FT. HOOD CHILD LANDS 1ST FISH ON SKIES PROGRAM TRIP – 50 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:   This morning, Saturday, August 24th, I fished a SKIESUnlimited trip with the Pratts family.  “Izzy” Pratts is an active duty U.S. Army Warrant Officer currently assigned to Fort Hood.  Her husband, Isham Pratts, is a veteran who served six years in the U.S. Army as an enlisted man working in an information technology specialty, the field in which he now continues to work as a civilian.  The Pratts brought their son, almost-5-year-old Maximus aboard for his first fishing trip ever … and it was a good one!  Maximum is preparing to be a big brother … a little sister is due in September!!

SKIESUnlimited stands for Schools of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration, and Skills.

SKIESUnlimited offers dozens of activities for military and Department of Defense kids of all ages, ranging from gymnastics to piano lessons, from academic tutoring to various forms of dance, and more.

To participate in such courses, children must first be registered with Child and Youth Services.  Registration is free and is accomplished by contacting Parent Central Services at 254-287-8029.  Once registered, parents may go online to enroll their children for the myriad courses available, including my own “Fishing 101”.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  Maximus Pratts and his dad, Isham Pratts, with Max’s largest sunfish of the trip — an old, adult bluegill.  Judging by the white and orange trip at the tail, it had to have a green sunfish in its lineage a generation or two ago, as well.

PHOTO CAPTION:  Maximus’ first fish, a 5″ bluegill sunfish.  This fish qualified Maximum for a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department “First Fish Award”!!

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  White bass and sunfish

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED:   24 August 2019, AM

HOW WE FISHED:   As I explained the morning’s gameplan to Izzy and Isham, I let them know that Max would very likely become bored with success given his age.  We all laughed together when, about 20 minutes and 5 fish into the trip Max announced, “I’m tired of sunfishing.”  Having worked with kids for years now, we employed some “tricks of the trade” to keep Max’s interest level up by inserting some intentional transitions into our trip and adding as much variety as the fish, season, weather, and his manual dexterity would allow.

As it turned out, Max was in good spirits and enthused about fishing as we ended the trip right around the 3.5 hour mark.

We fished for sunfish at the beginning and end of the trip, with a bit of time spent downrigging for white bass in the middle.  The white bass we found were in small, suspended schools and took the smallest size Pet Spoons rigged on a 3-armed umbrella rig fished at 23′ over a deeper bottom.  The sunfish were all in shallow cover and went for livebait fished under a slipfloat rig.

OBSERVATIONS:   Despite a near-calm surface and grey cloud cover — ideal conditions for seeing topwater action — there was little topwater action to be seen; this is in stark contrast with Lake Belton which was buzzing with topwater action all week this week for well into the mid-morning hours.  This has been a real departure from the norm on Stillhouse this season.

TALLY: 50 fish caught and released

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:45a

End Time: 10:00a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:   75F

Elevation:  0.42 feet low with a 24-hour fall of 0.2 feet on a flow of 1 cfs

Water Surface Temp:    87.5F

Wind Speed & Direction: S2-3 at trip’s start, increasing suddenly to S7 around 9:15

Sky Conditions:  100% grey skies all morning with “squinting brightness”

GT = 0

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:     

 

 AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 420 – sunfish

**Area west fork of SH0127C – sunfish

**Area 716 to SH0033C – downrigging for white bass

**Area 1572 – sunfish

 

Bob Maindelle

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

ELIZABETH FISHER – AN AMERICAN HERITAGE GIRL — 80 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:     This morning, Friday, August 23rd, I conducted the 2019 season’s 19th SKIFF trip as I welcomed aboard Elizabeth Fisher of Killeen.  Elizabeth is involved with a scouting organization called American Heritage Girls.  Her parents approached me about helping her fulfill the requirements for her merit badge in fishing, and I agreed.  Elizabeth’s father, Dale, is a disabled veteran who served 6 years in the U.S. Army’s Field Artillery branch working on 155-millimeter howitzers and 8-inch guns.  Elizabeth is home-schooled by her mom, Becky Fisher, and is 12 years old.

This fishing trip was provided to this military family at no charge.  S.K.I.F.F. stands for Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun.  This program began in May of 2009.  It is funded by the donations and fundraising efforts of the Austin Fly Fishers and other organizations they have partnered with.  S.K.I.F.F. provides the children of military personnel separated from their families due to duty commitments with the opportunity to go fishing.  In mid-2019, SKIFF also began providing trips to dependents whose parents’ have military-related disabilities.  I coordinate and conduct these 3.5 to 4 hour adventures on Belton Lake and Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir, just outside the gates of Fort Hood in Bell County, TX, year ’round.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:   Elizabeth Fisher with a Lake Belton blue catfish — one of two in a row that hit our downrigged baits moving at 2.6 mph and which were suspended right along with schooled white bass about 23′ below the surface.

PHOTO CAPTION:  Elizabeth Fisher with a pair of white bass we landed on silver spoons — the white bass was one of eight different species of fish she landed this morning.

 WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  Multi-species

WHERE WE FISHED:  Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED:  23 August 2019, AM

HOW WE FISHED: I prepared for this trip by reading, numerous times, through the requirements Elizabeth had to meet to obtain her merit badge.  Among others, these included:

  1. Learning how to use a flyrod.
  2. Explaining the necessary equipment aboard the boat.
  3. Catching fish by still-fishing, trolling, and spin-casting.
  4. Conducting a full, guided trip for Elizabeth.

We began our morning casting spinning gear equipped with small, shad-imitating spoons up shallow to white bass gorging themselves on shad during both the low-light time around sunrise, and then beyond that.  Thankfully, some grey cloud cover dimmed down the direct sun’s light and allowed us an extended time catching these fish.

Once this action died, we moved on to downrigging and landed singles, doubles, and triples of white bass, as well as two blue catfish on the downriggers set at 23 feet fished over a deeper bottom for suspended fish feeding upwards on bait.

We closed out the trip fishing up shallow in quiet, protected waters for sunfish using bait under a float.

Over the course of this trip, Elizabeth managed to land  several dozen white bass, a smallmouth bass, 2 blue catfish, bluegill sunfish, green sunfish, longear sunfish, longear/green sunfish hybrids, and spottail shiners — 8 species for a young lady who had never stepped foot on a boat before, and who was very new to casting with spinning gear.

TALLY:  80 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Five consecutive days of continuous topwater action beginning at first light and extending to at least 8:30+ continued today.

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:   6:35am

End Time: 10:35am

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 75F

Elevation:  0.29 low, 0.04′ 24-hour fall, 34 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:   85.0F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSE 9 until 8:30am, then easing back to S4 for the rest of the trip

Sky Conditions: 30% grey cloud coverage in the eastern sky which hindered a sudden sunrise brightening of the skies, then about 30% white clouds on a blue sky thereafter.

GT =  0

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:     

 

 AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1646 to the bank – low-light and post-sunrise topwater white bass

**Area 365 – center of mass of successful downrigging circuit

**Area B0169C – late morning sunfishing

 

Bob Maindelle

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

PEACE FOR MOM, PESCADO FOR DRAKE – 73 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:     This morning, Thursday, August 22nd, I fished with 12-year-old Drake Adams of Killeen, TX, on the 2019 season’s 18th SKIFF trip.  Drake was accompanied by his mom, Tina Rodriguez, who is a veteran.  Drake’s dad, U.S. Army Sergeant First Class (E-7) Richard Rodriguez is currently assigned to South Korea.  He is an Apache helicopter mechanic with 18 years in the military.

This fishing trip was provided to this military family at no charge.  S.K.I.F.F. stands for Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun.  This program began in May of 2009.  It is funded by the donations and fundraising efforts of the Austin Fly Fishers and other organizations they have partnered with.  S.K.I.F.F. provides the children of military personnel separated from their families due to duty commitments with the opportunity to go fishing.  In mid-2019, SKIFF also began providing trips to dependents whose parents’ military-related disabilities prevent them from taking their own children fishing.  I coordinate and conduct these 3.5 to 4 hour adventures on Belton Lake and Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir, just outside the gates of Fort Hood in Bell County, TX, year ’round.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:   Drake Adams, accompanied by his mom, Tina Rodriguez, landed 73 fish on Lake Belton this morning during the 2019 season’s 18th SKIFF trip provided free of charge to military kids separated from their parents due to their parents’ military duty.

 WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  White bass

WHERE WE FISHED:  Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED:  22 August 2019, AM

HOW WE FISHED: I knew going into this trip from my prior phone conversation with Drake’s mom, that he was a very capable angler, having pursued multiple warm-water species successfully both with his grandfather back in South Carolina, and on his own.  So, I planned a full morning in which I could show Drake a number of the tactics useful for consistently boating fish in a Texas summer.  During our time on the water we sight-cast to white bass using spoons, we downrigged with 3-armed umbrella rigs, we fished vertically with slabs, aided by Garmin LiveScope technology, and we cast and retrieved bladebaits horizontally in a lift-drop fashion.  Every one of these tactics produced fish today, with sight-casting the most effective when fish showed on top in the first two hours, and downrigging most effective when the fish went deeper in the last 2 hours.  Along the way I tried to explain why we did what we did, and introduce Drake to much of the electronic technology I’ve come to rely upon.

Drake’s mom, Tina, who sat quietly by observing and taking photos told me at the end of the trip that this was the best day she’d experienced in this central Texas area since arriving in November of last year.  She said, “This was the nicest, greatest, most peaceful day I’ve had here.”  She was very complimentary of the SKIFF program and the “behind the scenes” people at AFF and elsewhere who come together to make this happen.

TALLY:  73 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Four consecutive days of continuous topwater action beginning at first light and extending to at least 8:30+ continued today.

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:   6:15am

End Time: 10:35am

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 75F

Elevation:  0.25 low, 0.04′ 24-hour fall, 34 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:   85.0F

Wind Speed & Direction:  S4-8 the entire trip

Sky Conditions: 10% clouds forming after 8 AM

GT =  0

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:     

 

 AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1418 to the bank – low light topwater white bass

**Area 1646 to the bank – post-sunrise topwater white bass

**Area  B0128C – center of mass of successful downrigging circuit (with some blade work and vertical work thrown in)

**Area 1947 – downrigging as the morning bite was winding down from 9:50 to 10:30

 

Bob Maindelle

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

FIRST FISH, FIRST BOATRIDE — 40 FISH WITH THE AGLEES FROM TOGO

WHO I FISHED WITH:     This morning, Wednesday, August 21st, I conducted the 2019 season’s 17th S.K.I.F.F. program trip.  Joining me was Mr. Kossivi Aglee, his 5-year-old daughter, Haniel, and Haniel’s little 11-month-old sister, Nancy, came along for the ride, as well.

Haniel’s mom, U.S. Army Specialist (E4) Abra Alokpa is currently on a rotation to South Korea where she serves in a supply unit.  These rotations typically last about 9 months.  Kossivi and Abra are originally from Togo, Africa.  Abra became a U.S. citizen back in 2015 and enlisted in the military.  Kossivi is a student, studying welding at Central Texas College in Killeen.  He will take his citizenship exam in March 2020.

This fishing trip was provided to this military family at no charge.  S.K.I.F.F. stands for Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun.  This program began in May of 2009.  It is funded by the donations and fundraising efforts of the Austin Fly Fishers and other organizations they have partnered with.  S.K.I.F.F. provides the children of military personnel separated from their families due to duty commitments with the opportunity to go fishing.  In mid-2019, SKIFF also began providing trips to dependents whose parents’ military-related disabilities prevent them from taking their own children fishing.  I coordinate and conduct these 3.5 to 4 hour adventures on Belton Lake and Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir, just outside the gates of Fort Hood in Bell County, TX, year ’round.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left:   Kossivi Aglee, his 11-month-old daughter, Nancy, and our angler-of-the-day, Haniel Aglee, with a beautifully colored adult bluegill sunfish.

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left:   Kossivi, Nancy, and Haniel with our largest fish of the trip —  some cooperative white bass which fell for our downrigged presentations out in open water with downrigger balls set at 23 feet.

 WHAT WE FISHED FOR: Sunfish & white bass

WHERE WE FISHED:  Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED:  21 August 2019, AM

HOW WE FISHED:   With a 5-year-old guest who had never been on a boat and who had never caught a fish before, I chose to keep it very simple this morning.  We fished in shallow water with bait and slipfloats for sunfish for a mess of smaller fish (35, including bluegill, longear, and redear sunfish, a largemouth bass, and a smallmouth bass).  When the heat cranked up and the interest level declined, we had snacks and went downrigging, landing our final five fish of the trip — all white bass taken on 3-armed umbrella rigs with balls set at 23′ over a deeper bottom and using Pet Spoons on the umbrella rigs.

TALLY:  40 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Here was the temperature profile I measured:

0 feet 86.5

5 feet  87.5

10 feet 87.8

15 feet 87.8

20 feet 87.8

25 feet 87.8

30 feet 87.8

35 feet 87.2

40 feet 84.8

45 feet 81.9

50 feet 79.6

55 feet 77.4

60 feet 75.3

65 feet 73.1

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:   6:50am

End Time: 10:30am

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 78F

Elevation:  0.31 low, 0.01′ 24-hour fall, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:   85.9F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSW3-4 the entire trip

Sky Conditions: Cloudless, unhazed blue sky.

GT =  0

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:     

 

 AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 422  – sunfish (2 hops)

**Area  SH0127c- sunfish

**Area 716  – center of mass for downrigging at late morning for 5 white bass at 23′ over a deeper bottom

 

Bob Maindelle

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

Most-Persistent, Most-Improved, and The Closer — 102 Fish

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Tuesday, August 20th, I was joined by Mr. Anthony Vaughters of Killeen, TX, who aided me in providing the 16th S.K.I.F.F. fishing trip of the 2019 season.  Anthony was a great help, as I should have known he would be — he operates Kids X-Pressions Childcare Learning Center in Killeen and works with kids of all ages every day.

The kids aboard today were 17-year-old Dasani Vaughters and her younger brother, 9-year-old AJ Vaughters.  The siblings’ mom, U.S. Army Master Sergeant Yolanda Vaughters is currently assigned to Fort Lee, Virginia, where she works in transportation.  MSG Vaughters will be retiring soon, after 21 years of service, and will join her family back in the Fort Hood area.

Additionally, through a friendship made at church, Anthony Vaughters also brought along 17-year-old Edward Reynolds III (nicknamed Tre).  According to the account provided by the Military Times, SSG Edward C. Reynolds Jr., age 27, of Groves, Texas was assigned to 1st Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas during Operation Iraqi Freedom.  He died on Sept. 26, 2006, of injuries sustained when his M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle rolled over while maneuvering in Baghdad.

AJ is headed into the 4th grade and is looking forward to basketball season; we nicknamed him “The Closer” as he landed the 100th fish we were all gunning for. Dasani is headed into her senior year of high school and is looking forward to academics and volleyball as she prepares for college after graduation; we nicknamed her “Most Persistent” because her technique was spot-on the entire time and she just kept casting like a machine; and Tre has his sights set on the U.S. Air Force after his senior year this year; we nicknamed him “Most-Improved”, because he went from a casting zero to a casting hero in about 3 hours’ time.

This fishing trip was provided to these military families at no charge.  S.K.I.F.F. stands for Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun.  This program began in May of 2009.  It is funded by the donations and fundraising efforts of the Austin Fly Fishers and other organizations they have partnered with.  S.K.I.F.F. provides the children of military personnel separated from their families due to duty commitments with the opportunity to go fishing.  In mid-2019, SKIFF also began providing trips to dependents whose parents’ military-related disabilities prevent them from taking their own children fishing.  I coordinate and conduct these 3.5 to 4 hour adventures on Belton Lake and Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir, just outside the gates of Fort Hood in Bell County, TX, year ’round.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left: 17-year-old Edward Reynolds III (Tre), 17-year-old Dasani Vaughters, and 9-year-old AJ Vaughters.

 WHAT WE FISHED FOR: White bass

WHERE WE FISHED:  Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED:  20 August 2019, AM

HOW WE FISHED:  In my report from yesterday I noted a definite change in fish behavior.  This morning, there was yet another.  There was a lack of aggressive topwater action during the low-light period, but action built and maintained well through around 9:30, and fish stayed active, although no longer near the surface through our wrap-up time around 10:15.  We caught fish using only two methods today … we either saw the fish on top and sight-cast to them, or ran downrigger around the vicinity where topwater action was previously taking place.

During the trip, all three kids became proficient casters with spinning gear, as the cooperative fish allowed for lots of practice today.

Once again, young of the year shad were the focus of these feeding binges, but, from time to time I saw larger white bass chasing shad up to 3″ in length for the first time since May.

The horizontally worked Pet Spoon was the go-to bait for both approaches.  We observed others stuck on vertical tactics catch little to nothing.

TALLY:  102 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:    1) A weak low-light bite was followed by a second day of strong surface or near-surface action during the hours after sunrise, through around 9:30am.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:   6:35a

End Time: 10:30a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 78F

Elevation:  0.16 low, 0.03′ 24-hour fall, 34 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:   84.9

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSE6-7 the entire trip

Sky Conditions:  High white haze over a blue sky just thick enough to cut some of the sun’s heat

GT =  0

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:     

 

 AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 813 to 793 – downrigged this circuit for 17 fish during low-light when topwater fish were a no-show

**Area 1778 – consistent surface or near-surface action by white bass

**Area 1920 to 507 – consistent surface or near-surface action by white bass

 

Bob Maindelle

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

YOUR MONDAY MORNING PRESCRIPTION IS READY – 178 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Monday, August 19th, I fished with Mr. David Ross, Mr. Allen Sandor, and Mr. Dustin Deorsam on Lake Belton in pursuit of white bass.  Allen operates Sandor Construction LLC, Dustin works for Allen as his superintendent, and David is a pharmacist who just passed his 4-year mark with HEB.  Both Allen and David have fished with me previously, but in different seasons, so, they got to enjoy a very different sort of fishing this morning.

By the time all was said and done, the three agreed that this was the way Monday mornings should be!  The trio landed 178 fish on an exceptional outing.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left:  Dustin Deorsam, Allen Sandor, and Dave Ross with a sampling of the 178 fish they landed this morning.  Our catch included 174 white bass, 1 hybrid striped bass, and 3 largemouth bass.

 WHAT WE FISHED FOR: White bass the entire trip

WHERE WE FISHED:  Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED:  19 August 2019, AM

HOW WE FISHED:   This morning was exceptional.  Despite having no appreciable change in the weather, other than the moon starting to wane from full, the white bass fed well at or near the surface today in quite a number of areas, and well beyond the low-light period which has been ending around 7:20-7:30. That post-lowlight feed went until ~9:30am.

We did catch the low-light bite, but then enjoyed additional, similar action by casting shad-imitating spoons to fish gorging themselves on young of the year shad.  A number of white bass we hooked regurgitated 10+ small shad, all freshly swallowed and undigested.

By around 9:30am, this fast-paced fishing settled down, and we closed out the trip with a final hour-plus of productive downrigging with balls suspended at 18-21′ over a deeper bottom, and using the same spoons on the ‘riggers that worked so well on the surface.

TALLY:  178 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  1) Exceptional, long-lived white bass topwater action today, 2) The majority of the bait was saw fleeing and being regurgitated was under 1.25 inches. 3) James C. reported similar activity in a segment of the lake we did not fish.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:   6:30a

End Time: 10:45a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 78F

Elevation:  0.13 low, 0.05′ 24-hour fall, 34 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:   84.8

Wind Speed & Direction:  S6 at sunrise, slowly ramping up to S12 by trip’s end

Sky Conditions:  High white haze over a blue sky just thick enough to cut some of the sun’s heat, with some welcome larger white clouds covering the sun from 8:30 to 9:30, then dispersing.

GT =  140

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:     

 

 AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 013 to 1656 – 14 fish on topwater then another 3 fish on downriggers during the low-light blitz here.

**Area B0167C (all the way around the perimeter) – 133 fish

**Area vic 507 – sight casting to whites trapping shad against the bank

**Area vic437 – downrigging

 

Bob Maindelle

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

FREE S.K.I.F.F. FISHING TRIP FOR THE EGGERTS & GIBSONS

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Saturday, August 17th, I conducted the season’s 15th S.K.I.F.F. trip, welcoming aboard kids from two families: 8-year-old Luke Eggert of Killeen, 8-year-old Riley Gibson of Harker Heights, and Riley’s 10-year-old brother, Vince Gibson.

Luke’s dad, U.S. Army Sergeant First Class (E-7) Lucas Eggert, has served for 20 years on active duty and is currently assigned as the Military Science 3 Instructor at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.  For the sake of stability, SFC Eggert’s family lives apart from him near Fort Hood where he heads home on a roughly every-other-weekend basis.  Luke’s mom, Kyong, coordinated this trip for Luke.

The Gibson’s father, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant (E-6) Alan Gibson, has served for 12 years and is currently serving as a scout in a Ft. Hood cavalry unit.  SSG Gibson recently received orders sending him to Afghanistan.  With a younger, 5-year-old sister at home, mom and I thought it best to have her older two kids join me today, and then provide Hazel with a trip of her own, possibly including another youngster her age.  We set that trip date for Wednesday evening, September 11th.

This fishing trip was provided to these military families at no charge.  S.K.I.F.F. stands for Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun.  This program began in May of 2009.  It is funded by the donations and fundraising efforts of the Austin Fly Fishers and other organizations they have partnered with.  S.K.I.F.F. provides the children of military personnel separated from their families due to duty commitments with the opportunity to go fishing.  In mid-2019, SKIFF also began providing trips to dependents whose parents’ military-related disabilities prevent them from taking their own children fishing.  I coordinate and conduct these 3.5 to 4 hour adventures on Belton Lake and Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir, just outside the gates of Fort Hood in Bell County, TX, year ’round.

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left: Luke Eggert (age 8), Riley Gibson (age 8), and Vince Gibson (age 10), each with one of the six fish we landed via early morning downrigging on Stillhouse Hollow during this mid-August SKIFF program fishing trip.

 WHAT WE FISHED FOR: White bass early, then sunfish thereafter

WHERE WE FISHED:  Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED:  17 August 2019, AM

HOW WE FISHED:    We targeted small “wolfpacks” of suspended white bass in open water during our first hour on the water using a combination of #12 and #13 Pet Spoons on 2- and 3-armed rigs fished at 21′ over a deeper bottom.  I had the kids take turns on the downriggers in age order so everyone got to experience catching the same number of these larger fish before we went up shallow after sunfish.  Everyone landed 2 “big fish”, including 5 white bass and 1 largemouth bass, before the novelty of that approach wore off and it was time to move on.

We then headed up shallow to fish in cover for sunfish.  The kids put an additional 39 fish in the boat, including bluegill, green, and longear sunfish.

TALLY:  45 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:    Stillhouse continued, atypically, to display zero topwater action by gamefish this morning.  This trend has been noticed not just by me, but a number of the regular participants in the 3X9 Series bass tournament series, as I’ve spoken with them in phone interviews for my weekly report on that series for the Killeen Daily Herald.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:   6:40a

End Time: 10:15a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 78F

Elevation:  0.25 low, 0.02′ 24-hour fall, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:   88.4

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSW6-8 the entire trip

Sky Conditions:  High white haze over a blue sky just thick enough to cut some of the sun’s heat

GT =  0

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:     

 

 AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic SH0080C – downrigging at 21′ over a deeper bottom for 5 white bass and 1 largemouth using #12 Pet Spoons on one ‘rigger and #13 Pet Spoons on the other

**Areas SH0121C & SH0126C – sunfish

 

Bob Maindelle

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

8-YEAR-OLD ISAAC MARTINEZ LANDS HIS FIRST FISH – 28 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:    This morning, Friday, 16 August, I fished with 8-year-old Isaac Martinez of Fort Hood.  Isaac will be heading into the 3rd grade at a charter school in the Belton Independent School District this coming school year.  His dad, U.S. Army Sergeant (E-5) Gerardo Martinez, is a generator mechanic currently on a rotation to South Korea in support of the field artillery unit he is assigned to SGT Martinez has been in the Army for 10 years.  The Martinez family just returned stateside from a longer assignment to South Korea in which SGT Martinez was able to be accompanied by his family.  Isaac’s mom, Sarah, also has a 1 1/2 year old son, Nicholas, to care for, so, she entrusted Isaac to my care this morning.

This fishing trip was provided to this military family at no charge.  S.K.I.F.F. stands for Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun.  This program began in May of 2009.  It is funded by the donations and fundraising efforts of the Austin Fly Fishers and other organizations they have partnered with.  S.K.I.F.F. provides the children of military personnel separated from their families due to duty commitments with the opportunity to go fishing.  In mid-2019, SKIFF also began providing trips to dependents whose parents’ military-related disabilities prevent them from taking their own children fishing.  I coordinate and conduct these 3.5 to 4 hour adventures on Belton Lake and Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir, just outside the gates of Fort Hood in Bell County, TX, year ’round.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  This white bass from Stillhouse Hollow was the first fish of Isaac’s life.  He caught it using a shad-imitating spoon on a downrigger and earned a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department “First Fish Award” for his efforts.  Way to go, Isaac!!

 WHAT WE FISHED FOR: Multi-species

WHERE WE FISHED:  Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: 16 August 2019, PM

HOW WE FISHED:  Since Isaac had never been on a boat before, nor had he ever caught a fish before, we spent only a short time in pursuit of larger fish, then switched over to fishing for higher numbers of smaller fish to ensure the action level stayed high.  During our short stint of downrigging, we landed one nice white bass of about 13.5 inches (thus earning Isaac his TPWD First Fish Award), and a 15″ channel catfish.  Afterwards, we headed up shallow and fished two separate areas for sunfish, landing 26, including bluegill and longears.  These sunfish were taken on bream poles.

TALLY:  28 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:   6:30am

End Time:  10:00am

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  77F

Elevation:  0.22 low, 0.01′ 24-hour fall, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:    87.7F

Wind Speed & Direction:  S3-4 the entire trip

Sky Conditions:  High white haze over a blue sky just thick enough to cut some of the sun’s heat

GT =  0

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:     

 

 AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area Vic 1128 –  1 white bass, 1 channel cat via downrigging

**Area SH0125C – sunfish

**Area 515  – sunfish

 

Bob Maindelle

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

JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED — 58 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:     On Wednesday morning, August 14th, I fished with first-time clients Dr. Mike Reis and his wife, Barbara, of Belton, TX.  Mike is a family medicine doctor, and Barbara just retired from being a mom, only to take on a full-time job of being a grandma, with at least 3 new “clients” on the way from their two sons, one daughter, and their respective spouses!

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  Barbara Reis took this nice Lake Belton hybrid striped bass on a tailspinner fished vertically in an area loaded with bait and with white bass present, as well.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  Once again this morning the topwater blitz remained reliable, albeit short-lived.  About 35 minutes is all these fish will stay at the surface given the cloudless conditions we’ve had most morning for the past 3 weeks.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: White bass the entire trip, with an “intro” to both jugfishing and sunfishing (both to be shared with grandkids) mixed in

WHERE WE FISHED:  Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED:  14 August 2019, AM

HOW WE FISHED:    This morning began like most morning under these last 3 weeks of stable weather, but the mid- to late-morning fishing was definitely enhanced by the wrinkle in the weather today triggered by an incoming, mild cold front.  The topwater blitz that has routinely taken place occurred again this morning, but afterwards we enjoyed some pre-frontal fish feeding activity, most of which was subsurface but aggressive.

We were able to locate active white bass the entire morning which responded best to downrigging, but also took horizontally retrieved bladebaits and vertically worked tailspinners.  These fish were very actively moving, hence, Spot-Locking over top of them did not really work very well as they just would not stay put.  The ability to see fish on side imaging, mark them, then downrig over them quickly on a subsequent pass put a lot of fish in the boat this morning in the form of both singles and doubles.

While we downrigged, we also kept an eye on 20 juglines we quickly set out, all baited with shad.  We got 8 pulldowns on 20 jugs in 2.25 hours, which resulted in 2 landed blue catfish (a lot of gar in the area told me we’d have a lot of “false alarms”, as well).

To close out the trip, and because Mike requested that I show him some options for fishing from his own boat which is not trolling-motor equipped (and because he and Barbara will be doing a lot of fishing with a lot of grandkids before long), I did a “demo” on shallow water sunfishing, providing them with some tips on rigging and bait selection which will help them help others be successful.

TALLY:  58 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: 1) We had a wrinkle in the weather today as a mild cold front hit at precisely 9:10am.  This allowed for an average topwater feed at low light, but, thanks to prefrontal activity and some cloud cover, there was a solid white bass bite beyond the topwater blitz this morning.  2) The slight change in the behavior of the topwater feeding fish I noted Monday and Tuesday mornings repeated itself again this morning.  Instead of moving parallel to the shore during their feed, the fish moved perpendicular to the shoreline from shallow to deep, finally leaving the surface while over ~40 feet of water.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:   6:30a

End Time: 10:45a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 78F

Elevation:  0.05 high, 0.03′ 24-hour fall, 34 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:   85.2

Wind Speed & Direction:  Prefrontal winds were light and variable generally from the south, then winds went NNW6-7 at 9:10 as the mild cold front hit

Sky Conditions:  High white haze over a blue sky just thick enough to cut some of the sun’s heat through 8:20, then increasing grey cloud cover up to 50% built in.

GT =  55

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:     NOAA nailed it today.  The forecast windshift of the incoming cold front was literally within minutes of the forecast shown on the day’s weather graph…

 

 AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  1792 to 1804 for early morning topwater action with little post-topwater downrigging action today

**Area 788-172  for successful mid- to late-morning successful downrigging action with less successful blade bait and tailspinner attempts thrown in

**From Area  B0085C to to the small cove  – jugfishing for 2 bluecat and a lot of false alarms due to gar

**Area B0168C – sunfish intro for a half-dozen fish

 

 

Bob Maindelle

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

INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW!! — 24 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:     On Tuesday morning, August 13th, I fished with returning guest Mr. Kelvin Gladden Sr. and his two sons, Kelvin Jr. and Tevin.  The elder Kelvin is now retired, his son, Kelvin, works locally for Walmart, and Tevin is in graduate school pursuing a Masters of Business Administration degree up in Alaska.

Kelvin’s last trip out with me saw him, Kelvin Jr., and two neighbors land 220 fish in the more fishing-friendly month of March (2018).  I was very upfront with Kelvin as he called to book this August trip that the fishing is pretty tough — and it was.  More important to him, though, was the chance to spend time with his sons while they were both in town.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left:  Kelvin Jr., Kelvin Sr., and Tevin Gladden, with a few of the beefy white bass we took during a brief morning topwater spree on Lake Belton via sight-casting.

PHOTO CAPTION: Tevin landed this just-legal hybrid striper on topwater as it mixed in with its white bass cousins.  We landed 3 other hybrid during this morning’s topwater binge, but, they were all around 14 inches.

 

 WHAT WE FISHED FOR: White bass early, then jug fishing for bluecat thereafter

WHERE WE FISHED:  Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED:  13 August 2019, AM

HOW WE FISHED:    Fishing was August-tough already, made even tougher by a light wind situation this morning.  After a short topwater feed, things got very quiet.  We managed a few more white bass after the topwater blitz ended by using downriggers, then headed to shallower waters to give jugfishing a try.  We only landed 2 on cutbait this morning, but the most excitement was caused by the “two that got away”.  In both instances, we had free-floating juglines set out in the light winds.  Over the course of the set, we had approximately 8 tip up.  Two of these began to obviously cruise at a steady clip upwind, leaving no doubt there were fish attached.  As we approached the first “cruiser”, the fish spooked, thus pulling the jug so far under that we couldn’t grasp the line.  This happened 3 or 4 more times before we finally secured the line.  Kelvin Sr. was the “jug man” and tussled with the fish at boatside.  It was about a 3-foot longnose gar.  As sometimes happens with gar, this one had the hook in its bony snout and, without much “meat” for the hook to grab into, the hook pulled out as Kelvin tried to lift it aboard.  The second scenario involved an even larger fish which moved the jug about a quarter-mile upwind before we spotted it (as it had broken away from the rest of the flotilla of jugs).  On a number of occasions the fish plunged the jug well beneath the surface an kept it there for long whiles.  Eventually we got the gaff around the line only to have this fish, which was over 4′ long, get off, as well.  Because we couldn’t spot this jug for quite some time, I asked if we needed to consider abandoning the jug, thinking perhaps a yellow cat had tangled it in a subsurface snag.  Kelvin Sr. tactfully stated, “Well, Bob, you know inquiring minds want to know.”   I knew he wanted a look at whatever was big enough to pull that jug under, so we persisted and were at least treated to a glimpse of the mystery fish.

TALLY:  24 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  The slight change in the behavior of the topwater feeding fish I noted yesterday morning repeated itself again this morning.  Instead of moving parallel to the shore during their feed, the fish moved perpendicular to the shoreline from shallow to deep, finally leaving the surface while over ~40 feet of water.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:   6:30a

End Time: 11:00a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 78F

Elevation:  0.08 high, 0.02′ 24-hour fall, 69 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:   85.2

Wind Speed & Direction:  S3-4 the entire trip

Sky Conditions:  High white haze over a blue sky just thick enough to cut some of the sun’s heat

GT =  0

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:     

 

 AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  018 to B0165C to 793 – topwater white bass under low light conditions

**Area  1791 to B0153C for post-topwater downrigged white bass

**Area  B0110C to 031 – jugfishing for 2 bluecat and 2 missed longnose gar

 

 

Bob Maindelle

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