WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Monday, June 1st, I fished with co-workers and friends Aaron Baggett and Josh Bias, both professors of psychology at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, TX. COVID-19 fouled our first attempt at fishing together, then a babysitting situation scuttled our second attempt. The third time was a charm.
PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Aaron Baggett and Josh Bias with a few of the 96 fish we landed this morning, including 95 white bass and 1 freshwater drum.
WHEN WE FISHED: 01 June, 2020, AM
HOW WE FISHED: We got on it early this morning — early enough that we were waiting on topwater action to begin. When it did, it went for about an hour, thanks to grey skies ushered in by a light NE wind. During this time we sight-cast spoons to individual fish using spinning gear with large arbor reels for distance. When the white bass gave up on pushing shad to the surface, they continued feeding subsurface up shallow until 7:50AM. During this time, we downrigged successfully for singles, doubles, and a few triples using 3-armed umbrella rigs equipped with Pet Spoons.
From 8A to 9:15A things got very quiet. We struggled to find fish and observed a number of Belton regulars, mainly retirees, moving and looking for fish, as we were doing.
Around 9:15 things began looking up for us when we experienced the first brighter sky conditions of the morning. Within minutes of the grey skies thinning (although still fully obscuring the sun), the fish began to get active. We found our first late morning fish on bottom in 40 feet of water in a school about 25 yards in size. We fished them with a smoking tactic using my Hazy Eye Slabs equipped with stinger hooks. When the fish thinned, slowed their feeding, or dispersed, we moved a few boat lengths very slowly to try to maintain contact with them, and did so with consistency for about an hour.
After this, I noted that the fish moved to our south, over deeper water, and suspended from 25 feet down to 40 feet over a 60+ foot bottom. When we found tight congregations, we smoked for them. When we found more loose congregations, we employed the downriggers. We flipped back and forth between smoking and downrigging until around 11:15 when nothing but sparse suspended fish remained in the area.
TALLY: 96 fish caught and released
OBSERVATIONS: No evidence of spawning shad whatsoever. Fish are beginning to move off of deeper bottom features. Summer fishing patterns slowly beginning to unfold.
Start Time: 6:15A
End Time: 11:15A
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 72F
Elevation: 0.26′ high, 0.25′ drop, 1607 CFS flow
Water Surface Temp: 77.3F
Wind Speed & Direction: NE2-5
Sky Conditions: Grey skies all morning
GT = 55
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1019 to B0197 – early morning downrigging for 6 smallish white bass
**Area vic B0041G to B0042G – 57 white bass via smoking slabs in 2 short hops
**Area vic B0148C and south to the 60′ countour – 19 fish in 2 short hops
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)