WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Tuesday and Wednesday, Rebecca and I welcomed to Texas and into our home Matt & Annette Langford of Queensland, Australia.  Matt was our fishing guide back in February when we fished Lakes Borumba and Somerset in pursuit of Australian bass.

Matt and Annette took a several weeks long “holiday” to the US, beginning in Atlanta, going as far north as the Canadian Rockies near Banff, and as far west as Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, taking in more of America than most Americans ever see.  That holiday will close out on the waters of Lake Hartwell in South Carolina, as Matt, the 2019 B.A.S.S. Angler of Year for Australia, competes in the B.A.S.S. Bass Nation event against competitors from other nations.

Much as I desired to do in Australia, Matt desired to learn new tactics and catch a variety of species while plying the waters of Lake Belton with me.

Annette, now 28 weeks pregnant, took an easier approach to Texas, sleeping in, going for walks, joining us for meals, and joining us for a short evening trip on our final day of fishing.

PHOTO CAPTION:  It just wouldn’t be right to have Australia’s representative to BASS Nation fish with me and not put him on a largemouth!  Matt took this nice 4.50 pound fish on Lake Belton this past Wednesday morning in 32 feet near some sparse timber.

PHOTO CAPTION:  Matt was “keen” to land many species using a variety of tactics.  We put down livebaits for hybrid and black bass, while soaking some cutbaits for larger catfish and drum.  

PHOTO CAPTION: The next species we scratched off the list was a blue catfish.


PHOTO CAPTION: Matt (right) found many of our open water tactics used for white bass were very similar to the tactics he employs for Australian bass.  That’s my brother, Andy, who joined us for Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning’s trips.

PHOTO CAPTION: My brother, Andy, came up with the best hybrid of the 2-day effort on Belton.

PHOTO CAPTION: After a great lunch at Miller’s Smokehouse in Belton, my wife, Rebecca (in pink) and Matt’s wife, Annette, joined us for a 2-hour afternoon outing on Wednesday.  The girls boated 79 fish, including 50 white bass and 29 catfish (both blues and channels).


WHEN WE FISHED:  22-23 October 2019, Full day both days


TUESDAY MORNING SUMMARY: We had post-frontal conditions forecast today after a mild cold front moved through on Monday.  This morning’s trip was the one that had me concerned, but, instead of a light northerly breeze under 4 (which was forecast), we instead enjoyed a 12 mph NW blow which allowed for a solid morning’s result.  We began the morning downrigging, taking 6 solid white bass on 3-armed umbrella rigs before the cloudless sky was bright enough to allow us to find biting fish congregated in deeper water. Once we found heavily schooled white bass and hybrid stripers in deep water, mainly relying on pre-FishReveal Lowrance DownScan technology to do so, it was game-on.  We sat in one area for about 2 hours and put an easy 70 fish in the boat as I introduced Matt to the use of Garmin LiveScope for vertical jigging (he uses LiveScope, but primarily for horizontal casting).  We capped of the morning with a bit of blue catfishing just for grins, and landed 8 catfish, thus adding to Matt’s “species list”.  We wrapped up the morning trip with 84 fish landed, then broke for lunch.  84 fish caught and released.

TUESDAY AFTERNOON SUMMARY:  On Tuesday afternoon, we added my brother, Andy, to the mix and once again pursued heavily schooled white bass in deep water with vertical tactics, relying on my own tailspinners to do the heavy lifting.  We were gunning for numbers this evening and even though the majority of the fish were small, we still landed some solid white bass.  We hit five distinct areas, stayed at each around 30-40 minutes, and picked up between 13 and 24 fish at each before the fish lost interest.  At and just beyond sunset, we headed up shallow; I used Humminbird Side Imaging to locate shallow schools of white bass moving up to gorge on shad one last time before dark in 12-15 feet of water.  We threw Cicada bladebaits to these fish and landed a final 15 fish to bring our evening’s total to 101 fish landed.  101 fish caught and released.

WEDNESDAY MORNING SUMMARY: On Wednesday morning, we shifted gears, got out on the water well before sunrise and threw the castnet for shad, catching about 120 baits to use in the pursuit of hybrid.  I gave Matt and Andy a disclaimer that I normally do not use shad nor target hybrid stripers specifically this time of year.  The idea was to give Matt some exposure to yet another tactic and, perhaps, land a few hybrid.  Beginning at sunrise, we put in 3 hours fishing livebaits on tightlines and picked up a total of 20 fish.  There is no doubt the average fish we took on bait were larger than the average we had taken on artificials, but, our fish count also dropped.  We landed several largemouth bass, several drum, several blue catfish, a few mature white bass, and one hybrid striper.  In our last hour, we changed up and targeted very cooperative bluecat, as my brother had never fished for bluecat using the tactics I’ve been honing since the summer, and, Matt wanted to refine his hookset speed to see if he could up his strike-to-land ratio over Tuesday morning’s results.  We put 30 catfish in the boat in our final hour on the water before we broke for lunch. 50 fish caught and released.

WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON SUMMARY: After a great Texas lunch at Miller’s Smokehouse, complete with a goody-tray of burnt ends which Dirk Miller treated us to, we were back at it by around 3:30pm for a shorter trip which included me, Matt, Rebecca, and Annette.  We split the trip between vertical work for whites in the first half and prepared bait fishing for catfish in the last half.  We came of the water for the final time with 50 white bass and 29 catfish landed. 79 fish caught and released.




TALLY: 314 fish caught and released over the 2-day effort (185 on Tuesday, and 134 on Wednesday)

OBSERVATIONS:   No real surprises on the water over these past two days.  Shad were easier to net than I thought they might be; we found them suspended at 8 to 22 feet in open water and netted 120 with no problem.  Additionally, Tuesday morning’s results were better than I anticipated in that this was forecast to be a typical post-frontal day with bright skies, calm winds, and cold temperatures.  Although it was only 46F as the day began, the NW wind was still pushing at 10-12 before and during sunrise, then continued with enough velocity of put a chop on the water all morning, thus allowing for a very productive outing.




Start Time:    7:00A

End Time:  11:30A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  46F

Elevation:  1.92 feet low, 0.02′ 24-hour fall, 34 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  74.1F

Wind Speed & Direction:  NW11 at trip’s start, falling off to NW6-7 by 9:00A and staying there the remainder of the trip.

Sky Conditions:  Bluebird skies


Start Time:    3:30P

End Time:  7:00P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  78F

Elevation:  1.92 feet low, 0.02′ 24-hour fall, 34 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  76.1F

Wind Speed & Direction:  NE6-7 the entire afternoon

Sky Conditions:  Bluebird skies


Start Time:    5:15A (early start to net bait)

End Time:  11:00A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 56F

Elevation:  1.94 feet low, 0.02′ 24-hour fall, 34 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  76.4F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SE8 all morning

Sky Conditions:  Bluebird skies


Start Time:    3:30P

End Time:  5:30P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  84F

Elevation:  1.94 feet low, 0.02′ 24-hour fall, 34 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  76.8F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SE8 at trip’s start, falling off to SE5 by 9:00A and staying there the remainder of the trip.

Sky Conditions:  30% white clouds on blue sky

GT = N/A

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow





**Area vic 1882 downrigging for 6 whites

**Area  1177 to B0119C for 70 whites/hybrid

**Area  vic B0178C for 8 catfish


**Areas 1000, 1819/2027, 2050, B0121C, 382/691 – deep vertical work for whites on tailspinners

**Area 526 – a final 15 fish on blades up shallow in low-light conditions



**Area  vic 1854, vic 1819, and vic 1936 – live bait for a mixed bag of fish

**Area  1909 – catfish



**Area  387 and B0181C for white bass

**Area B0178C for catfish


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

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