the increase in the windspeed from under 3mph to around 8mph over a very short span of time.  Winds were from the NNE.

OBSERVATIONS:  Sparse but helpful bird activity observed this morning.  The fish we threw bladebaits to under low-light conditions were the shallowest bottom-oriented fish I’ve encountered since the flooding began around 17 Oct.

 

TALLY: 105 fish, all caught and released

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:00am

End Time: 11:30am

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:

Water Surface Temp:

Wind Speed & Direction: <NNE 5

Sky Conditions: Under 10% cloud cover all morning

Water Level: 11.6 feet high and falling by about 0.14 feet daily w/ 1,186 cfs flow

GT = 30

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:  

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  SH0066C – smoking in ~28′

**Area  SH0067C – bladebaits in 20-25′

**Area  144-1345 – snap jigging and Gulp! slow on bottom

**Area  SH0068C – smoking for re-invigored fish fired up by wind speed increase/wave action

 

Bob Maindelle, Belton Lake Fishing Guide

Full-time, Professional Fishing Guide and Owner of Holding the Line Guide Service

Belton Lake Fishing Guide, Stillhouse Hollow Fishing Guide

 

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

Operational Fishing Command — 102 Fish with Tom & Brian Pennington

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Tuesday, November 20th, I fished with Brian Pennington of Harker Heights, and his father, Tom Pennington, of Copperas Cove.  Brian is a retired US Army Ordnance officer now working at Operational Test Command (OTC) on Fort Hood.  Tom, also a veteran, retired from the aerospace industry in Arizona and moved to Cove a few years ago.  Both fellows fish occasionally via kayak.

Brian Pennington (left) of Harker Heights, teamed up with his dad, Tom Pennington of Copperas Cove for a 102 fish morning on Stillhouse this past Tuesday.

Brian capped off the trip with our largest fish of the morning just a few minutes before the fish turned off for the morning and we headed back in.  This is a freshwater drum (nicknamed “gasper gou”).  Drum are in the croaker family and are related to saltwater redfish, black drum, and the Atlantic croaker.

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

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED:  Tuesday morning,  November 20, 2018

HOW WE FISHED:   The fish started off sluggish this morning until the NNE wind finally began to blow from a definitive direction (after puffing from SW and W prior to that).  During this slow time we deadsticked with Gulp! on jigheads, then, as the action heated up, we ramped up to slow-smoking, then faster smoking.  When the action tapered back off we used a snap-jigging tactic for bottom-oriented fish as.   We landed 94 white bass in the 1, 2, and 3 year-classes, and 7 drum, including a 4.25 pounder.

OBSERVATIONS: Things are definitely picking back up “post-flood”.  We had a few gulls arrive with last week’s cold front (although they are very much focused on loons and not so much on fish), the water flow is at 1,186 cfs and looks like it will be that way for a while given that we’re still 11.77 feet high.  This was my most productive trip since the flooding began around 16 October.  We did locate fish with the aid of birds this morning, although it was thin and required a trained eye.

TALLY: 102 fish, all caught and released

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:45 am

End Time: 11:30am

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 36F

Water Surface Temp:   58.3F

Wind Speed & Direction: <NNE 5

Sky Conditions: No cloud cover all day today

Water Level: 11.77 feet high and falling by about 0.14 feet daily

GT = 50

GT = 90

Wx SNAPSHOT:  

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1060/154 – lethargic fish early, taken on jig and Gulp! after numerous slab refusals

**Area vic 1683 and then SH0064C – 1.5 hours of peak action

**Area vic 771 – last 30 minutes, deep bottom/suspended fish spiked briefly then quit

 

 

Bob Maindelle, Belton Lake Fishing Guide

Full-time, Professional Fishing Guide and Owner of Holding the Line Guide Service

Belton Lake Fishing Guide, Stillhouse Hollow Fishing Guide

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

STILL CAUGHT MORE THAN WE WOULD HAVE BY SITTING AT THE HOUSE — 25 Fish

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Saturday afternoon I fished our only locally available option — Stillhouse Hollow — with Mr. Rick Snelgrooes of Georgetown, TX, accompanied by his son, Sean, and Rick’s father-in-law, Steve Rohner, visiting from southern California.  Rick also brought his neighbor and fishing buddy, Rick Curwick, a transplant from Minnesota, and Sean brought a buddy of his own, Garrison Clopton.

With so much environmental change occurring over such a short period of time, the normally excellent fishing (often on par with or even better than fishing during the spring warmup in March and April) simply hasn’t materialized, and, I don’t know if it will this season.  Not only did our lakes rise nearly 15 feet in a matter of hours, but the temperature fell from the high 70’s to the mid-60’s.  Additionally, there is quite a flow of accumulated flood water being released from both Belton and Stillhouse now.  Belton’s flow is nearly 4,000 cfs, and Stillhouse’s flow is nearly 2,000 cfs.  Adding insult to injury, our most severe cold front just passed through on Thursday, dropping temperatures into the 40’s all day Saturday, and another reinforcing cold front moved in overnight from Sunday into Monday, dropping temperatures through the day Monday down to 32F by Tuesday morning.  We just can’t seem to get any traction with any manner of stability in the weather.

 

From the left: Garrison Clopton, Rick Curwick, Steve Rohner, Rick Snelgrooes, and Sean Snelgrooes.  Working slabs vertically and at a moderate speed was the key on today’s tough trip.

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

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED:  Saturday afternoon,  November 10, 2018

HOW WE FISHED:   Since I had fresh “intel” from the morning trip, I tried to capitalize on locating and fishing for the fish I’d already found in the morning, hoping to spend more time with lines in the water than the morning trip afforded as we did a lot of sonar searching during that trip.

The two locations that gave up the fish we caught this afternoon were in the same general vicinities as the fish we caught in the morning.  Additionally, in the limited additional searching I did with sonar this afternoon, I did not find any additional concentrations of fish.

The first group of fish we fished for was in 51 feet of water and was holding tightly to the bottom.  When I first sighted them on sonar, I guessed the school to be about 50-60 fish in number.  These fish fired up pretty quickly, stayed interested for about a 25 minute span, then shut down.  I moved around in this same vicinity, routinely graphing smaller pods of fish (10-25 in number), but couldn’t get more than a fish or two from out of these.  The middle two hours of this 4-hour trip were slow.

As dark approached, I returned to shallower water where the light would still penetrate closer to the shallower bottom.  Here we found suspended fish clearly drawn to and consolidated by the thumper.  We put our last few fish in the boat via a slow smoking tactic bringing the baits up into the bottom of the upper third of the water column where sonar indicated these suspended fish to be holding a majority of the time.

OBSERVATIONS: Saw a number of loons, cormorants, and gulls have arrived with the most recent cold front.  What little bird activity I observed was fueled by loons driving bait or bringing bait to the surface with gulls responding overhead.  I observed no fish-related bird activity.  Belton Lake is now 11.54 feet high and falling about 0.26 feet per day.  Stillhouse is 12.7 feet high and falling by about 0.14 feet daily.

TALLY: 25 fish, all caught and released

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:50 am

End Time: 12:00 noon

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 43F

Water Surface Temp:   64.4F

Wind Speed & Direction: NNE 10 at trip’s start, slowly tapering down to NNE3-4 by trip’s end

Sky Conditions: 100% grey cloud cover with occasional sprinkles in the first hour

Water Level: 12.7 feet high and falling by about 0.14 feet daily

GT = 90

Wx SNAPSHOT:   N/A

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic 484 – smoking for more heavily schooled bottom-hugging white bass in the first hour of the trip (1:45 – 2:45p)

**Area 054 – smoking for suspended white bass just prior to sunset (~5:00 – 5:30p)

 

 

Bob Maindelle, Belton Lake Fishing Guide

Full-time, Professional Fishing Guide and Owner of Holding the Line Guide Service

Belton Lake Fishing Guide, Stillhouse Hollow Fishing Guide

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