WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Dec. 13th, I fished with retired high school football coach Ken Powell who now lives in Burnet, TX.  Ken simply enjoys experiencing new things and, although he lives near Lake Buchanan, he was hard-pressed to find a guide there willing to use anything but live shad.  So, he contacted me back in September when downrigging was still producing to go on a downrigging trip with me on Stillhouse.  As the trip concluded, he asked if there was another time he could fish again and do something different.  I told him about this time of year and of the various vertical tactics I use to put high numbers of fish in the boat consistently.  He put down a deposit on the spot and today we made that trip happen.

Before we parted ways today, we agreed to go after hybrid in the spring.


Retired high school football coach Ken Powell of Burnet, TX, with 2 of the 5 Lake Belton white bass we landed today which surpassed the 14″ mark.  Over my 26 years on Belton, there have been a number of years when this lake didn’t produce a single white bass of that size for me and my clients.  It is good to see this quality.  Of course, 100% of our catch was released in hopes that these “big fish” genes are passed down to another generation.


WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass.  


WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday morning,  December 13, 2018

HOW WE FISHED:    It was a beautiful day on Lake Belton today.  Saw only one other boat in 4.5 hours on the water and enjoyed white bass fishing success at 5 of the 6 areas we searched.  The fish were definitely not in overdrive today, and we did not encounter a single episode of helpful bird activity.  What we did find were large schools of fish laying near bottom with just a tad of target separation between their bodies and the bottom.  Such fish are typically prone to a snap-jigging tactic and we did find this to be the case in all but one area.

That exception came over the centerline of a cove where I spotted suspended fish while idling through.  When I hovered atop these fish and began thumping for them, they coalesced under the boat, yet refused any active presentation.  Instead, a deadstick tactic (which I had just worked out a lot of kinks on yesterday at Stillhouse) really did the trick for these larger-than-average fish.  We landed 5 fish here which exceeded 14″, with the largest going 14 3/8 inches.  If you fish white bass on Belton, you’ll know those are solid fish.

The best of the bite died by around 10am and our tally then stood at 87 fish.  We continued for about 2 more hours, and landed another 30 fish during that time, for a trip total of 117 fish.  This included about 10% drum, white bass, 7 short hybrid, and several just-keeper largemouth bass.


TALLY: 117 fish, all caught and released



Start Time: 7:30a

End Time: 12:00 noon

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 59F

Water Surface Temp: 56.6F

Wind Speed & Direction: Calm at trip’s start, then picking up slowly and steadily from the west building up to ~14mph by trip’s end.  Hard winds of the next incoming front hit at 3:05pm.

Sky Conditions:  Bright and cloudless at trip’s start, clouding up to 40+% thin grey clouds by 10:10am

Water Level:  3.41′ high with an overnite fall of 0.05;  and a flow of 1,611 cfs

GT = 0

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow




**Area  B0113C  – snap jigging and smoking

**Area B0114C  – snap jigging

**Area  B0115C  – deadsticking

**Area vic 164  – snap jigging after the peak bite

**Area B0112C   – snap jigging after the peak bite



Bob Maindelle, Belton Lake Fishing Guide

Full-time, Professional Fishing Guide and Owner of Holding the Line Guide Service

Belton Lake Fishing Guide, Stillhouse Hollow Fishing Guide


254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

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