WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Tuesday, 07 March, I fished with returning guests Gene Ellis and his grandson, Bryson Ellis.  Bryson is down visiting his grandparents from near Colorado Spring, CO — a place still firmly in winter’s grip.

For you local readers, if Gene Ellis sounds familiar it is likely because this two-hat wearing fellow serves as both the Assistant City Manager and Chief of Police for the city of Belton, TX.

Gene was “on the ball” in reserving this date well in advance, knowing that the first few weeks of spring fill my calendar up early in the year thanks to multiple school districts scheduling their spring breaks over a full 3-week span.

We originally planned to fish on Thursday, but an approaching cold front left some uncertainty about that outing, so, even though this morning was limited to 3 hours instead of 4, we put just shy of 70 fish in the boat and returned to the boat ramp as warm and dry as when we launched!


Peak spring dates are just about gone.  Here’s an up-to-date calendar so you can check availability:

Here is how the fishing went …


PHOTO CAPTION:  Bryson Ellis and his grandpa, Gene Ellis, with a few of the 69 fish they landed in right at 3 hours under murky skies and very light winds.

PHOTO CAPTION: Bryson Ellis, age 14, from near Colorado Springs, CO, came to visit his grandparents near Lake Belton.  He landed our best fish of the trip as we targeted increasingly aggressive white bass.  This hybrid striper went right at 18″ and ~3 pounds.


WHEN WE FISHED:  Tuesday, 07 March 2023 (AM)


Although the water temperature continues to climb now that we’ve had 9 full days wherein the ambient air temperature has exceeded the water temperature, this morning’s fish activity was a little more subdued than on Monday.  I attribute that to the darker, thicker cloud cover keeping it dim most of the morning, and a lack of wind in the first 2 hours of the day.

Regardless, we found and caught fish all morning, but had to move more frequently and bring our offerings past quite a number of disinterested fish to get the attention of a handful of biters.

Both Gene and Bryson have fished with me while using the slow-smoking tactic previously, so the learning curve was all but non-existent — just a quick refresher and they were good to go.

The fellows used white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs (only) the entire morning and used them with a slow-smoking tactic.

While Gene and Bryson worked the slabs vertically with success, I gave the MAL Heavy a few heaves and worked it horizontally to gauge fish interest on a faster, flashier lure/retrieve.  Belton’s fish just aren’t quite there yet.  60F is the magic number.  I suspect over the course of my next few trips we’ll see that change.  Put it this way … I’m certainly am not launching the boat without MAL-rigged rods aboard right now.

Once again this morning, birds (a mix of about 2 dozen gulls and terns) helped point the way to our most productive stop, although as I observed them, I saw them doing much more flying and looking than diving and feeding.

Here is a link to my tutorial on using the Bladed Hazy Eye Slab with a slow-smoking tactic.

Our 69 fish tally included 1 largemouth bass, 5 short hybrid striped bass, 1 legal hybrid and 62 white bass, of which 55 were legal (over the 10″ minimum).

TALLY: 69 fish caught and released

Find Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs with Stinger Hook here:

OBSERVATIONS: Dark skies and light winds made this morning’s fishing a bit tougher today.


Start Time: 7:40A

End Time: 10:50A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 66F

Elevation: 13.96 feet low, 24 CFS flow, .01′ fall over the last 24 hrs.

Water Surface Temp: 58F on the surface

Wind Speed & Direction: S4-5 at trip’s start, increasing to S8-9 by ~9:45

Sky Condition: 100% thick grey cloud cover all morning

Moon Phase: Full moon at 100% illumination.

GT = 25




Area B0196G – 14 fish
Area 1552 – 4 fish
Area Vic 1142 (3 hops) – 41 fish (under birds)
Area B0199G – 10 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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