WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Monday, May 7th, I fished with longtime friends DE Carson and Don Eddy primarily in pursuit of hybrid striped bass on Lake Belton. The two met over forty years ago when DE was trying to put a new roof on his house in the rain. Don came over, offered to give him a hand and, after completing the job, sat, soaking wet in the newly-roofed house eating tuna fish sandwiches and butter pickles! The fellows are both originally from near the Sacramento River delta region of central California, but came to Texas to volunteer in ministry and have now been here longer than either anticipated. Through all of their fishing adventures, the most DE and Don had ever landed in a single trip was 43 fish, so, you can imagine they went home pretty happy today!
DE Carson with a beefy Lake Belton hybrid striped bass taken on live shad in 43 feet of water.
As the photo shows, we had a glassy surface and blue skies, yet, the hybrid still bit well this morning. This was one of Don Eddy’s larger fish landed this morning.
WHAT WE FISHED FOR: During this trip, we focused on fishing for hybrid striped bass using live shad through 10:15am, we then left about a half hour to fish for white bass, primarily to demonstrate the tactics used for that species at this time of year.
WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake
WHEN WE FISHED: Monday morning, 07 May 2018
HOW WE FISHED: The hybrid bite was excellent this morning, despite the bright skies and calm winds. We fished only one area (with no short hops) for 3.25 hours and caught hybrid the entire time. The most aggressive bite took place through 8:10, then tapered out to a moderate, but steady pick of fish which included an occasional white bass. When white bass became an issue, we raised baits up a bit higher and got them to leave us alone. We put baits between 34 and 40 feet deep over a 43′ bottom, as sonar dictated. We ended up with 78 fish from this one stop, 75% of which were legal hybrid stripers. We saved a bit of time at the end of the trip for slabbing for white bass, mainly to demonstrate the technique of “smoking” to DE and Don. We put 14 additional white bass in the 1-2 year class in the boat in our final half hour from out of 52 of water. These fish were heavily congregated but were just about turned off for the morning when we got to them given that we fish for hybrid for an extended period of time as compared with last week’s bite which routinely wrapped up around 9AM or earlier.
OBSERVATIONS/NOTES: 1) I was surprised that we did as well as we did this morning, given the low wind speed and near-cloudless conditions we encountered. 2) I believe we are at that point which occurs each spring where the warming water drives up fish metabolism to where they begin to feed at times when they normally would not in colder water conditions. 3) We caught hybrid for 3.25 hours, with the last hour seeing better results on cutbait than on live bait.
TALLY: 92 FISH, ALL CAUGHT AND RELEASED
Start Time: 6:45a
End Time: 11:05a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 63F
Water Surface Temp: 70.8F
Wind Speed & Direction: SSE<3
Sky Conditions: Cloudless blue sky with the lightest of white haze on occasion
Water Level: 1.98 low and rising. This was a 0.40 foot jump due to Friday’s local rainfall. As a result, there was a noticeable amount of flotsam on the surface.
GT = 0
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area B0087C – 3.25 hours of solid hybrid action yielding 78 fish, 75% of which were legal hybrid striped bass, and the balance of which 2-3 year class white bass
**Area vic 717 – deep, loosely congregated white bass taken at a slow pace on slabs as the morning bite was shutting down (~30 minutes)
**Area “SHAD16 through SHAD17” produced ample spawning shad for bait this morning
Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)