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 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
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**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.
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