This morning, Thursday, the 10th of December, I fished with Dr. Ryan Sparkman targeting white bass and hybrid stripers on Belton Lake.
Dr. Ryan Sparkman took a break from his home waters of Lake Conroe to get in on the sweet run of productive fishing Belton has provided since the warm-up following our last cold front. We boated 235 fish in 4.5 hours.
Ryan trained at Scott & White Hospital in Temple, TX, as an anesthesiologist, and then moved his family to Bryan/College Station when an opportunity with Scott & White presented itself there. Ryan was just starting to figure things out on Belton when he made the move, and now considers Belton Lake a true gem compared with the fishing scenario presented at his new “home lake”, Lake Conroe, with its turbid waters, limited white bass population, and abundant recreational boaters.
I had a last minute cancellation for this morning’s trip and so Ryan’s ability to come on short notice was a real win-win, and at a time where the fishing has been very productive and predictable.
We had the “perfect storm” of conditions facing us today — good weather (grey skies on the tail end of a warming trend, with several days of stable pressure beforehand), good wind speed and direction (S12-14), a dark moon, unseasonably high water temperatures (61-62F) and a good angler on board, able to take full advantage of the potential Belton offered today.
We left the ramp at 7:15, found fish with sonar in 20 feet of water by 7:25, and caught fish, non-stop, using sonar at first, then by following birds thereafter, for a full 4 hours. The action never wound down until around 11:15. We stayed with it another 30 minutes to “mop up”.
Our first 100 fish came over the side by 8:19am. Although the birds (gulls and terns) worked during two distinct “spurts”, the fish they led us to continued to bite well after the bird action subsided.
Once again, we observed the feeding gulls to make sure our lure size was close to the size of shad the fish were feeding on. We selected white and silver 3/4oz. Redneck Fish’n’ Jigs Model 180’s with a stinger hook and worked them with slow jigging strokes near bottom.
The majority of our catch consisted of 14-15″ hybrid stripers with the white bass running close in numbers. We landed only 2 legal hybrids, as well as 4 largemouth bass, and 3 freshwater drum.
As of this writing I still have an afternoon trip open tomorrow (Friday) and a morning slot open on Saturday. The price is $220 for up to two anglers ($110 per person). Call me at 254-368-7411 ASAP if you are interested. The incoming cold front due to arrive late Saturday night will negatively impact this scenario.
TALLY = 235 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 7:15a
End Time: 11:45a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 50F
Water Surface Temp: 61.1F
Wind Speed & Direction: S9 at dawn, increasing to S13 by trip’s end
Sky Conditions: 100% grey skies, but thin enough to make for bright conditions
Water Level: 6.90 feet above full pool with 0.15 feet of water released in the past 24 hours
Other: GT= 30
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 015/018 – low light slabbing after finding schooled fish on sonar (no bird action)
**Area 133 over to Area 1656 under birds for 90 minutes, with an additional 30 minutes of fishing after the birds lifted.
**Area 1657 final bird action of the morning took place here around 10:15 to 10:30, with an additional hour’s worth of action after the birds lifted.
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)