Thankful — 103 Fish, Belton Lake

This Tuesday morning, December 22, I fished a morning trip on Belton Lake in pursuit of hybrid striped bass and white bass with Ray Behan and his wife, Gaby.

Gaby and Ray Behan with a sampling of the 103 fish they caught while “learning the ropes” on Belton this morning.

Ray is an Army aviator with 24 years of service to the nation.  He is a Chief Warrant Officer 3 flying the Apache attack helicopter and is currently assigned to a cavalry unit on Fort Hood. Gaby previously served as a nurse in the US Army.  After leaving active duty, she began to pursue her Bachelor of Science in nursing through the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas.

We had a bit of a rough start this morning. In the first two hours on the water, we only boated eight fish. The winds were nearly calm, the morning was cold and clear, and the fish and birds just didn’t have their game on under those conditions.

Without birds to lead the way, we relied on sonar to find our fish this morning. At around 9:15 I located a large shoal of fish holding on a major breakline between 27 and 30 feet deep. On our first pass with sonar, I detected several hundred fish in this large congregation. As soon we got set up over these fish using the Minn Kota Spot Lock feature, we begin to catch fish steadily.

In our last two hours on the water we put an additional 95 fish in the boat until they began to taper off around 11. By 11:20 the action was done and we called it a good day with 103 fish boated.

After this trip, and another fished with a party of three in the afternoon, I took my wife to the movies for “date night”.  When we returned home, I received this really nice note from Ray, who granted permission to share it:

First off…… we had a great day fishing with you, when we showed up, I was hoping to just CATCH a fish, as we haven’t had much luck this winter.   To not only catch many fish, but use the time to discuss techniques, signs, learn how to interpret my fishfinder, all in one trip…… it was more than worth getting up at O dark thirty.   You were professional, honest, and willing to miss lunch to let us keep fishing, and we both appreciate it.   I just hope that you DIDN’T miss lunch…..   Neither Gaby nor I wanted to reel in the lines and go home, we were having such a good time, catching so many fish this near to Christmas….. thank you !   We will definitely be seeing you again, as the seasons change, and the techniques needed differ, we will be calling you to get out there and see how it is supposed to be done.  Thanks!

I really appreciate a client taking the time to write something like this.

TALLY = 103 FISH, all caught and released






Start Time: 7:15a

End Time:  11:40a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 46F

Water Surface Temp:  58-59F

Wind Speed & Direction: Light and variable until 9:15a, then turning SW5-7

Sky Conditions:  Bluebird

Water Level: 5.1 feet above full pool with 0.29 feet of water released in the past 24 hours.

Other: GT= 10



**Area  1645/1648 – vertical jigging at low light; fish found with sonar

**Area  1666 & 1667 – vertical jigging 9:15 to 11:30; fish found with sonar on breakline here


Bob Maindelle

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Salado, TX