Fishing Report for Belton Lake by Belton Lake Fishing Guide Bob Maindelle
Fished half day trips today in both the morning and the evening. The morning trip was on Belton Lake, the evening trip was on Stillhouse Hollow. Reports for each trip appear separately in the Fishing Reports Board.
Fished a half day morning trip on Belton Lake with retired first sergeant Mike L. of Killeen. Mike’s interests lie in trying to better understand the use and interpretation of sonar. He owns his own boat with sonar, but knew he was not getting the most out of it by just reading the owner’s manual and doing what it suggested.
We headed to Belton Lake as it is getting to be the time, based on water temperature, that the shad begin to spawn in the shallows, which, in turn brings gamefish up shallow, as well.
At the start of our trip, around 6:30am, the air temperature was 66F and the water surface temp. was a surprisingly cool 64.5F, following a cool snap that came in a week ago. The skies were heavy and grey, with a stiff SSW wind at 16mph building to around 20 mph by trip’s end at 11:30am.
Prior to sunrise, and before the birds lifted from the surface and began to work, we headed to Area 147 and found abundant smallish white bass and identically sized hybrids tight to the bottom and rather inactive on the slope. We began working slabs over these fish, and the activity level increased as the light and bird activity increased. We managed 14 fish here in the first 45 minutes, mainly via a smoking retrieve, but noted no significant bird activity in the area, and so looked around and spotted heavy bird uplake. Fishing with slabs allow Mike to see his presentation directly beneath the boat, and see how the fish responded to various jigging techniques. I showed him how I preferred to adjust the various settings (primarily depth and sensitivity) on my sonar unit, and we got to see plenty of individual fish, schools of fish, structure, and baitfish schools on electronics so he could leave with more confidence in interpreting signals on his own unit.
We next got into and stayed in heavy surface activity from both hybrids and white bass for approximately 3 hours in a stretch from Area 22 to Area 83, and about 300 yards out to the NW of these areas. During this time schooling activity would come and go, but it never completely stopped until about 10:30. Over this time of peak activity, we first cast Zara Spooks and did well on them, and later switched over to Storm Wild Eye Shad as the skies brightened a bit and the fish got shy on the topwater bite. We boated 59 fish here, with about 1/3 of them being legal hybrids, another 1/3 being solid 13-14 inch whites, and the balance made up of smaller whites and hybrids. In this situation, intentionally using large baits kept the smaller fish (which were present) off so that the larger fish could be singled out and caught.
Around the time that this action began to wane, the wind took a noticeable increase up to 20+ and made it more hassle than it was worth to control the boat.
We headed even further uplake and tried Areas 146 and 138 . We found nothing at Area, and managed 3 white bass and a short hybrid at Area 138. By 11:30 the morning feed was over and we packed it in.
TALLY = 77 FISH
Bob Maindelle, Owner Holding The Line Guide Service and Kids Fish, Too! Stillhouse Hollow Fishing Guide, Belton Lake Fishing Guide, Lake Georgetown Fishing Guide, Walter E. Long (Decker) Lake Fishing Guide. Offering Salado Fishing, Killeen Fishing and Ft. Hood Fishing