SAWTOOTH METHOD COMING ON STRONG – 52 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Thursday, August 11th, I fished with sisters Brilynn (age 11) and Kate (age 10) Fults of Liberty Hill, Texas.  The young ladies were joined by their dad, Brandon Fults, and family friend, Russel Martin, who did not fish but were there to help me help the girls be successful.

Whenever all anglers participating are under the age of 17, and adults are not also fishing, such trips are eligible for my “Kids Fish, Too!” rates.  These trips normally go 3.5 hours versus 4+ hours for adult trips, and, they start at $195 for up to two kids.  I don’t know of too many guided trips out there for that price point anymore — it is my way of trying to make guided fishing available to families and get kids engaged in the outdoors.

My next open date will be on August 23rd.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left: Brandon and Kate Fults, Russel Martin, and Brilynn Fults with two quality white bass the girls hooked and landed as they worked MAL Dense Lures horizontally along a clean bottom using a sawtooth tactic on spinning rods with light braid to enhance the lures’ sink rates.

 

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday, 11 August 2022

HOW WE FISHED:

At exactly 3:15pm yesterday, a cold front pushed far enough south into Central Texas to bring clouds, wind, a rapid temperature drop, and just a few drops of rain.  By nightfall, the weather had calmed.  This morning, a very light north breeze and some cloud cover was in place, thus putting a huge question mark over what this weather had done to the fishery.

Fortunately, Brilynn and Kate are both athletes, competing in softball, and therefore were both well-coordinated and  accustomed to coaching.  They both very quickly got the hang of smoking vertically and using the sawtooth method horizontally, so, their learning curve was short.

I mentioned in my past several reports that the white bass interest in horizontal tactics over vertical tactics was becoming apparent.  Today’s results really cemented that in place.  Of the 52 fish the girls landed, only about 10% came vertically, with the sawtooth method and downrigging taking the lion’s share of our fish.

Our best bite came from ~7:40-8:50 in an area which had a slow slope and averaged ~45 feet in depth.  As we sat in one location with calm winds and the trolling motor on Spot-Lock, we were never facing in the same direction for very long as we got pushed by every little boat wake and puff of wind which came by.  As our position shifted, I kept a close eye on side-imaging and could see fish around us in every direction.  Where a few could be seen, many more existed (as not every fish out there is going to show on sonar, especially if they are very tight to the bottom).

As the girls cast out and worked their MAL Dense Lures (w/ chartreuse tails) back to the boat, the fish responded well during this span of time. Roughly half of our fish were taken during this bite.

As those fish disbanded, we retooled and got setup for downrigging with twin downriggers, each equipped with a 3-armed umbrella rig towing three #12 Pet Spoons.  The downrigging produced well as we encountered mobile schools of suspended white bass routinely.  The girls landed singles, doubles, and triples, but, we never did find any additional congregations of fish as large as that first one which produced so well for us up until ~8:50A.

Even though we did not encounter large collections of fish, we found a few groups large enough to stop atop of and work over.  We typically picked up a fish or two or three and then had to move on.

We never had any consistent wind to even ripple the surface for more than a few minutes at a time all morning.  To land 52 whites on a calm summer morning following a cold front was far more than I anticipated and a tribute to the girls’ abilities and persistence.

Our 52 fish tally included only white bass, three of which were short.  Although we hooked two largemouth and got them near the boat, they both “spit the hook” as they jumped and shook their heads.

The smoking tactic we used is demonstrated here (skip to 2:26): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE

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

TALLY:  52 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  The white bass’ preference for horizontal movement over vertical movement was quite clear this morning.  I suspect “thermal squeeze” is the root cause, keeping the fish confined to the cooler water just above the thermocline.  I suspect they are reluctant to rise up into increasingly warm water nearer the surface.

 WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 6:50A

End Time:  11:10A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 75F

Elevation: 8.17 feet low,  0.04′ fall in last 24 hours, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 83.9F

Wind Speed & Direction:  Calm to near calm all morning

Sky Condition: 10% white cloud cover on a blue sky.

Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous moon at 100% illumination.

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Area vic SH0209G – best area of the morning w/ ~70 min. bite on sawtoothed Dense Lures

Area 872 to 864 – steady downrigging action on Pet Spoon/umbrella leading to some sawtooth/smoking work

Area SH0208G to SH0221G – – steady downrigging action on Pet Spoon/umbrella

 

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

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide #BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing #bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport #fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday #Fitec #mepps

WHEN DUTY CALLS, DAUGHTERS FISH! — 60 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Wednesday, August 10th, I conducted the tenth Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun (SKIFF) trip of the 2022 season.

I welcomed aboard the Froschauer family including Abby (mom), and her daughters, 9-year-old Molly, and 8-year-old Rose.

The girls’ father, U.S. Army Master Sergeant (E-8) Paul Froschauer, has been serving for 19 1/2 years.  He is a part of the Army’s Armor Branch and was recently deployed to Germany.

ABOUT SKIFF:  This fishing trip was provided to this military family at no charge.  S.K.I.F.F. stands for Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun.  This program began in May of 2009.  It is funded by the donations and fundraising efforts of the Austin Fly Fishers and other organizations they have partnered with.  S.K.I.F.F. provides the children of military personnel separated from their families due to duty commitments with the opportunity to go fishing.  SKIFF trips are also provided, free of charge, to Gold Star families who have lost their service member while he or she was on active duty.  In mid-2019, SKIFF also began providing trips to dependents whose parents are bona fide disabled veterans.  I coordinate and conduct these ~3.5-hour  adventures on Belton Lake and Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir, just outside the gates of Fort Hood in Bell County, TX, year ’round.  Call or text 254.368.7411.

My next open date for a free SKIFF trip for qualifying families will be on August 23rd.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  Rose Froschauer holds a “triple” she landed on a 3-armed umbrella rig while we were downrigging at mid-morning as her sister, Molly, looks on.

PHOTO CAPTION:  Molly landed our big fish of the trip.  This healthy largemouth bass was fought to boatside by Molly and successfully netted by my summer intern, Andy Li.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Wednesday, 10 August 2022

HOW WE FISHED:

Only time will tell if this is the weather system which breaks the back of our hot, dry summer, but a mild cold front which pushed into north Texas overnight is forecast to bring cooler temperatures and some rain later today.  In advance of that weather, we had light winds and abundant cloud cover this morning which kept the temperatures bearable by diminishing the direct sun’s rays.

With two young ladies aboard, both with limited prior experience, and only one (Rose) with a burning desire to fish, I thought it best to go for some ‘instant gratification’ fishing right off the bat.  Hence, along with my ‘first mate’ Andy Li who joined me as a summer intern, we prepared bream rods to enable the girls to catch sunfish from out of the hydrilla matted around the shoreline.

Our first stop yielded exactly 30 sunfish, including bluegill, longears, and greens, before the girls expressed a readiness for a little something different.

We retooled and got setup for downrigging with twin downriggers, each equipped with a 3-armed umbrella rig towing three #12 Pet Spoons.  The downrigging produced well as we encountered mobile schools of suspended white bass routinely.  The girls landed two triples, and numerous doubles and singles as we thoroughly worked areas where sonar revealed ample collections of bait (young-of-the-year threadfin shad).

After downrigging for a while, we happened upon what would be the single greatest concentration of fish we would encounter all morning.  Fortunately, this large school of fish was holding on the bottom and less mobile than the suspended fish we’d encountered up to this point.  I stopped the boat and we worked MAL Dense Lures both vertically and horizontally to pick up about a dozen additional white bass.

Molly was our first to wear out, and Rose wasn’t far behind.  Picking up on this, I offered that we could conclude our trip, or we could go back to doing one of the techniques we’d done previously (sunfishing or downrigging).  At first it was a 50/50 split decision for downrigging and sunfishing, but, after some deliberation amongst themselves, the girls chose sunfishing for their final effort of the morning.  Each landed one more sunfish for a final total of 60 fish, and we called it a great morning before the Texas sun broke through the morning clouds.

Our 60 fish tally included 32 sunfish, 2 freshwater drum, 2 largemouth bass, and 24 white bass (no shorts)

The smoking tactic we used is demonstrated here (skip to 2:26): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE

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

TALLY:  60 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Slowly but surely the white bass are beginning to show a definite preference for horizontal retrieves over vertical retrieves.  I suspect “thermal squeeze” is the root cause, keeping the fish confined to the cooler water just above the thermocline.  I suspect they are reluctant to rise up into increasingly warm water nearer the surface.

 WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 6:50A

End Time:  10:30A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 79F

Elevation: 8.13 feet low,  0.06′ fall in last 24 hours, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 85.0F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSW5-7 all morning

Sky Condition: 80% white cloud cover on a blue sky.

Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous moon at 96% illumination.

GT = N/A

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Area 334 – 30 sunfish on slipfloats & bait

Area vic SH0209G – downrigging for a mixed bag of white, drum, and largemouth

Area vic 889 – MAL Dense worked vert. and horiz. for white bass

Area 334 – 2 sunfish on slipfloats & bait

 

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

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide #BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing #bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport #fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday #Fitec #mepps

HAVE GRANDKIDS; WILL FISH — 82 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Tuesday, August 9th, I fished with long-time client Steve Niemeier who rarely steps aboard without at least one grandchild in tow.  As we recollected today, we figured we’d shared at least 13 years’ worth of trips together, beginning with his grandson, Caleb, who began fishing with me at age 4, and will graduate high school at the end of the upcoming school year.

Today, Steve brought along two other grandsons, Oliver (age 10) and Henry (age 13), along with their dad, Andrew.  Andrew and family were down for just shy of a week’s visit from the suburbs of Chicago.

My next open date will be on August 23rd.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left: Henry, Steve, Oliver, and Andrew Niemeier with the results of the one and only “quadruple” we landed today when everyone landed a fish at the same time on the MAL Dense Lures.  With the water being so hot and the fish so deep, they simply will not survive more than ~2 minutes in the livewell, so, I don’t hold fish for photos from June until after turnover.

PHOTO CAPTION: Henry took the big fish prize for the morning.  This 4.25-pound largemouth hit Henry’s MAL Dense Lure worked vertically.  It chased the lure up off bottom in 42 feet of water.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday, 09 August 2022

HOW WE FISHED:

About the only change in variables today versus Monday was wind — we had at least a 6-8 mph wind right up until ~10:15 this morning and encountered biting fish as a result.  Now, mind you, it is still summertime and the fish were far from “on fire”, but most every time I saw a fair number of fish congregated together on sonar and stopped on them, we caught at least a few.

One very common element the past 10 days or so has been for these fish we find to get really fired up as we make our initial 5-10 drops of the MAL Lure, but the “simmer down” very quickly thereafter.  Anticipating this now, I adjusted my approach and simply stopped fishing and moved once this decline in interest kicked in.  This meant we moved a lot today.  Sometimes, it meant simply moving a few boat-lengths with the trolling motor only; other times we packed up and ran.

Our best “window” came between 9:30 and 10:20 during which time my four anglers landed 45 of their 83 fish, all in one location, and just before the wind died right about 10:30.

Once the wind died, the bite died with it, allowing us only 9 more fish at our final 2 areas fished.

Fishing the MAL Dense with chartreuse tail has been hard to beat, although I’ve found that when we’re on flatter bottom terrain and the side-imaging shows fish to the port or starboard, the fish seem more likely to strike on a sawtooth method than with a vertical presentation.  Several times we fished vertically until that initial display of interest ran its course, then switched over to fishing horizontally, thus allowing us to catch fish even after the vertical presentations quit producing.

The smoking tactic we used is demonstrated here (skip to 2:26): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE

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

TALLY:  82 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Temperature profile as measured with a Fish Hawk TD:

0 feet 85.9F
5 feet 86.8F
10 feet 86.8F
15 feet 86.8F
20 feet 86.5F
25 feet 85.1F
30 feet 84.8F
35 feet 84.8F
40 feet 78.9F
45 feet 73.3F
50 feet 67.9F
55 feet 63.9F
60 feet 61.4F

 WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 6:50A

End Time:  11:10A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 79F

Elevation: 8.06 feet low,  0.06′ fall in last 24 hours, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 85.9F

Wind Speed & Direction:  S6-8 for 3.25 hours, then going slack for balance of trip

Sky Condition: Cloudless, pale blue skies

Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous moon at 90% illumination.

GT = 35

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Area SH0207G – MAL Dense Lures smoked for 8 fish

Area SH0218G – MAL Dense Lures smoked for 2 fish

Area SH0209G – MAL Dense Lures smoked for 3 fish

Area SH0124CG – MAL Dense Lures smoked for 15 fish (w/2 short hops)

Area 889/867 – MAL Dense Lures smoked for 45 fish

Area SH0219G – MAL Dense Lures smoked for 9 fish

 

 

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

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide #BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing #bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport #fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday #Fitec #mepps

THE BOYS’ CLUB – 53 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Monday, August 8th, I fished with three young men, all age 11.  This trip was in celebration of Lawson Phillips’ birthday.  For this event he invited along his buddies Blaine Johnson and Harrison Fryar.  Lawson’s dad, Will, came along as a non-fishing chaperone to help me help the boys be successful.

Whenever all anglers participating are under the age of 17, and adults are not also fishing, such trips are eligible for my “Kids Fish, Too!” rates.  These trips normally go 3.5 hours versus 4+ hours for adult trips, and, they start at $195 for up to two kids.  I don’t know of too many guided trips out there for that price point anymore — it is my way of trying to make guided fishing available to families and get kids engaged in the outdoors.

My next open date will be on August 23rd.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left: Harrison Fryar, Blaine Johnson, Mr. Will Phillips, and Lawson Phillips, with a portion of the boys’ 53 fish catch made as they celebrated Lawson’s 11th birthday with him.

 

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Monday, 08 August 2022

HOW WE FISHED:

Once again, our efforts early on were hindered by a lack of wind.  We had nearly calm conditions through 9A, then the wind puffed on and off for another hour, finally becoming steady at ~6-8mph thereafter.

The fishing was tough under those calm conditions.  We had no trouble finding fish, and the fish we found would even consolidate under the boat pretty well, but, we saw time and time again on Garmin LiveScope how they just sat idly by as we worked out baits, or, at best, just chased half-heartedly.

So, after picking up about 14 fish in our first hour, I utilized the downriggers for the first time in quite a while so as to cover ground and get multiple baits (3 baits on each of two rods, for a total of 6 baits) in front of more fish than we could by sitting still.

The downrigging definitely did the trick, allowing catches of singles, multiple doubles, and even one triple.  It also allowed me to scrutinize side-imaging while having lines in the water.  On several occasions, I spotted sizeable groups of fish which we Spot-Locked on and fished vertically for successfully.

The last of ~5 such episodes of this landed us on the morning’s best bite.  From ~10:15 to 11:15, as the wind blew as hard and consistently as it would all morning, we took our fish count from 39 up to a final tally of 53 using MAL Dense Lures both vertically and horizontally.

I never stop a trip “by the clock” and so we wound up fishing a little longer than normal as I hated to stop in the middle of a cooperative bite, especially after we’d really had to work for ’em in the first half of the morning.

The final tally today was 53 fish, all of which were white bass, with only 1 short fish (under 10″) in our catch.

The smoking tactic we used is demonstrated here (skip to 2:26): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE

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

TALLY:  53 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Light early morning winds made for a much less aggressive early morning bite today.

 WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 6:50A

End Time:  11:15A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 77F

Elevation: 7.99 feet low,  0.05′ fall in last 24 hours, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 83.8F

Wind Speed & Direction:  S0-3 for the first 3 hours, slowly ramping up to S6-8 beginning around 9A

Sky Condition: Cloudless, pale blue skies

Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous moon at 82% illumination.

GT = 100

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Area vic 863 – MAL Dense Lures smoked

Area vic SH0124C – Downrigging leading to working MAL Dense Lures smoked

Area 875 to 933 – Downrigging

Area 871 – MAL Dense Lures smoked

 

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

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide #BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing #bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport #fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday #Fitec #mepps

A MULTI-GENERATIONAL, MULTI-PURPOSE, MULTI-SPECIES KIND OF FISHING TRIP — 38 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Thursday, August 4th, I fished with “Papa” Joe Oliver, his son, Thomas, Thomas’ wife, Ashley, and Thomas and Ashley’s daughter, Sawyer, age 4.

This was the last of three trips focused on Joe’s grandchildren for the summer of 2022.  Although we all knew Sawyer would not stay interested for an overly long period of time, Joe wanted to treat her like all of the other grandkids and start this summer tradition with her, as well.

So, we had three generations aboard.  The primary goal was to help Sawyer and Ashley catch a few fish before Thomas and Ashley took Sawyer back to shore, then, the secondary goal was to put some fish in the boat for Joe, as he remained behind until his departure about 3.5 hours after we had begun.

My next open date will be on August 23rd.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

PHOTO CAPTION:  Sawyer Oliver, age 4, was the priority this morning.  After “helping” reel in 5 white bass, we went in pursuit of sunfish up shallow.  She landed this mature sunfish “all by herself”!  That’s her daddy, Thomas, in the background.

PHOTO CAPTION:  After Thomas departed with wife and child, Papa Joe Oliver and I stayed on a while longer to hunt up some fish which would have been a bit too technical for a 4-year-old.  While catching white bass from deep water, Joe came across this smallmouth.  We also had two largemouth mixed in with our white bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday, 04 August 2022

HOW WE FISHED:

As we got going, we encountered the lightest early morning wind conditions of the entire week.  This was not helpful.

The white bass we pursued at the start of the trip were in low gear and pretty unwilling to chase after our baits at each of the three stops we made.  We managed 5 white bass under nearly calm conditions before we sensed Sawyer was getting a bit fidgety.

As I’d invited him to do, Thomas suggested we make a break to head up shallow and do some sunfishing for the sake of variety to reignite Sawyer’s interest.  She did great and handily put 9 sunfish in the boat, including redears, bluegill, and longears, all on a bream pole using bait under a slipfloat.

As we watched the interest in sunfishing wane, Thomas and I agreed that I’d look for white bass between our current location and the boat ramp, stopping to fish if I found anything great.  If not, he was good ending their trip while Sawyer was still having a good time.  Well, I didn’t see much, and we dropped Thomas and family off, then headed back out with just Joe aboard.

We did manage to find some fish in right at 50 feet of water and they were spread over a ~70 yard area and pretty unwilling to consolidate under the boat.  So, we fish until the fish density beneath us (as shown on LiveScope) got thin, then “jogged” to the next best concentration and so on.  We did this three times and added a final 24 fish (incl. whites, largemouth, and one smallmouth) to the tally before wrapping up a bit early, around 10:30, so Joe could tend to family and business.

The final tally today was 38 fish, which included 1 smallmouth bass, 2 largemouth bass, 9 sunfish, and 26 white bass.

The smoking tactic we used is demonstrated here (skip to 2:26): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE

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

TALLY:  38 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Light early morning winds made for a much less aggressive early morning bite today.

 

 WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 6:55A

End Time:  10:30A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 79F

Elevation: 7.76 feet low,  0.02′ fall in last 24 hours, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 84.8F

Wind Speed & Direction:  S1-4 for the first two hours, quickly ramping up to S10-12 beginning around 9A

Sky Condition: Cloudless, pale blue skies

Moon Phase: Waxing crescent moon at 40% illumination.

GT = 110

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Area 864 – smoking MAL Dense Lures for 5 fish

Area 1416 for 9 sunfish

Area SH0217G – smoking MAL Dense Lures for 12 fish

Area SH0218G – smoking MAL Dense Lures for 12 fish

 

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

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide #BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing #bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport #fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday #Fitec #mepps

WHITE NEEDLES IN A 6,400-ACRE HAYSTACK – 106 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Wednesday, August 3rd, I fished a “Kids Fish, Too!” trip with the fourth generation of the Oliver family I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and fishing with through the years.

Joining me were Cullen (12), Presley (12), and Harper (10) Oliver, the children of Corey Oliver, who is the son of Joe Oliver, who is the son of Billy Joe Oliver, all of whom have fished with me for many years now.

The kids’ grandfather, Joe, and their Uncle Thomas were present to help me help the kids be successful.

My next open date will be on August 23rd.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

 

PHOTO CAPTION: From left:  Harper, Presley, and Cullen Oliver with one of the three or four “triples” we landed when each of the kids hooked up as a large school of white bass passed by.  I promise they all did better at fishing than they did keeping their eyes open for the photo!!

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Wednesday, 03 August 2022

HOW WE FISHED:

As solid as the summertime fishing on Stillhouse has been, it is definitely not for everyone.  Quality sonar, well-interpreted, is a must right now.  Fish are uncharacteristically deep and, as is typical for the summer, they are scattered and found in small groups.  Slowly passing over large tracts of bottom looking for the rice-grainlike specks which are fish is pretty tedious.

But, when even just a few are detected, what I’ve been finding can be surprising.  Although 6 or 10 or 18 fish may be showing on sonar as I pass by, once we Spot-Lock and start creating commotion, the numbers can blossom very quickly, offering long spans of successful fishing.

My three young anglers focused on the task at hand once I got the boat well-positioned, and put a solid 106 fish in the boat this morning in right at 3.75 hours of effort.

All of my rods have but one lure tied on right now, and that is the MAL Dense with chartreuse tail.  It is my heaviest MAL Lure and gets back to bottom quickly, thus cutting to a minimum the time spent waiting for it to fall.

A fast, smooth “smoking” retrieve really gets the goat of those congregated white bass which are, at this time of year, accustomed to literally racing after shad.  Both fish species’ metabolism is at an annual high right now and everything is moving fast beneath the surface.

The kids landed exactly 106 fish, 100% of which were white bass with no short fish in the haul.  Our first hour was the best, and the final 45 minutes was strong.  The middle two hours this morning were a bit tough in that we found plenty of fish, but they were just reluctant to fire up, chase, and bite.

The smoking tactic we used is demonstrated here (skip to 2:26): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE

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

TALLY:  106 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Continued hot, dry, high-pressure conditions continue to fuel a consistent, albeit technical bite at Stillhouse.  For the second day in a row, winds up over 13 mph today kept the topwater largemouth schooling largely at bay.  Here was the temperature profile down to 50′ …

0 feet 86.8F
5 feet 86.8F
10 feet 86.8F
15 feet 86.8F
20 feet 86.8F
25 feet 86.5F
30 feet 86.4F
35 feet 86.2F
40 feet 79.4F
45 feet 73.3F
50 feet 66.8F

 

 WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 6:55A

End Time:  10:40A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 79F

Elevation: 7.74 feet low,  0.08′ fall in last 24 hours, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 86.8F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSW12-15

Sky Condition: Cloudless, pale blue skies

Moon Phase: Waxing crescent moon at 30% illumination.

GT = 160

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Area 258/SH0214G – smoking MAL Dense Lures for 46 fish

Area vic 1222 – smoking MAL Dense Lures for 16 fish (2 short hops)

Area vic 1412 – smoking MAL Dense Lures for 6 fish

Area SH0216G – smoking MAL Dense Lures for 38 fish

 

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

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide #BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing #bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport #fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday #Fitec #mepps

FIRST FISH & A FATHER’S FAREWELL – 73 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Tuesday, August 2nd, I conducted the ninth Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun (SKIFF) trip of the 2022 season.

I welcomed aboard 9-year-old Emerson Rayburn and her 7-year-old brother, Weston Rayburn. Prior to this morning’s trip, neither child had ever caught a fish before.

The kids’ father, U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer Chris Rayburn is a fixed-wing aircraft pilot for the Army’s military intelligence branch.  He recently received orders taking him on a months-long mission to Africa.

Knowing he was going to be separated from his kids for quite some time to come, he contacted me to see if he could take a pre-departure fishing trip with them.  We (the SKIFF organization) gladly granted that request this morning.

ABOUT SKIFF:  This fishing trip was provided to this military family at no charge.  S.K.I.F.F. stands for Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun.  This program began in May of 2009.  It is funded by the donations and fundraising efforts of the Austin Fly Fishers and other organizations they have partnered with.  S.K.I.F.F. provides the children of military personnel separated from their families due to duty commitments with the opportunity to go fishing.  SKIFF trips are also provided, free of charge, to Gold Star families who have lost their service member while he or she was on active duty.  In mid-2019, SKIFF also began providing trips to dependents whose parents are bona fide disabled veterans.  I coordinate and conduct these ~3.5-hour  adventures on Belton Lake and Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir, just outside the gates of Fort Hood in Bell County, TX, year ’round.  Call or text 254.368.7411.

My next open date for a free SKIFF trip for qualifying families will be on August 25th.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

 

PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Weston Rayburn, Chief Warrant Officer Chris Rayburn, and Emerson Rayburn during the kids’ farewell fishing trip prior to their dad’s departure on a mission to Africa.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday, 02 August 2022

HOW WE FISHED:

This hot, dry, high-pressure weather continues to have the fish behaving in much the same ways day after day.

We had a pretty steep learning curve to get through today, as neither child had ever caught a fish before, so, everything from how to hold a rod, to how to open and close the bail, to how to retrieve a lure at the right speed, etc., had to be learned from scratch.

Even so, Emerson was a quick study, and with dad’s help and my own, Weston landed his fair share of fish, keeping pace with his sister in the final third of the trip.

We landed exactly 73 fish this morning, and every last one of them came on a vertically worked MAL Dense Lure with chartreuse tail.  We watched every fish we caught chase and overtake our lures on Garmin LiveScope.  This technology allowed me to advise the kids on when to continue their retrieves and when to allow their lures to return to bottom — for this reason alone, it was invaluable.

With the fishing being so “cookie-cutter” thanks to the very stable weather, I’ve noted that the bite is strongest at sunrise and slowly fades to black by about 10:30.  The fish we encounter later in the morning simply do not stay as aggressive for as long as the fish we discover early on.

Of the 73 fish landed, 72 were legal-sized white bass, with 1 freshwater drum thrown in for good measure.

The smoking tactic we used is demonstrated here (skip to 2:26): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE

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

TALLY:  73 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Continued hot, dry, high-pressure conditions continue to fuel a consistent, albeit technical bite at Stillhouse.  Winds up over 13 mph today kept the topwater largemouth schooling largely at bay.

 

 WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 6:55A

End Time:  10:35A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 79F

Elevation: 7.65 feet low,  0.05′ fall in last 24 hours, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 85.0F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSW11-15

Sky Condition: Cloudless, pale blue skies

Moon Phase: Waxing crescent moon at 21% illumination.

GT = 60

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Area SH0214G – smoking MAL Dense Lures for 11 fish

Area SH0059G – smoking MAL Dense Lures for 19 fish (2 short hops)

Area SH0215G – smoking MAL Dense Lures for 23 fish

Area SH0216G – smoking MAL Dense Lures for 20 fish

 

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

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide #BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing #bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport #fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday #Fitec #mepps

SOLDIERS’ KIDS & A TORNADO OF FISH — 83 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Monday, August 1st, I conducted the eighth Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun (SKIFF) trip of the 2022 season.

I welcomed aboard 10-year-old Braden Sepaugh, 7-year-old Tucker Sepaugh, and their mom, Mrs. Amber Sepaugh.

The boys’ dad, U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Aaron Sepaugh, a U.S. Army helicopter pilot, has served in the military for 14 years.  He is deployed to Europe from Fort Hood.  Mrs. Sepaugh will be teaching elementary-aged kids at Central Texas Christian School in Belton as the new school year begins.

ABOUT SKIFF:  This fishing trip was provided to this military family at no charge.  S.K.I.F.F. stands for Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun.  This program began in May of 2009.  It is funded by the donations and fundraising efforts of the Austin Fly Fishers and other organizations they have partnered with.  S.K.I.F.F. provides the children of military personnel separated from their families due to duty commitments with the opportunity to go fishing.  SKIFF trips are also provided, free of charge, to Gold Star families who have lost their service member while he or she was on active duty.  In mid-2019, SKIFF also began providing trips to dependents whose parents are bona fide disabled veterans.  I coordinate and conduct these 3.5 to 4 hour adventures on Belton Lake and Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir, just outside the gates of Fort Hood in Bell County, TX, year ’round.  Call or text 254.368.7411.

My next open date for a free SKIFF trip for qualifying families will be on August 23rd.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Braydon, Amber, and Tucker Sepaugh with a pair of fish the boys landed simultaneously.  We release 100% of our catch, and have since going into business on “Day 1”.  These fish on Stillhouse are coming out of deep, cool water and will perish very quickly if not released immediately, thus, I do not hold them in the livewell.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Monday, 01 August 2022

HOW WE FISHED:

It was 100% “smoking”, 100% of the time, for a catch consisting of 100% white bass — 83 of them to be exact.

The boys arrived with just enough prior fishing experience under their belts to be able to take instruction on the proper use of spinning gear to work the MAL Dense Lures (with chartreuse tail)  using a “smoking” tactic.  We invested some time doing a “practice round” of this near the launch site before unleashing the boys on fish.

This investment paid big dividends.  Braydon got right down to catching fish as soon as we halted the boat over top of the first of four schools of deep water white bass we’d find and work over.  Tucker, being younger, took a bit longer to get through the learning curve, but, by mid-trip he was holding his own.

When the first large school of white bass showed up on Garmin LiveScope, Braydon exclaimed, “Whoa, it’s like a tornado of fish!”.

The MAL Dense with its white body and chartreuse tail really drew the strikes today and kept the boys busy to the point that downrigging and/or sunfishing for variety’s sake was not necessary to keep them engaged for the trip’s 3.5 hour duration.

The boys’ final tally was 83 fish which consisted of all white bass with only 1 short fish in the bunch.

This hot, dry, stable weather is super helpful to the fishing, as the fish are in a very predictable routine, behaving in much the same ways at the time times and same places on a daily basis.

The smoking tactic we used is demonstrated here (skip to 2:26): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE

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

TALLY:  83 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  A high pressure “dome” continues to be solidly set up over Texas which, according to meteorologists, will stay with us for the foreseeable future.  Although north Texas was influenced by a mild cold front which drove south late Friday evening, no effects were apparent here today.  If history is any teacher, this bodes well for fishing.  Topwater schooling by largemouth bass continues.

 

 WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 6:55A

End Time:  10:25A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 79F

Elevation: 7.60 feet low,  0.05′ fall in last 24 hours, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 84.7F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSW6-9

Sky Condition: Cloudless, pale blue skies

Moon Phase: Waxing crescent moon at 13% illumination.

GT = 40

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Area SH0150G/SH0032G – smoking MAL Dense Lures for 41 fish

Area SH0211G – smoking MAL Dense Lures for 17 fish

Area SH0212G – smoking MAL Dense Lures for 12 fish

Area SH0213G – smoking MAL Dense Lures for 13 fish

 

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

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide #BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing #bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport #fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday #Fitec #mepps