A Day of Firsts for Eric Balders — 53 Fish, Stillhouse, 07 Oct. 2017 (AM)

WHO I FISHED WITH: Californian-turned-Texan Eric Balders now living in Marlin, TX, after moving from Chula Vista, CA, to work in the aerospace industry here.

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Eric Balders caught the first white bass of his life today, and used a Carolina rig to catch his first largemouth on such a rig, thus opening doors to more than just fishing visible cover for that species.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass in the first 3 hours, then on largemouth bass for the remainder of the trip.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse

WHEN WE FISHED: Saturday morning, 07 October

HOW WE FISHED: Eric’s hope was to recalibrate from the saltwater fishing he’d grown accustomed to in California where he pursued yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna, and yellowtail, over to freshwater fishing.  We split the trip into two distinct parts involving a focus on white bass early, then a focus on largemouth towards the end.  While fishing for white bass, we used downriggers, tailspinners, and slabs (smoking and easing).  After some limited success on downriggers, we found a cooperative school of white bass that “stayed put” for nearly two hours allowing us to tally exactly 51 fish before we set our sights on largemouth. Eric had never before landed a white bass.

From just before 10am to our wrap-up around noon, I coached Eric on the use of a Carolina rig to help him access other than shallow water fish at his new “home” lake of Tradinghouse Reservoir, near Waco.  At our first of 4 stops Eric felt a largemouth take his bait, responded quickly by taking up slack and doing a sweeping hookset, and then hooked and landed his first largemouth on a Carolina rig.

OBSERVATIONS:  Compared to Thursday and Friday’s topwater action, this morning’s topwater action was much reduced.  The bite also began later today, not really getting going until around 8:15 versus right at 7:30 on Thursday and around 7:45 on Friday.

TALLY: 53 FISH, all caught and released

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:15a

End Time: 12:00noon

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  70

Water Surface Temp:  78.8

Wind Speed & Direction:  SW5-7

Sky Conditions:  20% white cloud cover at sunrise, increasing to under 30% by trip’s end

Water Level: 1.22 feet low

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

07OCT17

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic 1998 sparse success on downriggers

**Area 2020 – 0.5 hours of solid white bass action on tailspinners

**Area 1027/1029 – ~1.5 hours of solid white bass action on tailspinners

**Area 771, 680, 534, and 675 – Carolina rig for 2 fish at 771

 

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

Starting Them Early — 76 Fish with Shaun, Bradley, and Wyatt Trinkle, 06 Oct. ’17

WHO I FISHED WITH: Shaun Trinkle of Harker Heights, TX, and his two sons, Bradley (age 6) and Wyatt (age 4).   Shaun is on active duty in the U.S. Army, stationed at Fort Hood, and is originally from Virginia.

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Bradley Trinkle with one of many white bass he brought over the gunwales today.

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“Okay, Mr. Bob, take the picture any time now.  The sun is killin’ me!!”   — Wyatt Trinkle with a 2-year class white bass.

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass in the first 2.5 hours, then on sunfish in the last 45 minutes.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse

WHEN WE FISHED: Friday morning, 06 October

HOW WE FISHED: Given the boys’ age and limited experience, we used downriggers as long as the boys stayed interested in that method.  Once the novelty wore off (about the same time the first two areas we fished successfully began to taper off), we changed over to vertical tactics using tailspinners over a very cooperative school of deep white bass mixed with a few small largemouth in 47′.  We wrapped up with a round of shallow water sunfishing around weeds/rocks/brush for the last 45 minutes of the trip.

OBSERVATIONS:

TALLY: 76 FISH, all caught and released, including 48 white bass, 2 largemouth bass, and 26 sunfish

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:15a

End Time: 11:00a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  71

Water Surface Temp:  78.9

Wind Speed & Direction:  S5-8

Sky Conditions:  10% white cloud cover at sunrise, increasing to under 20% by trip’s end

Water Level: 1.21 feet low

GT = 20

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

06OCT17

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1523-1715 – low light downrigging with balls set at 36-38′ through 8:35a

**Area 074-1278 – downrigging with balls set at 30-32′ through 9:15a

**Area 2018 – tailspinners for white bass and 2 largemouth through 10:05a

**Area 667 – sunfish on slipfloats up shallow for 26 fish through 11:00a

 

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

“Hamm-ing” it Up with Todd and Juanice — 62 Fish, Stillhouse, 02 Oct. ’17

WHO I FISHED WITH: Mr. Todd Smith of Belton and his mother-in-law, Juanice Hamm, of Temple.  Juanice used to live in the Brookhaven Community which was on the south bank of Cowhouse Creek before Camp Hood came along in the 1940’s.  Todd makes a living selling Coca-Cola products locally.

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Todd Smith of Belton and his mother-in-law, Juanice Hamm of Temple, enjoyed a half-day outing in pursuit of primarily white bass on Stillhouse.  Juanice’s daughter, Tina Smith, presented a fishing gift certificate to her mom and husband for Christmas 2016 and today was the day they chose to redeem it.

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As the bite was winding down at the first place we had success at using vertical tactics, catfish and drum moved in to clean up the feces and regurgitated shad left on the bottom by the heavily feeding white bass we caught over the previous hour.

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

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse

WHEN WE FISHED: Monday morning, 02 October

HOW WE FISHED:  Our first hour was spent downrigging successfully over 40-50 feet of water for fish that were suspended.  We set our downrigger balls at 36-38 feet for fish that were at, or just slightly deeper than, this depth.  Our second hour saw a halt to natural activity (no birds, no bait moving, no fish on sonar, etc.) as a murky, grey cloud bank moved over and reduced the light to pre-dawn levels.  By 9:15 this murk began to clear and the bite picked up again, allowing us to catch fish consistently from out of bottom-hugging schools with vertical tactics.

OTHER NOTES/OBSERVATIONS:  Noted abundant, widespread largemouth bass schooling action in a number of open water areas both this morning and this afternoon, with more action in the PM than in the AM.

TALLY: 62 FISH, all caught and released

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:15a

End Time: 11:30a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 73F

Water Surface Temp: 78.6F

Wind Speed & Direction: ESE under 5 for first 2 hours, then SE at 10-11 with slowly clearing skies for the last 2 hours

Sky Conditions: The morning started out with a grey cloud bank in the east through which the sun would rise.  Just about the time the sun was clearing this cloud bank (around 8:15) our conditions got quickly murky with dark, low, grey clouds under low-wind conditions.  The fish dropped off and we went for an hour just searching for fish unsuccessfully.  Once the clouds cleared and a breeze resumed around 9:15, we again got on active fish and stayed on them through the close of the trip just after 11:15.

Water Level: 1.36 feet low

GT = 40

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

02OCT17

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1523 through 590 — 19 fish in an hour’s effort using 3-armed umbrella rigs equipped with Pet Spoons and balls set at 36 and 38′.

**Area vic 470 — 19 fish in an hour’s effort from 9:15 to 10:15 using slabs with a smoking and easing tactic, and using tailspinners.

**Area vic 1034 — 24 fish in an hour’s effort from 10: 25 to 11:25 using slabs with a smoking and easing tactic, and using tailspinners.

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

Birthday Fishing for Tyler and Jayden — 91 Fish, Stillhouse, 30 Sep. ’17 (PM)

WHO I FISHED WITH: 12-year-old Jayden Abbott and 10-year-old Tyler Nolen

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12-year-old Jayden Abbott celebrated his birthday aboard my boat this afternoon, landing his fair share of the 91 fish that we caught.

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10-year-old Tyler Nolen celebrated his birthday, as well, doing a bit more snacking than Jayden, but still holding his own in the fishing department.

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

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse

WHEN WE FISHED: Saturday evening, 30 September

HOW WE FISHED:  Given that I’d only come off the lake from the morning trip about 5 hours before the start of this trip, and (more importantly) that the weather had not changed since the end of the morning trip, we essentially drove from the courtesy dock to the fish and had both boys tight on fish within minutes of saying goodbye to their dads in the parking lot.  The fishing stayed solid all afternoon as the winds stayed blowing as higher pressure and brighter skies prevailed.  We fished vertically for the first 3 hours with both slabs and tailspinners, then, mainly for variety’s sake, changed over to downrigging in the final hour.  All fish were caught between 36 and 43 feet on bottom.  The last 45 minutes prior to sunset saw the fish pull up off bottom by as much as 8-10 feet where we ran the downriggers at 32-36 feet to continue catching them right up until trip’s end at 7:15p.

OTHER NOTES/OBSERVATIONS:  Noted abundant, widespread largemouth bass schooling action in a number of open water areas both this morning and this afternoon, with more action in the PM than in the AM.

TALLY: 91 FISH, all caught and released

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:15p

End Time: 3:45p

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 78F

Water Surface Temp: 80.6F

Wind Speed & Direction: NNE under 10mph

Sky Conditions: Under 20% white cloud cover for the entire trip. First day of clearing after a mild cool front passed and then stalled, bringing cooler temperatures and about 2 days’ worth of rainy, humid weather.

Water Level: 1.32 feet low

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

30SEP17

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 2014 – tailspinners accounted for exactly 35 fish from out of a heavily congregated school of fish on bottom.

**Area vic 1034 – tailspinners and slabs accounted for exactly 20 more fish

**Area 2016 and then Area 1993 to 2014 gave up a final 36 fish in the form of singles, doubles and triples (x2) on downrigged 3-armed umbrella rigs as fish moved up in the water column and shoreward as the light faded before and at sunset.

 

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

90 Fish with Two Fine Young Americans — Stillhouse, 30 Sep. ’17 (AM)

WHO I FISHED WITH: 13-year-old Zach Schaeffer and 10-year-old Jeremiah Schaeffer, both of Ft. Hood

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13-year-old Zach Schaeffer is a student at Audie Murphy Middle School on Ft. Hood where he plays offensive right guard for the school’s football team.

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10-year-old Jeremiah Schaeffer:  “I can tell you one thing for sure: This was a lot of fun!”

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

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse

WHEN WE FISHED: Saturday morning, 30 September

HOW WE FISHED: Although we caught fish over the entire 4 hour trip, the third hour of the day, from 9a to 10a, was most productive.  We had to cover a lot of water with downriggers to keep fish coming in the boat during the first hour as the skies remained dim as the grey cloud cover of the past few days began to dissipate.  The second hour saw an uptick in our downrigging results and fish showing strongly enough near bottom to allow for us to begin some vertical jigging.  Once we began jigging, we continued with either slabs or tailspinners right up until we had to pull the plug to honor our finish time and meet the boys’ mom back at the ramp.  We landed 4 drum, 4 largemouth, and 82 white bass in the 0 to 3 year class.

OTHER NOTES/OBSERVATIONS: This was a Ft. Hood SKIESUnlimited program trip conducted for the stepsons of U.S. Army mechanic Nathan Baker and his wife, Kayla.

TALLY: 90 FISH, all caught and released

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:15a

End Time: 11:15a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 67F

Water Surface Temp: 79.1F

Wind Speed & Direction: N under 10mph

Sky Conditions: 60% grey cloud cover slowly thinning to 30% cloud cover by trip’s end. First day of clearing after a mild cool front passed and then stalled, bringing cooler temperatures and about 2 days’ worth of rainy, humid weather.

Water Level: 1.32 feet low

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

30SEP17

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

 

**Area vic 1993 downrigging to find fish, then working tailspinners to capitalize on the find

**Area 1998 downrigging to find fish, then working tailspinners to capitalize on the find

**Area 1996 found fish on sonar occupying the entire lower half of the water column in ~40 feet. Worked slabs with stingers to begin, then slowed down with tailspinners as the fish slowed down, then “mopped up” with downriggers until the action died.

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

HAPPY 81st BIRTHDAY, GRANDMA JOAN – 85 Fish, Stillhouse, 23 Sept. ’17

WHO I FISHED WITH:  Linda Grant, her 12-year-old son, John Grant, and Linda’s 81-year-old mom, Joan James, all from that part of Belton just outside of Harker Heights.

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With under an hour to go in the trip, and with the “trash talk” from mom and grandma heating up, John stayed cool under pressure and came up with the largest fish of the trip, a nice 17″ largemouth bass that took his tailspinner as it rose off bottom in over 40 feet of water.

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Way to go, Grandma!  Joan held big fish honors all the way up until about 45 minutes prior to the end of the trip when John nabbed an even larger bass.

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Although nowhere near the size of the largest white bass we boated today, we paused to snap this photo when Linda, Joan, and John all landed fish at the exact same time from out of a very active school of white bass holding near bottom in the lower third of the water column.

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

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse

WHEN WE FISHED:  Saturday morning, 23 September

HOW WE FISHED:  We downrigged to find fish and then worked vertically over top of the fish we found in large congregations while holding in a hover over these fish using the Spot Lock feature on the Minn Kota Ulterra.  When the fish were very active, they went for the slab with Hazy Eye Stinger attached fished with a “smoking” tactic; when the fish slowed down, a tailspinner worked better.

OTHER NOTES/OBSERVATIONS:  Due to the extended period of low light enhanced by fog, the topwater bite by largemouth did not materialize to the level it did yesterday, and definitely not to the high level such feeding reached earlier in the week under brighter conditions with light winds.  The low light and ~10mph winds this morning also made what topwater action existed pretty tough to spot.

TALLY: 85 FISH, all caught and released

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:15a

End Time: 11:15a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 73F

Water Surface Temp: 80.8F

Wind Speed & Direction: SSE under 10mph

Sky Conditions: 100% grey cloud cover slowly thinning to 70% cloud cover by trip’s end.  Light fog for first 45 minutes.

Water Level: 1.21 feet low

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT: N/A

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area encompassed by Area 1523 to  978 to 1715 to 1994 – downrigging to find fish, then working tailspinners to capitalize on the find

**Area 1993 downrigging to find fish, then working tailspinners to capitalize on the find

**Area 1998 downrigging to find fish, then working tailspinners to capitalize on the find

**Area 1996 found fish on sonar occupying the entire lower half of the water column in ~40 feet.  Worked slabs with stingers to begin, then slowed down with tailspinners as the fish slowed down, then “mopped up” with downriggers until the action died.

 

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

BACK IN THE SADDLE — 102 Fish, Stillhouse, 22 Sept. ’17

WHO I FISHED WITH:  Jerry Morgan from Belton, TX, his cousin, Mike Morgan, and Mike’s wife, Charlotte Morgan, both from The Colony, TX.  Jerry is retired and has been out with me three times now.  Mike and Charlotte both work in banking and came out with me for the first time this morning.

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Charlotte Morgan of the The Colony did very well on both white bass caught vertically, as well as on sight-casting to largemouth forcing shad to the surface.  Note the plump belly on this fish.  Most all of the largemouth we landed regurgitated multiple threadfin shad.

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Jerry Morgan, possibly the biggest Atlanta Falcons fan in Texas (his son, Chris, is a coach for the team), caught white bass in the 0 to 3 year class all morning, helping put our tally up over 100 in just over 4 hours.

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Mike Morgan was impressed with the numbers of fish Stillhouse gave up this morning and is looking forward to trying his hand at some hybrid fishing on Lake Belton next spring during the shad spawn.

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

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse

WHEN WE FISHED:  Friday morning, 22 September

HOW WE FISHED:   We began the morning downrigging to find fish and, once contact was made, used sonar to find the “center of mass” of the fish so we could then use the Spot Lock feature of the Ulterra to hold over these fish and jig vertically.  Once the early murk cleared and the skies began to brighten through the clouds, schoolie largemouth began to work and gave away the location of the bait.  We used this as a visual key to continue to find white bass with some “bonus” topwater largemouth to throw to for the remainder of the trip.  Mike’s back gave him some difficulty, so he fished about 60% of the time, but, even so, we were able to put together a catch of 102 fish in just over 4 hours. 

The majority of our fish caught vertically responded best to tailspinners with occasional highly active fish which were heavily grouped and up off bottom reacting well to 3/8 oz. slabs with the Hazy Eye Stinger hook attached.  This same slab/stinger combo did the trick for topwater largemouth, too.

OTHER NOTES/OBSERVATIONS:  I’d not fished with clients since Monday, 11 Sept. after heading to New England for my 30th high school class reunion, then returning and conducting sonar training on 18 and 19 Sept.  The sonar sessions still allowed me to be on the water and do a bit of scouting which did pay off today.

TALLY: 102 FISH, all caught and released

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:15a

End Time: 11:30a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 74F

Water Surface Temp: 80.1F

Wind Speed & Direction: SE under 10mph

Sky Conditions: 100% grey cloud cover slowly thinning to 70% cloud cover by trip’s end

Water Level: 1.16 feet low

GT = 35

Wx SNAPSHOT:

22SEP17

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1993 downrigging to find fish, then working tailspinners to capitalize on the find

**Area 1994 downrigging to find fish, then working tailspinners to capitalize on the find

**Area 1995 sight-casting to largemouth and working vertically for white bass all from one Spot Lock location

**Area 1996 sight-casting to largemouth and working vertically for white bass all from one Spot Lock location

 

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

On The Fly!! — 22 “Fly-only” Fish with Reggie White

WHO I FISHED WITH:  Fly fishing enthusiast Reggie White of Richmond, Virginia, who came to Texas this week to visit family.

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Reggie White booked with me specifically to pursue species of fish he’d never before landed on a flyrod.  With just 25 minutes to go before dark, the white bass pushed shad shallow and gave us several opportunities to add their names to Reggie’s list.

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As the sun still shone brightly, we probed shallow, cover-rich, wind-protected areas in pursuit of sunfish.  Reggie nabbed this redear on a bead head nymph.

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A closeup of the redear sunfish – very ornate!

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: Reggie, a devoted flyfisherman, wanted to pursue species he had never before landed on a fly rod. Hence, after pursuing sunfish in the first, brightest half of our afternoon trip, we pursued Whitebass from 6 to 8 PM.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED:  4 PM to 8:15 PM

HOW WE FISHED: Reggie used a Temple Fork Outfitters 4-weight fly rod with floating line to fish both a number 12 bead head nymph and a number 16 Parachute Adams dry fly to amass a total of 16 sunfish, including three green sunfish, one redear sunfish, one readier/bluegill hybrid sunfish, and 11 bluegill sunfish. After that, from 6 through 8 PM, we pursued white bass.  We fished near visible cover in the back half of several coves.

We went after the white bass with a Temple Fork Outfitters 6-weight rod equipped with a short, flat fluorocarbon 10 pound test leader attached to a length of Rio T-8 tungsten-weighted shooting head, which in turn was connected to a 30 pound mono running line. In the last 25 minutes of light, we were able to put six white bass in the boat. These fish really did not show on the surface but had pushed shallow into less than 14 feet of water in pursuit of shad just after the sun dipped below the horizon.  We fished casting from shallow to deep, allowing the T-8 shooting head to take the buoyant crease fly I chose down to bottom.  Based on where the fish were holding, most all of the fish that struck did so as the connection between the running line and the shooting head had just entered the top guides on the flyrod.  We landed about half of the fish that struck.

OTHER OBSERVATIONS: Once again, the winds from the north kept the sunset topwater action pretty subdued.  There were a lot of fish present, as seen on sonar, but they did not give their positions away by breaking the surface.

TALLY: 22 FISH, all caught and released

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 4:00p

End Time: 8:15p

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 85F

Water Surface Temp: 79F

Wind Speed & Direction: Light NNW breeze at 11 mph, tapering to 6mph by dark

Sky Conditions: <10% white cloud cover the entire trip.

Water Level: 1.01 feet low and slowly falling with only evaporative losses; 0 cfs release at dam

GT = 30

Wx SNAPSHOT:

11SEP17

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 184 and 1992 for sunfish

**Area 018 to 013 for 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

20th “SKIFF” Program Trip of the Season — 48 fish on Lake Belton

WHO I FISHED WITH:  Nancy Phimmasone and her four children, Isaiah (age seven), Aiyana (age nine), Qwentin (age 14), and Asia (age 16).  Nancy and her kids have fished with me under the SKIFF program several times after Nancy’s husband passed away while on active duty, often in conjunction with the timing of Ft. Hood’s annual “Good Grief” camp for surviving family members.
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Smaller bluecat were our first targets from out of large, deep schools of fish in ~40 feet of water.  From left: Asia, Aiyana, Isaiah, and Qwentin, each with a blue cat going 12-14″.  Mom (Nancy) looks on from over Qwentin’s shoulder.

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The white bass got active in the final hour of light, allowing each of the kids to take several turns on the twin downriggers.  From left: Isaiah, Aiyana, Asia, and Qwentin.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip in which we targeted blue catfish for 2 hours and white bass for 2 hours.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED:  Saturday evening, 09 Sept., from 4 to 8:10p.

HOW WE FISHED: The first half of this trip we focused on small blue catfish heavily congregated in deep water.  I used cut shad on tandem hooks suspended off bottom with a beefy slipfloat to present the baits to these fish which were on an above bottom, to within 4 feet of it.  We landed 20 catfish and missed many more as the kids went through the learning curve of how and when to set the hook.

The  second part of the trip we focused on white bass using downriggers in the third and fourth hours.  We fished out deep (25-30′) through 7p, and followed up shallow with the downriggers in under 20′ in the last hour. We landed 28 white bass.

OTHER OBSERVATIONS: Thanks to a NNW wind, there was very little topwater action by white bass visible in the “magic” time from 7:20 to just after 8:00pm.  This was the 20th SKIFF trip of the 2017 season.

 

TALLY: 48 FISH, all caught and released

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 4:00p

End Time: 8:10p

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 85F

Water Surface Temp: 79F

Wind Speed & Direction: Light NE breeze 4-6 mph

Sky Conditions: <10% white cloud cover the entire trip.

Water Level: 0.98 feet low and slowly falling with only evaporative losses; 0 cfs release at dam

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT:

09SEP17

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic 973 – blue cat in 40′

**Area 903 – 1575 – downrigging for sunset 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

Wicked White Bass — 60 Fish for Kennedy Rosario

WHO I FISHED WITH:  8-year-old Kennedy Rosario, accompanied by her mother, Mrs. Avonne Rosario.  Mother and daughter booked this trip through the Ft. Hood SKIESUnlimited program.  Kennedy got “extra credit” from me for being a huge fan of the show “Wicked Tuna”.

Web Photo

8-year-old Kennedy Rosario with one of 60 fish she landed on Stillhouse Hollow during her Ft. Hood SKIESUnlimited “Fishing 101” class.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: Multi-species trip focused on white bass for the first 3 hours, then sunfish in the last our. Our catch included 49 white bass, 1 largemouth bass, 1 longear sunfish, and 9 bluegill sunfish

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED:  Saturday morning, 09 Sept., from 7a to 11a.

HOW WE FISHED: We downrigged for the first 45 minutes following sunrise as the fish began to become active in response to the unobscured sunrise.  We landed singles and doubles on 3-armed umbrella rigs.  As the sun rose and penetrated the depths, the bait moved toward the surface and largemouth bass followed, with white bass staying near bottom in large, fairly immobile schools.  From around 8am and until 10am, we were able to catch fish continuously from just two locations just yards apart from one another.  Given Kennedy’s age, I chose a tailspinner for her to use as the retrieve speed necessary for making it effective is slower.  She landed a total of 50 fish through 10am.

Next, we moved up shallow for our last hour on the water for a change of pace and targeted sunfish.  Kennedy did well here, too, landing 10 sunfish of various sorts.

OTHER OBSERVATIONS: With Hurricane Harvey seeming to have broken the back of the hot, summer weather, the water surface temperature has come 6 degrees off the summer peak of 86F; today’s white bass schooling behavior on bottom in 37-40′ of water involved a substantially greater number of fish which fed for a longer period of time that I’ve seen since early July.  I’ll be observing to see if this trend continues.

ABOUT SKIESUnlimited:

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TALLY: 60 FISH, all caught and released

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:00am

End Time: 11:00am

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 61F

Water Surface Temp: 78.5F

Wind Speed & Direction: Light ENE breeze 3-5mph

Sky Conditions: <10% white cloud cover the entire trip.

Water Level: 0.78 feet low and slowly falling with only evaporative losses; 0 cfs release at dam

GT = 10

Wx SNAPSHOT:

09SEP17

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1715-1523-1522  – 49 white bass and 1 largemouth in 3 hours; found them with downriggers and caught them steadily on tailspinners thereafter

**Area 1572 – 10 sunfish on slipfloats up shallow

 

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

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