WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Monday morning, 02 November 2020, I fished with 74-year-old U.S. Air Force veteran Carl Schwenke of Salado.
Carl recently purchased his own tri-toon which he keeps stored at BLORA on Lake Belton. He has a Minn Kota GPS-type trolling motor and a Garmin sonar unit on this rig and has scheduled an on-the-water sonar training with me in the near future, but wanted to get on the water and see similar equipment in use first so he could get the most our of training time.
PHOTO CAPTION #1: Although the lion’s share of our catch consisted of white bass, a few hybrid, largemouth, and drum also fell for the MAL Lure.
PHOTO CAPTION #2: The frequency of “by-catch” largemouth continues to increase on a daily basis, indicating these fish are moving to deeper water.
WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake
WHEN WE FISHED: Monday (AM), 02 Novembr 2020
HOW WE FISHED:
The catching started right off the bat this morning. That said, due to a poor result in my attempts at low-light downrigging last week, I decided to move my trip start times back a bit to coincide with sunrise instead of getting started well before sunrise as I do in the warmer parts of the year.
As I moved away from the launch area and was going over pre-trip “admin” (safety briefing, reel handle adjustments, technique review, etc.) I had sonar running and noted a school of white bass holding in right at 30 feet of water over several yards of bottom as we drifted.
Once I finished all the admin (which I went through quickly in order to get lines in the water while the fish were beneath us), we got lines in the water and, using MAL Lures fished vertically, put 17 fish in the boat in no time. As the sun began to clear the horizon and shine brightly through the cloudless sky, this bite wound down pretty rapidly.
From that point on was hunted white bass congregations using sonar in 36-46 feet of water, finding 3 cooperative schools which fed right through our wrap-up at 11:20.
Each of these three locations fished the same – fish started off tightly holding on bottom, rose up off bottom as we began working the MAL Lures, and then as we began pulling fish in routinely, some of the most active individuals would rise to the midpoint of the water column.
Fishing with a “plain-Jane” retrieve using a moderate cadence once the spinner blade had begun turning was the key to consistent action.
We finished up with exactly 151 fish for our efforts, which included drum, hybrid, largemouth, and white bass in the 0, 1, 2, and 3-year classes.
See the MAL Lure here: https://whitebasstools.com/
See tutorial video on how to work the MAL Lure here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE&t=239s
TALLY: 151 fish caught and released
OBSERVATIONS: Start time adjusted to 6:45AM following end of Daylight Saving Time. I was launching at 7:15A, but, with the decline in the low-light downrigging bite last week, decided to push the start time 30 minutes later (as it would have been 6:15AM after the time change).
Start Time: 6:45A
End Time: 11:20A
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 41F
Elevation: 0.48 low with a 0.02’ 24-hour drop and 0 CFS flow thru the dam
Water Surface Temp: 66.1F
Wind Speed & Direction: WNW wind at 13 at trip’s start, fading to calm by 9:45, then turning SE at 5-7 thereafter
Sky Condition: Clear blue skies with <5% cloud cover
Moon Phase: A waning gibbous at 97% illumination
GT = 35
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Areas vic B0194C – white bass on vertically retrieved MAL Lure; count to 17 (SP)
**Area vic B0075C – white bass on vertically retrieved MAL Lure; count to 75 (SP)
**Area vic B0157C– white bass on vertically retrieved MAL Lure; count to 137 (SP)
**Area vic 682– white bass on vertically retrieved MAL Lure; count to 151 final (SP)
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