WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Friday, 24 July, I fished with Mr. Rick Sacket and his wife, Paula.

The Sackets came out with me once before for a sonar training session on their Lowrance Hook 12 unit conducted on Stillhouse Hollow. However, due to some health issues, they weren’t able to get right back out on the water and put into practice the things I showed them, and so they desired a “refresher”, especially since adding a Humminbird Helix unit to the bow of the boat.

We did a split “half-and-half” fishing/sonar training trip so I could demonstrate how the sonar I have was useful in finding fish and what it takes to catch white bass consistently in the summer months, and so I could review and set up the sonar units for Rick on his own boat. Note: this is not something “new” that I’m offering — rather, it is a unique scenario for a couple who had already been through my 3-4 hour sonar session.

Lake Belton Texas white bass caught via downrigging
PHOTO CAPTION: Rick and Paula Sacket with a few of the 37 fish they landed in just under 2 hours on a day made tough by the north wind. We went on to do a sonar training afterwards on Rick’s boat, which he trailered to our fishing trip and left in the parking lot as we pursued white bass.

WHEN WE FISHED: 24 July, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED: As the old saying goes, “Winds from the north, the fisherman goes not forth.” We had a northerly breeze blowing well before sunrise this morning thanks to the counterclockwise spin of the atmosphere induced by Tropical Storm Hanna, which is sitting in the Gulf of Mexico poised to come ashore around Corpus Christi this weekend.

This really killed the bite today, despite being on the dark cycle of the moon.

We observed all of about 15 minutes of topwater action before sunrise, had these fish to ourselves as long as they fed, and put just 12 fish in the boat before they sounded. Neither Rick nor Paula were real strong on casting with spinning gear, so that hindered us a tad, but, the greater factor was the wind significantly dampening the action.

My desire during that portion of the trip we dedicated to fishing was to demonstrate topwater action and how to respond to it, downrigging, and vertical work for fish located on/near bottom while downrigging.

As soon as the topwater bite was over, we moved on to downrigging. We picked up a single, then two sets of doubles before encountering a large school of bottom-oriented fish.

This allowed us to retool with spinning rods equipped with MAL lures and work vertically, allowing us to catch a final 20 fish all from one location in about 28 feet of water. We concluded our fishing efforts at 8:15, with a catch of 37 fish in just under 2 hours.

TALLY: 37 fish caught and released (in just under 2 hours)

OBSERVATIONS:  Although the low-light topwater action lasted the longest I’ve seen so far this summer, there was no open water feed thereafter from 8-10AM in the locations such feeding had occurred Mon. – Wed. this week.


Start Time:  6:20A

End Time: 8:15A (ended fishing effort, began sonar training)

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 79F

Elevation:  1.2′ low, 0.03′ 24-hour fall, 34 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  85F

Wind Speed & Direction: NNE 2-5 all morning

Moon Phase: Waxing crescent (New moon +4 days)

GT = 25




**Area vic 016 – brief pre-sunrise topwater action

**Area B0023G – downrigging leading to vertical work with MAL lures

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)

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