Starting ’em Early — 52 Fish, Lake Belton, 16 Dec. 2016

This past Friday morning I fished with U.S. Army veteran Troy Hensley and his three-year-old son, Trace.



Troy Hensley and his 3-year-old son put 52 fish in the boat before the novelty of the outdoors within the confines of a 20 foot boat wore off on little Trace.

Troy and I first got to know each other through our church — Memorial Baptist Church — in Killeen, shortly after Troy finished up his time in the Army as an infantryman with the 1st Cavalry Division.  Fast forward a few years and the two of now have the honor of co-leading a small group of 5 families each Monday evening together.  Troy is originally from Kentucky, and growing up he did some fishing from the shore, primarily for largemouth bass. So, to fish in deep, open water using primarily vertical tactics is something fairly new to Troy.

Our skies were completely greyed over and our starting temperature was right at 50°. Three hours later, the temperature had only risen to 52. At times a light drizzle fell, which, in combination with the 14 mph south southeast wind made it feel pretty raw out.

We did the best we could to keep little Trace engaged.  When Troy or I hooked a fish we would lower the rod and reel down to Trace’s level and let him turn the handle. When that novelty wore off, we let him look at and play with the handful of fish we kept in the live well for photos. After that, it was snack time; after that he operated my thumping stick, and, last but not least, he served as our “net man”.  As the net man, Trace stood between Troy and me with a shad net. As we unhooked our white bass we put them tail first into the net and let Trace release them back into the lake where they slid out easily headfirst. By the three-hour mark he had had all of the weather, waves, and fun a 3-year-old  can have and fell asleep on our way back in.

We ended up this short, three hour trip with 52 fish boated and some once-in-a-lifetime photos and video clips taken.


TALLY = 52 fish, all caught and released


Start Time: 7:15a

End Time:  10:15a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 53F

Water Surface Temp:  58.6F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSE10-13

Sky Conditions: 100% grey overcast with light mist just before launching; damp and cool and damp the entire trip.

Water Level:  0.33 feet above full pool

GT =  0


**Area vic 739-752 for the first 2 hours for white bass on slabs with an easing tactic

**Area vic 963-1187 for the last hour for white bass on slabs with an easing tactic

Bob Maindelle

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)




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