This past Tuesday morning, May 17th, I fished with Matt Cellini, Ilya L., and his son Max L. Originally born in Siberia, Ilya now serves in the U.S. Army as an emergency room doctor at Darnall Army Medical Center on Fort Hood. Matt serves in the same capacity in the US Air Force out of Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. The two got to know each other through their medical studies at Walter Reed in Washington, D.C.
From left: Max and Ilya with a nice pair of Belton Lake hybrid striped bass taken seconds apart on live shad.
Matt played the role of “uncle” today, looking out for Max and passing on a majority of his hooked fish to the 7-year-old young man. As time wound down, he figured he’d better work at least one back to the boat on his own!
As the water temperatures continue to slowly rise through the mid-70s, gradual changes are taking place on Belton. The shad spawn has now ended, and the newly spawned fry are beginning to find their way into open water. Small schools of small white bass can be seen feeding on these fry from time to time. Over the next few weeks this will grow more widespread.
The fishing was a bit subdued today. We had no trouble finding fish, but the fish were simply not in an overly aggressive feeding mode. We fished 8 areas, catching a majority of our fish from but three of them, and just one or two fish from the rest.
The skies were quite murky and dark all morning and the south easterly wind we started with turned northerly around 8:45. During a very brief span of time at midmorning, the gray skies thinned enough to let a bit more sunlight through, just to the level where you would have to squint if not wearing sunglasses. During this time a very brief increase in fish feeding intensity occurred, allowing us to use slabs and pick up a good number of fish very quickly, most of which were large white bass.
Matt’s schedule at the hospital required that we depart promptly at 11 AM today, and by that time we had managed to put together a decent string of 27 fish, roughly 40% of which were legal sized hybrid striped bass.
TALLY = 27 fish, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:50a
End Time: 11:00a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 68F
Water Surface Temp: 74.2F
Wind Speed & Direction: Winds were ESE6 for about our first 30 minutes, then, in advance of a mild, approaching cold front, turned NNW9-10 for the remainder of the trip.
Sky Conditions: 100% grey skies with light drizzle for the first hour.
Water Level: 6.42 feet above full pool with a fall of 0.16 feet in the last 24 hours with a release of ~4600cfs ongoing.
GT = 75
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1277/683 – live shad early
**Area 1482/187 – slabs during a brief bright period
**Area 346/086- live shad late
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254.368.7411 (call or text)