WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Tuesday, October 19, I welcomed aboard a U.S. Army “Gold Star” family.

A family’s receipt of a “Gold Star” is an honor no family desires.  A Gold Star Family is the immediate family member(s) of a fallen service member who died while serving in a time of conflict.

Today, I fished with Britton Shoellhorn and his wife, Hollie (both disabled veterans), their foster son, Zach, and their adopted daughter, Jayden.  Jayden’s father, Sergeant First Class William K. Lacey, died while on active duty in 2014; her mother, Sergeant First Class Melissa Wojcik, died while on active duty in 2017; then, her first adoptive father, Sergeant First Class Jason Wojcik, also died while on active duty in 2017.

The kids were treated to their excursion free of charge via the Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun (SKIFF) program.

SKIFF is now in its 12th year, sponsored by the Austin Fly Fishers, and supported by individuals and entities, like the McBride Foundation, the Sun City Women Helping Others chapter, the Sun City Rod & Gun Club, and others, 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.

My crew of four would land 205 fish this morning.  Details follow…


My next three openings will be on 1, 2, and 6 December.  Weekday mornings are always best.


PHOTO CAPTION:  From left: Britton, Jayden (age 14), Zach (age 8), and Hollie with a portion of their 205 fish catch from Lake Belton today.



WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday (AM), 19 October 2021


This morning’s fishing was 100% vertical.  We fished only four areas using only the MAL Heavy in white tail/silver blade.

I arrayed my four anglers abreast of one another on the starboard side of the boat, with two anglers on each of the two Garmin LiveScope units networked into a single transducer covering an elliptically-shaped area directly below each of them.  Each could see his/her lure rise and fall 100% of the time, so each knew when fish were nearby and could respond accordingly.

One of the challenges today was to help keep everyone from reeling their fish in too far.  Doing so greatly increases the odds of losing a fish right at boatside. Each improved on this such that, by the end of the trip, we were losing far fewer fish at the boat before they were swung overboard.

Zach was obsessed with our fish count.  At the start of the trip I told everyone I’d keep them updated with every tenth fish we landed.  That satisfied 8-year-old Zach up to around fish number 60.  After that, I believe he asked, “What number fish was that?” after every single fish.

We had two oddities occur today.  First, three of my four anglers managed to land rocks, then, Jayden landed a white bass which was both hooked in its mouth with the MAL Heavy Lure’s treble hook, and was “lassoed” with a half-hitch around the base of its tail.  In a lifetime of fishing I’d never seen that before.

We caught lots of fish, had lots of fun, and even got Jayden to reconsider her reluctance to trying “new things”.

By the time 10:45 had rolled around, we’d landed 205 fish.

Of the 205 fish landed, 191 were white bass, with 1 largemouth bass, 1 smallmouth bass, 1 freshwater drum, and 11 juvenile hybrid striped bass in the mix.

MAL Lure fishing tutorials:

MAL Lures are found here:

TALLY: 205 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  After the return of south winds yesterday following Friday’s most recent cold front arrival, balmy southerly winds brought increased humidity, some grey clouds and bit more pre-dawn warmth.  Lots of ospreys seen again today.


Start Time: 7:15A

End Time: 10:45A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  55F

Elevation: 1.05 feet low, 0.04 fall, 58 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 76.85F

Wind Speed & Direction:  S8 at sunrise, increasing slowly to S11 by trip’s end.

Sky Condition: Grey clouds coverage at ~40% all morning.

Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous moon at 99% illumination.

GT = 0





**Area 0140 thru B0101G – 59 fish, all on MAL Heavy Lure with silver blade/white tail fished vertically

**Area 138 – 18 fish, all on MAL Heavy Lure with silver blade/white tail fished vertically

**Area B0188C/1624 – 51 fish, all on MAL Heavy Lure with silver blade/white tail fished vertically

**Area B0103G – 77 fish, all on MAL Heavy Lure with silver blade/white tail fished vertically


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:




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

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#fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday

#Fitec #mepps

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