This morning I conducted the single most productive trip of the 2015 season, guiding Barrett and Dave Covington of Belton, TX, to catch and release exactly 267 fish today.
Larger hybrid striped bass made up a low percentage of today’s catch of 267 fish, but were a welcome addition when they cooperated.
White bass made up the majority of our catch this morning, with roughly 1 in every 5 or 6 going the size of these fish Barrett and Dave Covington are displaying — right around 12.00 to 12.75 inches.
First, I’ve got to say I appreciate the input of two fishing buddies out on Belton, Rodney and James, who kept me updated on the water quality situation following this weekend’s second dousing of 6+ inches of rain, and who gave me favorable just-off-the-water reports yesterday.
Barrett and Dave are the sons of former Belton mayor Jim Covington and his wife, Terri. They presented Barrett with a fishing gift certificate this past Christmas and so today was the day to cash it in. Being a good brother, he invited Dave along, with both taking a day off from the family real estate business.
The two are personable fellows who enjoyed keeping the sibling rivalry stirred up really good. There were suspicions aboard that Barrett intentionally informed me the night before our trip that Dave required his spinning reel handles on the right hand side when he actually needed them on the left, all so as to slow Dave down in order for Barrett to get an early lead in the fish count standings. That is still under investigation.
Once the fish started biting, they just didn’t stop for a solid 4+ hours today. We found fish in 3 distinct locations this morning, each deeper than the next, with our first batch of fish showing up under light surface action in 22-24 feet, the second concentration of fish showing up in 26-28 feet of water, and the final concentration of fish showing up in 30-33 feet of water.
The Redneck Fish’n’ Jigs Model 180 in holographic/black back did the trick for the lion’s share of the catching today. I did experiment with the white 3/4 oz. version, but the smaller 3/8 oz. silver definitely outperformed it.
We had only 4 of all of these fish regurgitate their meals today in the boat, and this revealed swallowed shad of various sizes. The size of the fish we caught varied, too, with about 1 in every 5 or 6 white bass going over the legal limit of 10″ (and typically right at 12.75″, the size of that 3-year-old year class of fish). We only caught two decent hybrid in the mix all morning.
My detailed records from the past 23 years of fishing on Lake Belton and Stillhouse Hollow reveal that November and March are the two most productive months in terms of fish caught per trip. Typically the 6 week span from the last week of March to the the first week of May is the most productive time for quality fish with lots of large hybrid taking chunky, live shad during that time.
If you’ve been waiting for comfortable weather, excellent fishing, and an end to our drought conditions, now is the time to call and book a trip. This is fast, simple, productive fishing, and it can end by the end of November, or extend into mid-December, depending on the frequency and severity of incoming cold fronts.
Phone lines are open and operators are standing by!!!!
TALLY = 267 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:30am
End Time: 11:15am
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 58F
Water Surface Temp: 72F
Wind Speed & Direction: S7-9
Sky Conditions: Thin fog for a majority of the trip
Other: GT= 50
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1618 slabbed/smoked for whites/hybrids after being tipped off by light pre-dawn surface action.
**Area 618 slabbed/smoked for whites/hybrids
**Area 1619 short-hopped 3-4 locations here to keep up with minimally interested fish as bite wound down
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)