This morning I fished Belton Lake with father-in-law/son-in-law team Robert Woods and Warren Mellin, both originally from Maryland, and now living in Copperas Cove, TX.
Warren played his hand right even though he was new at using circle hooks with live bait. When the rod when down, he eased the rod out of the holder and just started reeling nice and easy, allowing the circle hook to find a place to catch. The result was this nice deep-water largemouth.
Robert and Warren’s primary fishing experience was on the Chesapeake Bay complex pursuing striped bass (locally called “rockfish”) mainly via trolling in saltwater. When Warren got orders to go from Germany to Ft. Hood following a tour to Afghanistan in between, life got busy with family, a new baby, military requirements to make rank, and more, so fishing has taken a back set. When their baby came along, Robert made the move to Texas to be near her and is now re-established in Texas, but has also found limited time to fish. The two had limited success pursuing catfish in the Lampasas River near Lampasas, TX.
Today, all the conditions seemed right — a new moon, stable weather, winds with a southerly component and at a manageable speed, but the fishing was really off. We stayed at it for a full 6+ hours (on a 4 hour trip) putting together the catch of 11 fish that we ended up with. In the low-light period just before and to 90 minutes after sunrise, we found abundant schools of white bass in ~30 feet of water, but, despite both downrigging very accurately through them and vertically jigging right amongst them, came up with precious little. We also hung some bait to try to up the ante a bit, but even that did not produce well.
I spoke to fishing buddy Tony B. who was out today until around 11:30a. His results downrigging and jigging were also very soft. I also spoke to a number of outgoing anglers at the boat ramp, and their results were poor, also. We only spotted a single school of topwater feeding fish appearing for just seconds all morning. Other anglers I spoke with reported no topwater. From the looks of the fishing boats zigzagging every which way in the first 2 hours of the day, it appeared no one was finding fish and that everyone was in search mode.
We boated 8 white bass, 1 largemouth bass, and 2 blue catfish
TALLY = 11 FISH
Start Time: 6:20am
End Time: 12:30pm
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 76F
Water Surface Temp: 85.6F
Wind Speed & Direction: SSE10-12
Sky Conditions: Hazy skies with less than 10% cloud cover.
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1186-903 Downrigging for white bass
**Area 1413 Smoking for white bass
**Area 1410 Live bait for bluecat
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)