WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Thursday afternoon, 26 May 2022, I ran a “Kids Fish, Too!” trip with Aiden (age 7) and Ryan (age 4) Beitzel, chaperoned by their parents, Michael and Jennifer.
Michael is an anesthesiologist training for a 1-year period here in Central Texas before heading to West Texas to work in that field.
Michael contacted me some time ago about getting his boys out fishing. When I learned the trip would include a 4-year-old, I immediately suggested that we hold off until sometime in the period between late May and early September when the fishing is both more varied and more kid-friendly.
That paid off today.
Here is how the fishing went …
My next openings will be on July 12th – 14th. 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 (age 4), Jennifer, Michael, and Aiden (age 7) Beitzel with two of the 36 fish the boys landed during their 3-hour “Kids Fish, Too!” trip intended just for younger, elementary-aged kids.
WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton
WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday (PM), 26 May 2022
HOW WE FISHED:
“Kids Fish, Too!” trips are very different from my standard white bass fishing trips. First, they include only the kids doing the fishing. Any adults who come along have previously agreed that they are there to help me help the kids be successful. Next, these trips are no longer than 3.5 hours in length, versus 4+ hours for standard trips. These trips focus on keeping the kids engaged as long as possible, versus focusing on high fish counts; this requires multiple techniques be employed and that we move about frequently to build in transitions which hold kids’ attention. Finally, these trips are less expensive, at $195 for 2 kids versus $275 for 2 adults.
Prior to the Beitzels arrival, I scouted around, found a suspended school of white bass over ~52 feet of water which responded well to the commotion I created while sampling their interest level.
Once the family arrived, we got right out on these fish and caught 8 white bass in short order. Ryan really was not interested in fishing at this point, and the novelty of the smoking tactics we were using wore off on Aiden fairly quickly, as is typical for someone his age.
We moved on and searched for sunfish. After coaching Aiden (as Ryan was still not interested in sunfishing yet) on how to set the hook with the bream rods we were using, he began to catch bluegill and longear sunfish consistently. Knowing that Ryan would enjoy this if he’d just give it a try, dad and I coaxed him into landing a sunfish which we’d already hooked. That was all it took to interest Ryan — he then joined in and helped us land a total of 17 sunfish before the novelty of that approach wore off.
We moved onto our final stop of the evening, knowing we would likely not be there very long as the kids were starting to fade in the 90+ F afternoon heat with little wind to soothe.
We landed a final 11 additional white bass using the same smoking tactics we had employed earlier with MAL Dense lures tied on.
Right at the 3 hour mark we all agreed that fishing any longer would turn a great experience into a not-so-great experience. We packed up, headed in, and wrapped up the afternoon with a total of 36 fish landed by Aiden and Ryan.
A complete description of the vertical “smoking:” method is found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE
Our 36 fish catch included exactly 19 white bass and 17 sunfish (bluegill and longear).
The entire family of MAL Lures is found here: https://whitebasstools.com/
TALLY: 36 fish caught and released
OBSERVATIONS: For the first time this spring I found active, totally suspended fish holding away from heavily sloped bottoms. I found two such instances this morning, both on topography being impacted by the wind, and another such instance this afternoon.
Start Time: 4:45A
End Time: 7:45A
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 93F
Elevation: 4.29 feet low, 32 CFS flow
Water Surface Temp: 77.5F
Wind Speed & Direction: SW2-5 all afternoon
Sky Condition: Post-frontal bluebird skies
Moon Phase: Waning crescent moon at 15% illumination.
GT = 20
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
Areas B0128G (whites), Area 492 (sunfish), Area B0150C (whites)
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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