I fished Belton Lake this morning, once again joined by the crew from Rockpointe Church, including Pastor Shayne O., “Youth Guy” Mario, “Small Groups Guy” Shane M., and Shane’s daughter, Grace.
Pastor Shayne landed our biggest fish of the trip today, an 18+ inch hybrid going right at 3.00 pounds. He’s flanked by (L-R) Shane, Mario, and Grace.
Everyone got to cash in today on mixed-bag, mixed-technique angling. Here the Rockpointe crew displays our best 4 white bass just before releasing them.
The winds were higher than forecast for this morning, in fact, there were already occasional whitecaps before sunrise. I had hoped to get this foursome on a solid topwater bite, but spotting the fish, much less keeping the boat constantly positioned well for four casters was a bit of a challenge. We did spot fish on the surface and we did manage to get everyone hooked up a few times over, but, it just wasn’t what it could have been with lighter winds. Regardless, we boated 13 fish in our first few minutes on the water, and the adrenalin definitely got going as we watched in anticipation of seeing “just one more school” of those fish blitz on the surface. This action cropped up between Areas 133 and 811 and was done by the time the sun peeked over the ridge to the north.
As the fish sounded, they moved out to deeper water and we found them again along the 27-32 foot contour in an area “boxed” by Areas 085, 488, 834, and 812 to the N, S, E, and W, respectively. In this area we found multiple large schools of active, suspended fish consisting of white bass and hybrid stripers. The “drill” was to downrig for these fish (with a pair of tandem Pet/Licker combos) taking what we could of the scattered fish all over this area, and setting up in a hover over top of larger schools as they appeared on sonar to present slabs by way of “smoking”. We caught a mixed bag of whites and short hybrid by both methods and left this action only when the winds got so strong in this exposed area that we could no longer determine if we were getting strikes on our downriggers. By this time the smoking tactic had fallen by the wayside as the schools of fish began to breakup or settle down to the bottom and became too inactive to respond to a smoking technique. As we departed, our tally stood at 31 fish.
We made a move to near Area 832 but, despite plenty of bait in and around the draw here, found only one hybrid, a just-keeper 3 pound fish.
The balance of the trip was spent in a stretch of water between Areas 307 and 214. We found abundant life here in a band from 27 to 33 feet deep over a 35-43 foot bottom. There were schools of shad everywhere, and as we did a combination of downrigging and jigging (right on top of Area 833) we picked up largemouth bass, short hybrids, white bass, drum, and small blue cat. The drum proved particularly suseptible to a hard jigging approach with a slab worked just over their heads. Over approximately 2 hours we sacked up exactly 30 more fish in this area.
Accolades once again go to Pastor Shayne. He earned the “Wanton Waste of Perfectly Good Fishing Equipment Award” today — it was an honest mistake, though. He saw the trolling motor working so hard keeping up with the wind that he felt it needed a mid-morning “snack” of 12 pound monofilament with a extra 3/4 ounce helping of slab thrown in there. He’s now a two-time qualifier for that distinction!
TALLY = 61 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:00a
End Time: 11:45a
Air Temp: 77F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: ~82.1F
Wind: Winds were at S12-13 by sunrise, increasing to and leveling off at S16-17 by 9:30am .
Skies: Skies were fair, dry, and bright with 10% clouds.