WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Tuesday, 21 March, I fished with long-time Lake Belton anglers, Sam Simon and Ron Clark.
Although both men own their own boats and are very capable white bass fisherman, they, like me, try to remain intentionally open to coaching and improvement.
For me, that involves taking time away from my own fishing schedule twice a year to go fishing with other guides in other fisheries for other species in order to ask a lot of questions, pick their brain on equipment, observe them in their element, and hopefully catch a few fish while I’m at it.
For Ron and Sam, they wanted to compare my own approach to white bass fishing with their typical approach in order to glean what they could and become better white bass anglers as a result.
I shared with them right up front about my concerns about them being 1) older men and 2) experienced anglers. It has been my experience as a guide that those fitting such a description typically do NOT do well because they fish their way instead of using the time-tested, species-specific approaches I try to introduce my clients to. Both men acknowledged my concerns and assured me they were coachable … and they were!!!
Here is how the fishing went…
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PHOTO CAPTION: Long-time Lake Belton anglers and U.S Army veterans Ron Clark (left) and Sam Simon came out with me today to sharpen their own white bass fishing skills
WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton
WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday, 21 March 2023 (AM)
HOW WE FISHED:
I knew we were in for a tough time this morning, and shared this openly with Ron and Sam. The reason for my concern was the foggy conditions which persisted all morning, and the initial lack of wind we experienced in our first hour on the water.
We kept waiting and waiting on the drizzle to stop and the fog to lift while experiencing a slow bite by lethargic fish as we did.
Three hours into the trip, we had only landed 29 fish, but, persistence paid off.
Around 11 AM, the wind had picked up to around 9 mph (nowhere near the 16 to 17 mph wind that was forecast all morning), and the skies, although still drizzly and foggy, had definitely brightened some.
As we observed our surroundings, we could see increasing bird activity, and, as we studied sonar, we could see fish no longer glued to bottom, but rather spreading out in horizontal coverage, and lifting up off bottom vertically. All of these things bode well for us.
I extended the trip for one hour, and in our final two hours we caught three times as many fish as we did in our first three hours. By 12:57 PM our 100th fish came over the gunwale, and we decided to call it a good trip right then and there.
As for tactics, with the slow bite this morning, we used the Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs (5/8 ounce, white) to catch 87 of our 100 fish in 22-30 feet of water. The remaining 13 fish were taken on MAL Original Lures as we Spot-Locked in 10 feet of water and cast up toward the shore on a slow tapering, wind blown point, where side imaging had revealed a few scattered white bass around 9:45 AM.
One of the biggest tips Ron and Sam picked up on was the use of my thumper not only as a fish attractor, but as a metronome to keep a steady retrieve consistently. They also picked up on how effective the slow-smoking tactic is versus the typically erratic snap jigging tactics they typically employ.
In all, this was a very enjoyable and productive trip with these two (still-coachable!!!) US Army veterans, husbands, and fathers.
Our tally of 100 fish consisted of 2 freshwater drum, 3 largemouth bass, and 95 white bass.
TALLY: 100 fish caught and released
Find Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs and MAL Lures here: https://whitebasstools.com/
OBSERVATIONS: The grey skies and southerly winds are a wonderfully productive combination for producing white bass. These conditions are forecast to persist all week!!
Start Time: 8A
End Time: 1P
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 54F
Elevation: 14.22 feet low, 24 CFS flow, .02′ fall over the last 24 hrs.
Water Surface Temp: 58.0F on the surface
Wind Speed & Direction: Calm winds at trip’s start slowly creeping up to SSE7-8 by trip’s end
Sky Condition: 100% heavy grey cloud cover, drizzle the entire trip, and a persistent, thin fog.
Moon Phase: New moon at 0% illumination.
GT = 5
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
Area B0064G – 13 fish
Area B0185C – 3 fish
Area B0114C – 13 fish (shallow MAL bite)
Area 211 – 13 fish
Area B0015C/B0178C – 58 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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