On the morning of Nov. 19th I fished with Pastor Kip Nanninga, his son, Josiah, and one of Kip’s congregants, Andy Maindelle (my younger brother). We fished Belton Lake, targeting white bass and hybrid striped bass using artificial lures.
From left: Andy Maindelle, Kip Nanninga, and Josiah Nanninga. Despite tough, high-pressure, post-frontal conditions, we still caught both good quality and quantity today. These white bass, all over 13″ were taken on bladebaits beneath aggressive white bass seen pushing shad to the surface under birds.
Kip serves as a shepherd and coach to the many small group leaders associated with Hill Country Bible Church in Austin. Hill Country is a non-denominational, multi-campus church with a vision to make hope and fellowship available to people “within walking distance” by establishing neighborhood small groups throughout the Austin area. Josiah is a middle school student and the eldest of Kip’s 5 children. Andy works at Blizzard – a company focused on video game entertainment.
We faced tough post-frontal conditions this morning with bright, clear skies and calm winds. We launched at 6:40a and began catching fish within minutes finding plentiful, albeit somewhat reluctant white bass and hybrid striped bass on bladebaits in approximately 10-12 feet of water. When I saw how many fish were showing on sonar versus the slow results we were experiencing, I decided to move us out of this area fairly quickly, opting to fish where the very light breeze that was present was at least rippling the water versus staying at the flat calm area at which we began.
Upon arrival we noted fish chasing shad to the surface and a few gulls arrived in response to this activity. We caught fish at a moderate rate here. In retrospect, this area gave up the best quality fish of the trip, with a majority of the white bass going right around the 13+ inch mark. When the fish stopped chasing and the gulls lifted and left, the fishing wound down quickly as the light breeze nearly stopped and the sun’s rays soaked into the water.
We then entered the toughest 90 minute window of the trip at this point. We did a lot of looking, occasionally finding fish, however, these fish often moved quickly before we could get turned around, positioned over top of them, and get our slabs down to them, or they failed to perk up at our offerings if we were successful in maintaining contact with them. Those schools we found that did show interest typically gave up fish just a few at a time. We found it tough during that time to get a frenzied bite going beneath us.
Finally, right around 10am, a light NE breeze developed and began to move the water. The fish responded favorably after this wind worked on the water for about 15 minutes. We made a move to the 5th area that we would fish this morning and found fish in feeding mode in about 24 feet of water. These fish really put on the feedbag for about 30 minutes. During this spurt, we boated over 80 fish one after another with 3 or 4 of our 4 rods loaded up with a fish at any given time for the first 20 minutes or so of this burst.
By the time this feed was over it was approaching 11am, the time at which the morning feed has been winding down lately. We took a look at a few other areas, finding some gulls working in two areas. As we investigated, we found smalls schools of white bass forcing shad to the surface, and the birds responding to the commotion.
Chips, salsa, and the lunch special #54 at Sol de Jalisco in Morgan’s Point sounded better at this point than hunting and pecking to scrape up a few more fish, so, we called it a good morning with 141 fish boated and headed in for lunch.
TALLY = 141 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:40a
End Time: 11:30a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 51F
Water Surface Temp: 68.0F
Wind Speed & Direction: Light and primarily from the NW under 6mph all day
Sky Conditions: Blue bird skies
Other: GT= 0
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1621/1632 threw bladebaits horizontally for shallow whites & hybrids
**Area 1634 threw bladebaits horizontally for shallow whites & hybrids while observing moderate sub-surface activity/birds
**Area 1635 smoking and easing for whites and hybrids
**Area 1636 smoking and easing for whites and hybrids
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