WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Friday morning, May 1st, I conducted my first guided trip since the 24th of March when all non-essential businesses in Texas were closed by executive order issued by Gov. Greg Abbott. This morning I fished with returning guest Jeff Arbogust of Kempner, TX. Jeff is a retired landscape architect who fished with me one time previously as we pursued white bass on Stillhouse. This morning, our efforts were focused on hybrid striped bass on Lake Belton.
PHOTO CAPTION: With the threadfin shad spawn at its peak right now, these Lake Belton hybrid are ready to eat after returning to the lake from the tributaries during their ‘false spawn’.
PHOTO CAPTION: That’s 10+ pounds of fish landed about 45 seconds apart, both caught while fishing with live shad on tightlines.
WHEN WE FISHED: 01 May, 2020, AM
HOW WE FISHED: As is my custom during the threadfin shad spawn (which is running at peak condition right now), we used live threadfin shad as bait fished on multiple downlines in the lower third of the water column to tempt the hybrid stripers we landed.
We fished 4 areas. All yielded fish, but only 2 yielded hybrid. The hybrid we landed this morning were very tight to the bottom and came in one or two at a time; we never saw a large, aggressive feed develop beneath the boat.
We used a combination of Kahle and circle hooks — both performed about the same. We also used a combination of live and cut bait. With the fish we found showing a bit sluggish on sonar (small groups, tight to bottom, not willing to come upwards for chum very far), we actually landed more legal hybrid on the cutbaits than on the live.
The action tapered sharply around 10:30.
TALLY: 40 fish caught and released, including 10 legal hybrid, 2 short hybrid, 3 blue catfish, and 25 white bass
OBSERVATIONS: As I searched for spawning shad, a definite, shallow-water and shad-oriented fishery is also ripe for picking, albeit short-lived with the action drying up about the time the direct sun peeks over the eastern horizon.
Start Time: 7:00A
End Time: 11:30A
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 58F
Elevation: 0.77′ high, 0.06 foot 24-hour rise, 17 CFS flow
Water Surface Temp: 68F
Wind Speed & Direction: S6 at 5:15A slowly and steadily ramping up to S16-17 by trip’s end, as forecast
Sky Conditions: Nearly cloudless, blue skies
GT = 0
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
Shad @ Area SHAD014
**Area vic 1604 (all white bass)
**Area vic 1269 (mix of whites and hybrid)
**Area vic B0089C (best hybrid producer, with a few blues and whites)
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)