Gale Force Fishing — 31 Fish, Belton Lake Fishing Guide Report, 28 April 2012

This morning I fished with returning guests Mike B. from the DFW area, his 12 year old daughter, Bailey, and his 9 year old son, Blaine. Mike was just along for the ride and let the kids do all the fishing today.

This 4.25 pound, 22 inch hybrid just about wore Bailey out. Her reeling hand was red and cramped by the time this rascal came to net.

This hybrid took Blaine’s live shad in 42 feet of water and tipped the scales at 5.25 pounds, measuring 23.25 inches.

The word for the day was WIND in capital letters!! From start to finish today our winds were over 15 mph which hurt us in a few ways. First, it made some good fish-holding areas unfishable due to heavy swells. And, it led to a lot of short strikes as the boat moved both up and down and side to side in the wind, thus taking the bait away from fish as they mouthed our shad, especially when we were dealing with smaller fish (white bass) and/or tentative fish before and after the feeding spike from ~10:30a to ~11:30a.

Nonetheless, we persisted and the kids were troopers to wait out a pretty slow early morning bite to get to the “good stuff” later on. Fortunately, the shad netting went well pre-sunrise this morning and so we could afford to lose all the baits we did to short-striking fish!

We found limited success at Area 1075 early, catching 3 short hybrid there. We moved several times finding a lot of bait but much less in the way of gamefish near that bait. At Area 174/180 we found both bait and gamefish in the lower 1/3 of the water column and picked up 4 more fish here including 1 keeper hybrid, 2 short hybrid, and 1 white bass.

We made our last stop at Area 305/1076 on a gentle break into 42 feet of water. There was abundant bait and gamefish here and no sooner did we get our baits in the water than we had fish pounding them. This went on for nearly 2 hours, however, our strike to catch ratio was very low — probably yielding 1 fish for every 3-4 strikes. This was very much tied to the wind, and, to some extent to the kids’ excitement. The wind caused unavoidable boat movement that essentially jerked baits away from the fish as they began to mouth the baits. The kids occasionally let their technique slip a bit and pulled their rods up high as they took the rods out of the rod holders, thus adding to the situation caused by the wind.

When all was said and done we had boated 31 fish including several keeper hybrid, several blue catfish, a channel catfish, and numerous white bass and short hybrid stripers. Our best two hybrid weighed in at 4.25 pounds and 5.25 pounds.

As they stepped out of the boat Blaine thanked me for helping him catch his big hybrid, and Bailey gave me a farewell hug, then they drove off for a nice lunch over at the Dead Fish Grill overlooking Belton Dam.

TALLY = 31 Fish, all caught and released.

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Start Time: 7:45a

End Time: 12:30p

Air Temp:70F at trip’s start.

Water Surface Temp: 70-71F

Wind: Winds were SSE18-20 for the entire trip.

Skies: Skies were overcast but bright grey.

Environmental Note: Elevation was 594.12 ASL releasing water at 115 cfs, with normal full pool at 594.

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