WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Wednesday morning I fished with Tanya Taylor, her godson, Payton Gottschalk (age 10), and Payton’s dad, Damon Gottschalk.

Our original date was rained out and, in hindsight, that most likely worked in this crew’s favor, as such a productive day would have been much less likely in the summer heat.

Tanya does social work and counselling focused on kids with a firm in Killeen, and Damon is in commercial real estate.  Both are involved with kid-focused non-profit organizations.


PHOTO CAPTION #1:   From left: Damon Gottschalk and his 10-year-old son, Payton, and Payton’s godmother, Tanya Taylor, all natives of Belton, TX.


WHEN WE FISHED:  Wednesday morning, 30 September 2020


After several days of northerly winds, winds returned from a southerly direction this morning, and above average fishing resulted.

This morning’s trip broke down into two distinct segments — low-light horizontal work for heavily schooled, aggressive fish feeding in the lower half of the water column, followed by vertical work with MAL Lures for less aggressive, but still well-organized fish holding in a “blanketing” pattern over the bottom and less than 18 inches off of it.

The horizontal bite took place from first light through about 8:20, then a bit of a lull occurred, followed by an increasingly strong bite from 9:00 to 10:20.  The action quickly tapered to zero by 10:50.

The active, patrolling fish we caught horizontally came on downrigged Pet Spoons worked on 3-armed umbrella rigs in ~ 35-40 feet of water.

The fish we landed later were first seen on sonar; we then Spot-Locked atop of them and worked MAL Lures vertically in the lower 2/3 of the water column as sonar revealed their presence and position. On occasions when the bite slowed, a few horizontal casts would both catch fish and bring an abundance of fish from the surrounding area in following the hooked fish, thus “restocking” the area beneath the boat, allowing us to return to the more sure bet of fishing vertically for fish physically seen on sonar.

We finished up the morning with 126 fish caught and released — a personal best for all three of my crew. Tanya, Damon, and Payton, to their credit, were all willing to be coached and earnestly tried to follow the guidance I gave them, which, in turn aided their success greatly.

TALLY: 126 fish caught and released (1 hybrid, 125 white bass)

OBSERVATIONS:  Increasing sighting of migratory birds:  2 small flocks of gulls, 6 osprey, numerous flocks of teal, 1 loon, and numerous blue herons.



Start Time:  6:45A

End Time: 11:00A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 54F

Elevation:  0.24′ high with a 0.29′ 24-hour drop and 1,670 CFS flow thru the dam

Water Surface Temp: 74.25F

Wind Speed & Direction:  Light WSW breeze at ~6 the entire trip

Sky Condition: 0% cloud cover, bright sun

Moon Phase: Full moon today

GT = 0





**Area vic 1804 – low light horizontal downrigger work for 27 fish thru 8:20

**Area vic 788/B0171C – vertical work with MAL Lures for 99 fish from 9A to 10:20A, action then tapered to nil by 10:50  


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) Website:




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