WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Saturday, January 23rd, I fished with Brandon Kolaja and Danielle Dove from around the Lake Conroe area.  Brandon is a professional firefighter and Danielle is a real estate agent.

The two came to visit Danielle’s parents in Morgan’s Point near Lake Belton, and, since both enjoy the outdoors, Brandon did a little “Googling” to find me and booked a morning of chasing white bass.

Brandon serves as the president of the Sam Houston chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA), and normally divides his fishing time between Lake Conroe and wade fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.

The two asked me about anything to be sure to take in while in the area this time of year.  Of course I pointed them to Miller’s Smokehouse and to Chalk Ridge Falls Natural Area downstream from the Stillhouse Hollow Dam.

PHOTO CAPTION:  Danielle Dove enjoyed her first experience fishing vertically while assisted with sonar to bag white bass and hybrid striped bass this morning.


PHOTO CAPTION: Sam Houston chapter CCA president Brandon Kolaja with a long Lake Belton hybrid striped bass taken in 52F water on a vertically worked MAL Lure.


PHOTO CAPTION:   Brandon and Danielle with a few of the healthy white bass we took on MAL Lures while the action was fast and on slabs while the action was slower.



WHEN WE FISHED: Saturday (AM), 23 January 2021


I chose Lake Belton for this morning’s trip due to the expected heavy traffic on Stillhouse Hollow with over 70 boats registered for the Tuff-Man Series bass tournament championship event held there today.

Belton had light traffic, even with the youth version of the Tuff-Man Series launching out of Temple Lake Park.

Our success this morning mimicked the wind.  During our first 90 minutes while the winds were nearly calm, we scratched up a few fish here and there, but found no excited fish willing to aggressively chase our baits off the bottom with enough gusto to overtake and get hooked.

Around 9:30, a light ENE wind began to blow and the fish began to feed.  They turned on very well from 10AM to 11AM, during which time, despite water temperatures at 52F, we got nearly all the fish we caught at this particular location to chase slowly retrieved MAL Lures.  This area began to die down around 11AM, and we went searching for fish once again with 34 fish now boated, including 5 legal hybrid up to 4.25 pounds.

We next connected at what would be our second and final stop of the morning (with 3 short hops in the general vicinity).  Sonar showed fish scattered on a deep flat, but the density appeared sufficient to me to lead me to think we could draw fish in by thumping and with the commotion of our own jigging efforts.

We set up on these fish, began working slabs, caught 3 fish on the slabs and began to see the bite come alive.  I switched us all over to MAL Lures in order to take advantage of the fishes’ willingness to suspend and chase, and this put the remainder of our 69 fish in the boat.  One of the indicators that led me to change over to the MAL’s was the speed at which I saw fish moving from left to right (or vice versa) on the Garmin LiveScope screen.

We finished up our trip with 69 fish, including 1 largemouth bass, 2 freshwater drum, 5 legal hybrid striped bass, and 61 white bass, of which 57 were of legal size.

Hazy Eye Slabs and Stinger Hooks are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 69 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  All fish taken from 36 to 59 feet of water this morning.


Start Time:  7:30A

End Time: 1:00P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 50F

Elevation:  0.51′ high with a 0.03’ 24-hour rise and 34 CFS flow thru the dam.

Water Surface Temp: 52.2F 

Wind Speed & Direction: Calm for first 90 minutes, then E6-7 the remainder of the trip

Sky Condition: 100% cloud cover

Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous moon at 74% illumination 

GT = 55



**Areas: Between B0069G to 1209 on slope (34 fish), then “short hopping” from B0068G to B0060G to B0050G for the remainder of our fish (35 additional fish)


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: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

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