WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Thursday, March 25th, I fished with returning guest Gary Davidson of Kerrville, TX. Joining Gary for the first time aboard my boat was his son, Russell, and Russell’s friend, Josh Taylor.
Gary is a semi-retired CPA who also serves as coach of the Schreiner University shotgun team. He’s a very good angler and wingshot.
Russell makes his living as a pharmacist in Kerrville.
Josh got his start in the aerospace field after studying engineering at Baylor. Now, he’s begun making his own line of shallow water, aluminum-framed, jet-driven, flat-bottomed boats, called Rockfish Boats made in Kerrville. https://www.rockfishboats.com/
PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Russell and Gary Davidson and Josh Taylor with some of the spawn-laden white bass we got on in a big way this morning thanks to an amazing combination of rising water temperatures and overnight frontal activity.
PHOTO CAPTION: This is an example of one of the line of shallow water, aluminum-framed, jet-driven, flat-bottomed boats, called Rockfish Boats made in Kerrville, TX, by Josh Taylor.
WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton
WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday (AM), 25 March 2021
HOW WE FISHED:
Thanks to a mild cold front’s passage during the early morning hours, we were treated to fish that were both nudged on by slowly rising water temperatures and by the barometric influence of that passing front – an amazing combination which fueled strong fish feeding activity.
The white bass fed voraciously during the time from 7:30 to 8:50, during which time my three anglers landed their first 100 fish. I had no time to put a line in the water as I went from one man to the next trying to quickly release fish so my guests could “make hay while the sun shone”.
These fish were patrolling throughout the lower half of the water column and were very densely schooled. We used 3/4 oz. white Hazy Eye Slabs with stinger hooks attached in this water which was just nipping at 58F on the surface. Despite the aggressive fish activity and despite the fact that a number of Forster’s terns were patrolling nearby, these birds only got off the water and fed noticeably for two brief periods during this frenzied feeding we fished atop of.
After this area slowed down around 9:15, our count stood at 141 fish. We moved to a more wind-exposed location and caught fish from off bottom at a slower pace. I noted that the water was a bit chalky here and that the surface temperature was 58.14F, the highest I’d witnessed in the morning on Lake Belton at any point this calendar year. Although fish did present in a suspended, moving manner, they didn’t respond well to slabs. On a hunch, I dropped the MAL Lure (in chartreuse) and it took a fish on my very first trial. I switched the whole boat over to MAL Lures and we caught fish here steadily on them until the wind made the water too chalky and we had to move.
We ended the trip in deeper, clearer, cooler water, thus we switched back to slabs. It was around 11AM and we had 179 fish tallied thus far. Everyone wanted to get to that magic 200 number, so, we really worked the fish and scrutinized LiveScope to make this happen. With most other clients I would have headed us back well before we wrapped up this morning, but, as long as these fellows stayed engaged in chasing that 200th fish, we stayed on them, as I knew each had the ability to convert a strike to a landed fish — something less experienced anglers would struggle to do.
Around 12:15PM, Russell announced, “Fish on!”. I unhooked our 200th fish of the trip and we called it a great morning.
Hazy Eye Slabs, MAL Lures, and Stinger Hooks are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/
TALLY: 200 fish caught and released including 2 drum, 2 largemouth, and 196 white bass
OBSERVATIONS: The “metabolism trumps all” factor has definitely kicked in, and this morning it was further fueled by frontal activity.
Start Time: 7:25A
End Time: 12:15P
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 52F
Elevation: 0.74′ low with a 0.06’ 24-hour rise and 26 CFS flow thru the dam.
Water Surface Temp: 58F
Wind Speed & Direction: Winds were NNW6 for the first 80 minutes on the water, then began to increase, slowly ramping up to 16mph by trip’s end
Sky Condition: We had clearing grey skies as early morning thunderstorms cleared from W to E. Skies no sooner cleared than a bank of thick grey clouds began to move in from the NW, putting cloud cover back to ~70% by trip’s end.
Moon Phase: Waxing crescent at 86% illum.
GT = 150
Wx SNAPSHOT: Well, fortunately, the good folks at NOAA were really off on this morning’s forecast. We experienced neither the high winds they forecast for the early morning, nor the steady clearing skies they forecast for mid-morning; both worked in our favor.
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area B0190C – fast action on aggressively feeding fish found throughout the lower half of the water column; 100 fish landed in 80 minutes by three anglers.
**Area B0145C – steady action by bottom-oriented fish until the winds caused the area to take on a chalky cast due to wind-induced siltation.
**Area 1469-1552 – deeper, clearer water gave up our final 21 fish, but it took over an hour of focused fishing to accomplish it.
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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