SUNFISH SATURDAY — 55 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Saturday, August 28th, I fished a “Kids Fish, Too!” trip wherein we focused specifically on the success of my two child anglers, 8-year-old Charlotte Scott, and her brother, 6-year-old Oliver Scott.

The kids’ father, John Scott, and uncle, Matt Laakso, were present to help me help the kids be successful.  Matt has fished with me numerous times before, and came prepared with a license in his possession so he could be very “hand on” in aiding his niece and nephew.

I chose Lake Belton for this morning’s effort for a number of reasons, despite not having fished it much of late.  First, the fishing at Stillhouse for white bass, though consistent, was going to be too technical for young kids.  Second, the unprecedented hydrilla growth at Stillhouse has choked the shallows, thus preventing me from putting the kids on sunfish there as I have in years past.  Since I knew we’d fish for sunfish at some point this morning for variety’s sake, Belton got the nod today.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:   Charlotte’s sea monster … a 5.25 pound Lake Belton largemouth!

PHOTO CAPTION:   Poor Oliver did his best to open his eyes and smile in that cloudless, bright sun this morning as we tried to capture his white bass on film.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Saturday (AM), 28 August 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

The NW wind which greeted us pre-sunrise this morning pretty much guaranteed we would not enjoy any extended topwater action this morning, so, I focused on sub-surface fish by using downriggers.

We saw very few well-organized schools of fish during the first 45 minutes of the trip when the downriggers typically shine.  During that time we landed a single white bass and a really nice 5.25 pound largemouth (way to go, Charlotte!).

After looking unsuccessfully in a number of areas, and after observing that any topwater action occurring on the steadily calming surface was very brief in nature, I decided to focus on sunfish early, gauge the kids’ interest in that, and go from there.

As it turns out, the sunfishing was a hit, allowing the kids to fish fairly independently and enjoy continuous success.  We coupled that with moving from place to place as soon as the fishing in an area began to fade, and made a morning of landing bluegill, longear, and green sunfish up in shallow water using poles and floats.

The kids have access to a pond which holds sunfish back where they live near Houston, and those sunfish had largely eluded capture thus far.  Armed with new-found skills from this morning’s trip, John went away well-equipped to help the kids be successful upon their return home.

As with all of my kids’ trips, we wrapped up at the 3.5 hour mark (versus 4+ hours for adult trips).  Given the lack of wind and increasing heat, the kids were ready to head on in as we wrapped up just shy of 10:30.

TALLY: 55 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:

Start Time: 6:45A

End Time: 10:25A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 73F

Elevation:   0.06′ low, .01′ 24-hour fall, and a flow of 24cfs

Water Surface Temp: 84.3

Wind Speed & Direction: NW5 before sunrise, tapering to near calm by trip’s end

Sky Condition: Zero cloud cover all morning

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 67% illumination

GT = 55

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Areas 1583, B0163C, B0035G, and 492 all gave up ample sunfish

 

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

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide

#BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing

#bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport

#fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday

#Fitec #mepps

GOTTA LOVE WIN-WINS — 77 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Thursday, August 26th, I fished with two first-time guests, James Wilson and Austen Barnes, both of Morgan’s Point, Texas.

I originally had another gentleman booked, but, due to airline flight complications, he was not able to make it, so, I posted a “last minute” opening note on Facebook and James contacted me as a result.

James runs his own HVAC business (https://www.facebook.com/performanceclimate/) and needed a day off.  Austen, who, with his wife, runs a housekeeping service, was invited along by James, his neighbor.

I offered the trip at a discount versus having the date go unclaimed, so, it was a win-win in that I was able to operate today while James and Austen got to catch fish and save a bit of cash doing it.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  James Wilson, left, and Austen Barnes with a pair of quality Stillhouse white bass which fell for MAL Heavy Lures in deep water worked both vertically and horizontally.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday (AM), 26 August 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

For the second trip in a row, this morning was a pretty typical late summer trip.  We found fish and they were either really “on” or they were really “off”, and there wasn’t much in between.

In our first two hours on the water, we landed 4 fish.  In our final two hours on the water, we landed 73 fish.

During those first two, slow hours, I had no problem finding fish — in fact, I found fish at three distinct locations, but, for every 50 or 60 fish we saw on LiveScope, only a handful would perk up and chase, and even fewer would commit and bite.

That all began to change around 9AM when the very first small ripple began to develop from out of the NE.  Although the breeze never exceeded 5mph, it also never let up until just after 11AM.

During that span of time, we sat on one area and fished both vertically and horizontally using MAL Heavy Lures, catching solid white bass one or two at a time.

We caught our first 60 fish on the MAL Heavy with silver blade and white tail, then, for variety’s sake, we threw the MAL Heavy with white blade and chartreuse tail, landing our last 17 fish on them.

The horizontal fishing was accomplished using a “sawtooth method” which I describe in detail here:

SAWTOOTH METHOD LINK

We landed 77 fish, including 1 largemouth bass, 3 channel catfish, and 73 white bass.

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

TALLY: 77 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  1) Light topwater activity by largemouth feeding on shad was observed this morning –  when high pressure combines with light (but still present) winds, topwater has been predicatable.  2) Approx. 13 terns were helpfully working some patches of open water.

Start Time: 7:00A

End Time: 11:10A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 77F

Elevation:   0.26′ high, .01′ 24-hour fall, and a flow of 1cfs

Water Surface Temp: 86.4

Wind Speed & Direction: Calm through 9A, then light and variable under 4-5mph for the balance of the trip

Sky Condition: Zero cloud cover all morning

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 83% illumination

GT = 55

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 070/883  – 73 of 77 fish landed here

 

 

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

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide

#BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing

#bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport

#fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday

#Fitec #mepps

REALLY ON, OR REALLY OFF – 44 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Monday, August 23rd, I fished with returning guest John Gossard, this go-round accompanied by his son-in-law, Richard Green, visiting from Harrisburg, PA.

John is retired now and resides in Morgan’s Point. Richard has leadership responsibility for a lawn and garden tool manufacturing company in the Northeast.  Most of Richard’s fishing experience of late has been on the many streams of Pennsylvania stalking trout.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:   For the sake of ensuring survival of the fish we release, I try not to hold fish in the livewell for photos, so, we take photos quickly whenever everyone aboard catches fish simultaneously.  Here, around 8:10AM, both John and Richard landed fish seconds apart.  Richard’s fish is a yearling, and John’s is a 3-year class fish, however, all of our fish this morning were of legal size, attesting to the outstanding growth rate on Stillhouse fish.

 

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Monday (AM), 23 August 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

This morning was a pretty typical late summer trip.  We found fish and they were either “on” or they were “off”, and there wasn’t much in between.  By “on”, I mean moving and patrolling aggressively and willing to chase and strike.  By “off”, I mean lethargic and unwilling to move any distance for a presentation.

Our middle two hours, from 8 to 10 A were the best, with our first hour being slow (although we found fish, they were tough to elicit a strike from), and our final hour seeing a slow “fade to black”.

We landed only one fish on downriggers during the low light period, so, going forward, I’m going to start my trips a bit later and forego the downrigging, going instead right to the more effective vertical MAL work.

Once the fish perked up a bit, we were able to use both vertical and horizontal (sawtooth) presentations to tempt our fish.  Given the brilliant sun and clear water, we used MAL Heavy Lures with white tails and silver blades.

The Garmin LiveScope certainly enhanced our success, letting us know when fish were present and in a feeding posture (up off bottom and moving parallel to bottom with intentionality).

Likewise, the Humminbird Side Imaging which I had playing simultaneously let us know when pods of fish were found to the port and/or starboard side.  When they showed, we’d fire casts out in their direction, switching back and forth between vertical and horizontal as sonar dictated.

We landed 44 white bass.

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

TALLY: 44 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  1) Light topwater activity was observed this morning –  when high pressure combines with light (but still present) winds, topwater has been predicatable.  2) the first terns of the season showed up, with a small flock of about 9 birds helpfully working some patches of open water.

Start Time: 6:50A

End Time: 11:00A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 77F

Elevation:   0.32′ high, .02′ 24-hour fall, and a flow of 1cfs

Water Surface Temp: 85.0

Wind Speed & Direction: SSW5-8 all morning

Sky Condition: Zero cloud cover all morning

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 99% illumination ( 1 day past full)

GT = 25

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area SH0063G through SH0065G

**Area 193 through 1229

 

 

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

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide

#BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing

#bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport

#fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday

#Fitec #mepps

BACK TO SCHOOL BLAST — 41 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Monday, August 16th, I fished with returning guests father-and-son team Trent and Jackson (age 11) Huey, joined by first-time guests Kortny Huey (Trent’s wife), and Olivia (age 5) and Kinley (age 8) Huey (Trent and Kortny’s daughters).

Some time ago Trent contacted me about getting a fishing gift certificate for Kinley’s birthday which happened back in July.

With only two days to go until public school begins in Crawford, TX, the Huey’s decided it was time to cash in the certificate and have one last shot at some family fun before academics come calling.

I should note here that I’ll be forever grateful to the Huey family for putting me onto Guess Family BBQ in Waco.  Although our favorite will always be Miller’s Smokehouse in Belton,  Guess’ trademark appetizer — deviled eggs with pimento cheese and brisket jam — is now something we look forward to when travelling north.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left:  Olivia, Kinley, and Jackson Huey, each with a white bass they truly worked for this morning under tough, post-frontal conditions complete with bluebird skies, bright sun, and calm winds.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Monday (AM), 16 August 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

As far back as last Wednesday, NOAA predicted a cold front would impact our weather over the forthcoming weekend (14 & 15 Aug.).  As the weekend approached, the details and timing got a bit more exact.  When all was said and done, the cold front actually entered into Central Texas “air space” around 7pm on Saturday, bringing a windshift to the NE, along with a temperature drop, and spotty rain.  A second round of rain with continued north winds came through from 10AM to 1PM on Sunday, then clearing began to take place.

As I made a call as to what to do about this trip on Saturday evening, the winds were supposed to be S5-8 this morning with 30-40% cloud cover.  No cause for panic in that forecast — it wouldn’t be like the stable-weather fishery of last week, but I felt we’d catch fish with no problem.

Then reality struck!  As I got up this Monday morning, skies were absolutely clear and there was not a breath of wind.  I then got a bit panicky.

Trent and the gang showed up and we got going.  The areas which gave up between 16 and 31 fish on downriggers in the first hour of light last week gave up 2 fish and 1 missed fish in about 70 minutes of effort.   Not good.

Eventually, a NW ripple developed with perhaps a 4 mph wind behind it.  I changed us over to a vertical approach, literally parking us precisely on top of hand-picked schools of white bass which I felt had enough individual fish in them to cause some competition within the school as my crew worked MAL Heavy Lures through the fish assisted by LiveScope.

Jackson worked independently and did well.  Trent covered down on Kinley and aided her, while Kortny covered down on Olivia and helped her.  Eventually, Kinley got the hang of things so Trent could work a rod of his own.

We began to catch fish, and slowly but surely, put together a solid catch of 41 fish on a super-tough morning.  The key was to make the most of the initial expression of interest the fish exhibited as soon as our lures got down to them and for the first few minutes which followed, then to move on to a fresh batch of fish as soon as the excitement level of the fish began to wane.  The later it got, the shorter the time the fish stayed interested, until, finally, by the four hour mark, the fish had come full circle and would no longer even flinch as our baits went by.

We landed 40 white bass and 1 freshwater drum for a total of 41 fish.

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

TALLY: 41 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  1) A short burst of topwater action by largemouth bass, which lasted about 25 minutes, broke out as the wind velocity peaked, vic Area 1433.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:50A

End Time: 10:50A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 72F

Elevation:   0.45′ high, no 24-hour elevation change due to local rain over the past 2 days, and a flow of 1cfs

Water Surface Temp: 83.1

Wind Speed & Direction: Calm at sunrise and until ~9A, then WNW1-5

Sky Condition: Cloudless all morning

Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous moon at 60% illumination

GT = 80

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**AreaSH0032G – only gave up 2 fish downrigging until the skies brightened

**Area SH0064G through 1433 – multiple short hops using MAL Heavy in silver blade/white tail

**Area  SH0067G – MAL Heavy in silver blade/white tail and MAL Heavy in white blade/chart. tail

**Area vic 878/879  – MAL Heavy in silver blade/white tail and MAL Heavy in white blade/chart. tail

 

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

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide

#BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing

#bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport

#fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday

#Fitec #mepps

BOB, THIS IS GONNA BE AN EXPENSIVE TRIP – 100 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Thursday, August 12th, I fished with three first-time guests.  Joining me were Charles Stichler and his son, David, as well as Charles’ friend, Terry Lockamy.

This trip was in celebration of David’s birthday.

Charles and Terry live in the Georgetown area and are retired from Texas A&M’s agricultural extension program, and David, who lives out between Lakes Waco and Whitney, is a sales director for a major agriculture-oriented company.

Although they’ve been doing a lot of fishing, they hadn’t been enjoying much catching since June rolled around.  They came to learn what approach they might need to take to become more consistent on summertime white bass.

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left: David & Charles Stichler, and Terry Lockamy with a few of the 100 white bass we took under continued stable weather conditions this morning.  16 fish fell to the downriggers; 84 fish came on the MAL Heavy Lures (including the new version with colored blade).

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday (AM), 12 August 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

The fishing just keeps getting better as this run of stable weather continues on.  With fish doing the same things in the same places and at the same times each day for several days now, it has been pretty easy to put together a “milk run” and stay on fish for a full morning.  Looks like this will all come to an end around 7P Saturday as yet another cold front comes down.  We’ll have to figure it all out again Monday!

This morning we downrigged until the skies got bright, putting 16 fish in the boat, including 3 sets of doubles and 1 triple.  Once I saw fish beginning to coalesce, we changed over to vertical work with MAL Lures and then stuck with that until the fish quit right around 11AM.

As we made this transition, unlike the past three mornings, we experienced a lull in the wind, with a calm surface for about a 35 minute span.  The fishing was tougher during this run, but, eventually a SSW ripple turned into waves, which turned into occasional white caps, and then it was game-on.

We worked a combination of MAL Heavy Lures (with both the new white blades and with standard silver blades) in conjunction with Garmin LiveScope to land another 84 fish from 3 distinct areas.

We had exactly 95 fish in the boat by 10:45.  I told the fellows we’d stay until 11AM or 100 fish, whichever came first.  Well, they caught three fish nearly the instant those words left my mouth, but, we came right down to the wire with barely more than a minute to spare when Terry “Blind Sow” Lockamy came up with an acorn.

David, who had his first exposure to Garmin LiveScope technology on this trip, came away committed to having LiveScope technology aboard his own NauticStar Hybrid within the week (right after he checks with his wife)!!!

To their credit, these fellows were all solid anglers, they all took the time to watch my MAL Lure fishing tutorial before the trip, and they were all willingly coached when I saw shortfalls in their technique.

As many anglers do on their first experience using MAL Lures, the tendency to set the hook, and the tendency to reel too slowly, were things we were able to quickly address so everyone could cash in on this morning’s solid bite.

In all, we landed 100 white bass this morning.

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

TALLY: 100 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  1) No topwater action was observed this morning. 2) High pressure sitting atop us has fish in a good, predictable groove.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:45A

End Time: 11A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 75F

Elevation:   0.49′ high, .02′ fall, and a flow of 1cfs

Water Surface Temp: 84.4

Wind Speed & Direction: Calm at sunrise and until ~8:15, then coming up SSW and steadily increasing to SSW12-13

Sky Condition: Cloudless at sunrise, increasing to 20% white clouds on blue sky by trip’s end

Moon Phase: Waxing crescent moon at 17% illumination

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**AreaSH0032G – this was “center of mass” for downrigging for 16 fish until the skies brightened

**Area vic 1417 – MAL Heavy in silver blade/white tail and MAL Heavy in white blade/chart. tail worked vertically for solid results on white bass

**Area vic 1569 – MAL Heavy in silver blade/white tail and MAL Heavy in white blade/chart. tail worked vertically for solid results on white bass

**Area vic SH0066G/1244 – MAL Heavy in silver blade/white tail and MAL Heavy in white blade/chart. tail worked vertically for solid results on white bass

 

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

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide

#BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing

#bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport

#fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday

#Fitec #mepps

GOT ME A FISHIN’ BLISTER — 66 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Wednesday, August 11th, I fished with two first-time youngsters —  Shona Rogers (age 12) and Blake Rogers (age 11) from Belton, Texas.

Back in the spring, I had a friend of mine who wanted to anonymously sponsor a few kids who may not otherwise have an opportunity to go fishing over the summer.

I reached out to my niece who is part of the Belton Independent School District for some help in identifying kids who would genuinely benefit from such and thing, and enjoy it, as well.

She didn’t have to think too long or hard before recommending Shona and Blake.  We worked through the proper channels to reach out to the kids’ mom, Carolyn, and, long story short, everything came together very nicely this morning.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: Blake and Shona Rogers of Belton had their back-to-school fishing trip sponsored by an anonymous Salado donor.  The kids landed 66 fish in 3 1/2 hours.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: Blake was a real trooper.  Despite getting a blister on his hand about halfway through the trip due to all the reeling he was doing as we used MAL Heavy Lures, he pressed on and kept fishing to the end of the trip.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: I was eager to try out my newest color combination for the MAL Heavy.  I think it’s gonna become a ‘new favorite’.  Besides all that, Blake thought it looked “cool”!

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Wednesday (AM), 11 August 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

When I saw this week’s weather forecast developing back last Saturday, I was as excited about fishing as I’ve been since May.  June and July’s crazy, atypical weather with high water, dam discharges, rain, and multiple cold fronts really had the fishing off.  But, this week called for stable, high pressure with nearly identical weather each day, which meant predictable fishing.  We cashed in on that for the third consecutive day.

This morning’s downrigger bite was the longest and strongest of the week thus far, contributing 31 of our 66 fish, of which 10 came as doubles, and 3 came as a triple, all on the trusty 3-armed umbrella rig with Pet Spoons affixed.  The downrigging bite lasted until just after 8AM.

Next, we were blessed with spotting some light topwater action, mainly by small, schoolie-sized largemouth bass.  However, this mean shad were getting pushed around, and, that in turn often attracts white bass.  This morning was no exception.

We fished a full two hours in an area perhaps 250 yards in diameter, hopping (using the Minn Kota Ulterra’s jogging function) from one school of active fish to another.  The fish would respond best when we first presented our lures to them, then they’d cool off and we’d cruise to another school, and so on.

These fish were just suckers for the MAL Heavy, including a new version I have just worked out with Mepps which has colored blades (white or chartreuse) instead of silver metallic ones.  I’m excited about these!!!!

We watched as school after school of fish meandered beneath the boat just cruising and feeding on shad.  When the time was right, as revealed by Garmin LiveScope, we’d bring the MAL Lures up through these fish and watch them pursue until they hooked themselves over and over again.

With the kids being young and inexperienced (neither had ever been on a boat before), there was certainly potential to catch more than we did, but what we caught I was grateful for.  By the time we hit that 3.5 hour mark, the kids were doing more resting and snacking than fishing, so, we knew it was time to head on in.

In all, we landed 66 white bass this morning.

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

TALLY: 66 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  1) First light topwater action in quite some time was observed. 2) USACE stopped releasing water at both Belton and Stillhouse this past weekend. 3) High pressure sitting atop us has fish in a good, predictable groove.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:40A

End Time: 10:30A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 75F

Elevation:   0.51′ high, .02′ fall, and a flow of 1cfs

Water Surface Temp: 84.4

Wind Speed & Direction: S8 at sunrise, steadily increasing to S13  by trip’s end.

Sky Condition: 40-50% white cloud cover all morning

Moon Phase: Waxing crescent moon at 10% illumination

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1397 to SH0031G – downrigging for 31 fish until the skies brightened

**Area 910 to 1968 – MAL Heavy in silver blade/white tail and MAL Heavy in white blade/chart. tail worked vertically for solid results on white bass; 7 short hops in 250 yard area

 

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

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide

#BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing

#bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport

#fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday

#Fitec #mepps

FISHIN’ WITH DAD & UNCLE KEVIN – 77 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Tuesday, August 10th, I fished with three first-time guests —  father and son T.J. & Tommy Yagalla (age 8), and T.J.’s brother, Kevin.

T.J. owns Elite Heating and Air Conditioning offering HVAC service, repair, and installation, as well as duct-cleaning and insulation services.

This trip was a gift to T.J. from the Deorsam family presented to him for his birthday last October.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left: T.J., Tommy, and Kevin Yagalla with three Stillhouse white bass landed just seconds apart as LiveScope revealed a school of fish below us, allowing all three anglers to time the rise of their MAL Heavy Lures through the school for a hookup.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday (AM), 10 August 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

Thanks to the stable, “cookie-cutter” weather this week, the fishing today was nearly identical to how it was yesterday in that the fish did the same things in the same places and at the same times as they did the day before.

This predictable behavior will likely continue until we get a “wrinkle” in the weather (likely on Saturday, according to the current forecast).

We began the day putting singles and four sets of doubles in the boat for a total of 16 white bass caught and released inside an hour’s time from sunrise (which was obscured by cloud cover) through about 7:35.  Once this action dwindled, we did not stick around in this vicinity, as yesterday’s results indicated that doing so would be a less productive option than moving and finding more aggressive fish elsewhere.

As the interest in downrigged Pet Spoons presented on 3-armed umbrella rigs dwindled, we made the change over to MAL Heavy Lures in white color and used these vertically in conjunction with Garmin LiveScope for the remainder of the trip.

We hit three separate areas and found fish at each (again, avoiding the areas at which we found no fish yesterday, thus enhancing our efficiency).  Normally, the bite dies down pretty quickly by 10:00A, but, this morning around that time we had a spike in the wind from S13 to S16, and the fish turned on to that.  We landed our final 15 fish inside our last 30 minutes on the water.

In all, we landed 77 white bass this morning.

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

TALLY: 77 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  1) No topwater action observed. 2) USACE stopped releasing water at both Belton and Stillhouse this weekend. 3) High pressure sitting atop us has fish in a good, predictable groove.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:40A

End Time: 11:10A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 79F

Elevation:   0.53′ high, .03′ fall, and a flow of 1cfs

Water Surface Temp: 83.9

Wind Speed & Direction: S9 at sunrise, steadily increasing to S15-16  by trip’s end.

Sky Condition: 40-50% white cloud cover all morning

Moon Phase: Waxing crescent moon at 4% illumination

GT = 100

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1397 to SH0031G – downrigging for 16 fish until the skies brightened

**Area SH0064G – MAL Heavy in white worked vertically for solid results on white bass; 1 stop

**Area SH0065G – MAL Heavy in white worked vertically for solid results on white bass; 2 short hops

**Area SH0066G – MAL Heavy in white worked vertically for solid results on white bass;  1 stop

 

 

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

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide

#BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing

#bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport

#fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday

#Fitec #mepps

SUMMER’S LAST HOORAH! — 63 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Monday, August 9th, I fished with three returning guests — Dr. Jim Wood of McGregor, TX, and two of his grandkids, Jack (age 12), and Charlotte Bailey (age 9), from Colleyville, TX.

The kids head back to school next Wednesday and this was the last “big event” on their calendar for the summer of 2021.

PHOTO CAPTION: Charlotte and Jack Bailey were treated to a morning of white bass fishing by their grandpa, Jim Wood.  The trio landed 63 fish this morning using downriggers early on, then working white MAL Heavy Lures vertically for the final 45 fish.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Monday (AM), 09 August 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

There is a bit of a “back story” before getting to the fishing.  First, over the weekend the USACE closed the dams at both Belton and Stillhouse for the first time in many weeks, so, we now have a no-flow scenario which is more normal for summertime.  Next, we’ve finally settled into a more normal summer weather pattern with a ridge of high pressure sitting atop us, thus making for “cookie cutter” weather from this past Saturday through at least the end of the week.  Under such conditions the fish get very “patternable”.  So, the trick today was to figure out that pattern so we could catch fish today, and plan for success for the remainder of the week.

Hence, I paid very close attention to the times we fished the various locations we fished, and noted when the fish started biting at a given area, when they stopped biting there, and how relatively aggressive that bite was.

The fishing started this morning close to 7A, just as the sun cleared the eastern horizon and the low bank of clouds just above it.

We took our first 18 fish on downriggers as the fish and bait began to “come alive” with the brightening sky.  Of these 18, eight fish came as doubles on the 3-armed umbrella rigs we were using (x2), each equipped with Luhr Jensen Pet Spoons.

By 7:40A, the fish began to come off that “low-light” feed which, in the summer, is normally the strongest feeding time.

From that point on, we hunted packs of fish in open water, relying on well-tuned sonar and looking specifically for fish holding tight to the bottom.  When we found them, we all worked white MAL Heavy Lures vertically in conjunction with Garmin LiveScope to dupe them into biting.

We had to move often, and all the more so as the morning got later and the fish grew less and less willing to chase.  We wound up fishing 4 distinct areas and doing a few “short hops” at each to keep our strings stretched.  In the end, we added another 43 white bass and 2 freshwater drum to our tally with this approach.

By the time we finished up around 10:50, the winds were going straightline at 16mph with higher gusts, and building.  Today was to be the windiest day of the week, with southerly winds called for all week.

In all, we landed 61 white bass and 2 freshwater drum this morning.

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

TALLY: 63 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  1) No topwater action observed. 2) USACE stopped releasing water at both Belton and Stillhouse this weekend.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:40A

End Time: 10:50A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 78F

Elevation:   0.56′ high, .02′ fall, and a flow of 1cfs

Water Surface Temp: 84.9

Wind Speed & Direction: S11 at sunrise, steadily increasing to S16 with higher gusts by trip’s end.

Sky Condition: 40-50% white cloud cover all morning

Moon Phase: Waxing crescent moon at 1% illumination

GT = 60

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1397 to SH0031G – downrigging for 18 fish until the skies brightened

**Area SH0062G – MAL Heavy in white worked vertically for solid results on white bass

**Area SH0061G – MAL Heavy in white worked vertically for solid results on white bass; 2 short hops

**Area 1224 to SH0059C – MAL Heavy in white worked vertically for solid results on white bass; 2 short hops

**Area SH0063G – MAL Heavy in white worked vertically for solid results on white bass

 

 

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

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide

#BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing

#bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport

#fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday

#Fitec #mepps

AS SEEN ON TV — 22 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Thursday, August 5th, I conducted the season’s 8th SKIFF program fishing trip for kids whose parents are separated from them due to military duty.

Joining me were the three sons of U.S. Army Sergeant First Class (SFC) Edwin Villalobos — Damion Guillen (age 16), Damien Villalobos (age 16), and Xavier Guillen (age 13).

Also aboard for a portion of the trip was Olivia Levada, a reporter with Spectrum News 1 Texas.  She heard of the SKIFF program and decided to do a story about it.  She met with the kids prior to the trip and interviewed them, then joined us this morning to gather some on-the-water footage. The story should run the week of Aug. 9th.

SKIFF is an acronym for Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun. It is a program now in its 12th year, sponsored by the Austin Fly Fishers, and supported by individuals and entities, all of whom desire that kids separated from a parent by that parent’s military duty, be given an opportunity to experience the outdoors through fishing during that time of separation, free of charge.  The program offers a time of respite for the home-front parents who may need a short break from single-parenting.

The boys’ father has been in the military for 16 years.  He is currently serving as a mechanic and has been deployed to Poland for several months.  He is due to redeploy during the month of August.

Those interested in a SKIFF fishing trip may simply call me at 254.368.7411 to coordinate.

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left, Xavier Guillen, Damien Villalobos, and Dameon Guillen with a few of the white bass they worked for this morning.  The boys were treated to this outing through the SKIFF program while their dad is deployed to Poland.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday (AM), 5 August 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

Some quirky weather produced some quirky fishing this morning, but, despite their inexperience, the boys listened well, learned quickly, stayed optimistic, and, in the end, were rewarded with a decent catch.

The cold front which moved through early in the week pushed back north as a warm front about mid-day.  Although the weatherman said we’d have southeasterly winds this morning, they were actually still blowing ENE, thus greatly diminishing the likelihood of a topwater bite, which was the whole reason I’d chosen to take the boys to Lake Belton in the first place.

A few minutes after sunrise, we noticed a very light topwater feed and landed our first few fish of the morning while sight casting to those fish.

Olivia got a few photos, asked a few more questions, and by then had all she needed for the story, so, we dropped her off and continued fishing.

Our best action came from 10:00 to 10:45 as we found a school of white bass in a neutral mood laying on bottom as we observed side-imaging.  I positioned the boat so the boys could cast off the port side as they stood abreast of one another.  We used a sawtooth tactic to work MAL Heavy Lures back to the boat successfully, taking our morning’s catch to a total of 22 fish.

The boys really had to stick with it to accomplish this, but, in the end, each of them cast to, retrieved, hooked, landed, and released their own fish a few times over and even asked for an “extension”, so, we spent another 45 minutes on the water before mom’s deadline kicked in and we had to wrap up.

We ended up with exactly 22 white bass this morning.

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

TALLY: 22 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: Stillhouse was still releasing at 201 cfs this morning.  Only saw three brief instances of topwater action all morning.  All were light and short-lived.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:30a

End Time: 10:45a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 74F

Elevation:   0.37′ high, .02′ fall, and a flow of 1590cfs

Water Surface Temp: 85.7F

Wind Speed & Direction: ENE under 4 mph all morning.

Sky Condition: Skies were 30% cloud covered at trip’s start, with coverage growing greyer and thicker as the morning moved on with an approaching warm front.

Moon Phase: Waning crescent moon at 9% illumination

GT = N/A

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic 1642 – light topwater just after sunrise for ~10 minutes

**Area vic 172 – sawtooth method with MAL Heavy Lures from 10:00 to 10:45 after a slow mid-morning period

 

 

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

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide

#BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing

#bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport

#fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday

#Fitec

SOLO SIXTY – 60 FISH @ STILLHOUSE

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Wednesday, August 4th, I fished with first-time guest John Gossard of Morgan’s Point Resort, Texas.

John retired from the U.S. Air Force, then went on to retire from 3M after working at their Austin location.

As we got to comparing notes about places the military and fishing had taken us both, he had especially fond memories of catching blue and striped marlin out of Cabo San Lucas.

PHOTO CAPTION: John Gossard effectively worked an MAL Heavy Lure all morning in conjunction with Garmin LiveScope to put together a solo 60-fish, 4 hour morning.  Multiple fish exceeded 14 inches.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Wednesday (AM), 04 August 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

I shared with John about this morning’s trip being the only one of the week I was a bit concerned about after studying the wind and weather forecast.  We are still in a post-frontal situation following the passage of two cold fronts in rapid succession on Sunday evening and on Monday morning.

Today’s winds were supposed to be light and from the ENE, with less cloud cover than we’ve enjoyed the past several days.  Had the forecast had calm winds and clear skies, I would have postponed the trip.  As it was, we were due to have a little of both, so I felt we’d be okay.

As I prepared the boat after launching, I was glad to see more wind and cloud cover already in place than the weatherman guesstimated, and we found the fish in fine form this morning.

We downrigged for our first 9 fish, including two sets of triples, a double, and a single all in a matter of 10-15 minutes before the thin cloud cover let enough light through to illuminate the depths and get the white bass patrolling for shad.

Once I saw fish hunting forage, we immediately changed over to MAL Heavy Lures (I used chartreuse, John used white, and we did equally well) in conjunction with Garmin LiveScope.

John watched the pre-trip video I sent him describing the “dos and don’ts” of working the MAL Lure, and did well coming out of the blocks.  With very little coaching, he was effectively using the lure and catching fish steadily.

We looked at five areas this morning, finding fish at three of them, with the results declining at each as the morning moved on, the skies brightened, and the wind settled.

By 10:10 things ground to a halt, and by 10:30 we were back at the dock.

In all, we landed 60 white bass this morning.

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

TALLY: 60 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  1) Very light topwater action by schoolie largemouth was witnessed as the winds went nearly calm around 10am, but the action was so widespread that it was not enough to stop and fish for. 2) USACE is still releasing at 1,589 cfs on Belton.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:30A

End Time: 10:30A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 70F

Elevation:   0.74′ high, .06′ fall, and a flow of 201cfs

Water Surface Temp: 84.9

Wind Speed & Direction: ENE6-7 at sunrise, slowly tapering to near calm by 10:30.

Sky Condition: Thin grey cloud cover for the first 2 hours after sunrise, then clearing to a hazy, brighter sky.

Moon Phase: Waning crescent moon at 16% illumination

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1424 – downrig w/ transition to vertical MAL Lure work as skies brightened

**Area 910/1102 – MAL Heavy in white & in chartreuse worked vertically for solid results on white bass; 2 short hops

**Area SH0059G9 – MAL Heavy in white and in chartreuse worked vertically for solid results on white bass

 

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

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide

#BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing

#bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport

#fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday

#Fitec #mepps