You Know You REALLY Trust a Guy When … 84 Fish, Belton Lake Fishing Guide Report, 04 Dec. 2012

This afternoon I fished with long time client Ryan S., an anesthesiologist at Scott & White (more on that later).

As you can (barely!) see, the bite extended right up until dark.

I know people make a lot of jokes about “doctors’ hours” and such, but, every one of the physicians who fish with me from Scott and White don’t have very much down time, and, what down time they get typically has to be planned long in advance of taking it.

With Ryan’s days off limited, we had to “go with what we got” as far as weather was concerned today. The forecast was “iffy” because a mild cold front pushed through beginning around sunrise. It pushed out some moisture ahead of the front, but the front itself came in dry and from the NW beginning around noon when the skies began to clear (wet cold fronts tend to come in from the N or NE).

We linked up at 1:45p and, given the now favorable conditions, we began our search deep and worked slowly shallower and caught fish consistently along the way.

Our first stop was in the deepest water we would fish all day. We found a decent school of white bass on bottom with some short hybrid stripers working over top of them at Area 717 in 45-47 feet of water (although I marked fish as deep as 51 feet as well, just not as many). This was by far our most productive area, giving up 58 fish altogether. We would fish a “patch” of bottom, get the fish teased up really well, catch them in rapid succession, then see them settle down, work for them a while longer, then see them get lethargic, then move a few yards to watch the same process unfold. We did 3 or 4 “hops” like this in the same area and kept on catching for two solid hours. All of this work was done with TNT180s in 3/4 oz. white, although when the fish were in a chasing mood, Ryan scored as many on a BPS Tail Spin.

Around 4:15 we’d scraped all the fish off of Area 717 I felt we could, so we went searching. We didn’t have to search long as we located another nice school of white bass, this time in 35-38 feet of water on Area 297. We got our slabs down, saw the fish get instantly agitated and rise up off the bottom to chase our baits as well as chase after fish we’d hooked, but, after only 12 fish boated, these fish cooled off very quickly and sent us looking once again. It was interesting to note that these less enthusiastic fish really had to be slabbed for. Ryan tried the BPS Tail Spin on these more lethargic fish as I tied on a similar Strike King Sand Blaster, but the fish really would have none of this.

With sunset only 30 minutes away, I looked for some bird activity to develop, but, after watching both with the naked eye and glassing for birds, we saw nothing of interest.

With the light fading fast, I knew we needed to get to some shallow water quickly to gun for fish using the still-illuminated shallows to feed. We rolled the dice and headed for Area 327. The gamble paid off nicely. As we idled in and upslope, we transitioned into 25 feet of water and on into 20 feet of water. In the band, dozens of fish littered the bottom up about 14″ from it and in a definite feeding posture. We got the boat stopped and hovered over these fish as quickly as we could, got our slabs down and used primarily an “easing” tactic with long pauses to tempt these low-light feeders. We added a fast 14 fish to the count here before it got too dark for the fish and they quit altogether. Again, slabs ruled the roost in this application. We did both give a horizontal approach a try (Ryan with a BPS Tail Spin and me with a Reefrunner bladebait), but the fish refused this presentation.

Now, I recently decided to have rotator cuff surgery done on my right shoulder. Naturally, I’d prefer to have a medical team that I know and trust work on me. So, I asked Ryan if he’d consider being the one to “knock me out” and bring me back out of anesthesia. Now, I know your thinking “Oh, that’s what he meant when he titled this blog entry as he did.” Well, actually, that isn’t right. Although I certain do trust Ryan to be my anesthesiologist, that isn’t an indicator that I REALLY trust him. No, sir!

No, that indicator came at the end of the night’s trip when I asked him to back my Ford truck and guide boat trailer down for me!!! Now that’s when you know you REALLY trust a guy. A shoulder is one thing, but your fishing rig is another matter altogether. Enough said.

TALLY = 84 Fish, all caught and released

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Start Time: 1:45p

End Time: 5:55p

Air Temp: 69F at trip’s start.

Water Surface Temp: 65.1F

Wind: NW12-13, changing to NNW10-12 around 4:30, then tapering to NNW8 by dark.

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