WHO I FISHED WITH: This New Year’s Eve morning I teamed back up with a client of mine, Ryan Sparkman, who left the Belton area several years ago to pursue his career in medicine in College Station, TX.  After doing some fishing on both Conroe and Somerville while living out that way, Ryan had an opportunity to move his fishing rig to his folks’ retirement home in the Council Creek portion of Lake Buchanan.

Today, he invited me aboard to help introduce him to the approach I take for wintertime fish by actually doing it at Lake Buchanan and alongside him in his boat.  Ryan runs a well-equipped NauticStar 21′ center console with a Minn Kota Terrova GPS-type trolling motor and Lowrance electronics.

Aside from the fishing, I was able to shed some light on trolling motor use, sonar use and adjustment, tactics, and gear, all of which will help Ryan as he makes Lake Buchanan his new home lake.

I did some homework prior to the trip by contacting other successful anglers who spend more time on this lake than I do (thank you, Jason Weisberg and Tim Pham), and by doing a map recon of the lake, looking for areas that stood out as having the potential to hold freshwater pelagics like white bass, striped bass, and hybrid striped bass.


Ryan Sparkman with a full-blooded Lake Buchanan striped bass taken via deadsticking from 25′ deep over a 34′ bottom.


Ryan Sparkman with a Lake Buchanan hybrid striped bass which took a deadsticked soft plastic at about 15′ deep over a 32′ bottom.

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

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Buchanan

WHEN WE FISHED: Monday,  December 31, 2018

HOW WE FISHED: As we began this trip, we headed to the deeper end of Buchanan, nearest the dam, first, hoping the light would penetrate in that slightly clearer water first and perk those fish up.  The bite was stubborn through about 10:00.  We were able to get fish to come beneath the boat via thumping, but they were very reluctant to respond.

We moved up toward the Colorado River end of the lake later in the morning and into the afternoon to fish this more colored water after it was well-illuminated.  We did better from 10:45 to our trip’s end around 1:30p.

As it turned out, every one of the fish we caught today came as a result of deadsticking for relatively immobile fish that came under the boat in response to the thumper.  We deadsticked with very little movement using shad-imitating soft plastics.

OBSERVATIONS:   No helpful bird activity.  Water was murky green-brown.  All fish caught were suspended.

TALLY: 18 fish caught and released



Start Time: 7:30 a

End Time: 1:30 p

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 43F

Water Surface Temp: 52.3F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SW7-10 thru 11am, then ramping up to SW14 with gusts to 17

Sky Conditions:  Clearing skies after yesterday’s overcast and drizzle.  Wispy white clouds to about 60% coverage.

Water Level: ~10 above full pool

GT = 40

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow




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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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