TUNA FISH & BUTTER PICKLES — 92 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Monday, May 7th, I fished with longtime friends DE Carson and Don Eddy primarily in pursuit of hybrid striped bass on Lake Belton.  The two met over forty years ago when DE was trying to put a new roof on his house in the rain.  Don came over, offered to give him a hand and, after completing the job, sat, soaking wet in the newly-roofed house eating tuna fish sandwiches and butter pickles!  The fellows are both originally from near the Sacramento River delta region of central California, but came to Texas to volunteer in ministry and have now been here longer than either anticipated.  Through all of their fishing adventures, the most DE and Don had ever landed in a single trip was 43 fish, so, you can imagine they went home pretty happy today!

 

DE Carson with a beefy Lake Belton hybrid striped bass taken on live shad in 43 feet of water. 

 

As the photo shows, we had a glassy surface and blue skies, yet, the hybrid still bit well this morning.  This was one of Don Eddy’s larger fish landed this morning.  

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: During this trip, we focused on fishing for hybrid striped bass using live shad through 10:15am, we then left about a half hour to fish for white bass, primarily to demonstrate the tactics used for that species at this time of year.

WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake

WHEN WE FISHED: Monday morning, 07 May 2018

HOW WE FISHED:  The hybrid bite was excellent this morning, despite the bright skies and calm winds.  We fished only one area (with no short hops) for 3.25 hours and caught hybrid the entire time.  The most aggressive bite took place through 8:10, then tapered out to a moderate, but steady pick of fish which included an occasional white bass.  When white bass became an issue, we raised baits up a bit higher and got them to leave us alone.  We put baits between 34 and 40 feet deep over a 43′ bottom, as sonar dictated.  We ended up with 78 fish from this one stop, 75% of which were legal hybrid stripers.  We saved a bit of time at the end of the trip for slabbing for white bass, mainly to demonstrate the technique of “smoking” to DE and Don.  We put 14 additional white bass in the 1-2 year class in the boat in our final half hour from out of 52 of water.  These fish were heavily congregated but were just about turned off for the morning when we got to them given that we fish for hybrid for an extended period of time as compared with last week’s bite which routinely wrapped up around 9AM or earlier.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:   1) I was surprised that we did as well as we did this morning, given the low wind speed and near-cloudless conditions we encountered.  2) I believe we are at that point which occurs each spring where the warming water drives up fish metabolism to where they begin to feed at times when they normally would not in colder water conditions.  3) We caught hybrid for 3.25 hours, with the last hour seeing better results on cutbait than on live bait.

TALLY: 92 FISH, ALL CAUGHT AND RELEASED 

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:45a

End Time: 11:05a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 63F

Water Surface Temp:  70.8F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSE<3

Sky Conditions:  Cloudless blue sky with the lightest of white haze on occasion

Water Level: 1.98 low and rising.  This was a 0.40 foot jump due to Friday’s local rainfall.  As a result, there was a noticeable amount of flotsam on the surface.

GT = 0

 

Wx SNAPSHOT:    

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area B0087C – 3.25 hours of solid hybrid action yielding 78 fish, 75% of which were legal hybrid striped bass, and the balance of which 2-3 year class white bass

**Area vic 717 – deep, loosely congregated white bass taken at a slow pace on slabs as the morning bite was shutting down (~30 minutes)

**Area “SHAD16 through SHAD17” produced ample spawning shad for bait this morning

 

 

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 BIRTHDAY, TRACIE! — 61 Fish @ Lake Belton

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Thursday morning, May 3rd, I fished with returning guests Tom and Tracie Byrd, as well as Tom’s sister, Patty Williams, and Patty’s husband, Dale Williams, both of whom came out with me for the first time.  This trip was in celebration of Tracie’s birthday, but we won’t say exactly which birthday! Tom and Tracie live “in the country” on the outskirts of Austin where they keep up with their own horses and board others’ horses, as well.  Patty works at a bank in San Antonio and Dale is retired from construction where he worked to build water treatment plans in the southern part of Texas.

 

The birthday girl, Tracie Byrd (in white shirt), with one of the hybrid she landed in the early part of the trip.  That’s her sister-in-law, Patty, looking on. 

Tom Byrd and his sister, Patty, landed these fish within seconds of one another as the fish went on a brief spree.  

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: During this trip, we focused on fishing for hybrid striped bass using live shad through 9:45am when the wind got too great to hold on the exposed areas where we were catching them.  We retreated well up into the one of Belton’s tributaries for our last hour and a half or so and targeted white bass using spinning rod equipped with 3/8 oz. slabs and Hazy Eye Stinger hooks, and did well.

WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday morning, 03 May 2018

HOW WE FISHED:  The hybrid bite was more short-lived this morning than over the past 3 mornings.  The weather was also more turbulent, and the winds were higher, as well. We picked up a number of nice fish very quickly at our first stop on a deep breakline, but, after one run of about 35 minutes, the fish cooled off and we never really got back on the hybrid prior to the wind increasing to a level at which I was no longer comfortable keeping 4 clients out in the midst of, so, we moved to the protection of a tributary.  Although there was enough wind to move the water in our new location, we never found a concentration of legal-sized hybrid and wound up finishing out the trip by vertically jigging for white bass.  Even the white bass were a bit finicky, however.  When sonar revealed a group of fish which I deemed large enough to jig for, I’d Spot Lock on top of them, we’d then catch 3-4 fish and then they would just quit, despite still being plainly present on sonar.  This was not just a one-time occurrence, rather, this exact scenario played out 8 or 9 times as I made that many stops just to keep us on top of biting fish.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:   1) The grey clouds, balmy overnight temperatures, and southerly winds really activated the fish today for a forth day in a row.    2) There was a decent run of shad at both areas “Shad 14” and at “Shad

TALLY: 61 FISH, ALL CAUGHT AND RELEASED 

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:00a

End Time: 12:30p

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 70F

Water Surface Temp:  68.3F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSE12-15

Sky Conditions:  100% grey clouds with occasional light drizzle

Water Level: 2.30 feet low and slowly falling

GT = 60

 

Wx SNAPSHOT:    

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1541 – legal hybrid with a few other smaller fish mixed in as we fished live shad

**Area vic 717 – deep, heavily congregated white bass taken at a moderate pace on slabs

**Area vic 2027 – white bass on shad

**Area B0080C – white bass on slabs

**Area B0085C to B0086C – white bass on slabs with multiple short hops between these two points

**Area vic B0066C – white bass on slabs

 

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

HAIL TO THE CHIEFS! — 70 Fish @ Belton

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Wednesday morning, May 2nd, I fished for the second time with “The Chiefs” — including Gene Ellis (Belton Chief of Police), Floyd Mitchell (Temple Chief of Police), and Mitch Randles (Temple Fire Chief).  This trip came exactly one year from the last such trip these three fellows took together with me in 2017.  As was the case both Monday and Tuesday, the hybrid bite was strong in the first 2.25 hours of the trip, then tailed off sharply after about 9:15am.  Our catch of 70 fish included 28 legal hybrid striped bass and the remainder was a mixed bag consisting mainly of white bass with a few largemouth and blue catfish sprinkled in. In our last hour, after finding a large, deep school of white bass in about 55 feet of water, we worked slabs vertically with light spinning tackle to fish specifically for that species.

 

“The Chiefs” from left, Floyd Mitchell (Temple Police Chief), Gene Ellis, (Belton Police Chief), and Mitch Randles (Temple Fire Chief) with a brace of 3.5 pound, 19 to 20″ hybrid stripers taken within minutes of one another during an early morning feeding spree.  These hybrid stripers were taken on live shad set about 6 feet off bottom in about 40 feet of water. 

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: During this trip, we focused on fishing for hybrid striped bass using live shad through 10:30 although, in hindsight, the majority of our hybrid came by 9:25am.  In our last hour or so we targeted white bass using spinning rod equipped with 3/8 oz. slabs and Hazy Eye Stinger hooks.

WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake

WHEN WE FISHED: Wednesday morning, 02 May 2018

HOW WE FISHED:  Fishing was pretty straightforward this morning.  We used live shad when sonar revealed an abundance of hybrid striped bass on deep breaklines and caught fish well through about 9:25am.  The hybrid bite tapered off quickly thereafter and although we searched several areas and found marginal sonar returns, some of which we put baits down for, we had little success for hybrid in the later half of the trip.  Having seen this play out the same way on Monday and Tuesday, I came prepared with spinning gear to take advantage of the white bass bite which has remained much more consistent into the late morning.  We found two large schools of fish in deep water, about 80 yards apart and took fish steadily until we wrapped up around 11:30a.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:   1) The grey clouds, balmy overnight temperatures, and southerly winds really activated the fish today for a thirdday in a row.    2) There was disappointingly little in the way of spawning shad this morning.

TALLY: 70 FISH, ALL CAUGHT AND RELEASED 

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:00a

End Time: 12:30p

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 70F

Water Surface Temp:  68.3F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSE12-15

Sky Conditions:  100% grey clouds with occasional light drizzle

Water Level: 2.30 feet low and slowly falling

GT = 60

 

Wx SNAPSHOT:    

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 489/1277 – 28 legal hybrid with a few other smaller fish mixed in as we fished live shad

**Area vic 717 and vic 1469 – deep, heavily congregated white bass taken at a moderate pace on slabs

 

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

Happiness was Lubbock, Texas, in the Rearview Mirror — 50 Fish w/ Corey Farrar

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Tuesday morning I fished with Corey Farrar of Round Rock, TX.  Corey, an employee at Dell, is originally from Brownsfield, TX, near Lubbock, where he grew up on a cotton farm and raised show pigs with FFA.  He used to fish as a kid, got away from it in his college years at UT-Tyler, and now has taken an renewed interest in the sport.  He has his own boat and regularly fishes on Walter E. Long and on Lake Travis.  Corey’s goal was to learn a bit about sonar, to get some practical experience in vertical jigging for white bass, and to take a multi-species approach to today’s trip.  All of these were accomplished by the time we left the water.

 

Corey Farrar with a 5.00 pound hybrid — one of two larger fish taken from a school which also gave up twenty-one 18.5-19.5″ hybrid on live and dead shad this morning in the first 2 hours of daylight.

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: During this trip, we focused on fishing for hybrid striped bass using live shad through 9:15, then switched over to searching for white bass able to be vertically jigged for.  We put 30 fish in the boat on bait as we gunned for hybrid, including 23 keeper hybrid, as well as a few shorts and a few white bass.  We later found one large school of bottom-oriented white bass in 38′ and put another 20 fish in the boat, including 18 whites and 2 drum, using slabs with Hazy Eye Stinger hooks affixed to the line tie.

WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday morning, 01 May 2018

HOW WE FISHED:  This week’s big fishing turn around, thanks to the first really “fishy” weather we’ve had in a long time, continued this morning.  Some nice low pressure, grey clouds, and southerly winds dominated the weather again today (second day in a row) and is forecast to hang around all week.  The fish have responded positively and once again were feeding well and posturing up off bottom where they could be easily seen on sonar.  We fished live shad beginning around 7:15am through 9:15am and could realistically only keep one or two rods baited.  The hybrid striped bass were thick in the lower 4 feet of the water column and just kept biting regardless of what we fed them — be it a nearly 6″ threadfin shad, a dainty 2.5″ threadfin shad, or a piece of cutbait.  All but two of the 23 keeper hybrid we caught were “cookie cutter” fish, right at 18.5 to 19.5 inches.  The other two went right at 5 pounds.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:   1) The grey clouds, balmy overnight temperatures, and southerly winds really activated the fish today for a second day in a row.    2) The 69.1F water was the season’s warmest thus far.

TALLY: 50 FISH, ALL CAUGHT AND RELEASED 

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:00a

End Time: 12:30p

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 70F

Water Surface Temp:  69.1F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSE11-12 through 10:30, then shifting and strengthening S14-15 thereafter.

Sky Conditions:  100% grey with some murk.

Water Level: 2.28 feet low and slowly falling

GT = 50

 

Wx SNAPSHOT:    

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1384  — 30 fish, incl. 23 keeper hybrid

**Area B0070C/2027 — 18 whites, 2 drum on 3/8 oz. white slab with Hazy Eye Stinger

 

 

 

 

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

Dad, Good Buds, and a Personal Best — 59 Fish @ Belton

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Monday morning I fished with MJ Linder of Belton, MJ’s dad, Gene Linder of Abilene, and Ryan Mighell and Justin Hall, both of Gatesville, TX.  MJ is the owner of Mobility Therapies (think of a physical therapy company that makes house calls), Gene is a retired educator from Abilene Christian University, Ryan is a fireman on the Killeen Fire Department, and Justin is a youth pastor at the Church of Christ in Gatesville.

MJ Linder of Belton with our largest fish of the trip, and his personal best hybrid — a 25 1/8″ fish taken from 38 feet of water.

 

MJ’s dad, Gene Linder, of Abilene with his best fish of the trip.

 

Killeen fireman Ryan Mighell with a chunky Lake Belton hybrid taken from 43 feet of water.

Justin Hall, the youth pastor at the Gatesville Church of Christ, with a hard-fighting hybrid taken on live shad.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: During this trip, we focused entirely on fishing for hybrid striped bass using live shad

WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake

WHEN WE FISHED: Monday morning, 30 April 2018

HOW WE FISHED:  Fishing really turned around thanks to the first really “fishy” weather we’ve had in a long time.  Some nice low pressure, grey clouds, and southerly winds dominated the weather today and is forecast to hang around all week.  The fish instantly responded and were feeding well and posturing up off bottom where they could be easily seen on sonar.  We fished live shad from start to finish and put 59 fish in the boat with just over half being legal (18″ +) hybrid striped bass.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:   1) The grey clouds, balmy overnight temperatures, and southerly winds really activated the fish today.  We caught fish steadily over the entire 4+ hours we spent on the water.  2) The 67.1F water was the season’s warmest thus far.

TALLY: 59 FISH, ALL CAUGHT AND RELEASED 

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:15a

End Time: 11:40a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 63F

Water Surface Temp:  67.1F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSE9-11 through 10:30, then shifting and strengthening S13-14 thereafter.

Sky Conditions:  100% grey with some murk.

Water Level: 2.13 feet low and slowly falling

GT = 65

 

Wx SNAPSHOT:    

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area B0075C — 15 whites

**Area vic 1541 — majority of the morning’s catch here on shad

**Area B0084C – a few fish caught here on bait after the bite peaked

**Area 1743/346 – last area fished of the morning; gave up 4 fish, including 25 1/8″ hybrid

 

 

 

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

HEAVIEST HYBRID OF THE 2018 SEASON — 134 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Friday morning I fished with Jim Rogers of San Diego, California.  Jim joined me for a 5 hour hunt for fish in the morning, then returned in the evening with his nephew, Lucas Tavill, for another 4+ hour run at the fish.  Jim is an investment banker at a private, family-owned bank in San Diego, and Lucas is a First Lieutenant and West Point graduate now serving in a logistics unit on Fort Hood.  The two came out with me in mid-May of 2017.  On that outing, we landed 132 fish.  On this trip, as the clock wound down, I felt we had a realistic shot at surpassing that number, and, indeed, we ended up with exactly 134 fish landed including primarily white bass and hybrid stripers.

Jim Rogers with the season’s largest hybrid taken on my boat thus far — a 6.25 pounder weighed on certified scales.

 

U.S. Army First Lieutenant Lucas Tavill with one of about 30 hybrid that went on a feeding binge for about 90 minutes, tapering off around 7:45pm.  During this time fish hit both live baits of all sizes and chunk baits.

 

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: During this trip, we focused on hybrid early and late, and white bass at late morning and early afternoon.

WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake

WHEN WE FISHED: Friday morning, 27 April 2018

HOW WE FISHED:   Jim and I began the morning casting bladebaits for smaller hybrid and white bass in an area that caught my eye as numerous herons patrolled over open water and along the shoreline.  We wound up with 22 fish here before the action died, then went to a variety of areas using live bait for hybrid stripers with slow results.  Every so often as we patrolled for hybrid, I detected deep, bottom-hugging white bass which we took advantage of using slabs and light spinning tackle.  In the afternoon, we pursued white bass specifically for the first 2 hours, then left our last 2.5 hours for the pursuit of hybrid using live bait.  Both approaches in the afternoon were handsomely rewarded.  We picked up exactly 39 white bass and a single, bonus keeper hybrid on a bladebait as we used blades and slabs in water under 30′.  Then, as the skies got some white haze sufficient to cut the bright, direct sun, we moved a bit deeper and picked up another 36 fish, including a nice run of keeper hybrid on all manner of bait — large, small, live, and dead.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:   1) Despite solid results today, the lack of stability in our weather and the repeated, frequent cold fronts have prevented any consistency in the fishery up to this point this spring.

TALLY: 134 FISH, ALL CAUGHT AND RELEASED 

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:00a

End Time: 8:20p with an off-the-water break from 12:30p to 4:00p

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 65F in AM; 78F in PM

Water Surface Temp:  66.5-67.1F

Wind Speed & Direction:  NW all day, varying from 5-9mph

Sky Conditions:  Clear with occasional clouds at under 5%, and with a light, white haze developing in the afternoon.

Water Level: 2.13 feet low and slowly falling

GT = 125

 

Wx SNAPSHOT:   For some reason, NOAA did not include wind data for this date on their forecast.  It was NW5-9 most all day.

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

AM

**Area vic  1974/687 — 22 whites and short hybrid on blades early

**Area vic  B0081C — mixed bag on bait and slabs

**Area vic 717 – 13 white bass on slabs in 52′

PM

**Area B0082C — vertical white bass on slabs

**Area B0083C — vertical white bass on slabs

**Area 378 — vertical white bass on slabs; horizontal white bass on blades

**Area B0081C – mixed bag incl. a majority of hybrid on live/cut shad

 

 

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

Well, your life is about to change… —

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Wednesday morning I fished with the Oliver family, including “Paw” Oliver who turned 88 that day, his four sons, Jamie, Jack, Joe, and Jeff, and Joe’s son, Thomas.  Thomas, who is expecting his first child in mid-May, sat next to Paw at one point in the trip as we moved from one place to another.  Paw knowingly said to Thomas, “Well, your life is about to change,” referring to the arrival of the baby.  I always enjoy fishing with this very close-knit family.  Today’s fishing was not as enjoyable as the fisherman from my perspective.  Once again we were plagued with light winds and clear, bright skies in that normally most-productive first 2 hours of the day, then, when the wind did begin, it came suddenly from the northwest instead of slowly ramping up from the west and swinging northerly.  The fish reacted negatively, as evidenced by the majority of our fish being caught at our very first stop of the trip.

 

Expecting dad Thomas Oliver had the “hot rod” today, landing several hybrid on live shad.

Jeff Oliver (with fish) with his brother, Joe, standing by.  Jeff had two nice pulldowns in our last 15 minutes on the water, landing the second of them from out of ~30 feet of water..

 

Paw celebrated his 88th birthday on this trip.  The fishing was to be followed by lunch, then all hands were going to pitch in to do some yardwork for him while the weather was cool and the sun shone.

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This trip was focused strictly on hybrid striped bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake

WHEN WE FISHED: Wednesday morning, 25 April 2018

HOW WE FISHED:   We fished live shad in a variety of locations, putting a mixed bag of 28 fish in the boat.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:   1) The lack of stability in our weather and the repeated, frequent cold fronts have prevented any consistency in the fishery up to this point this spring.

TALLY: 37 FISH, ALL CAUGHT AND RELEASED 

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:00a

End Time: 12:20p

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 65F

Water Surface Temp:  66.5-67.1F

Wind Speed & Direction:  NW breeze under 2 at trip’s start, ramp up rapidly from the NNW with the arrival of a mild, dry cold front.  Winds were 20, gusting higher as we departed.

Sky Conditions: Clear blue, cloudless skies

Water Level: 2.13 feet low and slowly falling

GT = R

 

Wx SNAPSHOT:   N/A

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

 

**Area vic 1482 – mixed bag on live bait

**Area vic 1079 – mixed bag on live bait

 

 

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

Longing for Stability — 75 Fish @ Belton

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Tuesday morning I fished with returning guests Rick Snelgrooes and Stuart Gehrke, accompanied by two other friends of Rick’s, Brad Messner and Dave Gullo, who came out with me for the first time.  Once again, poor fishing weather really plagued us.  We just haven’t gotten any traction from any stable weather all spring thus far.  Today, post-frontal clear skies and nearly calm winds made the fishing tough as nails.  The hybrid bite was next to non-existent, and what white bass we caught came in the noon hour as we enjoyed the first little bit of steady wind we would experience all morning.

 

Stuart Gehrke with a Lake Belton hybrid which, due to its slender build, made me look twice to verify that it wasn’t a full-blood striper.

Brad Messner, a retired U.S.A.F. instructor pilot and a Californian who normally stalks trout, was really enthusiastic about the techniques we used today, all of which were very new and different to him.

Dave Gullo managed to catch a few in between phone calls — no rest for those executive types, you know.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This trip was focused strictly on hybrid striped bass in the first 2/3 of the trip, then we saved some time at the end for vertical jigging for white bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday morning, 24 April 2018

HOW WE FISHED:   We fished live shad in a variety of locations, putting a mixed bag of 34 fish in the boat in the first 3 hours of the trip, of which a low percentage were hybrid stripers.  We then closed out the trip by vertical jigging with slabs, putting another 42 fish (all white bass) in the boat.  Thanks to the first light wind of the day beginning to move the water, we enjoyed some steady action, albeit for smaller, but more numerous, fish.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:   1) The lack of stability in our weather and the repeated, frequent cold fronts have prevented any consistency in the fishery up to this point this spring.

TALLY: 75 FISH, ALL CAUGHT AND RELEASED 

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:30a

End Time: 12:30p

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 55F

Water Surface Temp:  65.7F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SE3-6

Sky Conditions: Clear blue, cloudless skies

Water Level: 2.12 feet low and slowly falling

GT = 100

 

Wx SNAPSHOT:   N/A

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

 

**Area vic 187 – mixed bag on live bait

**Area vic B0070C – mixed bag on live bait

**Area vic 378 – a quick take of 42 white bass as the wind began for the first time all morning in the 11a to noon hour

 

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 51st with Matt, Matt, and Mitch – 33 Fish @ Belton

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Monday morning I fished with Matt Laakso, his son, Mitch Laasko, and Matt’s friend, Matt Beauchene, all from the Austin area.  This spring has been plagued with cold, unstable weather, and this morning was no exception, with yet another late April cold front pushing winds from the north west, making the skies cloudless, and dropping the ambient temperature to 48F at launch time, well below the already low lake surface temperature of 65.3, which is well below average for this time of year by a full 5-6 degrees.  We caught fish, but it certainly wasn’t fast or furious.

 

Matt Laakso with one of his birthday trip hybrid striped bass from Lake Belton.  Despite poor conditions, we still caught a few quality fish.

Mitch Laakso had consistently good technique, especially when it came to taking the rod out of the rod holder without lifting upwards using the circle hooks we had on.

Matt Beauchene with a stocky one.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This trip was focused strictly on hybrid striped bass in the first 2/3 of the trip, then we saved some time at the end for vertical jigging for white bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake

WHEN WE FISHED: Monday morning, 23 April 2018

HOW WE FISHED:   We fished live shad in a variety of locations, putting 18 fish in the boat in the first 3 hours of the trip.  We then closed out the trip by vertical jigging with slabs, putting another 15 fish (all white bass) in the boat.  Even the white bass were buckled down pretty tightly thanks to the post-frontal, high-pressure conditions.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:   1) The lack of stability in our weather and the repeated, frequent cold fronts have prevented any consistency in the fishery up to this point this spring.

TALLY: 33 FISH, ALL CAUGHT AND RELEASED 

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:45a

End Time: 1;30p

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 48F

Water Surface Temp:  65.3F

Wind Speed & Direction:  NE6-11

Sky Conditions: Clear blue, cloudless skies

Water Level: 2.11 feet low and slowly falling

GT = 55

 

Wx SNAPSHOT:   N/A

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

 

**Area vic 187 – mixed bag with legal hybrid

**Area vic 1743 – – mixed bag with legal hybrid

**Area vic B0073C – – mixed bag with legal hybrid

**Area vic B0079C – white bass via smoking with slabs & Hazy Eye Stingers

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

…AND LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF — 75 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Friday evening, April 20th, I fished with Jerry Morgan, and his relatives, Mike and Charlotte Morgan.  This crew fished with me once before in the warm months on Stillhouse in pursuit of white bass and largemouth bass.  This evening’s focus was on hybrid striped bass.  The tough conditions which impacted our fishing this morning moderated this afternoon in that the air warmed a bit, the wind throttled back to a manageable 13mph or so, and, most importantly, we got some cloud cover.  As it turns out Jerry is neighbors with Jim Mason who fished with me on today’s morning trip.  As our morning trip came to a close, Jim ribbed me a bit, letting me know how “nice” it would be if Jerry caught no more than 67 fish (so as not to exceed the 68 fish Jim’s party took in the morning).

 

Jerry Morgan of Morgan’s Point Resort with a very nice Lake Belton hybrid striped bass taken on live shad.  Note the Atlanta Falcons shirt — Jerry is the proud papa of his son Chris, who is the offensive line coach of the Falcons.

 

 

 

Charlotte Morgan with one of many hybrid she took using good technique on getting her rod out of the rod holder without lifting the tip vertically.

 

 

 

Mike Morgan took his fair share of hybrid and then led the charge to exceed 68 fish as the white bass aggressively took our slabs during the final, low-light bite.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This trip was focused strictly on hybrid striped bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake

WHEN WE FISHED: Friday evening, 20 April 2018

HOW WE FISHED:   After discussing our options at dockside, my crew was sure they wanted to pursue hybrid only this afternoon, and pass on opportunities for white bass.  With this in mind, I hit an number of areas, got bait down, observed sonar for a response, and moved on if no response was forthcoming.  We did not hit fish until our 4th stop, but, once we got those fish going, they stayed turned on right through sunset, allowing us a total of 75 fish landed.  With local sunset (given cloud cover and terrain) around 8:00pm, we had 57 fish with about 40 minutes of fishing light left to go, and the vast majority of those fish were legal hybrids.  Jerry kept the Mason/Ray party total of 68 in his mind, and, when a large school of white bass moved in and showed up on sonar around 7:30p, I shared the the only clear path to exceeding 68 fish would be to jig for those abundant white bass.  Everybody was okay with the change of pace and did quite well at working their slabs vertically to the tune of another 18 fish to end our trip with a total of 75 fish landed for the evening.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:   1) Thanks to more favorable afternoon weather, the afternoon catch exceeded the morning catch today, which is out of the ordinary.  2) As is often the case in this March-May hybrid fishery, the bite was bottom-oriented and worked up from very little initially presenting on sonar to a steady pick of fish with near constant, multiple sonar returns of a mixed bag of gamefish under the boat.

TALLY: 75 FISH, ALL CAUGHT AND RELEASED 

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 4:00p

End Time: 8:25p

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 69F

Water Surface Temp:  65.7F

Wind Speed & Direction:  ESE13-14

Sky Conditions: 30% cloud cover on blue skies

Water Level: 2.08 feet low and slowly falling

GT = 95

 

Wx SNAPSHOT:   N/A

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

 

**Area vic B0075C – strong hybrid bite on live shad from ~5:40p through 7:30p, then white bass moved in and were easily taken on smoked slabs

 

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