A Persistent North Wind — 73 Fish @ Stillhouse

WHO I FISHED WITH:    This morning I fished with siblings Aron Stano and Alicia Richardson in pursuit of white bass on Stillhouse Hollow.  Aron captains private yachts in Florida for a living and Alicia is an art teacher at Belton High School.  Aron came in for his fourth visit to Texas a few days ago and his brother-in-law, Alicia’s husband, Robert, set this fishing trip up for the two of them.

I really enjoyed comparing notes on both foreign and domestic fishing venues with Aron; he’s convinced me to take a hard look at South Africa as both a fresh and salt water fishing destination.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  Aron Stano of Florida, and his sister, Alicia Richardson of Belton, Texas, with four fistfuls of fish taken under tough north wind conditions this morning on Stillhouse Hollow.  A combination of downrigging early and vertical work late accounted for our 73 fish take.

 WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  Multi-species

WHERE WE FISHED:  Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED:  13 July 2019, AM

HOW WE FISHED:  We faced our third straight day of north winds with another in store tomorrow before the wind is due to come back out of the south around mid-day on Monday.  This really has put a damper on the early morning downrigging bite in that the number of suspended fish which are the ones most easily targeted have been few and far between. Further, a majority of the fish in those suspended groups we found, and even some fish which pulled up off bottom and inspected the downrigger balls, did not pursue and take the trailing baits.  We put 10 fish in the boat via downrigging before I called what little “low light” bite we got over and we switched over to vertical jigging.

This turned out a bit better than I expected in that we stopped only one time at the very first deep-water location at which I spotted some scattered white bass along with shad.  We worked for a bit before getting our first bite, but once it came, we enjoyed schools of fish routinely coming in under the boat, nearly every one of which would give up at least one fish per angler, sometimes two, before first growing disinterested and then finally dispersing.  This is in contrast with typical behavior experienced under southerly wind conditions where the fish typically come in to the baits and then linger for quite some time, all the white remaining able to be caught.  Regardless, we wound up boating another 63 fish, including 1, 2, and 3-year class fish, every last one of which came on my prototype tailspinners.

TALLY:  73 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:   One more day of north wind is currently forecast.  Zero topwater action spotted this morning.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:30a

End Time: 11:15a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 75F

Elevation:  0.33 feet high, 0.01′ fall, flow is 200 cfs

Water Surface Temp:   86.8

Wind Speed & Direction:  NE8 beginning right at sunrise and slowly tapering up to NE13

Sky Conditions:   ~25% white cloud cover

GT = 45

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:     

 

 AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Areas vic 481 and vic 258 each gave up a few fish on a tough, low-light downrigger bite impacted negatively by the N. wind

**Area 062-878 – 63 white bass on tailspinners in 38′

 

Bob Maindelle

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

Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun (SKIFF) – 7th Trip of the Season

WHO I FISHED WITH:    This morning I fished the seventh S.K.I.F.F. program trip of the 2019 season. Joining me were Alicia Wegmann (18), Jayden Lamay (11), and Giovanni Lemay (10).  Michelle and Alicia lost Alicia’s father, Sergeant Robert Wegmann Jr. in 2008. Sergeant Wegmann received a Purple Heart after being wounded overseas when a roadside bomb exploded. Sergeant Wegmann and his battle buddy would both lose their lives as a result of this incident.

Alicia really impressed me with her focus and goals.  Having earned an Associate’s Degree prior to graduating from high school a few weeks ago, she now has her sights set on an accounting degree from Texas A&M University Central Texas.  She grasps new things very quickly and is very articulate.  I know she’ll do well.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Alicia Wegmann, Giovanni Lamay, and Jaden Lamay on the seasons’ seventh SKIFF program trip.  The kids landed 56 fish this morning.

 WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  Multi-species

WHERE WE FISHED:  Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED:  12 July 2019, AM

HOW WE FISHED: With north wind conditions still mixing things up this morning, we tried three different things to both keep it interesting and keep the fish coming over the side.  We did some downrigging early on when I figured the fish would be most active, suspended, and willing to chase.  From there, we transitioned to sunfishing up shallow, and ended with an unsuccessful round of vertical jigging with tailspinners.  Unfortunately the wind tapered down as the morning moved on instead of increasing as it normally does, so the fishing slowed earlier than normal.  When all was said and done we’d landed a total of 56 fish including 13 white bass, 1 channel catfish, and 42 sunfish.

TALLY: 56 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:   One more day of north wind is currently forecast.  Zero topwater action spotted this morning.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:30a

End Time: 10:15a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 75F

Elevation:  0.33 feet high, 0.06′ rise, flow is 1 cfs

Water Surface Temp:   85.5

Wind Speed & Direction:  NE10 beginning right at sunrise and slowly tapering down to NE6

Sky Conditions:   ~25% white cloud cover

GT = 0

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:     

 

 AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  vic 1242-1239 downrigging

**Area  vic SH0058C – 1976 downrigging

**Area  1416 sunfish

 

Bob Maindelle

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

THE BUFFALO HUNTER FROM MONTANA – 48 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:    This morning I fished with Dan Gretch and his 16-year-old son, Blayne, of Helena, Montana.  The Gretch family had always wanted to do a little vacationing in Texas and this was the summer they made it happen.  Along the way they got to take in Austin, some local fishing while staying in the Temple area, and from here will head to Arlington for a Ranger ballgame before flying back home.  Dan is a professor at Carroll College, a private Catholic college with a student body of just over 1,400 in the capitol city of Helena.  Blayne is working his way through public high school while holding down a job at Murdoch’s Ranch and Home Supply where he loads a lot of feed for the cattle, sheep, and pig farmers in the region.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:    16-year-old Blayne Gretch of Helena, MT, took this 33-inch monster of a smallmouth buffalo on light spinning gear intended for the white bass we were targeting.  We all watched the fish rocket upwards in pursuit of the 1-ounce tailspinner while viewing LiveScope.  The fish was cleanly hooked in the upper left lip, measured, and released.  We estimated 30-35 pounds.

PHOTO CAPTION:    From left: Dan Gretch with a Stillhouse largemouth bass, and his son, Blayne, with a Stillhouse white bass.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  Multi-species

WHERE WE FISHED:  Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED:  11 July 2019, AM

HOW WE FISHED:   Summertime wrinkles in the weather really make me nervous.  Things began getting tough yesterday when the winds went flat calm most of the day in advance of a cold front’s arrival overnight.  When we first got on the water this morning and I began running downriggers, it was quickly evident that, as I anticipated, we were going to have to work for each fish we caught under today’s north-wind conditons.  The fish would have nothing to do with a quick, horizontal presentation via the downriggers.  So, after covering what I felt was our best terrain in that key low-light period and coming up with only one fish while seeing very few others, we moved and went vertical.

I keyed on spotting just handfuls of loosely schooled fish holding together in the lower third of the water column to choose where to focus our efforts.  I tried to choose the “center of mass” of any collections of fish I found on side-by-side down imaging and colored sonar on the Lowrance Carbon, and then used the iPilot Link function of the Humminbird Solix to lock on top of that center of mass.  I then relied on Garmin LiveScope to keep the area scanned in real-time as we worked tailspinners vertically.  The action slowly improved as the light level increased in the 35-52-foot waters we were fishing.

The white bass that came through came through in groups of 30-50 fish and were typically moving quickly, allowing at most just 1-2 fish per angler before they moved on. Fortunately, these schools appeared frequently enough to keep the catching steady and engaging.  Over the next few hours we put 1 largemouth, 1 drum, 1 smallmouth buffalo, and 45 white bass in the boat including mainly 2-year class fish.  The fishing definitely moved deeper as the skies got brighter and hour got later.

TALLY: 48 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:    At least 2 more days of north winds are currently forecast

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:30a

End Time: 11:10a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 75F

Elevation:  0.22 feet high, 0.05′ rise, flow is just 1CFS

Water Surface Temp:   85.5

Wind Speed & Direction:  We experienced a 180 degree reversal of the winds beginning last night around 10p with the arrival of a mild cold front which moved in from the NNW.  This morning the winds came up quickly to 10mph by dawn, then peaked at NNW13 by 9am, then backed off NNW11 for the remainder of the trip.

Sky Conditions:   About 70 minutes of 100%  grey clouds in the eastern sky, then clearing to 40% coverage thereafter

GT = 0

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:     

 

 AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  SH0123C

**Area  vic SH0120C

**Area  SH0122C

**Area  vic 878

Bob Maindelle

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

SAVED BY THE SUNFISH — 56 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:    This morning I fished with a man and his two sons.  Due to the father’s connection to the Department of Homeland Security, he requested that names and photos not be used in this report.

 

 

PHOTO CAPTION:    This illustration of a bluegill sunfish was found in The Outdoorsman’s Freshwater Fishing Guide of Southern California.  Sunfish like this, as well as green sunfish, and longear sunfish provided a ready supply of action when bright skies and calm winds shut the white bass bite down early today.

Bluegill

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  Multi-species (white bass and sunfish)

WHERE WE FISHED:  Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED:  10 July 2019, AM

HOW WE FISHED:  This morning got off to a pretty routine, solid start.  A light SSW breeze had begun to ripple the surface, the sun was rising and was unobscured by clouds, so there was a sudden brightening of the skies which spurred the fish on to begin feeding.  Sonar showed ample fish both suspended off bottom and on bottom.  We set our downrigger balls around 30 feet deep and went right to work.  The boys, ages 8 and 10, missed their first 3 fish due to some rookie mistakes which we worked through, and then wound up converting the next 6 consecutive strikes into landed fish.  Then it happened …

The wind quit just as a thin layer of patchy grey clouds obscured the sun and it was like someone turned off the power.  We found no more white bass anywhere in the vicinity where, literally, minutes before there were hundreds. It was one of the most dramatic mood swings I’ve seen fish make and there was no obvious environmental trigger to  accompany it (no front arrival, no barometric pressure swing, etc.).

We tried downrigging in 2 more areas, adding just one more white bass to the count and had a number of situations where I found suspended white bass in solid numbers and with downriggers well-positioned, only to have our presentation totally ignored (i.e. no fish even budging upwards toward the baits, much less chasing, etc.).

After a longer fishless stretch than I like younger kids to endure, we made a break up shallow to fish for sunfish.  The boys enjoyed this on their trip with me last August, and enjoyed sunfishing again today.  This time, I retained a few to use for livebait hoping to drum up a few largemouth after the novelty wore off the panfishing.

When that time came, we did a bit more looking for white with the ‘riggers but again found none.  By now, the sun was blazing and it was breathless out there.  There was no sign of life at all — no fish jumping, no bait at the surface — just nothing.  We hung baits over several grassy high spots, but after 3 stops had nothing to show for it and called it a day right around 11 am with 56 fish landed — a morning certainly saved by the sunfish!

TALLY: 56 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:    Still no summer schooling action on topwater to speak of by largemouth or white bass.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:30a

End Time: 11:00a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 76F

Elevation:  0.22 feet high, 0.05′ rise, flow is just 1CFS

Water Surface Temp:   84.7

Wind Speed & Direction: Light breeze under SSW2 entire trip.

Sky Conditions:   An unobscured sunrise was covered by a thin layer of clouds from 7:30 to 8:30, afterwhich the clouds dissipated allowing the full force of the sun to shine on a near-windless surface.

GT = 0

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:     

 

 AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Areas 1241-SH0048C-SH0045C – center of mass for limited, early downrigging success

**Area SH0043C – sunfish

 

Bob Maindelle

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

AND 2 MORE “FIRST FISH AWARDS” GO TO …

WHO I FISHED WITH:    This morning I welcomed aboard 3 generations for a “Kids Fish, Too!” fishing trip focused strictly on the kids’ success.  Joining me was (grandpa) Jim Wood, his daughter, Allison Bailey, and Allison’s two children, Jack (age 9) and Charlotte (age 7).  Jim is a retired physician who worked in the Killeen and Lampasas areas and lives in McGregor, TX; Allison was recently promoted to assistant principal at an elementary school in Grapevine, TX, where Jack and Charlotte will attend this coming school year.  Allison taught in the classroom for the previous 18 years.

I really enjoy running these summertime “Kids Fish, Too!” trips, and especially with kids aboard who have never caught fish before, as was the case this morning.  Kids just arrive enthusiastic and get even more enthusiastic as the first few fish come aboard and they gain knowledge and confidence.  Kids aren’t concerned about numbers or species or a particular presentation style … they just like to catch fish!

 

PHOTO CAPTION:    Allison Bailey in the back standing beside her dad, Jim Wood.  In the foreground, Charlotte and Jack Bailey, each with the first fish of their lives.  Charlotte’s white bass measured 12.75 inches, and Jack’s measured 13.00 inches.  Both fell for a downrigged Pet Spoon fished down around the 25-foot mark over a deeper bottom.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  Multi-species (white bass and sunfish)

WHERE WE FISHED:  Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED:  09 July 2019, AM

HOW WE FISHED: This morning we invested our first 2.5 hours into chasing white bass, and saved our final hour for the pursuit of sunfish.  There was a fair band of low clouds in the eastern sky which obscured the direct sun at sunrise, so the action slowly tapered up, but was in full swing by 7:15.  We started off our trip using downriggers to catch suspended fish until the sonar and the fish themselves indicated it was time to stop downrigging and “go vertical”.  We downrigged until about 7:45 using twin 3-armed umbrella rigs equipped with Pet Spoons.  We then switched over to my third generation prototype tailspinners.  We landed fish steadily on the tailspinners as we watched for fish reaction to them on Garmin LiveScope.  By the time the action tapered off around 8:35, we’d landed 32 white bass, many of which were in the 3-year class.  A final 25 minutes of downrigging added another 4 fish to the count, hence we ended our efforts in pursuing white bass around 9am with 36 of that species landed.

I searched two additional areas for white bass but found only a few, scattered fish and very relaxed bait at the first stop and even less at the second, so we moved on.

Our last 45 minutes on the water was spent in pursuit of sunfish.  I like to expose kids to the simplicity of fishing for sunfish and, as I do, explain to them that they do not need a fishing guide, fancy boat, high-dollar electronics, or high-end gear to enjoy catching sunfish.  I show them each important step so they can repeat their success on a body of water close to home.  Using small balsa floats, small hooks, small split-shot, and small bait, Jack and Charlotte put a final 34 fish in the boat including bluegill sunfish, redear sunfish, longear sunfish, and green sunfish.  As 10am approached, we were reminded it was July in Texas as the sun began to beat down under light wind conditions.  As the kids began to get a bit red-faced, I knew it was time to conclude, and we took a pleasant, breezy ride back in to our launch site.

TALLY: 70 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:    Still no summer schooling action on topwater to speak of by largemouth or white bass.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:30a

End Time: 10:00a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 76F

Elevation:  0.17 feet high, 0.04′ rise thanks to a line to T-storms which moved quickly through the night before, flow is just 1CFS

Water Surface Temp:   84.3

Wind Speed & Direction:  Barely west of south the entire time, 4-7mph

Sky Conditions:   Light grey cloud cover in the eastern sky served to block the full force of the sun through about 7:30a, then the sun rose above this cloud bank and the heat and light levels both rose quickly.

GT = 65

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:     

 

 AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Areas 484-660-644 – center of mass for downrigging success

**Area  vic 1239 – single stop for vertical work with tailspinners

**Area 1256 – sunfish

 

Bob Maindelle

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

FREE FISHING TRIPS FOR SOLDIERS’ KIDS – QUINTERO GIRLS LAND 52

WHO I FISHED WITH:    This morning I conducted the sixth S.K.I.F.F. program trip of the 2019 season.  I welcomed aboard the children of Marcial and Valerie Quintero — 6-year-old Hailey and 5-year-old Rosemary.  Marcial has been in the U.S. Army for 5 years and now serves with the 91st Engineer Battalion in the rank of Specialist.  He was recently separated from his family for a European rotation which included training in Poland, Bulgaria, and Germany.

This fishing trip was provided to this military family at no charge.  S.K.I.F.F. stands for Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun.  This program began in May of 2009.  It is funded by the donations and fundraising efforts of the Austin Fly Fishers.  S.K.I.F.F. provides the children of military personnel separated from their families due to duty commitments with the opportunity to go fishing.  I coordinate and conduct these 3.5 to 4 hour adventures on Belton Lake and Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir, just outside the gates of Fort Hood in Bell County, TX, year ’round.

PHOTO CAPTION:    From left – 5-year-old Rosemary, her mom, Valerie Quintero, and 6-year-old Hailey, with a pair of 3-year class white bass taken on this morning’s multi-species trip.  The sisters caught a mix of 52 white bass and sunfish.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  Multi-species

WHERE WE FISHED:  Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED:  06 July 2019, AM

HOW WE FISHED:  My guests this morning were ages 5 and 6, so, I knew in advance we would not stick with any one thing very long, whether we were successful, or not.  We began the day under calm conditions and, in about 10 minutes’ worth of effort, did not connect with any white bass via downrigging.  So, we headed up shallow for our first of two rounds of sunfishing.  The girls liked the fast pace and constant results, and they did well for never having fished before.  Within minutes of arriving and watching my simple “demo”, both girls landed the first fish of their lives and earned a TPWD “First Fish Award”.  With Hailey fishing off the portside and Rosemary fishing off the starboard, things were pretty manageable thanks to the snag-free patch of water I chose.  We would land 30 fish here before breaking away to once again try for some white bass.

With the conditions still calm, the white bass were not really turned on yet, so, I moved us to the most open, wind-exposed area I could find given the gentle SSW breeze blowing. Fortunately, as we made our way, the wind notched up about 3-4 mph to around SSW9.  This was all it took to trigger the fish to get feeding.  We landed 3 white bass on a single downrigger pass and saw the bottom over a 100 yard stretch was littered with fish.  I hovered us in one spot with Spot-Lock and helped the girls work tailspinners vertically through the fish.  They landed 7 more solids white bass before the novelty wore off.

I offered them a choice for our last “segment”:  more downrigging, more vertical fishing, or more sunfishing, and they both voted for more sunfishing.  So, to close the trip out we headed to another area with a nice blend of rock and weeds and put a final 12 sunfish in the boat for a grand total of 52 fish for the Quintero sisters.

TALLY: 52 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:    Temperature profile was as follows; no distinct thermocline …

0 feet 84.7F

5 feet 84.7F

10 feet 84.7F

15 feet 84.7F

20 feet 84.7F

25 feet 84.7F

30 feet 84.5F

35 feet 83.7F

40 feet 81.9F

45 feet 80.3F

50 feet 78.2F

55 feet 75.7F

63 feet 72.8F

65 feet 71.2F

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:30a

End Time: 10:00a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 76F

Elevation:  0.19 feet high, no elevation change, flow of 200cfs

Water Surface Temp:   See temperature profile

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSW6-8 the entire trip

Sky Conditions:   Light grey cloud cover in the eastern sky served to block the full force of the sun through about 8:30a, then the sun rose above this cloud bank and the heat and light levels both rose quickly.

GT = 0

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:     

 

 AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 422 sunfish – 30 fish

**Area  vic 829 white bass – found them via downrigging, caught 3, then used tailspinners to capitalize on the find for 7 more in short order – 10 fish

**Area 189 sunfish – 12 fish

 

Bob Maindelle

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

A DAY AT THE LAKE WITH POP POP — 50 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:    This morning I fished with Jay Campbell and his just-turned-six-year-old grandson, Connor Campbell, both from Waco, TX.  Jay is a retired physician who made valiant attempts to juggle Connor’s many summertime activities to work this trip in before the next school year begins.  The two came in the night before and lodged in Salado so as to make shorter the drive and longer the night’s sleep before embarking on this morning’s trip.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  Jay Campbell and his grandson, Connor, with a pair of white bass landed in addition to several dozen sunfish on a cloudy early July morning on Stillhouse.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  Multi-species on a “Kids Fish, Too!”-style trip

WHERE WE FISHED:  Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED:  03 July 2019, AM

HOW WE FISHED:  The on-again, off-again light situation caused by fast-moving clouds and easterly component to the wind seemed to dampen white bass enthusiasm a bit this morning.  We found fish on sonar, but only drew attention from a fraction of those we saw.  I dared not push the window on patience too long or too often with a 6-year-old aboard, so, if the white bass did not cooperate rather quickly, we turned to “instant gratification” fishing for sunfish up in shallow water.  As it turned out, we landed one white bass on our first round of downrigging, then went up shallow to catch sunfish, then hit another area with the downriggers where we managed a double, then rounded the trip off with a final bout of sunfishing.

In all, Connor landed 3 white bass and 47 sunfish, for a total of 50 fish by 10 a.m..

TALLY: 50 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Once again, still no organized topwater action observed on Stillhouse.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:30a

End Time: 10:00a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 74F

Elevation: 0.37 feet high, 0.08′ 24-hour drop,  387 cfs flow

Water Surface Temp:    82.5F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SE9 the entire trip

Sky Conditions:   Highly variable light situation this morning with fast moving, large patches of high clouds obscuring the sun, then passing and allowing for full shine.

GT = 55

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:     

 

 AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area SH0121C and SH0043C produced sunfish well

**Area  vic 1242 and vic 868 held fish but activity was pretty subdued

 

Bob Maindelle

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

TAS CONCRETE & HOAR CONSTRUCTION RACK UP 112 WHITES

WHO I FISHED WITH:    This morning I was joined once again by Greg Graham of TAS Concrete as he did a bit of corporate entertainment on Stillhouse Hollow.  Greg invited Daron Ludwig (also of TAS) and two fellows from Alabama-based Hoar Construction — J.R. Mulle and Houston Bolt — to fish for white bass.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:   From left: Greg Graham (TAS), J.R. Mulle (Hoar Const.), Daron Ludwig (TAS), and Houston Bolt (Hoar Const.), each with one of the first few white bass we landed via downrigging this morning.  We took photos quickly and returned these to the water to avoid barotrauma and temperature-related issues involved in keeping fish in the livewell for an extended period of time in this warm-water season.

 

  

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  Multi-species focused on white bass

WHERE WE FISHED:  Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED:  02 July 2019, AM

HOW WE FISHED:  Fishing has finally gotten into that sweet summertime predictability mode where fish location and activity is concerned.  So long as the weather is stable, the fish are now, and will continue to be, in the same places doing the same things at the same times of day right up until it begins to cool off in mid- to late-September.  After a wrinkle in the weather Sat. and Sun., southerly winds resumed on Monday and I got back on the water this morning to pick right back up where I’d left off on Saturday morning before the weather came in.

The downrigger bite for open-water fish suspended at 30-35 feet over a deeper bottom is very solid from first light right through about 9am.  There comes a time when, based on client ability/preference, the fish get active enough that we have the option to keep downrigging or change over to vertical work from a Spot-Lock position using smoked tailspinners in combination with Garmin LiveScope.  This morning, we went with the latter option and my 4 clients really engaged with the LiveScope running.

One bonus today was finding a second, large population of actively feeding white bass turned on after the first population we;d been fishing for had turned off.  I really hadn’t searched for such fish up to this point as I’d gone after sunfish up shallow with my younger guests of late, but with capable men aboard this morning, the search paid off as we put a final 48 fish in the boat in under an hour’s time, concluding right at 10:45 as that second bite was shutting down fast.

TALLY: 112 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:   1) Still no organized topwater action observed on Stillhouse. 2) This morning I also got to put some refinements to my tailspinner design into action, which worked well, thus getting me close to developing the ideal tailspinner bait I set out to create by the end of this 2019 season.  The primary improvement was limiting movement of the underslung hook so it does not tangle on the spinner shaft, nor on the fluorocarbon leader.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:30a

End Time: 10:45a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 77F

Elevation: 0.45 feet high, 0.07′ 24-hour drop,  734 cfs flow

Water Surface Temp:    81.5F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SE9 at trip’s start, lessening and shifting to SW6-7 by mid-morning, then picking up a bit at SW9 by trip’s end.

Sky Conditions:   Light grey cloud cover in the eastern sky served to block the full force of the sun through about 8:30a.  As the sun cleared this, the wind kept the perceived temperature comfortable right thru trip’s end.

GT = N/A

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:     

 

 AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1242 was “center of mass” for downrigging this morning from 6:45am through ~8:15am, then again for a short span from 9:15 to 9:30 after the vertical bite was open.

**Area vic  SH0041C – vertical work with tailspinners in the midst of our downrigging circuit

**Area SH0120C – added a final 48 fish to our tally in our last 45 minutes on the water working tailspinners vertically in 52′ with thumping and swishing

 

 

Bob Maindelle

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