This past Monday morning, November 28th, I fished a multi-species trip on Belton Lake with US Army veteran Lee Walker. Lee took advantage of the Veterans’ Day special fishing trip I advertised on that holiday, and, because the weather conditions were just so-so on that date, we moved it to today, and we were glad we did!
Lee Walker braved the high winds with me this morning and cashed in on some fun fishing under gulls and terns for a full 2+ hours before the skies cleared and the winds went over 20mph, forcing us to fish more protected, but less productive, waters.
By the end of the trip, the winds were so high, we couldn’t take a clear photo in the rocking boat so we put the boat on the trailer and took the pictures at water’s edge before releasing our catch.
The NOAA weather forecast was a bit daunting to look at, with wind speeds ranging from 17 to 23 mph during the four hour window from 7 AM to 11 AM during which we would be fishing. However, because the winds were due to be from the south and west, I felt our chances of catching fish were very good and so we made a go of it. Lee and I had gone out on his boat previously during a sonar training session in which he got to learn the features of his Lowrance HDS-7 Gen3 unit. He’s since upgraded to an HDS-9.
As we got going, the skies were heavily overcast, but brighter out to the west. Around 7:20, the first bird activity popped up in what would be a full two hour run of bird activity, allowing us to take advantage of fishing for fish active enough to chase bait all the way to the surface from out of 20 to 30 feet of water. We used a combination of presentations with both 3/8 ounce and ¾ ounce slabs. When the fish were more aggressive we fished the Hazy Eye Shad rig with a three-quarter ounce slab, and when the fish action was more subdued, we used a 3/8 oz. slab by itself a bit closer to the bottom.
By 9:15, the last of the cloud cover past with rapid clearing and brightening taking place from the south and west with a drastic, sudden increase in wind speed from 16 or 17 mph to up over 20 to 22 mph. The gull and fish activity took a noticeable downturn at this time and boat control became quite challenging. We relocated to a more protected area and continued to catch fish more slowly from out of the small, bottom hugging schools we found on topographic irregularities in 20 to 27 feet of water.
We wrapped up the trip at 11:10 with exactly 78 fish boated, including a mix of hybrid striped bass, white bass, freshwater drum, and largemouth bass.
TALLY = 78 fish, all caught and released
Start Time: 7:00a
End Time: 11:00a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 61F
Water Surface Temp: 67.1F
Wind Speed & Direction: WSW16-17 at trip’s start, ramping up to WSW20-23 by around 9:15a
Sky Conditions: Light but complete grey cloud cover, changing suddenly to clear skies around 9:15, along with the wind velocity’s increase
Water Level: 0.33 feet above full pool
GT = 10
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area vic 1663, fancasting with blades and slabbing in 15-22′ during low light conditions before sunrise under birds
**Area 1001 to 1808 – smoking and easing under birds
**Area 1857, 1635, and 1667 – easing under birds
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