Fished a half-day morning trip today. This was classic late-winter fishing. The fish fed best early and with the start of a steady wind and were done by around 10:30 as skies got bright. This was the first day of moderate winds from the S. following the arrival of a cool, windy front 2 days ago which dropped overnight temps to 29 F the night after its passage, and down to 42 overnight.
BIGGEST FISH FROM TODAY’S TRIP, 3.75 LBS, TNT 180 3/8 oz. SLAB
Start Time: 6:40a
End Time: 11:25a
Air Temp: 42F at trip’s start. Temps peaked in the high 70’s in the afternoon .
Water Surface Temp: ~55.4 to 56.6F
Wind: Winds were from the S at ~13-15 beginning around 9:30a
I began the day fairly shallow in 9-13 feet of water at Area 93 hoping the fish I found here last week would still be there despite the change of weather over the weekend. At this point, the winds were light and variable, with light puffs from the NE. As I began probing with a blade bait, I discovered there were fish here, but they were very sluggish. I caught 1 white bass pre-dawn, and had 3 others follow up to the boat. Following sunrise, there was a brief lull, then I managed 2 more fish vertical jigging a blade bait after they hit and missed the bait very near to the boat on a slow lift-drop style retrieve. The fish were actively striking at, but missing, the vertically jigged blade bait, so, I switched over to a 3/8 oz. TNT 180 slab . I continued probing around, finding fish with the blade bait, and then catching them with a jigging spoon. At one spot less than 4 feet in diameter, I put 5 whites in the boat in 5 consecutive drops, and finished it off with a small crappie from that same area. As the skies brightened, these fish got tougher until I decided to head to deeper water.
I headed to Area 55 after seeing some birds patrolling this general area, and after seeing one tern act very hesitant to give up its location on the water’s surface. Sonar revealed suspended white bass hanging off the leeward side of a breakline going from 22′ to 33′. I went back to the 3/8 oz. TNT 180 and began to smoke for these suspended fish at a brisk pace on the retrieve. This fishing was very steady until the S. wind began to blow, and then it just took off. The fish came windward up onto the top edge of the breakline and were oriented on bottom in 21-24′ with many suspending as shallow as 11 feet deep. These suspended fish were particularly aggressive and chased and caught a quickly smoked slab. The bottom oriented fish tended to be, on average, about 1 inch larger, but were also less active, often striking only at a deadstick slab. Around 10a, the bite began to slow down, with the suspenders becoming less aggressive, and then not appearing on sonar at all. By 10:30 the bite here was over. In all, I managed 62 fish at this locale spread between Area 55 and Area 375. The catch included 59 white bass and largemouth – 2 short, and one going 3.75 pounds – the largest fish of the trip. Concerning the white bass, only 1 of the whites caught today was short, with a very strong showing in the 10.25 to 11.00 inch range. Only one white went 14 inches.
After the deepwater bite shut down, I tried flatline trolling in the windblown straits of Area 374 with only one short largemouth to show for it.
I also tried flatline trolling the “circuit” from Area 114 through Area 336 to Area 319 without result. I wrapped it up at 11:25.
TALLY = 72 FISH, all caught and released
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