WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Saturday morning I fished with returning, long-time client Steve Niemeier and his 14-year-old grandson, Caleb Fowler. Caleb had been all day the day before on an end-of-school-year trip to Six Flags, and didn’t mentally join us until around 9 a.m., but he was physically present, nonetheless! Caleb is one of the select few freshmen who will be entering the “Belton New Tech High School” as a freshman in the upcoming school year. The process for entry was widely anticipated and heavily competed for.
PHOTO CAPTION: Steve Niemeier’s personal best hybrid striped bass – 6.75 pounds. This well-proportioned fish was strong and clean — no missing scales, no sores, no scars, and no evidence of prior capture. Thanks to the barbless circle hooks we use, the fish was hooked cleanly in the corner of the mouth for a quick, simple hook removal and was released after a brief pause for this photo.
PHOTO CAPTION: Steve Niemeier and his grandson, Caleb Fowler, with a pair of hybrid which came under the boat as part of a wolfpack of about 14 fish. All 4 of our baited rods went down, and the spinning rod Caleb was working a tailspinner on also got hit. We landed 3 of the 5, including the two largest of the bunch, shown here.
WHAT WE FISHED FOR: Hybrid Striped Bass
WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton
WHEN WE FISHED: 01 June 2019, AM
HOW WE FISHED: We had pretty tough conditions coming out of the shoots this morning. I had hoped to cash in early on some topwater action which I noted was taking place pre-sunrise on yesterday’s trip. Due to timing issues, that didn’t quite work out, so, we devoted our entire trip to angling for deep water hybrid with live shad. The still, partly-sunny conditions did not do us any favors in the first 90 minutes on the water, but, once a light southerly ripple got going (which turned into a light, steady breeze later on), the fish began to perk up. We enjoyed a full 2-hour bite sitting atop one area. We noted boats moving around all over prior to this bite starting, leading me to think others were experiencing the same scenario. By the time this bite died, there were few fishing boats left going into the 11 o’clock hour as the temperature started to climb, the wind slacked off, the skies brightened more, and the fishing slumped.
To get bit by legal hybrid this morning (that’s 18+ inches), we had to wade through some short hybrid, white bass, and blue catfish to do so, but, with a teenager on board, the action produced by those smaller fish kept things interested. Occasionally, during a lull in the action, both Caleb and Steve would drop down a tailspinner and fairly quickly would come up with a short hybrid or white bass while the live baits continued to work.
With the tough conditions and lack of enthusiasm by the fish as seen on sonar wherein the fish rarely came up more than 2-3 feet off bottom, we fished just 2-3 cranks up off bottom the entire morning.
Large baits went largely ignored, and those smaller shad just barely staying inside a 3/8″ mesh on my smaller castnet did all the catching this morning.
Steve, whose family goes back several generations to the Gatesville area, has fished Belton his entire life. Today, he landed the single largest hybrid he’s ever landed. That fish struck Steve’s bait in 49 feet of water and absolutely buried the rod to the last guide closest to the reel when Steve engaged the reel on it. After bring the fish to net, we weighed it carefully twice; it went exactly 6.75 pounds on a certified scale. That was the single largest hybrid I’ve had come aboard the boat this season and it was a personal best for Steve.
I believe Steve was fine to head for lunch after landing that big fish, but we persisted, checking two more areas after the area that gave that fish up stopped producing. We did not find any more biting fish after ~10:30a, and therefore called it a done at about a quarter past 11am.
OBSERVATIONS: For the second consecutive morning, no shad spawning en masse this morning on calm winds.
TALLY: 43 fish caught and released, with 11 legal hybrid in this mix of hybrid, short hybrid, white bass, and blue cat
Start Time: 6:45a
End Time: 11:15a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 74F
Elevation: 7.16 feet high on a 24-hour fall of 0.50 feet and with a flow of 4617 cfs
Water Surface Temp: 79.5F
Wind Speed & Direction: light and variable until 8:30, then <S7 the remainder of the trip
Sky Conditions: Partly sunny at start of trip, then 70-80% cloudy until 10:30a, then beginning to clear to 40% cloudy
GT = 20
#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area vic B0152JWC – cheated a bit shallower up onto the flat and away from the channel on this stop
**Area vic 787 – fished on the channel drop here
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)