Although our target species was hybrid striped bass, this 2.75 pound Belton Lake smallmouth took the prize for the largest fish boated today.
A stiff south east wind was up and blowing before sunrise and stayed consistent at about 14 mph for the duration of the trip. We got going at 8:15 AM and experienced slow fishing for the first 3+ hours. During this time we boated only five fish, including two hybrid striped bass, two white bass, and one smallmouth bass.
Early in the trip I commented to Karen about how dark the skies were with heavy clouds. There is a certain level of light which, when it develops, seems to turn the fish on. I’ve noticed that when it is completely cloudy, but still bright enough to have to squint without sunglasses, or to just need to put sunglasses on, that particular level of light seems to turn the fish on. Indeed, right around 11:45, when the clouds thinned enough and had occasional breaks in them and began to let sunlight through, our results begin to improve substantially.
I extended our trip, and we fished for an additional 2+ hours, over which time we put an additional 24 fish in the boat. These fish all came off of one area and included primarily largemouth bass, with a few smallmouth, hybrid stripers, and white bass mixed in. We were fishing with our baits set at 25 feet over a 32 foot bottom on a gentle slope.
Both Robert and Karen are shooting sport enthusiasts, and so I got to learn a little bit about their hobby as we fished together. I always like to ask people about their favorite past fishing experiences, and this couple did not have to put much thought into recalling their favorite two adventures. The first was an airboat trip for redfish on the Texas Gulf Coast, and the other was a beach fishing trip targeting bull sharks and blacktip sharks which, in addition to the sharks, landed this pair a 6’8″ tarpon as an unexpected bonus. It was interesting to me to learn that the sharks they landed were actually tagged for scientific research and then released.
When all was said and done today, we boated exactly 29 fish. This was a pretty tough day, as is common with strong easterly winds.
TALLY = 29 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 8:15a
End Time: 2:30p
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 67F
Water Surface Temp: 71.9F on lower lake
Wind Speed & Direction: SE14 for the entire trip
Sky Conditions: 100% heavy cloud cover until 11:30, then brightening and reducing to 80% cloud cover
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
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