He Must Be Living Right! — 65 Fish — Belton Lake Report by Austin Fishing Guide Bob Maindelle

This morning I had the pleasure of fishing one-on-one with Steven D., originally of Ennis, TX, now making a new life with his young wife, Anne, in Belton, TX.

Steven holds one of 28 hybrid we landed today. This one came on a Kastmaster thrown long and fished shallow.

Steven turned the camera on me and clicked this this shot of one of the hybrid we got long-casting Kastmasters today.

Steven is a graduate of East Texas Baptist University where he earned his BA in. He is now both working and pursuing his Masters of Divinity through Truett Seminary at Baylor in Waco. Anne is a new public school teacher in Killeen. Prior to our trip this morning Steven had primarily fished for largemouth bass in farm ponds and other warmwater species in a few tributaries to the Trinity River up near Dallas.

As we got underway and awaited sunrise, we looked for some early morning near-surface action tipped off by birds, but found little that way.

We initially contacted fish shortly after sunrise at Area 211 in 17-22 feet, boating 18 white bass here. We used TNT180 slabs in 3/4 oz. in both silver and white. The fish were willing to hit if you put the slab near them, but not willing to move very far or very fast to pursue distant presentations. I controlled the boat very methodically so our presentations were truly vertical with no horizontal component at all.

From Area 211, we made our way over to Area 998 and fishing in 27-30 feet of water, again with slabs. Here, we initially found whites on the bottom, but, as we began pulling them in, some curious hybrid came in to inspect the commotion. These were located much higher in the water column, thus, we had to use sonar to get our presentations up to their level as they came riding in high. We boated 15 white bass and 2 keeper hybrid here before moving on. Most notable of these 17 fish was one really large white bass that Steven boated. It measured exactly 14 3/8 inches. If you fish Belton for white bass very much, you’ll appreciate that that is a quality fish for Belton Lake. I boat literally thousands of white bass from Belton and Stillhouse each year and can typically count on one hand the number of white bass coming out of Belton annually that reach this size. Nice fish!

As the bite tapered off, we cruised and observed. We spotted some near-surface action (BA:50T,2RBG) beginning off of Area 134. These fish consisted of a mixed bag of very aggressively feeding white bass and hybrid stripers pursuing threadfin shad approximately 2″ long. I first began trolling with an umbrella rig to figure out what we were dealing with. This landed us 2 hybrid and a nice white bass right away. As we trolled, I saw where the fish were orienting, and thought we could be more efficient by casting. Long story short, these fish pushed this bait from Area 134, clear across the lake to near Area 359, then back west toward the middle of the lake, then back south, with the action terminating near Area 099. All in all these fish covered over a mile in about 1 hour and 15 minutes, staying in the top 12 feet of the water column and regularly boiling at the surface thus giving their location away. We used 1 oz. Kastmaster spoons on long spinning rods to launch these baits well away from the boat as fish in this kind of situation can be very boat shy. Over the time this feeding spree lasted, we boated exactly 30 additional fish, including 26 hybrid ranging from 16 to 22 inches, and 4 white bass. One of these white bass Steven caught also went 14 3/8 inches, with even more girth than the other big white we boated at Area 998! Another nice fish!

TALLY = 65 FISH, all caught and released

If you’d like to book a trip, please just give me a call at 254-368-7411. If you like to “shop” a little first, please look over my website at www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com .

Start Time: 7:15a

End Time: 1:30p

Air Temp: 32F at trip’s start.

Water Surface Temp: 52.3.0F.

Wind: Winds were WNW11 at sunrise.

Skies: Skies were clear.

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