Ketchup Popsicles & Longnose Gar — 35 Fish, Belton 25 Nov.

This morning, November 25th, I greeted Troy Hensley of Killeen, TX,  and his father-in-law, Gary Mavity of Ladd, Illinois.

Troy landed this 9.50 pound longnose gar.  Most gar hooked are lost due to the absence of any tissue in their long, bony snout for a hook to penetrate into and hold.

From left: Troy Hensley and Gary Mavity with a nice pair of 19″, 3.25 pound Belton Lake hybrid striped bass taken from 64.5F water.

Troy is a U.S. Army combat veteran who served honorably in the infantry.  Gary is a retired electrical supply salesman who, according to Troy, could “sell a ketchup Popsicle to a woman in white gloves”.  Troy settled down in Killeen with his wife, Lori, and their 3 kids after he left active duty.  Lori’s dad, mom, and grandma all made it down from Illinois to visit for the holidays, and so Lori and Troy surprised Gary with an early Christmas present in the form of a fishing trip.  We were originally scheduled for this coming Friday, but as the weather forecast continued to deteriorate, we decided to move the trip time up while it was still warm and fairly dry.

As we got going this morning, I was hoping for a rerun of yesterday’s helpful bird activity.  We lived through one fishless hour as we checked a number of areas intending to vertically jig if  we found heavily schooled fish.  At exactly 8:04am, the first of 3 helpful bouts of bird activity led us to successful fishing.  All fish we caught today came in under 20 feet of water.

As we “got close” to fish with the help of the birds, we then found the “spot on the spot” using sonar.  Given that the fish we found this morning were in fairly shallow water, we cast our slabs horizontally and worked them back “lift-drop” style with good results.  The bait of choice was the Redneck Fish’n’ Jigs Model 180 in 3/4 oz. in white halographic equipped with a G-Stinger hook in addition to the stock treble hook.

When the fishing slowed down, we turned to downrigging, running the equipment at 17-19 feet deep for scattered fish suspended slightly deeper.

We caught keeper hybrid, short hybrid, keeper white bass and short white bass, as well as one largemouth and a surprise longnose gar.

The fish definitely fed in spurts today and were done by around 10:15am.  We boated a total of 35 fish this morning while they were turned on.


TALLY = 35 FISH, all caught and released






Start Time: 7:00a

End Time:  11:00a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 60F

Water Surface Temp:  64.5F

Wind Speed & Direction: SSE12 entire trip

Sky Conditions:  Heavy grey clouds the entire trip, with occasional short rain showers

Other: GT= 0



** Area 015 under birds beginning at exactly 8:04a

**Area 025 under birds at mid-trip



Bob Maindelle

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Salado, TX