After letting all of my clients know last week about the exceptional fishing taking place on Belton right now, I had a number of folks call me right away to try to strike while the iron is hot. This afternoon, after all 4 of us set time aside to corporately worship the Lord this morning, I was joined by Marvin Waley, Danny Marriott, and James Roppolo. These fellows are all friends from the same church in Georgetown, TX.
Good fellowship and good fishing today under grey skies and breezy conditions. From left: Danny Marriott, James Roppolo, and Marvin Waley.
That is a magnum white bass James is holding — right at 14.5 inches and chunky. Like many other white bass today, it fell for a small slab intended to match the plentiful threadfin shad the white bass are now preying upon as the water temperature cools.
I had the pleasure of fishing with Danny and his elderly parents back in 2009; he works as his church’s facilities manager. Marvin joined me for the first time today, and is recently retired from the food service industry. James also came out with me for the first time today, and is the vice-president of a construction company. Each had an ample supply of entertaining hunting and fishing stories from years gone by. My favorite: The one James told of a drunk teal hunter who critiqued James’ unsatisfactory job of filleting a black drum. When James tactfully offered the knife to the expert carver, said carver promptly inserted said knife into the palm of his own hand. Witnessing this, the drunk teal hunter’s “friend” called for whiskey. No one gathered nearby was sure if it was for drinking, for sterilizing the wound, or both!!
Once again, with the great bite that is taking place as the water begins to cool, I was able to put all 3 men on fish from start to finish for 4 solid hours, thus amassing a catch of 162 fish including white bass, hybrid striped bass, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and crappie.
The majority of our catch came in the first two hours when the fish were more aggressive under more breezy conditions. During this time we found fish consistently holding on the first breakline out from the bank in 22-26 feet of water. These fish were heavily schooled along the bottom and in the lower 2 feet of the water column and were prime for catching on slabs fished vertically. As soon as I saw such fish signatures on sonar I marked them and then used Spot Lock to hold over them. We made a number of “short hops” in 3 distinct areas doing this manner of fishing.
Around 4pm the nice breeze we’d enjoyed began to taper down, and the fishing tapered down with it. Around this time we spotted some light bird activity in the vicinity of Area 1627 over a ~20′ flat. Gulls were in the air and a few cormorants were in the water, but the gulls were not focused on just one patch of water, rather, they were patrolling over ~3-4 acres consistently. We idled around with sonar, found some fish and fancast with bladebaits and landed some decent white bass, but both the bird and fish activity settled to nil within about 20 minutes, so we moved on.
During the last hour, we fished Area 1625 by Spot Locking in 14 feet of water and fancasting bladebaits up into slightly shallower water. We found willing white bass in small wolfpacks patrolling this fairly slow-tapering area. These fish gave their location away as they broke the surface of the now-calm water as they chased shad up to the surface.
By the time dark fell, we’d put a grand total of 162 fish in the boat. As has been the case all through this excellent bite, ~1 in about 4 fish was a keeper white bass, with slightly shorter whites and small hybrid mixed in. The fish definitely showed a preference for small silver slabs.
TALLY = 162 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 2:00p
End Time: 6:00p
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 66F
Water Surface Temp: 68.9F
Wind Speed & Direction: SSE8, tapering to calm by (obscured) sunset
Sky Conditions: Heavy grey cloud cover the entire trip
Other: GT= 35
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1623 slabbed/smoked for whites/hybrids
**Area 1620 slabbed/smoked for whites/hybrids
**Area 1619/1622 slabbed/smoked for whites/hybrids
**Area 1628 slabbed/smoked for whites/hybrids
**Area 1624 slabbed/smoked for whites/hybrids
**Area 1627 low light shallow action on bladebaits under light bird action
**Area 1625 shallow fish revealed by light topwater/bird action
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)