WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Thursday, June 24th, I fished with Josh Pearson, his dad, and his soon-to-be 8-year-old daughter, Joce (pronounced JOE-see).  This trip was in celebration of Joce’s 8th birthday which is tomorrow.

Now, Joce is a bit of a local celebrity.  If you’ve ever been to Miller’s Smokehouse in Belton, you may have noticed the sign posted around waist level at the cash registers where you place your order.  That sign says, “JOCE SAYS YOU NEED CORNBREAD”   Well, I got to fish with THAT Joce today!

For your convenience and entertainment, that iconic image is shown below!

We talked about that moist, buttery, sweet cornbread, which I estimated weighing about 4 pounds per cubic inch, but, had to stop talking about it soon thereafter because it was only 8:30 A.M. and my mind had started wandering toward lunch a bit too early.


PHOTO CAPTION:   Three generations of Pearsons gave the white bass a run for their money this morning on white MAL Heavy Lures in deep water.


PHOTO CAPTION: Joce Pearson, the Miller’s Smokehouse Cornbread Queen!

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday (AM), 24 June 2021


We got off to a bit of a late start this morning as my crew needed to stop for snacks before meeting up with me.  This cost us about 25 minutes of that sweet low-light time when downrigging catches suspended feeders real well just as the light level is transitioning from dark to light at sunrise.  Regardless, we put 4 singles in the boat on as many passes over the same area before the sky brightened and those fish quit.  This was helpful as it got Joce’s attention right away, added a bit of variety to the trip, and gave her confidence that we’d be catching fish, plus, it introduced dad and granddad to a form of fishing they’d not done before.

After a short stint of downrigging, we transitioned to deep water right away as the cloud cover was minimal and the sun was now shining brightly and directly.

The remainder of the trip’s success was had over a roughly 1,000 foot stretch of bottom.  Due to the fishes’ posture just slightly  up off bottom, they showed unmistakably well on side-imaging.  Once I found a nice group of fish, I used the i-Pilot Link function to Spot-Lock atop them.  We’d fish them as long as they’d aggressively chase the MAL Lures, then I’d move upwind as far as necessary to find another group, and so on.  We did this approximately 5-6 times up until Joce let us know she was finished at around 10:15 AM.

By this time, we’d added another 66 fish to our count, all taken on the MAL Heavy in white color.

These summertime fish are finicky.  If the fish don’t fire up as soon as you get your lures down to them, they probably aren’t going to fire up.  I find that moving routinely is the key to getting bit and staying bit.  Observing for “fresh” fish to move in from beyond the reach of your sonar into your sonar’s cone of coverage is key.  If all you’re seeing are the same resident fish staying stationary below the boat, it is time to move.

Mr. Pearson, who graduated from Texas A&M back in the early 70’s, paid me (and Stillhouse Hollow) a nice compliment today when, after a lifetime of fishing, he let me know that today’s catch was the highest quality catch of white bass (size-wise and condition-wise) that he’s ever landed.

MAL Lures are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 70 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Over at Lake Belton the water is falling at a steady clip.  Today it stood at 7.10 high, with a .50′ 24-hour fall and an outflow of 4,710 CFS.

The Stillhouse temperature profile looked like this today.  No thermocline has yet set up; I suspect this is due to the ongoing outflow of water.

0 feet 85.9

5 feet 86.1

10 feet 86.1

15 feet 85.9

20 feet 85.9

25 feet 84.2

30 feet 80.135 feet 77.6

40 feet 74.8
45 feet 73.150 feet 70.7

55 feet 68.2

60 feet 63.8

65 feet 61.2



Start Time:  6:55A

End Time: 10:15A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 77F

Elevation:  0.65 feet high, -0.09 24-hour change, 400 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 85.9F

Wind Speed & Direction: S5 at trip’s start, increasing to S13 by trip’s end

Sky Condition: 10% white cloud cover all morning on a bright, hazy sky

Moon Phase: Full moon

GT = 20




**Area SH0003G to SH0027C – downrigging for low-light fish, 4 fish

**Areas 863 to 762, stopping for wolfpacks of fish seen on side-imaging as we idled along – steady action on MAL’s


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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