WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Friday morning I fished with fishing buddies Tim Pham and John Kolbeck. The two met via an online fishing forum and have been splitting the cost on fishing trips and taking trips of their own ever since. Tim works in the Austin tech industry and John is a snowbird spending winters in Texas near his kids, then migrating back to International Falls, MN, in the summers where he fishes (and formerly guided on) Rainy Lake, a quarter-million acre natural lake known for walleye fishing and more.
From left: John Kolbeck and Tim Pham with some of the better white bass we landed today. Limpsticking/deadsticking came on strong in our last hour for suspended fish otherwise increasingly disinterested in even our slowest vertical retrieves. All fish came in water with a surface temperature around 51-52F.
WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass using artificial lures.
WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake
WHEN WE FISHED: Friday morning, 05 January 2018
HOW WE FISHED: We fished primarily in deep, 42-45 foot water this morning. We fished using three tactics: slow smoking for active, suspended fish and for more active bottom-oriented fish, snap-jigging for non-aggressive bottom-oriented fish, and limpsticking/deadsticking for non-aggressive suspended fish. All of the fish taken via smoking and snap-jigging were taken on the smaller 3/8 oz. slab with the Hazy Eye Stinger Hook attached. We used an extended pause while snap-jigging and found many of our fish came on the pause. The fish taken via limpsticking/deadsticking were all taken on a soft plastic and jighead suspended at or just above the level the fish were suspended at.
OBSERVATIONS/NOTES: 1) Today, out of necessity, we stopped several times on what I would normally consider marginal sonar returns. The extended cold snap really did impact the fishery, dropping our water temperatures about 6 degrees in just 5 days. Fish were hard to find and definitely not heavily schooled, nor feeding aggressively. Therefore, when I saw any fish activity, we stopped, worked over top of them and figured out if we could get them turned on.
TALLY: 60 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 7:20a
End Time: 12:15p
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 39F
Water Surface Temp: 52.1F
Wind Speed & Direction: Calm at trip’s start, building to SSE6-8
Sky Conditions: <20% scattered white cloud cover
Water Level: 3.00 feet low
GT = 40
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area vic B0004C – slow smoking and snap-jigging
**Area vic B0014C – slow smoking and snap-jigging
**Area B0025C – slow smoking, snap-jigging, and limp/deadsticking
Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)