CAT’S IN THE CRADLE — 181 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Monday, 16 May 2022, I fished with father-and-son team Eddie and Tyler Dunn.

Eddie’s been fishing with me for many years now, first coming aboard as the guest of one of his peers in education administration, Joe Oliver.

This morning, Eddie brought his son, Tyler, out with me for the first time.  Tyler expressed many times throughout the trip how, between work, family, and health struggles, he hadn’t spent enough time with his dad in the outdoors in the past 10 years.  Eddie, too, expressed how, as he climbed his own ladder and dealt with his own health issues, he’d missed some opportunities to spend quality time with Tyler.

Today was an inroad to fixing a few of those things that creep into life unnoticed.  Eddie and Tyler put this same date on the calendar again for next year before they headed for home.

Here is how the fishing went …

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My next openings will be on July 7th and 12th.  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: Eddie and Tyler Dunn with a few of the quality white bass we took all the way from the surface down to 49 feet deep over the course of their 4-hour trip.

 

 

PHOTO CAPTION: We used two versions of the MAL Lure today.  The Original MAL (top) was used for sight-casting to fish on top and for blind casting in water under 16′.  It has a smaller brass body (shorter and thinner diameter), throws well, but doesn’t sink too quickly.  Once the fish moved deep, we used the MAL Dense (bottom) which has a larger, lead body designed to get to bottom fast for vertical or horizontal work.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Monday (AM), 16 May 2022

HOW WE FISHED:

This morning’s trip broke down into two very different chapters.  Under low-light conditions, we used MAL Originals to sight-cast to white bass herding shad to the surface.  This “boiling” was NOT the kind of long-duration feeding on the surface you see in the summer, rather, only occasionally would a small school of white bass appear at the surface, and then, only for a few seconds.  However, when enough small schools revealed their locations frequently enough, it formed a larger picture and let us know where to focus our efforts and place our casts.

Whenever the fish weren’t physically visible, we worked these same lure in a “sawtooth” fashion in under 16 feet of water and had as much success in that way as we did when the fish were visible.  We took 34 fish in under an hour in this manner.  Once the direct sun broke through, the shad moved deep and the white bass moved out with them.

Chapter two then opened as we followed the fish out deep and fished them with a vertical method.  We caught fish in 26 feet, then in 32 feet, then in 41 feet, and ended up in 49 feet of water at our last stop of the morning.

Each of these four stops panned out the exact same way.  We found fish with DI and SI, Spot-Locked on them, got Garmin LiveScope adjusted, and then watched fish response to our presentations.  We used MAL Dense Lures for their superior sink rate and really cleaned up today with the “smoking tactic” described in the link below.

At one point in time an angler with two friends/family aboard got a little too close for comfort.  I just kept my mouth shut despite the lack of courtesy. They were all jerking slabs off the bottom and catching nothing.  This gave me a good opportunity to see the difference between my client’s results and their results using different tactics over the same school of fish.

On a related note, a long-time client and excellent Lake Buchanan angler, sent me this note late last week saying, “Several changes in our fishing today from last week. This was the first day that I could not catch them as well on the Hazy Eye [slab] as everyone else was on the MAL. Fish made a major move. Was totally striking out for the first couple of hours. But man when we finally found them it was insane.”

A complete description of the vertical “smoking:” method is found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE

Our 181 fish catch included 174 white bass, 5 sub-legal hybrid striped bass, 1 largemouth bass, and 1 blue catfish.   Of significance was the fact that, of the 174 white bass we landed, only 4 were under the 10-inch limit — this is remarkable for Lake Belton which is more well-known for numbers of smaller fish.

The entire family of MAL Lures is found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY:  181 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: Shad spawn was still going strong.  No evidence yet that the warm spell is hindering the normal spring cycle typical for May.

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 6:35A

End Time:  10:35A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 77F

Elevation: 4.07 feet low, 0.07’ fall in last 24 hours, 68 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 75.6F

Wind Speed & Direction:  S10 at trip’s start, decreasing to S8 over the 4 hour span.

Sky Condition: A thin, grey bank of clouds kept the sun at bay for about an hour.  Once the sun cleared that cloud bank, a very thin, white layer of haze built and stayed for the remainder of the morning, keeping it relatively comfortable.

Moon Phase: Full moon at 100% illumination.

GT = 55

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Areas 483/011, B0037C (three hops), 835

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: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

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