That Little Bait Shop on the San Clemente Pier — 29 Fish

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Wednesday morning I fished with returning guests Rick Snelgrooes and his teenage son, Sean.  Rick also brought his former next door neighbor from California, Scott Shipley.  Scott recently bid for, and was awarded, the contract to run a small bait shop near the end of the 1,300-foot long San Clemente Pier nestled between Dana Point and the San Onofre nuclear power plant right in Orange County, CA.  Scott asked a lot of great questions as he tried to compare and contrast our freshwater fishing efforts with the saltwater pier fishing he is accustomed to, and as he tried to understand the sonar images we saw over the course of the morning.


From left: Rick Snelgrooes, Sean Snelgrooes, and Scott Shipley, each with a hybrid striped bass caught seconds apart as a “wolfpack” of these fish came under the boat and attacked our baits.  Note the body shape of Sean’s fish — it is one of the “pygmy” hybrid which TPWD looked into last year after quite a few were caught on Lake Belton with their unusually shaped, short, stocky bodies.


Rick Snelgrooes came up with an 11-pound bonus this morning while we were fishing slabs in deep water for white bass.  This smallmouth buffalo vacuumed in his slab and the fight was on!


 WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip focused on both white bass and hybrid striper


WHEN WE FISHED: Wednesday morning, 21 March 2018

HOW WE FISHED: We had “inbetween weather” today — the slow change from post-frontal conditions to lower pressure, more humid and more cloudy conditions with lighter winds.  The bright skies and light breeze which persisted through 10am certainly didn’t do us any favors.  We caught fish, including some really nice hybrid striped bass, but it was a slow, steady pick of fish.  Rick and Sean have been with me a number of times now, and each time in the past we’ve targeted high numbers of white bass.  Although the hybrid fishing is not yet what I anticipate it will be come April and May, the fishing is getting more predictable and the results are slowly trending better.  For this reason, I came prepared to fish for both hybrid and white bass, spending more time targeting quality hybrid than gunning for quantities of white bass.  When all was said and done, we put multiple 5-fish limits of hybrid in the boat with our morning take of 29 fish.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:  1. Hybrid showed as much or more interest in chunk bait as they did live shad this morning. 2. Just a few small flocks of gulls and terns now remain on Lake Belton and their activity has become sporadic, at best.




Start Time: 7:20a

End Time: 12:10p

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 44F

Water Surface Temp:  62.2F

Wind Speed & Direction:   Calm through 10am, then SSE7-8

Sky Conditions:   <5% white cloud cover

Water Level: 2.41 feet low and falling

GT = 105




**Area  B0062C – live shad for 21 hybrid, 2 blue cat, 3 white bass (fished here early and late)



Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)




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