WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, September 30th, I fished with Mr. Chris Henry, his son, Ethan, Chris’ friend, Kevin Smith, and Ethan’s friend, Grayson Ginn.
As Chris initially described it to me, his son Ethan, and Ethan’s buddy, Grayson, joined a bass fishing club in Kyle, TX, called 5th Day Anglers. The boys are scheduled to fish a Faith Angler Network tournament on Lake Belton on October 19th, and all three were hoping for a peek into fishing Lake Belton before showing up on the day of the event. Since the FAN rules place the lake off limits 7 days prior to the tournament, we got this trip in today.
I was very upfront that I do not specialize in black bass fishing. Nonetheless, all four fellows got some valuable insights into the Lake Belton fishery as we caught white bass, largemouth, smallmouth, and blue catfish over the course of our 4 hours on the water.
PHOTO CAPTION: From left – Grayson Ginn and Ethan Henry with a pair of bass the boys caught sight-casting to fish which were driving shad to the surface. That smallmouth was the first smallmouth of Ethan’s life.
PHOTO CAPTION: … and this was the first smallmouth Grayson ever landed.
PHOTO CAPTION: We caught fish in the 0, 1, 2, and 3 year classes today via downrigging and with vertically worked tailspinners. From left – Kevin Smith, Chris Henry, Grayson Ginn, and Ethan Henry.
WHAT WE FISHED FOR: White bass. largemouth & smallmouth bass, & blue catfish
WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton
WHEN WE FISHED: 30 September 2019, AM
HOW WE FISHED: We had unstable weather today and that definitely impacted the fishing, but we still landed on our feet and did well. I first pursued low-light, shallow water white bass with downriggers, keeping an eye peeled for topwater action. The murkiness of the cloud cover and wind speed did not allow for topwater action but, just as was the case on Saturday, the fish still showed up, they just didn’t come all the way to the surface. We landed 21 white bass coming as singles, multiple doubles, and multiple triples on the 3-armed umbrella rig, all in our first hour on the water.
Next, we sought out topwater black bass, and landed both largemouth and smallmouth as the boys sight-cast to them in shallow water as those fish aggressively pursued shad. The boys put another 4 fish in the boat during this effort
We moved on and found 2 distinct groups of white bass. The first was totally turned off, so, we left them and went looking for more. I used the downriggers to not only eliminate unproductive water, but also to gauge white bass activity levels. Those schools of white bass which were aggressive enough to overtake and strike our downrigged presentations were good candidates for vertical work with tailspinners. By finding fish with the ‘riggers, then setting up on them to work vertically, we added 47 fish to our tally, bringing us to 72 fish landed to this point.
We set aside our last 45 minutes to pursue blue catfish. We chummed fish in and then sealed the deal with doughbaits, landing another 11 fish, and capping the trip off with a total of 83 fish coming over the gunwale this morning.
TALLY: 83 fish caught and released
OBSERVATIONS: We had very unstable weather this morning. It was 100% cloudy the entire trip, but ranged from “squinting brightness” to periods with drizzle falling. After sunrise, the more murky and dark the skies, the less cooperative the fish. When the clouds thinned and brightened the sky (although still with 100% grey cloud cover), the fishing improved. I observed a large school of white bass (several hundred individuals) on Garmin LiveScope just milling about in the lower third of the water column totally ignore our presentations for the 10-12 minutes we stuck with them and tried to get bit. Typically, only fish glued to the bottom will behave like this, but this morning I feel the back and forth light level played into this behavior.
Start Time: 6:45am
End Time: 10:45am
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 76F
Elevation: 1.30 feet low, 0.05′ 24-hour fall, 34 CFS flow
Water Surface Temp: 82.5F
Wind Speed & Direction: SSE11-14 all morning
Sky Conditions: Grey skies all morning completely obscuring the sun for the entirety of the trip. A few moments of light drizzle over the course of the last 3 hours.
GT = 55
#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area B0154C to 814 – center of mass of low-light downrigging effort for 21 fish
**Area B0167C – sight-casting to topwater large/smallmout
**Area vic 788 – found white bass via downrigging, then worked them with tailspinners/Garmin LiveScope
**Area B0178C – chummed up blue cat and caught them on doughbait
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)