WHO I FISHED WITH: On Monday, May 11th, I fished both AM and PM. In the evening I was joined by retired Command Sergeant Major Terry Spidell and his son, Tyler, who is currently working his way toward licensure as a commercial airline pilot.
The Spidell’s have a shallow, 14′ skiff with basic sonar and a GPS-equipped Minn Kota trolling motor. In addition to catching fish, the pair also wanted to see how they might use their equipment more effectively by learning how I put similar equipment to use in pursuit of white bass.
PHOTO CAPTION: Why is it that you can’t get as excited about catching white bass during a hybrid trip as you can about catching hybrid during a white bass trip? Tyler Spidell with a nice Lake Belton hybrid striper.
PHOTO CAPTION: Tyler and his dad, Terry, with one of the 31 fish we landed in our final 25 minutes on the water.
PHOTO CAPTION: And some Belton Lake fatties as far as white bass go. All taken on a 3/4 oz., white Hazy Eye Slab with stinger hook attached.
WHEN WE FISHED: 11 May, 2020, PM
HOW WE FISHED: We fished artificial baits (my 3/4 oz. Hazy Eye Slabs with stinger hooks attached) vertically the entire trip in water from 12 to 48 feet, finding most of the fish and action between 35-47 feet. I started off with the fundamentals of using a “smoking” tactic, they offered pointers on hooking and landing techniques to help improve our “strike to land” ratio. Next, I layered in the use of LiveScope. Terry was blown away at the video-like quality of this Garmin technology, and Tyler, a self-confessed gadget nut, quickly grasped the concept of what was being shown and how to improve efficiency based on the data available.
We fished 5 areas with success and passed on 3 other areas where down-imaging, side-imaging, and colored sonar did not reveal evidence of aggressive fish behavior.
With about 25 minutes’ worth of light left to fish in, we motored into an area with our tally standing at exactly 60 fish. I had commented to the fellows at the beginning of our afternoon that afternoon trips typically start slowly and end well, which is just the opposite of morning trips.
In those 25 minutes, we boated more than a fish per minute, taking our final tally up to 91 fish. That equates to 34% of our catch made in the last 9% of our time on the water.
When all was said and done, the fellows had a blast and were encouraged that they would be able to do better going forward while fishing on their own.
TALLY: 91 fish caught and released
OBSERVATIONS: No laughing gull action observed this evening. Saw gizzard shad in great quantities feeding on the surface between vic 0147 and the shore, over 9-12 feet of water. We cast into them thinking initially that they were being driven to the surface by gamefish, but, on closer inspection we saw this was a feeding behavior by the shad.
Start Time: 4:15P
End Time: 8:30P
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 78F
Elevation: 0.93′ high, 0.00′ rise, 17 CFS flow
Water Surface Temp: 72F
Wind Speed & Direction: SSE12-13 at trip’s start, dying back to SSE9 in the last hour
Sky Conditions: 25% white cloud cover on a bright blue sky
GT = 35
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area vic 1743
**Area vic 150
**Area vic 0147
**Area vic 817
**Area vic B0078C
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)