This afternoon I fished with first-time guest Anthony Vaughters. Anthony is a U.S. Army veteran and now owns and operates Kid’s X-pression Learning Center, located near Killeen High School. His young daughters heard him mention a little something about fishing not too long ago and that led to a Fathers’ Day gift which led to tonight’s fishing trip.
Anthony caught this 5.50 pound hybrid on a large, 8″ gizzard shad in 30 feet of water about 30 minutes before sunset.
If you’ve fished with me before or followed my blog, you know I prefer fishing in the mornings for several reasons, and so I haven’t been on Belton in the afternoons much lately, so, I wasn’t sure how things were going to pan out for us.
As I waited for Anthony to arrive, I did some scouting and found some deep, suspended fish near the old river channel. I marked them with my chartplotter and went to pick up Anthony. When we returned we quickly figured out these were white bass and so we moved on in search of hybrid striped bass after boating one “confirmation” white bass.
We found what we were after very quickly, as I looked over a hard-bottomed area in 30 feet of water. As I passed over with sonar, I saw 5-6 fish suspended just off bottom on the windward side of this area. These fish showed equally well on colored sonar and Down Imaging, so, I was certain of what they were. We used the i-Pilot to hold over these fish and got baits down to them.
Most of my baits today were large gizzard shad from 5-8 inches and the hybrid showed no hesitation in running these big baits down and taking them. Within minutes of getting 4 rods down, we caught 4 fish, rebaited, caught a 5th and 6th fish (all keeper hybrid), and then things cooled off. We made 3 “short hops” of a boat length or two each time and continued catching a few fish in this vicinity. On our 3rd and final “hop”, and as the sun came within an hour of setting, things really turned on well allowing us to catch consistently for about 35 minutes. This action came to a halt around 8:30pm when, despite having good baits in the water and having strong sonar signatures on the sonar, the fish refused to feed any longer.
By the time we wrapped up, Anthony had boated 35 fish including 1 white bass, 1 short hybrid, and 33 legal (18+ inch long) hybrid striped bass with the largest 2 weighing in at 5.50 and 5.125 pounds. I also picked up 1 white bass on a Storm Wildeye bait as I was experimenting during a lull in the action.
As he left the parking lot, Anthony said, “I think I’ll need to be doing this about once a month … seriously.”.
Anthony, you are welcome back any time!!
TALLY = 36 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 4:45pm
End Time: 8:55pm
Air Temp.: 86F
Water Surface Temp.: 81.7F
Wind: SSE11 for a majority of the trip
Skies: 80% white cloud coverage on a sunny, fair sky
Other Notes: GT10
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**1368-1370: Netted 181 shad in 2 hours, 15 minutes)
**1398: White bass suspended at 36-40 feet
**1012 and vicinity: 1 white, 1 short hybrid, 33 legal hybrid
Holding the Line Guide Service