WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Saturday, 20 November, I fished with long-time clients Jerry Worley and David Vahrenkamp who first got to know one another (and me) through Memorial Baptist Church in Killeen.
This morning was tough. Now, you may see our total of 102 fish catch and think, “That doesn’t sound like a tough day,” however, these two fellows are very experienced, AND I fished a bit through the morning to help understand what the fish wanted, thus adding to our total, AND I extended our trip by 1.5 hours in order to try to reach our goal of 100 fish.
Today was the first day of a returning south wind following north winds which came in with a cold front which hit early morning Thursday.
Here is how the fishing went …
My next three openings will be on 15, 16, and 22 December. Weekday mornings are always best.
PHOTO CAPTION: It’s “no shave” November for Jerry Worley and David Vahrenkamp. Those beards helped reduce the chill on our boat ride through this morning’s 47F chill and wind as we worked long and hard to boat 102 fish, taking 5.5 hours to do it on a morning that had the fish and fishing a little “off”.
WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton
WHEN WE FISHED: Saturday (AM), 20 November 2021
HOW WE FISHED:
What had been a reliable bite under birds in the low-light conditions before, during, and just after sunrise was essentially non-existent today. Unfortunately, any birds which tried to get on fish and bait were immediately pounced on by boats which ran their outboards right into the fish, thus shooting themselves in the foot by pushing both fish and birds away. We got away from the zoo of weekend “bumper boats” and found fish with sonar instead, well away from any congregations of anglers.
The fish were in a pretty funky mood this morning. Here’s what I mean … first, we never saw a single area where fish carpeted the bottom in a feeding posture (as has been the case on EVERY SINGLE trip since late September) until about 11:50AM; second, we had a number of occasions where we observed white bass move through the area we were fishing (as viewed on Garmin LiveScope) without so much as sniffing our baits; and third, most of the fish we caught today were suspended at the 24-25′ mark feeding on shad which were also suspended from that level down to bottom.
I quickly ascertained that the MAL Lure was going to have to be moved too quickly for the fish I was observing, so, we switched over quite early to the Bladed Hazy Eye Slab (white, 3/4 oz.) and it did well with its small spinning blade which moves at a speed much slower than is necessary to move the MAL Lure’s blade.
Fully 50-60% of our catch came as a result of LiveScope today. Because the fish were suspended and moving, the LiveScope could be used to help time the retrieve of our lures so as to intersect with a fish’s direction of travel as it passed beneath us.
We really hopped around a lot today as well, fishing 9 areas, finding fish at 6 of them, and doing multiple short hops with the Minn Kota’s jog function at most of those 6 areas.
With two more cold fronts due in before Thanksgiving, the fishing is going to keep “teetering” back and forth between awesome and tough with a few “average” days thrown in if the length of time between fronts stretches any number of days.
When all was said and done, we landed 102 fish, including 1 largemouth bass, 13 juvenile hybrid striped bass, 13 freshwater drum, and 75 white bass.
Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs and MAL Lures found here: https://whitebasstools.com/
TALLY: 102 fish caught and released
OBSERVATIONS: 1) Next front is due in in the early morning hours of Sunday, 21 Nov.
Start Time: 6:45P
End Time: 12:15P
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 47F
Elevation: 1.71feet low, 0.03 fall, 39 CFS flow
Water Surface Temp: 66F
Wind Speed & Direction: SE9 before sunrise, increasing to SE14 by trip’s end
Sky Condition: 40% cloud cover before 8:30, then about an hour of light fog, then slowly clearing back to 40% cloud cover
Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 98% illumination.
GT = 50
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area vic 0363 – 4 fish, all on horizontally worked MAL Heavy Lures under low-light conditions
**Area B0117C – 26 fish, all on vertically worked Bladed Hazy Eye Slab, white, 3/4 oz.
**Area vic 560 – 18 fish, all on vertically worked Bladed Hazy Eye Slab, white, 3/4 oz.
**Area 178 – 11 fish, all on vertically worked Bladed Hazy Eye Slab, white, 3/4 oz.
**Area B0109G – 36 fish, all on vertically worked Bladed Hazy Eye Slab, white, 3/4 oz.
**Area B0111G – 17 fish, all on vertically worked Bladed Hazy Eye Slab, white, 3/4 oz.
Full-time, Professional Fishing Guide and Owner of Holding the Line Guide Service
Belton Lake Fishing Guide, Stillhouse Hollow Fishing Guide
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