This past Saturday afternoon, April 30th, I fished with U.S. Army veteran Brad Bennett of Salado, his 11-year-old son, Bret, and Bret’s 11-year-old buddy, Brazos Farr, also of Salado.
From left: Brazos Farr, Bret Bennett, and Brad Bennett teamed up on the evening bite this past Saturday evening on Belton Lake.
Big hybrid weren’t the only game in town this evening. This 6.00 pound bluecat crushed Brad’s live shad and turned out to be the largest of the 50 fish we landed this evening..
I was a bit leery about our situation this afternoon as the deck appeared stacked against us. We had bright, clear skies, we had calm winds, and we had youngsters aboard which typically don’t do well at waiting on baited downlines to get a bite.
My preference is to take a more active approach with kids of that age on board by vertical jigging and/or casting with artificial lures, but Brad really wanted to give the kids exposure to what it takes to put big fish in the boat.
As we got going, I let my crew of 3 know that we’d likely have tough fishing until the final hour when the sun’s angle was low enough to take the penetrating rays of the sun off the water.
Sure enough, we boated exactly 18 fish in our first 2.75 hours on the water (that’s 6.54 fish per hour), and then boated 32 fish in our last 1.25 hours on the water (that’s 25.6 fish per hour). That last low-light period was 5 times more productive than the bright period that preceded it.
We fished two very similar areas — both were hard-bottomed and near a breakline. The first was in 52 feet of water, and the second in 48 feet of water.
Live shad did the trick at both areas.
TALLY = 50 fish, all caught and released
Start Time: 4:00p
End Time: 8:00p
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 81F
Water Surface Temp: 76F (spiked high this afternoon due direct sun and low wind speed)
Wind Speed & Direction: Winds were light NW1-2
Sky Conditions: Bluebird skies with no cloud cover.
Water Level: Running 5664 cfs out of the dam, Belton still fell 0.12 feet in the last 24 hours and is now 9.54 feet above full pool.
Other: GT= 5
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1548-1553-683 – bottom oriented hybrid at 52′. Caught 18 fish in 2.75 hours.
**Area vic 1299/954 – moderately heavily schooled short hybrid and white bass with a few legal hybrid mixed in. 32 fish in 1.25 hours thanks to lo-light bite kicking in around 6:45p.