WHO I FISHED WITH:     This morning, August 2nd , I conducted the tenth SKIFF program trip of the 2019 season.  I welcomed aboard 8-year-old brothers Jonah and Jayden Talivaa, accompanied by their mom, Joelle Talivaa, a U.S. Army veteran who served one enlistment as a truck driver.  The boys father, U.S. Army Specialist Johnathan Talivaa, has served a total of 18 years on both active duty and in the Reserves.  SPC Talivaa is currently deployed to Kuwait where he works in a military supply unit.

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 and other organizations they have partnered with.  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.  In mid-2019, SKIFF also began provide trips to dependents whose parents’ military-related disabilities prevent them from taking their own children 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: Jayden, Joelle, and Jonah Talivaa with a sampling of the white bass that fed intensely, albeit briefly, this morning.  After the white bass shut down, we went up shallow hunting sunfish.

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


WHEN WE FISHED:  02 August 2019, AM

HOW WE FISHED:   This morning’s trip began at 6:20am as we began searching for topwater white bass.  The bite was shorter in duration and less intense this morning than I observed the rest of the week.  We picked up a few casting shad-imitating slabs, but actually did much better downrigging 3-armed umbrella rigs over fish that had already sounded.  By 7:40a the aggressive white bass action was over.  We’d landed 17 white bass and 3 hybrid by this time.

With fairly calm winds, hot weather, and two 8-year-olds on board, it was now time for sunfishing.  We hit only two areas and found all four species of sunfish very cooperative.  The boys got the knack for catching these abundant fish very quickly, and enjoyed it, so, we stuck with what was working well.  The boys went on to catch exactly 80 sunfish, taking our morning’s total up to exactly 100 fish before the Gatorade ran low, the sun got high, and we decided to call it good right there.

TALLY:  100 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  The white bass topwater bite duration lessened and Friday morning boat pressure increased.  Not necessarily a correlation.


Start Time:   6:20a

End Time: 10:15a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 75F

Elevation:  0.29′ high, 0.02′ 24-hour fall, 69 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:   83.5

Wind Speed & Direction:  S5-7 entire trip

Sky Conditions:  Under 5% cloud cover on blue sky.

GT =  0

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow




**Area  B0159C – low light topwater action, followed by downrigging action after the increasing light drove the fish down

**Area v1583 – sunfish

**Area  B0160C – 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)





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