This morning, Thursday, August 31st, I fished a multi -species trip on Lake Belton with SD Hearn Jr. of Temple. SD specifically requested Belton as it will be the lake he most likely fishes on his own with his new boat.
SD Hearne is a new fishing boat owner who asked me to “show him the ropes” on Lake Belton so he and his 7- and 12-year-old sons could put a few fish in the boat on their own going forward.
SD recently purchased a 19 1/2 foot aluminum V-hull from Rockwall Marine and chose to hire me so he could see how the boat, trolling motor, and sonar all work together in the pursuit of fish.
We originally had this trip scheduled for Monday, but Hurricane Harvey changed those plans. Although the rain stopped that day, the low pressure and winds from the NE caused me to push this trip back to a time with more stable weather.
Since learning to fish, not catching a bunch of fish, was the goal, I employed more techniques and covered more of the lake than I normally would have in order to give SD as much of an exposure as a morning would allow.
We began searching for topwater action under lowlight conditions, followed by downrigging. The downrigging produced fish and also lead us to fish that were heavily concentrated on bottom and therefore could be jigged for. Hence, we jigged for white bass, then used blade baits in a horizontal presentation to reach beyond the area directly beneath the boat once the vertical jigging slacked off.
In all, we found three productive areas, and ran sonar over a number of other areas that we either chose not to fish, or which did not produce once we began probing.
By the time five hours had rolled by, we managed to put 42 fish in the boat, and added another sunfish at dockside as I explained yet another tactic that I thought SD’s seven-year-old would take to. While on the lake, our catch included exactly 39 white bass, two hybrid striper, and one largemouth bass.
Our downrigger presentation today consisted of three-armed umbrella rigs equipped with Pet Spoons, our jigging was all done with 3/8 else Redneck Fish’n’ Jigs Model 180 slabs, and our blade bait tactics were accomplished with Reef Runner Cicadas in the 1/2 ounce silver on silver model.
As we wrapped up, SD very sincerely thanked me for the teaching and the explanations that went along with the fish catching.
TALLY: 43 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 6:50am
End Time: 12:00 noon
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 71F
Water Surface Temp: 79.5F
Wind Speed & Direction: NNW7-9
Sky Conditions: 20% high white cloud cover the entire trip
Water Level: 0.63 feet low and slowly falling with only evaporative losses; 0 cfs release at dam
GT = 30
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 811 downrigging early for scant, small schools of white bass
**Area 1975 vertical jigging (easing tactic) in 42′ for abundant but lethargic white bass
**Area vic 1126 – made three “short hops” in this same vicinity for heavily schooled, bottom-oriented white bass in the 0-, 1-, 2-, and 3-year class taken via slabs with an easing tactic and with bladebaits using a lift-drop tactic.
Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)