120 Fish on Belton Today — Rhoads Family Knocks it Out of the Park

This past Friday morning I fished with Mr. Rodrick Rhoads and two of his five children, April (age 11) and Zoe (age 7).

From left: April, Rodrick, and Zoe Rhoads with a sampling of their catch from out of an aggressive bunch of schooling fish which turned on when skies greyed over after sunrise.

Rodrick and his wife are small business owners (dry cleaning) and live out between Georgetown and Liberty Hill, TX.  This is the 4th trip Rodrick and at least one of the kids have joined me on.

I was uncertain what Thursday’s early cold front would do to the fishing, but felt more confident than not about our chances, mainly because a south wind was to return overnight before the trip.  This windshift did, in fact, take place and a light SSE breeze blew as I launched.

Ending a 4-day run without topwater action, we found white bass (only) feeding on the surface in shallow water (Area 811 and shoreward) slurping up small shad, roughly 1.75 inches long.  I was really impressed at how quickly April picked up on casting with a spinning outfit.  She threw far enough and accurately enough to land several white bass that revealed themselves by the commotion they made while feeding.  The topwater feed died instantly at sunrise and we then experienced a lulll as we backed off from the shore and attempted downrigging without much success.

We next headed out looking for concentrations of fish both with the naked eye and using sonar.  Thanks to a nice blanket of grey clouds that moved in after sunrise and obscured the direct sun, we experienced an overall reduction of the light level which brought on a resurgence of topwater action.  This time we found larger white bass and short hybrids mixed together and feeding on larger bait in the vicinity of Area 1582.  Everyone hooked and landed fish consistently here for about a 25 minute span before the bait slipped out of the pocket they were trapped in and escaped into deeper, open water.

At this point, with skies brightening again, winds light, and no action to be seen on the surface, we re-tooled and headed up shallow in the vicinity of Area 1583 to enjoy some simple panfishing.  This method allowed Zoe to catch fish independently, and all 3 of my guest enjoyed both catching the fish and seeing the differences between the species we were catching (mature and immature bluegill, green sunfish, orange spotted sunfish, largemouth bass, and male and female blacktail shiners).  We stayed shallow for about 50 minutes until the “magic” 9:30 mark when, over the past 2 weeks, “popcorn” topwater action has been occurring.

As if punching a timeclock, as we motored to an area I’d hoped to find “popcorn” schooling action at, the first of such action began to be seen on the surface.  As we homed in on the action, we first found fish by downrigging, then worked to keep the boat over top of them so we could take them more efficiently with slabs than by making pass after pass with the downriggers.  Our downrigging efforts went well with multiple sets of doubles being landed.  Soon, as the fish became more active, we were able to position right over one solid school with, literally, hundreds of fish in it.  We slabbed these fish an added exactly 67 more fish to our tally in the last hour on the water.  By 10:20 the action had tapered to nil and we called it a good day.


TALLY = 120 FISH, all caught and released






Start Time: 6:30a

End Time:  10:36a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  71F

Water Surface Temp:  84.5F (a noticeable drop thanks to yesterday’s cold front and the related cloud cover)

Wind Speed & Direction: SSE3-6

Sky Conditions:  100% low, gray cloud cover until ~8:30, then gradually clearing to 40%

Note: Lake has dropped 0.03 feet in the last 24 hours and now stands at 594.09 above sea level, with 594.00 being full pool

Other: GT= 55



**Area 811 to shore light topwater at first light

**Area 1582 aggressive topwater by large white bass and short hybrids

**Area 1583 panfishing

**Area 1581 slabbing/downrigging for “popcorn” white bass


Bob Maindelle

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Salado, TX