On Friday morning, May 13th, I fished Lake Belton with Dr. David Clark, his dad, Rick Clark, and David’s brother-in-law, Mike Brawn. Our focus was on catching hybrid striped bass using live shad as bait.
From left: Rick and David Clark with one of the several 4-pound class fish we boated on live shad this morning.
Mike Brawn, a native of Maine, enjoyed his first experience tangling with hybrid striped bass this morning and landed several 4 pound class fish himself.
The Clark’s were hosting a family reunion of sorts, and this was “guy time”.
I was a bit concerned when, as the sun rose, it rose unobscured by any form of cloud cover and our northerly breezes were light. Calm, bright conditions are among the toughest one can face when fishing for hybrids, stripers, and white bass, so I was hoping we’d avoid such conditions. As it turned out, although it did stay bright, we had enough wind to ripple the surface and move the water and, except for two distinct lulls in the action when the winds briefly stalled, the fish fed for nearly the entire 4 hours.
We fished only one area for our first 3 hours and 10 minutes, catching 74 fish over this span of time, of which at least half were legal hybrid stripers. Then, even though the live shad bite was still going, for variety’s sake, I offered to search for more heavily schooled (and typically smaller) fish to allow my crew to use spinning gear equipped with slabs so as to experience a different form of fishing as we closed out our trip. We found fish fairly quickly and managed to boat a mix of 9 whites and short hybrid before agreeing that the morning bite had played out.
I particularly enjoyed the conversation this morning as we fished — Mike is a native of Maine, and my wife and I have fond memories of that state. My college roommate of several semesters, Jeff Libby, first introduced me to Maine when his folks opened up their home to me on the various long weekends we had as cadets up at West Point. I was so taken with the natural beauty and climate, that Rebecca and I planned our honeymoon there, in the Boothbay Harbor area. Finally, in celebration of our 20th anniversary last summer, we returned to the Boothbay/Portland area for a full week’s stay. So, with Mike on board, I felt like I got to catch up on my home away from home.
TALLY = 83 fish, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:50a
End Time: 11:00a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 72F
Water Surface Temp: 74.2F
Wind Speed & Direction: Winds were NE5-7
Sky Conditions: Fair skies with less than 10% cloud cover.
Water Level: 6.95 feet above full pool with a fall of 0.20 feet in the last 24 hours with a release of ~4890cfs ongoing.
GT = 50
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 346 – 74 fish in 3.2 hours; 50%+ keeper hybrid on live shad
**Area 294 – 9 fish in 30 minutes; all short hybrid and whites on slabs
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)