WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Friday, November 20th, I fished with returning clients Jim Downing, Gary Hanneman, and Sally Hardeman.

Jim lives in the Killeen area, Gary lives “out in the county” in Coryell Co., and Sally has retired to Sun City in Georgetown.  Of the three, Jim has been out with me the most, and was the one who coordinated everything for this trip on what would turn out to be a “cast and blast” weekend for him.

With the weather essentially unchanged all week, the fish and the fishing was pretty predictable.  The only variation on the theme today was the cloud cover.  We had thick, grey cloud cover with light fog as we met at 7:30, but, the fog quickly dissipated, and the cloud cover still allowed for a brightening of the atmosphere, which, in turn, triggered the fish to begin feeding just a tad later than earlier in the week.

PHOTO CAPTION #1: This was my Friday morning crew, from left, Gary Hannemann, Sally Hardeman, and Jim Downing.


PHOTO CAPTION #2: That’s Jim’s cousin, whom he calls “Aunt Sally” from down at Sun City in Georgetown.  I didn’t notice until posting this photo that she wore her floral purse all during our trip — very classy!!

PHOTO CAPTION #3: This was the “cast” part of Jim’s weekend …

PHOTO CAPTION #4: …and this was the “blast” part of Jim’s weekend at Gary’s ranch — a nice 11-point buck.


WHEN WE FISHED: Friday (AM), 20 November 2020


Since conditions were solid, complete with grey cloud cover and a southerly wind, I passed on marginal fish activity and I also left productive areas to find more productive areas once the catch rate at such an area began to drop.

In this way, we were able to fish 6 distinct areas, and experienced a typical normal or “bell-shaped” curve of activity at each, with a quick ramp up of activity as soon as our lures first appeared at bottom, followed by a sustained peaking of the fish action, and ending with a tapering back to slow fishing.

Thanks to the water temperature, which has stalled in the mid-60s, the use of moderately paced tactics is still paying big dividends.  Every one of the 174 fish we landed was taken on a vertically worked MAL Lure (we used white and chartreuse interchangeably) reeled up off bottom with a steady cadence.

In addition to the white bass, which made up the lion’s share of our catch, we also landed 3 legal hybrid striped bass, 2 freshwater drum, 1 largemouth bass, and 1 flathead (yellow) catfish.

The Garmin LiveScope added a significant percentage to our catch today in that beyond those fish holding on the bottom, LiveScope revealed small groups of suspended fish moving more quickly in a horizontal band beneath the boat.  Instead of stopping our retrieve when it was clear that no bottom-oriented fish were chasing, we’d keep right on reeling a few handle turns beyond these suspended fish to see if they would react and chase.  More often these fish, which were likely on patrol for food already, would respond positively by chasing and striking.


See the MAL Lure here:

See tutorial video on how to work the MAL Lure here:

TALLY: 174 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:   No helpful bird activity witnessed this morning. We just need more cold weather and north winds to push these migratory fish-eaters south.


Start Time:  7:30A

End Time: 11:50A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 63F

Elevation:  0.79 low with a 0.02’ 24-hour drop and 20 CFS flow thru the dam

Water Surface Temp: 64.8F

Wind Speed & Direction:  Winds were S9-12 all morning

Sky Condition: 100% grey skies with light fog pre-dawn, followed by ~3 hours of continued grey clouds with slow clearing beginning around 10A.  70% white clouds by trip’s end.

Moon Phase: Waxing crescent at 33% illumination

GT = 63



**Area B0012C; 20 fish on MAL Lures (SP)

**Area 354; 8 white bass on MAL Lures (SP)

**Area 1012; 32 white bass on MAL Lures (SP)

**Area 1007; 40 white bass on MAL Lures (SP)

**Area B0055G; 30 white bass on MAL Lures (SP)

**Area B0052G; 44 white bass on MAL Lures (SP)



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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