Horizontal when it’s tough; Vertical when it’s easy — 134 Fish

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Tuesday, September 28, I fished on Lake Belton with Gerry Collier and his son, Geoff, who is in for a visit from Tucson, AZ.

Gerry works in the supply field for Baylor Scott & White and has been out with me for an on-the-water sonar training previously.  Geoff manages a Jiffy Lube store back in Arizona.  He drove about 13 hours with his German shepherd just to spend some downtime with his folks, enjoying Texas BBQ and beer for a few days.

When I had an unanticipated opening on my calendar, I posted about it on Facebook over the weekend, and Gerry was the first to give me a holler as the opportunity jived perfectly with his son’s visit.


PHOTO CAPTION:   Gerry Collier with a 4.25 pound hybrid taken on the MAL Heavy in silver blade/white tail from out of 42′.


PHOTO CAPTION:   From left: Gerry and Geoff Collier with a sampling of the white bass catch.  Horizontal “sawtooth” tactics worked best when the bite was tough prior to the shift/increase in wind around 9A; after that, a vertical presentation drove ’em wild.


WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday (AM), 28 September 2021


Although still quite solid, the fishing was a little different and a bit slower than yesterday, thanks to a near cloudless, near windless start to the morning.  With lack of cloud cover, the skies brightened quickly and just about eliminated any low-light shallow bite.

We didn’t catch but a few fish in under 25 feet this morning.  After about 40 minutes on the water, a solid bite developed out in 30-32 feet of water allowing us to begin catching with regularity for the first time this trip by casting MAL Heavy Lures out horizontally and retrieving the back with a sawtooth method.  This would remain our staple presentation through 9:30AM.

On occasion, we’d see a “hot” school of fish pile up directly under the boat and show a willingness to chase vertically, but, this was often short-lived, after which we’d switch right back to the horizontal work.

About 9AM, a wind shift and wind increase took place which, by 9:30AM, turned the fish on very well for another full 90+ minutes.  By 9:30, we’d pieced together a catch of 74 fish, including 2 legal hybrid, 3 drum, and 69 white bass.  From 9:30 to 11:25, we landed another 60 fish.  These fish were much, much more aggressive, with 100% of them falling to a vertical retrieve using the MAL Heavy Lure with silver blade and white tail.  This catch of 60 included one more legal hybrid, two more drum, and 4 juvenile hybrid (from last year’s stocking, which is a welcome sight!!).

MAL Lure fishing tutorials:



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

TALLY: 134 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Fishing was a bit tougher today than on the past two outings, but still well ahead of the grind-it-out summer fishing we’ve experienced since June.  Today’s less enthusiastic fishing was driven by a lack of cloud cover and a lack of wind well into the morning.


Start Time: 6:50A

End Time: 11:25A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  68F

Elevation: 1.09 feet low, .04 foot fall, 72 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 78.9F

Wind Speed & Direction: SSE1-4 through 9:10, then increasing to S9 for the rest of the morning

Sky Condition: Skies were cloudless through 9AM, then 20% white cloud cover on a blue sky

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 55% illumination.

GT = 15




**Area  812 – shallowest action, albeit pretty weak this AM

**Area  B0098G – the catch of a single via downrigger led us to find a nice group of fish feeding actively in the lower half of the water column here; we fished vert. and horiz. to capitalize.

**Area 1791/B0155C –  Vertical & horiz. MAL Heavy work

**Area  V1275 – this is where we were when the wind shifted and increased and the bite began to improve rapidly.

**Area 714 – final ~2 hours of the trip here for a final 60 fish, all vertical with LiveScope and MAL Heavy in silver blade/white 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

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