WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Dec. 31st, I fished with Mike and Jenny Splawn of Salado, TX.

The Splawns recently relocated to Salado from El Paso.  Mike leads his family’s HVAC business there and Jenny is a pharmacist at a local hospital.

Jenny gifted this trip to Mike for Christmas this year and, as we spoke about goals, she let me know they’d recently bought a bass boat but encountered many of the common hurdles new boat owners face, including lack of familiarity with equipment, challenges in backing, loading, and unloading, and where to start searching for fish of various species.  So, she was hoping I could do some coaching/teaching as well as guiding them to catch fish.

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: Jenny and Mike Splawn enjoyed the best morning of fishing since the 22-25 Dec. temperature plunge.  They worked 3/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs via a slow-smoking tactic in conjunction with Garmin LiveScope to put together a 66 fish catch in right at 4 hours.


WHEN WE FISHED:  Saturday, 31 December 2022 (AM)


With a returning south wind and a mild warming trend, the fishing rebounded a bit today.

We found much more cooperative fish this morning than on any other trip since the cold snap which occurred 22-25 Dec.

With cooperative fish found, we were able to do less searching and hopping around and spend longer whiles atop each group of fish we found.

We used the small, white 3/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab 100% of the time today and used it with a slow-smoking tactic 100% of the time today.

Fortunately, both Mike and Jenny were very willing to be coached and did not really have any pre-existing bad habits (like hard, aggressive hooksetting) to overcome.  After getting the hang of things early, they were both able to capitalize on the solid bite this morning.

We saw abundant shad most everywhere we went suspended between 20-30 feet, but the majority of our fish came from 28-34 feet and originated on bottom.  We encountered very few suspended fish this morning.

Our tally of 66 fish consisted of 3 largemouth bass, 2 freshwater drum, 1 short hybrid striped bass, 8 short white bass and and 52 legal white bass.

TALLY: 66 fish caught and released

Find Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs with Stinger Hook here: https://whitebasstools.com/

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 fell as low as 51.7, then rebounded late this week.  This morning we had 53.2 on the surface.


Start Time: 7:45A

End Time: 11:55A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 43F

Elevation: 13.36 feet low, 0.0′ change in last 24 hours, 24 CFS flow.

Water Surface Temp: 53.2F on the surface

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSE winds from trip’s start until around 9:20, then shifting to S and increasing slowly up to ~14 by trip’s end.

Sky Condition: <5% wispy white cloud cover on a light blue sky.

Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous moon at 65% illumination.

GT = 60




Area 473 – 6 fish

Area 1012 – 46 fish

Area B0054G/B0012C – 7 fish

Area B0185G- 2 fish

Area BG0026 – 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)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

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