WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Thursday evening, April 28th, I fished with Sonny Monroe and his son-in-law, Ryan Miles.
Sonny is a retired public school administrator and superintendent residing in Nolanville, TX, and Ryan is employed at Texas Hydraulics in Temple, TX.
In his retirement, Sonny got a new Ranger fishing boat, and passed down his older Champion bass boat to Miles. After fishing with me on Thursday, the two turned right back around and did a 4-hour on-the-water sonar training session with me today (Saturday) on Sonny’s boat, using his pair of Lowrance Elite sonar units to train on.
Here is how the fishing went …
My next openings will be on June 21 and 23. Weekday mornings are always best. Saturdays are available for on-the-water sonar training sessions (only) until after Labor Day when I’ll again offer Saturday morning fishing trips (until mid-March 2023).
PHOTO CAPTION: From left, Ryan Miles and his father-in-law, Sonny Monroe, landed 175 fish on a warm, partly cloudy afternoon trip this past Thursday on Lake Belton.
WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton
WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday (PM), 28 April 2021
HOW WE FISHED:
The heat and light we experienced on this afternoon’s trip made this the first trip in quite some time when the majority of the trip was not fished under very heavily clouded skies.
The fishing was a bit tougher, as we had to move quite a bit (8 locations in all) to keep on the bite, and wound up catching ~68% of the morning’s catch of 254.
The fish were not really all that hard to located, as large schools of fish have been the norm. When the fish are in such large schools, at least a few will be located up off bottom, making detection with sonar much easier than when just a handful of fish are holding really tightly to the bottom.
When we found the fish, they tended to be other than enthusiastic about our presentations. Only once, at our last stop of the evening, did the fish rise up off bottom to “greet” our falling presentations; otherwise, we had to work our baits for several iterations to get the fish excited. Once they were excited and began biting, there was no real frenzied action.
We relied on using the MAL Dense (white body/chartreuse tail) vertically, retrieved using a smoking tactic at all but our last location. A complete description of this “smoking:” method is found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE
At our last location, with the fish up as shallow as we would find them over the span of the entire trip, we were able to position the boat in even shallower water, cast perpendicular to the portside of the boat, and work our MAL Dense Lures back through the heavily schooled fish using a “sawtooth retrieve”. This put a final 33 fish in the boat in about as many minutes just before and after the sun set.
Our final tally of 254 fish consisted of 2 short hybrid striped bass, 1 freshwater drum, and 172 white bass.
The entire family of MAL Lures is found here: https://whitebasstools.com/
TALLY: 175 fish caught and released
OBSERVATIONS: Here is the water temperature profile I measured around 3:15PM:
0 feet 72.5
5 feet 72.1
10 feet 71.3
15 feet 70.8
20 feet 70.5
25 feet 70.0
30 feet 68.6
35 feet 67.8
40 feet 66.4
45 feet 64.9
50 feet 62.6
55 feet 61.9
Start Time: 3:45P
End Time: 8:05P
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 83F
Elevation: 3.81 feet low, 0.02’ fall in last 24 hours, 38 CFS flow
Water Surface Temp: 72.5F (nearly 5 degrees warmer on the surface than at sunrise)
Wind Speed & Direction: SSE16 for the first 3.5 hours, then calming to SSE12 thereafter
Sky Condition: 60% moderate grey cloud cover for the first 2 hours, then clearing slightly to 30% light grey cloud cover
Moon Phase: Waning crescent moon at 6% illumination.
GT = 25
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
Areas B0067G/B0002C, B0016G, B0064G, B0010C/B0056G, vic B0122C, B0082G, B0187C, B0172C
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)
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