WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Saturday morning, December 15th, I fished with a 4-man crew organized by Jim Downing.  Joining Jim were Gary Hannemann who joined us for some spring hybrid fishing with live shad in early April this year, Coby Whiteside who joined us for some late fall action in 2017, and newcomer Josh Salaiz, who, I have a feeling, will be back, as well.  Jim and his party were one of the groups I had to push back from their originally scheduled date due to the aftermath of the mid-October flooding.  The wait was worth it though, as the high-numbers fishing Jim was looking forward to has since materialized.


From left: Josh Salaiz, Gary Hannemann, Coby Whiteside, and Jim Downing each with one of their contributions to the 170 fish tally we boated under cool, clear, windy conditions this December 15th morning.  100% of our catch was (and always is) released.


Josh Salaiz with our largest fish of the trip, a 6.25 pound carp that inhaled Josh’s 3/8 oz. slab.


Coby Whiteside with his personal best largemouth bass.  This fish took a 3/8 oz. slab with Hazy Eye Stinger hook attached.  The fish came off bottom in 34′.


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


WHEN WE FISHED: Saturday morning,  December 15, 2018

HOW WE FISHED:   The tail end of the cold front which arrived late Thursday afternoon was still sweeping through, thus, we avoided the dreaded clear, calm conditions encountered with post-frontal weather.  The wind was still blowing NNW10-11 before sunrise and then increased to right at NNW13 by mid-morning.  Unfortunately, all of this wind (with gusts over 30mph on Friday) really stirred up the silt where I had been enjoying success.  Although the bait was present, the fish were not feeding well, and we only had 18 fish in the boat by 9:15 after stopping numerous areas and finding willing fish at only two of them.

By 9:30, I took us to some deeper, clearer water and found very willing fish between 30 and 40 feet deep.  The fish were eager to feed — so much so that as I watched my clients’ slabs fall to the bottom on our initial drop (using sonar), I could see several fish rising well up off the bottom to meet the slabs.  We were able to enjoy about an hour of fast fishing primarily using a smoking tactic.  By 10:30 the fish were cooling off, but still cooperated on a snap-jigging tactic through 11:45 when the bite died once and for all.

Over the course of the morning we landed numerous drum, white bass, hybrid stripers (all shorts), a common carp, and a mess of largemouth bass, including a personal best landed by Coby.

OBSERVATIONS:     What little bird action I witnessed today was wide-spread at first light as birds patrolled for shad already on the surface (not driven there by fish below).  Later, any bird action was loon-connected.  No fish were caught today via the aid of birds.

TALLY: 170 fish, all caught and released



Start Time: 7:00a

End Time: 11:45a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 41F

Water Surface Temp: 52.6F

Wind Speed & Direction: NNW10-11 at trip’s start, building to NNW13 by trip’s end

Sky Conditions:  Bright and cloudless

Water Level:  3.14′ high with an overnite fall of 0.24;  and a flow of 2,400 cfs

GT = 100

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow




**Area  B0117C  – snap jigging (18 fish)

**Area  vic 971 – smoking upon arrival; snap jigging for mop-up (152 fish)



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)




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