WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Thursday afternoon, Dec. 29th, I conducted a “Kids Fish, Too!” trip for the grandkids of Mr. Ron Graham.

15-year-old Hannah Dycus and 9-year-old Ian Dycus did all the fishing while Grandpa Ron sat back and took it all in.

Ron retired from the electrical supply business out of western Louisiana some years back, Hannah is a freshman who enjoys cheerleading, and Ian is all about soccer.

These “Kids Fish, Too!” trips are a bit shorter and more economical than a “standard” 4+ hour adult trip.

My next weekday openings are on 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, and 12  Jan. My next weekend opening is Sat., 07 January 2023.

Here is how the fishing went …



PHOTO CAPTION:  Hannah Dycus landed this deepwater Lake Belton largemouth on a small, 3/8 oz. white, Bladed Hazy Eye Slab.


PHOTO CAPTION: Ian Dycus took this just-legal Lake Belton hybrid striped bass on a very light St. Croix spinning rod intended for fishing my 3/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye slabs with light braid.  Needless to say, the tussle lasted longer than he bargained for.

PHOTO CAPTION: Hannah Dycus, Ron Graham (grandpa), and Ian Dycus with a few of the white bass we were targeting in chilly water without the aid of birds.


WHEN WE FISHED:  Thursday, 29 December 2022 (PM)


Ever since our four-day arctic blast on 22-25 Dec. which saw our water temperature plummet by a full 6+ degrees, things have been tough.  The fishing had been tedious, and the birds have ceased providing clues to fish location.

Ian kicked things off this afternoon, catching 4 of our first 5 fish, and he brought this to Hannah’s attention pretty routinely for about the first half-hour, but, after Hannah got the hang of things she evened it back up pretty quickly.  Ian then changed the subject to his recent visit to Universal Studios!!

Wherever we encountered white bass, they were broken into small groups of up to 20-30 fish or so, with several yards between these small groups.  Due to the cold water, these fish would not move to us despite the commotion we created (by thumping and jigging), hence, we had to move frequently.

If there is one lesson learned in this post-chill fishery it is to move frequently.  Once fish show signs of disinterest, it is time time to move.  These fish, once turned off, will not turn on again any time soon.

We again noted that we’d catch just a few fish, usually in the first few minutes following our arrival, at any given area.

We stuck with the 3/8 oz. white Bladed Hazy Eye Slab all afternoon.  That smaller slab just seems to put a few extra fish in the boat when things are tough.   I used the thumper as a metronome to help the kids keep the “beat” (the correct retrieve speed for the slabs), increasing and decreasing that speed with observed fish activity, as seen on Garmin LiveScope.

The slow-smoking tactic worked best for fish which were primarily bottom-dwelling today. Whenever fish appeared suspended and moving up higher in the water column, they tended to be eager to chase, but, the total number of fish we sighted like this was low.

Our tally of 36 fish consisted of 2 largemouth bass, 2 freshwater drum, 1 legal hybrid striped bass, and 31 white bass, of which 5 were short.

TALLY: 36 fish caught and released

Find Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs with Stinger Hook here:

OBSERVATIONS: 1)  No helpful bird activity for 5th consecutive trip.  2) On 21 Dec. the temperature profile to 55′ was a constant 58.2F; temperature is now 52.6F down to that same depth.


Start Time: 1:30P

End Time: 5:20P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 63F

Elevation: 13.36 feet low, 0.01′ fall in last 24 hours, 24 CFS flow.

Water Surface Temp: 51.7F on the surface

Wind Speed & Direction:  Winds were 6-8mph all afternoon, starting WSW, then W, then swinging WNW as a mild cool front moved in.

Sky Condition: Grey skies returned following some midday clearing as a very weak cool front moved in during our time on the water.

Moon Phase: Waxing crescent moon at 44% illumination.

GT = 5




Area 098 – 5 fish

Area B0012C – 11 fish

Area B0186G – 10 fish

Area 081 – 5 fish; second hop, 5 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)





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