Daddy-Daughter Trip with Mike & Lauren Duque — 91 Fish, 14 Aug.

This (toasty) Texas evening, I met up with Mike and Lauren Duque of Walburg, TX, targeting white bass and hybrid striped bass on Belton Lake.

As the sun was about to set, large schools of white bass moved up shallow to feast on threadfin shad.  We were there waiting on them!


As we downrigged for suspended white bass, we came up with a bit of a surprise — this channel catfish decided to dine on one of our metal Pet Spoons.


Six different times over the course of our trip we boated “triples” in which 3 fish were caught on the same rod at the same time using umbrella rigs.

As best they could recall, Mike and Lauren had not fished together since she was a 10-year-old girl.  She is now 21 and in her senior year at Tarleton State University, studying physical therapy.  I’d say they were overdue.

Mike, his wife, and Lauren all live on a ranch where they raise a couple of different kinds of livestock when Mike is not tending to his career as a medical professional focused on kidney health at Scott & White Hospital.  Growing up, Lauren raised pigs for show, so, being interested in most all things “animal”, I listened with interest as they told many neat tales of their animals and their antics.

On the fishing front, things got off to a slow start (as is typical for evening trip) and the bite steadily built in intensity right up to the topwater feeding climax at and just after sunset.  We began by downrigging and did very well on high-riding suspended fish just 12-14 feet below the surface in 25 or so feet of water.  We regularly landed doubles, and, on 6 occasions, landed triples.  Despite all the catching, whenever Mike had even a single small fish shake loose, he’d quip, “You little turd!”, then buckle right back down and try for another one.

We caught a bunch of fish with many smaller whites in the mix, so, around 7:30pm, with 55 fish already landed, Mike and Lauren were willing to roll the dice and move to another are in hopes of catching some larger fish.

This gamble paid off, as not only did the average size of the fish we encountered increase upon arrival, this area also afforded us an opportunity to catch fish on topwater as the sun set.

When all was said and done, the Duque’s landed 91 fish.  I’d say they definitely made up for some lost time.


TALLY = 91 FISH, all caught and released






Start Time: 4:45p

End Time:  8:45p

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  100.8F

Water Surface Temp:  88-89F

Wind Speed & Direction: Light NNW breeze 7-9mph

Sky Conditions:  Cloudless fair skies.

Note: Lake has dropped 0.01 feet in the last 24 hours and now stands at 594.27 above sea level, with 594.00 being full pool

Other: GT= 40



**Area 788 slow action on downriggers

**Area 192/376 excellent downrigging action for high, suspended fish

**Area 929/1129 downriggers

**Area 024 began downrigging, transitioning to bladebaits, and ending with topwater as fish pushed bait shallow.


Bob Maindelle

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Salado, TX

SKIFF Trip with Cadyn Tyra & Kayla Jones — 51 Fish, 13 Aug. 2015

This past Thursday morning I met Mrs. Nicole Tyra and her 5-year-old son, Cadyn Tyra, and Mrs. Bridget Strickland and her 9-year-old daughter, Kayla Jones, out at Belton Lake for the 2015 season’s 11th SKIFF Program fishing trip.

Cadyn Tyra landed our biggest fish of the trip today, a 3 1/8 pound blue catfish.  Although he was all for catching it, he wasn’t so sure about holding it thereafter!! Thanks for doing the dirty work, Mom!


Kayla landed this white bass early in our trip, earning her a TPWD “First Fish Award”.

Cadyn’s dad, U.S. Army Specialist Nick Tyra is currently stationed at Camp Hovey with the 1st Cavalry Division in South Korea.  Kayla’s dad, Sergeant Terrence Strickland, is in the same unit and at the same post as SPC Tyra where both men repair military vehicles.

Unfortunately, Nicole’s babysitter overslept, so we got off to a bit of a late start and missed the low-light topwater bite, but enjoyed about an hour’s worth of downrigging for larger white bass, just-legal and short hybrid striped bass, and 2 blue catfish.  As that action tapered off, we made stops at 3 different areas to fish with bait for panfish up shallow, affording the kids an opportunity to catch several species of sunfish, small largemouth and smallmouth bass, and blacktail shiners.  We ended the day on top of a school of very cooperative white bass in about 27 feet of water which responded well to a “smoking” presentation as we used lead slabs to catch them.

Kayla earned her Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. First Fish Award on this trip when she landed the first fish of her life and of the trip, a 12″ white bass.  Cadyn took big fish honor with a 3 1/8 pound blue catfish.

SKIFF (Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun) trips are provided free of charge to families whose children are separated from a parent due to that parent’s military service, thanks to the Austin Fly Fishers and a network of supportive individuals, organizations, and companies from all over the U.S. All it takes is a phone call from a parent to me at 254-368-7411 to reserve a date. SKIFF is open to children in elementary and middle school, as well as teens in high school.
TALLY = 51 FISH, all caught and released

Start Time: 6:50a

End Time: 10:35a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 78F

Water Surface Temp: 87-88F

Wind Speed & Direction: NNW7-8

Sky Conditions: ~15% thin white cloud cover on a fair blue sky.

Note: Lake has dropped 0.01 feet in the last 24 hours and now stands at 594.27 above sea level, with 594.00 being full pool

Other: GT= 0



**Area 085/812 downrigging early

**Area 492 panfishing

**Area 498 panfishing

**Area 166 panfishing

**Area 154/1576 smoking slabs late



Bob Maindelle

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Salado, TX