WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Saturday, October 9th, I fished Lake Belton for this season’s ninth SKIFF program fishing trip offered specifically to military kids and teens. Joining me were Logan Sinks of Belton, and Drake Adams of Killeen. The two friends are both 15 years of age.
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.
Logan’s dad, U.S. Army Master Sergeant David Sinks, is currently deployed to Camp Humphries in South Korea. He has served for approximately 17 years and is in the explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) field. Drake’s step-father, Sergeant First Class Richard Rodriguez, is an Apache attack helicopter mechanic. He has served for 21 years and was most recently deployed to South Korea, as well.
My next few openings will be on 9, 16, and 17 November. Weekday mornings are always best.
PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Logan Sinks and Drake Adams landed 136 fish this morning, including 130 white bass, 4 juvenile hybrid striped bass, and 1 freshwater drum. All fish were taken on the MAL Heavy lure, primarily with a vertical retrieve.
WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton
WHEN WE FISHED: Saturday (AM), 09 November 2021
HOW WE FISHED:
I’ve now had six consecutive trips with over 100 fish per trip.
I’ve been off the water for a week on the annual home-building mission trip to Juarez, Mexico, I make each October with some folks from my church. We returned around 6:45PM last night, I got a few winks of sleep and then got prepped to receive the boys for 7AM.
The fish were still in the same places doing the same things at the same times as when I last fished on 30 September.
The early morning, low-light bite was weak, with the energy level of the fish rising with light and wind as the morning moved on.
By 9:40, we’d landed 31 fish — 4 via a horizontal “sawtooth” method, and the rest via a vertical tactic in conjunction with Garmin LiveScope. It was at this time that the wind ramped up sharply from about SSE8 to SSE13. With this increase in wind came an increase in fish activity.
From 9:50 to 10:30, we more than doubled our catch, landing exactly 70 more fish in this 40-minute span, taking our tally to 101. At the first hint that the bite at this location was starting to wane, I made a final move to a similar area.
From 10:35 to 11:00 we landed an additional 35 fish in those 25 minutes for a grand total of 136 fish boated.
Our primary means of catching this morning was to find fish holding tight to bottom, Spot-Lock on them, work MAL Heavy Lures (white tail, silver blade) vertically up off bottom to about the top of the lower third of the water column, then drop them back while all the time viewing Garmin LiveScope to gauge fish response, and to know when to reel and when not to reel.
The boys got the hang of this quickly, were willing to be coached to smooth out some of the “rookie mistakes” they made with their presentations, and their result benefited handsomely.
MAL Lure fishing tutorials:
MAL Lures are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/
TALLY: 136 fish caught and released
OBSERVATIONS: Since I’d been off the water for a week, I wanted to check the temperature profile at depth. Here are the results … there is no longer any thermal stratification:
0 feet 78.8F
5 feet 79.1F
10 feet 79.2F
15 feet 79.2F
20 feet 79.2F
25 feet 79.2F
30 feet 79.2F
35 feet 79.2F
40 feet 79.2F
45 feet 79.2F
50 feet 79.2F
55 feet 79.2F
60 feet 79.2F
65 feet 79.1F
Start Time: 7:00A
End Time: 11:00A
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 64F
Elevation: 1.12 feet low, 0.03′ drop, 58 CFS flow
Water Surface Temp: 78.8F
Wind Speed & Direction: SSE5 at sunrise, increasing to SSE13 by trip’s end
Sky Condition: Skies were 40% clouded at sunrise, decreasing to 10% by trip’s end
Moon Phase: Waxing crescent moon at 13% illumination.
GT = NA
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 812 – a few shallow fish in 24-26′
**Area 1374 & 1274 – fish were present, but not aggressive; caught a few and moved on
**Area 714 – fish were present and were more aggressive than they had been to this point, but most fish were smallish; moved on by 9:30 with 31 fish landed
**Area 1392/2053 – excellent vertical bite; 70 fish in 45 minutes
**Area B0099G – excellent vertical bite; 35 fish in 25 minutes
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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