More Learning than Catching — 31 Fish, Belton Lake, 20 May

This morning, Friday the 20th of May, I fished with Mike London of Troy, TX, targeting hybrid striped bass on Belton Lake using live shad.


Mike London with our first hybrid of the morning, a 20″ fish that came out of 48 feet of water.  We went on to boat 31 fish over the course of 4.5 hours on the water.

Mike owns his own small business and decided to mix some pleasure with business, taking an RV camping trip to Lake Belton while still running local service calls from his campsite  — no rest for the weary!

When Mike and I first spoke about the kind of trip he’d like to participate in, it was clear that he was more interested in learning than in catching, so, I suggest he come out by himself so I could more thoroughly describe what we were doing and why we were doing it without being pulled away by the needs of other clients.

This worked out well, allowing us to talk about why we were fishing where we were fishing, the impacts of wind, why we placed our baits where we did, the kinds of baits and rigging that are effective, the in’s and out’s of catching and keeping shad, and a whole lot about the use, adjustment, and interpretation of sonar.

Mike was intrigued by how we could observe our individual shad 45+ feet down under the boat, then watch individual gamefish approach, stalk, and attack our baits.  By the end of the trip Mike was “calling his shots” as he watched sonar, saw aggressive fish moving in on our baits, and then diverted his eyes from the sonar to the rods to see the results play out at the last second as the audible bait clickers screamed with yet another hybrid striper heading out and away.

We finished up with 31 fish boated today including both legal and short hybrid stripers, and a few white bass, as well.


TALLY = 31 fish, all caught and released



Start Time: 6:30a

End Time:  11:15a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 63F

Water Surface Temp:  74.2F

Wind Speed & Direction:  Winds were NNW3-5, slowly shifting to NW4-6.

Sky Conditions:  100% grey cloud cover for the entire trip.

Water Level: 7.39 feet above full pool with a rise of 0.82 feet in the last 24 hours with no release of water currently ongoing.

GT = 45






**Area 1556 – live shad for first 1.25 hours

**Area 1299 – live shad for ~2 hours

**Area 294 – live shad for .75 hours


Bob Maindelle

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)