WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Tuesday I fished with returning guest Jerry Saikley. Joining him were three first-time guests including his wife, Cheryl, and friends of theirs, Mike and Ann Foegelle.
With a cool front moving in as we fished, we saw steady action all morning. I positioned the ladies so as to share one Garmin LiveScope screen on the starboard side and the fellows on their own shared screen on the port side. Doing so guaranteed some good-natured ribbing and competition.
Perhaps the most memorable event of the day happened just after our last fish was landed. As is my custom, I wanted to get a good group photo to commemorate the trip with and to send to everyone aboard afterwards.
I got everyone lined up abreast of one another, got the sun’s light just right, got the fish positioned so their broad sides were to the camera, and snapped a few good shots as everyone held their fish using Rapala fish-holding devices which work like a smooth-jawed pair of vice grips.
When the photos were done, I was about to say, “Okay, if you just go ahead and spread the handles of that fish-gripper apart with the fish hanging over the side, they should just drop back in the water and swim off well.”
Well, all I got out of my mouth was, “Okay, if you just go ahead and spread the handles of that fish-gripper apart…” and we all heard a THUD on the floor of the boat as Cheryl (very literally!) followed my directions and released her fish inside the boat.
Everyone looked at her as if to say, “Why did you just do that?!?” as she started laughing uncontrollably at what she’d just done.
I put the boat in gear and started to idle away from our last fishing area just as all the laugher was about to die down and said, “Yeah, everyone’s laughing … except that fish back there with the concussion!” More laughter…
It was a great trip with some great folks!
PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Jerry and Cheryl Saikley, and Ann and Mike Foegelle. This crew of four landed 164 fish (all white bass) on Lake Belton as a cold front blew in from the NW.
PHOTO CAPTION: Greedy! This Lake Belton white bass had obviously just fed on a huge threadfin shad which was still not all the way down its gullet when it pursued one of our MAL Lures and was hooked. The fish are definitely feeding hard as the water warms!
WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake
WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday (AM), 04 May 2021
HOW WE FISHED:
Fishing was made pretty easy this morning thanks to an incoming cold front which had NW winds cranked up to ~12 mph before sunrise and increasing to ~15 with higher gusts by mid-morning. This followed a night of turbulent weather in which local communities saw thunder, lightning, high winds, rain, and some hail.
The front was pretty mild, with a sunrise air temperature dropped down only to 68F.
We fished just three areas this morning, finding fish at all of them and working the MAL Lures vertically in conjunction with Garmin LiveScope to make the most of what we’d found.
The first area we fished required that we move routinely in “short hops” a few boat-lengths at at time, as the fish were a bit reluctant to move horizontally to come to the commotion we were creating by catching fish.
The catch we made from 44 to 51 feet at this first area consisted of the best proportion of quality whites to sub-legal and just-legal fish I’ve had come out of Belton thus far in the 2021 season. All fish were spawned out, but not thin or lanky-looking. They have definitely been feeding and had some bulge to their abdomens. Many regurgitated partially digested shad and/or defecated.
Around the 3 hour mark we made a “bio-break” just as the winds were peaking around NNW16 and opted not to return to the exposure of the area we’d just left thereafter. Instead we headed to a more sheltered area. We’d landed 121 fish up to this point.
After doing some looking, I found fish in two more areas, the first in 44′, and the second in 41′. We landed a total of 43 more fish at these two areas, but only a half-dozen of these were keeper size and those were just barely so.
We closed out the trip right around 11AM with 164 fish landed for our efforts. 100% of the catch was white bass.
MAL Lures are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/
Tutorial on how to fish MAL Lures is found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE
TALLY: 164 fish caught and released
Start Time: 7:00A
End Time: 11:00A
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 68F
Elevation: 0.41 feet low, +0.15 24-hour change, 26 CFS flow
Water Surface Temp: 69.6F (after a very windy, hot Monday afternoon, hitting the 90’s area wide before the storms moved in around 10PM
Wind Speed & Direction: NNW12 at sunrise, ramping steadily up to NNW15-16 by mid-morning.
Sky Condition: ~60% white cloud cover the whole trip with bright sun shining though the clouds.
Moon Phase: Waning crescent with 43% illum.
GT = 55
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area vic 835 to 344 – 5 fish on live shad including our only 2 legal hybrid
**Area B0083G – a suspended band of white bass between 45-50 feet which were tapering off as we encountered them
**Area 1469 to 295 – caught most of our white bass here with 6 short hops
**Area B0077G – added a final 12 to our count here around noon as the bite was shutting down quickly
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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