This morning I fished with returning guest Greg U. of Temple. I encouraged Greg to avoid the calm winds yesterday and to book with me today instead, when the winds were due to be out of the south at around 7-12mph — as it wound up, we were both glad he agreed!!
Greg boated this jumbo 14.00″ white bass — one of the largest white bass I’ve seen come out of Belton in 2 years.
The slabs we’re using closely match the size, shape, and color of the threadfin shad the white bass and hybrid stripers are pursuing right now — just like the one in this white bass’ mouth!
One quick “commercial time out” (which you’ll know I don’t do often if you read this blog regularly) — the fishing on Belton is just incredible right now. 4 of the last 5 trips have yielded catches between 127 and 242 fish! This sort of frustrating thing happens every year around this time — the fish are easy to catch and consistent in their location, yet it’s tough to find people interested in pursuing them. Between football, hunting, and the occasionally cool, damp weather, interest just seems to drop off. So, I’m running a little special on the “Buy Texas Deals” website. 4 hours of weekday fishing for 1 or 2 people will cost just $145 thru Nov. 22nd. If you are interested, call me first to check dates before you try to book online. This is a great value and at a great time in the season … commercial over! Remember, I’m all catch & release to preserve the future of our sport and excellent local fishery.
Greg works in logistics at Scott & White Hospital in Temple where his wife is now in her residency as a physician. They both came out with me on their first trip back in January this year when we vertical jigged for white bass on Stillhouse.
Today, we got on fish and stayed on fish on Belton Lake from start to finish — a full 4+ hours of non-stop fish catching.
The fish started off shallow, around 24-28 feet, and we ended the day deeper, in 39-42 feet, as was the case this past Thursday, as well.
There was really no magic or finesse or trick to catching the fish today, other than locating them in the first place, and thanks to some helpful bird activity, this was taken care of for us early on in the trip. Some manner of bird action lasted until around 10am. After that, we were “on our own” to find fish with electronics, which we were successful in doing.
When all was said and done, we caught fish from 3 distinct locations, and a single, white, 3/4 oz. TNT180 slab was the top producer in all of these areas. This is the “go to” bait for me right now because this slab is very close to the size of the medium length threadfin shad that the fish are consuming. Occasionally, when the fish got “thick” beneath the boat, we’d switch over to a tandem rig, but, the single far outproduced in the long run.
We finished the day with exactly 179 fish including a mix of white bass and hybrid striped bass. We did not land any “keeper” hybrid (those over 18″) today, but we boated some quality white bass, including the one shown above which taped exactly 14.00″. By way of comparison, this is the largest white bass I’ve had come over the side of my boat on Belton for nearly 2 years.
Although Greg grew up fishing the skinny waters of coastal Louisiana, he’s quickly adapting to the deep, clear waters of Central Texas. He took away two lessons today: you’ve got to have quality sonar, and you got to maintain position over the fish with your trolling motor.
TALLY = 179 FISH, all caught and released
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Start Time: 6:35a
End Time: 11:05p
Air Temp: 53F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: 67.0F
Winds were S7-12.
Skies: 100% clouded..
Notes: BA=25G; 4T; GT=5
Areas Fished with success: