WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning I fished with returning guest Brad Kadinger. I first met Brad last June when he boated 83 fish as we enjoyed fishing Stillhouse together under heavy grey skies with occasional rain brought in by a strong low pressure system. Brad is originally from South Dakota; he moved to Wisconsin, and then headed here to Texas late in 2017. He works as a carpenter for a home builder in the west Austin area.
A buddy of Brad’s was supposed to join us, but his travel plans into Austin were hindered and, unfortunately, his plane didn’t land until an hour after our trip concluded.
PHOTO CAPTION: Brad Kadinger with a pair of hybrid landed seconds apart. One fell for a tailspinner as we worked artificials on the starboard side of the boat. The other fell for a live shad on the live bait we had suspended from the port side.
PHOTO CAPTION: After downrigging in shallower water under low light conditions, we moved out to deeper water as the sun rose higher. In two areas a few yards apart we encountered white bass in the 1, 2, and 3 year classes, short hybrid and legal hybrid, and also pulled 3 largemouth. The largemouth all came on the tailspinners.
WHAT WE FISHED FOR: Multi-species
WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton
WHEN WE FISHED: 21 June 2019, AM
HOW WE FISHED: I was pleasantly surprised at our results today after a few trips in which I’ve struggled a bit lately on both Belton and Stillhouse as the annual lake changes that typically occur in June took place, in addition to the rapid shedding of the last of the flood waters which accumulated most recently in May. I always have in my mind a figure on how I expect the day’s conditions and the season we’re in to produce. I was expecting for a catch in the low 40’s today.
This morning we took advantage of the strong south winds slamming into south-facing shorelines to cover water and pick up white bass, hybrid striped bass and a single largemouth bass via downrigging with 3-armed umbrella rigs under low light conditions from 6:30a to around 8:30a. We picked up singles and doubles steadily as we kept an eye on sonar and adjusted our downrigger balls to track just above the depth of the fish we saw, typically 14-21 feet down over a deeper bottom. On one occasion we passed into a solid congregation of fish and I decided to try to stop upwind of them and cast downwind into them, working our baits horizontally through these fish. This failed to yield a single fish, so, we returned to downrigging and went right back to catching fish with our small Pet Spoons which did a great job of imitating the young of the year shad these fish regurgitated.
After the shallow water, low-light bite died, I moved out to deeper water and searched for congregations of bottom-oriented fish we could use Spot-Lock to hover atop of and work slabs and/or tailspinners through, along with dropping some live bait. I looked over a few areas, found ample bait in a relaxed “carpet the bottom” posture, and therefore moved on. After looking at two such areas, we found bottom-oriented, well-congregated fish at a third location around 8:45. These fish kept us plenty busy right through 11am when we left them biting so Brad could head to the Austin airport to get his buddy. We “smoked” with tailspinners the entire time. I occasionally tried a slab as Brad kept on with the tailspinner. As I’ve experienced in the past, these summertime fish just seem more interested in the additional flash and vibration of the tailspinner and today was no exception.
Once the fish really got responding to the thumper, to schoolmates being caught and released, and to the commotion of our jigging efforts, we really ignored the livebait and stayed with the more engaging artificial work in conjunction with Garmin LiveScope, which Brad had never experienced before.
I commented to Brad about how this LiveScope technology makes you a better angler by allowing you to be more precise and more efficient by only working lures before active fish and then by not stopping your presentation too early once a fish shows interest.
For better or for worse, the vast majority of this morning’s solid catch came from one general area. This means that I didn’t get to check on other potential areas to see if they would produce, as well (as I would do if I were scouting without clients aboard). This is still June, and, just because we caught over a hundred today doesn’t really have much bearing on what we might catch on the next trip. June is just that way!
TALLY: 103 fish caught and released
OBSERVATIONS: We routinely noted that 1) the fish seemed to perk up during stronger, longer periods of gusting wind, and 2) that more often than not, when one of us hooked up, the other did so nearly immediately, as if the first hooked fish goaded others into striking, as well.
Start Time: 6:30a
End Time: 11:00a
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 77F
Elevation: 0.64 feet high, 0.16 ‘ 24-hour drop, 1,661 cfs flow
Water Surface Temp: 81.9F
Wind Speed & Direction: Strong winds all morning with whitecaps before sunrise, blowing 14-17 entire trip, with gusts to 20.
Sky Conditions: Humid, partly cloudy at 50% grey clouds
GT = 45
#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area vic 024 – early downrigging
**Area vic 016-813 – early downrigging
**Area vic 1298/150 – smoking for 84 fish in 2.5 hours with 2 short hops for heavily congregated bottom-huggers
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)