WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Saturday evening, 03 October, I fished with returning guest Charlie Beigel and his three sons – John (18), Konig (16), and Chaz (14). The boys are all students at Lake Travis High School north of Austin, and Charlie is nearing retirement after selling his engineering business and then working for a season for the buyer.
We had originally planned this father-sons outing back in August, but the uncertainty surrounding back-to-school plans prevented that.
PHOTO CAPTION #1: From left: Chas, Konig, John, and Charlie Beigel had an incredible 160 fish haul on Lake Belton today with manageable southerly winds and light fishing pressure thanks to cool weather and the opening of archery season for deer.
PHOTO CAPTION #2: When I say there were “hundreds of fish crawling all over the bottom” … this is what I’m referring to. Every single one of those brighter yellow dots is an individual white bass!!
WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake
WHEN WE FISHED: Saturday evening, 03 October 2020
HOW WE FISHED: The fishing really fired up this afternoon from 3:30 to 6:00P, and then crashed. It seemed every place I searched held at least a few fish, and, a handful of areas had, literally, hundreds of fish crawling all over the bottom.
Fishing was super-simple this afternoon. We found fish using a combination of Humminbird side-imaging and Garmin 2D and down-imaging (Clear-Vu), then, with the aid of the Minn Kota i-Pilot Link technology, we parked right on top of the fish we’d found, whether they were out to the side of the boat or directly beneath us when I first spotted them.
Once the boat steadied into a hover and our lines hung plumb and vertical, we dropped our MAL Lures to bottom and cranked them up ~9 turns. The action was always strongest as soon as we began presenting our lures, and then slowly tapered to nil at each location.
The length of time each of the four major schools we fished over stayed active increased as the afternoon moved along until, finally, they fish pulled back pretty abruptly right around 5:50P to 6P.
From 3:15P to 6:00P (2.75 hours), we landed 151 fish (that’s 55 fish per hour). From 6:00P to 7:15P, we landed 9 fish (that’s 7.2 fish per hour). Yes, I’d say the fish pulled back pretty abruptly!!
The last batch of fish we found was the shallowest of all, at about 22 feet. All other fish were 30-40 feet deep. That last batch, despite being tightly grouped and bottom-oriented, was just obstinate. We worked MAL Lures vertically and horizontally for them, but to no avail. Finally, we had to put downriggers in to move more quickly, thus passing the lures over many, many inactive fish to comb out that fraction of fish still willing to feed. This is what yielded our final 9 fish for us.
We landed a lot of small fish in our mix this evening, which is pretty standard for fall fishing now that the 2020 crop of white bass spawned March-April 2020 have grown large enough to grab a bait.
Lots of action today, and that was fun!
TALLY: 160 fish caught and released ( 100% white bass)
OBSERVATIONS: Traffic was light thanks to the opener for archery deer season this morning, and a cool, 52F start to the morning.
Start Time: 3:15P
End Time: 7:15P
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 81F
Elevation: 0.1′ high with a 0.05’ 24-hour drop and 51 CFS flow thru the dam
Water Surface Temp: 73.7F
Wind Speed & Direction: 10-11 mph SE breeze all morning, then lightening up in the afternoon with a SE9 breeze dying to SE2 by trip’s end. We never saw the early afternoon wind spike forecast by NOAA.
Sky Condition: 0% cloud cover, bright sun in the morning, then a high, thin layer of white haze all afternoon.
Moon Phase: Full moon +3 today (a waning gibbous at 98% illum.)
GT = 0
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area vic 837 – 37 white bass landed by 3:50P
**Areas vic B0070C/2027 – 22 white bass landed by 4:20P
**Area vic 1934 – 30 white bass landed by 4:40P
**Area vic 327 – 62 white bass landed by 5:50P
**Area vic 171 to 2037 – a final 9 white bass landed by 7:15P
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: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com