From left: Brian Olds, Brandi Lujano, and Ransom Olds, each with one of the white bass we took today downrigging.
As this past week (during which I fished Belton in the evenings) progressed, the topwater bite and the action in general showed a slowing trend. I was hopeful that with the lunar cycle waxing toward full, we might see a shift to topwater in the morning instead, but this was not to be. Although a great quantity of rough fish (mainly smallmouth buffalo) were seen rolling on the surface before, during, and shortly after sunrise, no schools of white bass/hybrid stripers were in the mix. This is not to say the fish were not present. On the contrary, we caught them consistently on downriggers, it is just that they never got really aggressive enough to push bait to the surface and feed for very long.
Within 20 minutes after sunrise, and with a breeze developing, it became clear that topwater action would not be the centerpiece of this fishing trip. So, we leaned on the summertime staple of downrigging for the lion’s share of our catch, hoping to spot some tightly schooled gamefish on bottom as we covered ground, thus allowing us to slab or throw bladebaits.
Although we did happen into 2 very tightly congregated schools of fish in 23-24 feet of water as we downrigged, our subsequent attempts to lure them with slabs and bladebaits did not yield any results. The fish were just sluggish overall this morning, and, although we landed fish fairly consistently, many were smallish this morning. The best fishing came from 6:30 to 8:00am, and then again from 9:15 to 11:15am. There was a definite lull after the low light bite ended up shallow.
Brandi was the conversationalist of the bunch and helped us bypass any lulls in the fishing by engaging the rest of us that way. Over the course of our 5+ hours on the water, the topics we covered ranged from the quality of Alaskan cruises, eating kale, fishing in Galveston, plagues of locust, the significant differences between blenders, food processors, and juicers, whatever became of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, blueberry vodka, Miranda Lambert’s social life, cheap sunglasses, and learning how to “hair whip & nae nae” (just Google it!).
TALLY = 47 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:15a
End Time: 11:30a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 79F
Water Surface Temp: 84.3F
Wind Speed & Direction: S9
Sky Conditions: 5% cloud cover under a strong high pressure dome making hot, dry conditions for the past several days
Note: Lake has dropped 0.18 feet in the last 24 hours and now stands at 1.65 feet above full pool.
Other: GT= 35
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 133 to 811 up shallow under low light conditions with downrigger balls set just 11-13 feet down.
** Area 725-816 in 22-23 feet of water with downrigger balls set 2-3 feet above bottom.
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
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