WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Monday, June 13th, I fished with Drew and Cathy Dennison and their 18-year-old son, Zach.
Of the three, only Zach had been out with me previously during a Spring Break trip earlier this year which he attended with two of his buddies from Belton High School.
Drew works designing homes for Omega Builders, Cathy works to keep her family functioning, and Zach is preparing to head off to college where he’ll continue running track in the 1-mile, 2-mile, and cross-country events this coming fall. Go Lumberjacks!
Here is how the fishing went …
My next openings will be on July 12th and 13th. 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: Zach, Drew, and Cathy Dennison each with a 14+ inch-long white bass taken in our first hour of fishing using MAL Lures in ~42 feet of water.
PHOTO CAPTION: Cathy picked this “bonus” 3.75-pound largemouth bass up after he came over to see what all the white bass were doing as we caught fish out of a school in 38 feet of water by racing MAL Lures from off bottom toward the surface.
WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow
WHEN WE FISHED: Monday (AM), 13 June 2022
HOW WE FISHED:
It seems the impact of heat is definitely bringing on the summer-time fishing. As I’ve shared with many of you on the boat, June is my least favorite month to fish. The fish are transitioning locations due to the thermal stratification of the water, they tend to be most active early and late under low-light conditions, they tend to get finnicky, and, year after year, I see my fish counts drop significantly in June. I have to let my statistics guide my expectations. If I can put 45-70 fish in the boat in 4 hours with 1-3 anglers on board, I feel pretty good about that on Belton and Stillhouse during the month of June and into early July.
After a week off the water to join my brother for our annual prairie dog hunt (destination: Montana for 2022), I was back on the water hunting fish this morning. I chose to give Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir a try this morning, as it normally begins fishing more consistently than Lake Belton, and almost always produces better quality fish than Lake Belton where white bass are concerned.
Over the weekend, I put my downriggers back on the boat, anticipating that I will start to begin to see fish holding in horizontal bands (suspended up off bottom) as the thermocline begins to develop.
We got going a bit early this morning, and, since Stillhouse white bass almost never bite before sunrise, I did some looking for fish and bait just prior to sunrise at around 6:45A.
I found a few fish which looked catchable via downrigging, holding close to bottom in about 40 feet of water. We took one small fish and saw only a handful of others as we made 2 passes over the area, and left thereafter.
The rest of our fish were taken by searching and finding with side-imaging, using the precision of the i-Pilot Link Spot-Lock technology to “park” on top of these fish, and goad them into biting using a “smoking” tactic. As we sat in one area and created commotion, fish would “slide in” along the bottom and higher up in the water column. Whenever fish showed both on bottom and up higher in the water column at the same time on Garmin LiveScope, the fish highest off bottom were almost always the most aggressive as far as willingness to chase our lures.
The later it got, the shorter the duration of the bite at a given area until, around 10:30, even though we could pull fish in, we could no longer get them interested in chasing or striking.
The primary tactic we relied upon today was “smoking” MAL Dense Lures up off the bottom repeatedly. One significant variation is worth noting. Once the fish we parked atop of showed a reluctance to chase vertically, we were able to “milk” a few more fish from that area by just pitching the lure a short (~30 feet) distance out from the boat, and working it back with a sawtooth method. That extra horizontal component really made a difference. This tactic has been verified by others on Lake Buchanan, Hubbard Creek, and Fort Phantom Hill.
A complete description of the vertical “smoking:” method is found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE
Our catch included 59 white bass, and 1 largemouth bass (3.75 pounds).
The entire family of MAL Lures is found here: https://whitebasstools.com/
TALLY: 60 fish caught and released
OBSERVATIONS: We broke a record for the daily high temperature this past Saturday (105F) and tied the record for June 12th on Sunday (104F). Today and tomorrow are supposed to hit 100F before an entrenched high pressure system moves east and allows some cloud cover to cool us off before it move back over us for Thurs. thru Sat.
Start Time: 6:30A
End Time: 10:50A
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 79F
Elevation: 5.13 feet low, 0.05’ fall in last 24 hours, 1 CFS flow
Water Surface Temp: 82.7F
Wind Speed & Direction: SSW10 at sunrise, increasing to SSW16 with gusts to 19 by trip’s end
Sky Condition: Blue skies with wispy, white, thin cloud cover at ~60%
Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous moon at 99% illumination.
GT = 65
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
Area SH0130G – 29 fish (2 hops)
Area SH0131G – 3 fish
Area SH0132G – 28 fish
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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