This morning I fished on Belton Lake with Israel Garcia and his wife, Mari. I normally wouldn’t fish on Thanksgiving, but, this couple seemed really nice and, when weather forced a postponement of our originally scheduled date last Saturday due to rain, we agreed to make a second attempt today.
Mari Garcia with a nice fish jigged up from 44 feet of water.
Israel Garcia with a twin to his wife’s fish caught just minutes after hers came over the side.
Both Israel and Mari, who have been married for 7 years now, work full time jobs, so their options for fishing are limited to weekends and holidays. Given that the water temperatures have fallen into the high 50’s now, I didn’t want to take a chance on one or more major cold fronts pushing temperatures down further, so we got out as soon as we could.
Israel was as interested in understanding why we were pursuing fish as we did as he was in catching fish. If you’ve fished with me, you know I enjoy coaching/teaching, so, as opportunities allowed, I was sure to point out all I could to Israel today and answer all of his questions the best I could.
Despite fairly light NE winds that nearly diminished in our last 90 minutes on the water, we did pretty well, although much of our catch consisted of smaller fish today.
The approach was, without exception, the same at all 5 areas where we contacted fish. First, I ran sonar very thoroughly over suspected fish-holding terrain, buoyed fish when we found them, hovered over them using i-Pilot technology, and then tried to lure fish in from a distance using a flashy “smoking” technique. Typically, the most active fish would respond within a few minutes allowing us to catch several fish quickly, then, we “mopped up” on the more lethargic fish using a vertical jigging tactic. We used Redneck Fish’n Jigs model 180 slabs in silver/white and silver/chartreuse interchangeably today.
I smiled when Mari commented to the effect that, by the time our 20th fish came over the side, she and Israel had already caught on this morning’s trip more fish than they had in all of their previous fishing trips combined.
When all was said and done, we boated 39 fish today including a mix of hybrid striped bass and white bass.
TALLY = 39 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 7:15a
End Time: 11:50a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 39F
Water Surface Temp: 58.7F
Wind Speed & Direction: NNE11 at sunrise and through 10:20a, then shifting to the NE and dropping off to 5-6mph
Sky Conditions: Cloudless bluebird sky.
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1469 early with 2 spot hops
**Area 1486 thru 1485 mid-morning with 2 spot hops
**Area 1491 late
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