WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Monday, February 8th, I fished with Todd Hudler of Academy, Texas, and his sons, Luke (age 13), and Hunter (age 11).
Todd is part of the Nuclear Medicine Department at Baylor Scott & White in Temple, Texas, where he manages the mobile PET Scanning operations.
Both of the boys are involved in the Academy Future Farmers of America (FFA), and, at a recent fund-raiser, their dad bid on a fishing gift certificate I had donated.
The boys were off from school today for “fair day” which is when the kids involved with FFA make preparations for showing their livestock at the Bell County Expo Center, so they invested the morning in pursuit of fish then got down to business in the afternoon. The boys both raise rabbits and were planning on getting their prep done after the fishing trip.
PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Todd, Hunter, and Luke Hudler of Academy, TX, with slab-caught white bass taken under cool, foggy conditions this morning on Lake Belton.
WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton
WHEN WE FISHED: Monday (AM), 08 February 2021
HOW WE FISHED:
The prevailing weather factor this morning was a persistent fog which cut visibility to about a third of a mile through around 10:30A when it finally began to thin (although it never cleared during the trip’s duration).
Given this scenario, I started looking for fish up shallow this morning where the limited light would be illuminating the bottom more so than in deeper water. We took our first 7 fish in under 25 feet of water after making a few short hops to target “fresh fish”.
Our next move was out to 30 feet of water. We found 3 pods of fish on a slow-tapering bottom and found them willing to strike as soon as we arrived, but also found they would shut off pretty quickly.
As I was looking for our fourth pod of fish in this same vicinity, some helpful bird activity pointed the way to our best fishing of the morning in terms of both quality and catch rate. About 30 terns aggressively worked a patch of water about 200 yards in diameter for about 30 minutes. Although the fish still were not uber-aggressive (after all, the water temp is just 53F), they were willing to chase MAL Lures better than the slower Hazy Eye Slabs we’d been using up to that point. Once the bird action subsided, our catch rate dropped back off, and we moved on to our two final areas, both in deeper (50+ foot) water.
We found primarily small fish carpeting small segments of bottom at two distinct areas and were able to tempt perhaps one in every 15 or 20 that showed themselves with some target separation off bottom.
We finished up right around 11:15 as the bite was slowing to a crawl with exactly 59 fish landed in our 4.25 hours on the water.
Hazy Eye Slabs, MAL Lures, and Stinger Hooks are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/
TALLY: 59 fish caught and released (2 largemouth bass, 2 drum, 55 white bass)
OBSERVATIONS: The fog, as usual, made it tough (but not impossible) to excite fish today … I wish I understood that connection. Understand it or not, there is definitely a connection between fog and slow fishing.
Start Time: 7:00A
End Time: 11:15 A
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 50F
Elevation: 0.60′ low with a 0.04’ 24-hour drop and 34 CFS flow thru the dam.
Water Surface Temp: 53F
Wind Speed & Direction: SE all morning at 9mph
Sky Condition: Light fog all morning to 10:30, then slight clearing to 100% grey cloudy conditions
Moon Phase: Waning crescent moon at 12% illumination
GT = 0
Wx SNAPSHOT: N.A.
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Areas: 606 thru 099 (shallow), B0111C thru B0117C (short hops), 1859 thru 1733 (bird assistance), BG0026 (deep), vic 1391 (channel side)
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
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