WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Memorial Day 2020, we donned full raingear and took on the elements for a great trip on a deserted Lake Belton with Steve Niemeier and his grandson, Caleb Fowler.
PHOTO CAPTION: Steve Niemeier braved the elements this morning and was rewarded with a 108 fish day, which included a mess of white bass and some icing-on-the-cake hybrids.
PHOTO CAPTION: Caleb Fowler, Steve’s grandson, started us off right with this, our first legal hybrid of the morning, and our third fish of the day.
WHEN WE FISHED: 25 May, 2020, AM
HOW WE FISHED: This spring’s peak hybrid bite seems to be fading as more and more white bass teem on the deep-water haunts the hybrid typically use earlier in the spring, and as some thermal separation begins to show on sonar, along with the appearance of fry-sized young-of-the-year shad beginning to show up on the surface when calm.
We pursued hybrid this morning with live shad, but did not hesitate to work over the multiple schools of white bass we encountered, at least until their energy level dropped from its peak and they began to settle back to bottom after we initially got them stirred up.
We ended up with just 2 legal hybrid and 1 short this morning. One of those legal fish came on live shad right within minutes of getting our baits down at the first area we fished. The other came at the last place we stopped and popped up out of a large school of white bass as Steve worked a slab through it.
The white bass were aggressive and bottom-hugging, but, once we started working our slabs through them, they fired up and rose higher in the water column. Lots of 2- and 3-year class fish in the mix which has been a real change versus the plague of small fish over most of 2019. These fish are strong and aggressive as their rising metabolism drives them to feed.
TALLY: 108 fish caught and released
OBSERVATIONS: No spawning shad observed, thanks to turbulent weather, rain, and N. wind right at first light through (obscured) sunrise.
Start Time: 7:10A
End Time: Noon
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 64F
Elevation: 0.7′ high, 0.1′ fall, 17 CFS flow
Water Surface Temp: 73.2F
Wind Speed & Direction: NE 10, shifting and increasing to NW14 by trip’s end
Sky Conditions: 100% grey skies with light rain for the first 2 hours, then occasional brief breaks in the cloud cover.
GT = 60
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area vic B0039G – 6 fish incl. 1 legal hybrid on bait in an area I was drawn to by low-light topwater action
**Area vic 717/B0037C – white bass blanketing bottom here. Caught them at will on slabs; moved in search of hybrid
**Area vic B0075C – a smaller cluster of what turned our to be white bass; moved in search of hybrid
**Area vic 1556 – saw a few fish as we searched for hybrid; developed the bite with bait and thumping; turned into more white bass
**Area vic 344 – white bass blanketing bottom here, 1 hybrid on smoked slab
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Belton Lake Fishing Guide, Stillhouse Hollow Fishing Guide
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