WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Monday, March 27, I fished with first time guests Levi and Brant Bybee. This father-and-son team drove about two hours south from near Azle, TX, where they normally fish on Eagle Mountain Lake to link up with me at 7:45 AM for a morning spent in pursuit of white bass.
Levi, originally from Missouri, retired from a career with the railroad, and Brant is now 28 years into a railroad career of his own. We were definitely on the right “track” this morning after the skies brightened up and the wind started to blow and got the fish into a feeding mood.
Here is how the fishing went…
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PHOTO CAPTION: Brant Bybee of Azle, TX, landed our best fish of the trip. This solid, 19-inch hybrid took an MAL Heavy with chartreuse tail as he cast it out and counted it down 6 seconds before retrieving.
PHOTO CAPTION: Father-and-son team Levi and Brant Bybee scored a 106-fish morning working baits both vertically when the fishing was slower, and horizontally when birds and sonar indicated fish were more aggressive.
PHOTO CAPTION: This is what caught all of our quality fish today. The MAL Heavy with chartreuse tail was counted down 6 or 8 seconds and then retrieved straight back through fish pushing shad to the surface.
WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton
WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday, 23 March 2023 (PM)
HOW WE FISHED:
Fishing followed a normal, bell-shaped curve this morning, with a slow first hour, a plateau of peak activity in the middle two hours, and a gradual slowdown in the final hour. During the first hour fish were tight to the bottom and at first we had to entice them with the white, 5/8 ounce bladed Hazy Eye Slabs.
With the water now once again above 60°, the fish began to respond well to the commotion we made with the thumper. We found these fish would pull up off bottom and would suspend about 6 to 7 feet away from bottom. These fish were more aggressive than those remaining on bottom, and responded well to a smoking tactic with a MAL Heavy Lure (chartreuse tail). By the end of our first hour we had landed 20 fish, but most of these fish were small.
The middle two hours started as I spotted about 15 gulls working along a 100 yard stretch of shoreline with some timber sprinkled along it. As we drew closer, I could see shad popping out of the water trying to escape the whites beneath them, and the occasional swirl of a white bass on the surface. We threw MAL Heavies with chartreuse tails to these fish, using a countdown method, and found letting the lure drop to a six-count after it hit the water and then retrieving it straight back to the boat made for a very effective presentation. We took an additional 40 fish in this matter, all of which were solid 12 to 13 inch fish.
After this action died, I did not immediately spot any birds, and so went back to using sonar to find fish. I found a group of several hundred bottom-dwelling white bass and the fishing that ensued was much like that in the first hour, although the fish were more aggressive. We caught them equally well on slabs and MALs worked vertically. Although this fishing was productive, about half of these fish were undersized. We left these fish still biting with 20 landed after I spotted more bird action.
As we approach these birds, we found much the same scenario as we had at the previous location under birds. This group of fish was in a bit deeper water, and so we experimented with eight, nine, ten, and twelve counts after the cast to get our lures to optimum depth. We found an eight-count worked best and stayed on these fish until we landed a total of 24 and Levi and Brent decided to call it a good morning around 11:30A.
Our tally totaled 106 fish with one largemouth, bass, one short hybrid, one legal hybrid, and 103 white bass caught and released.
TALLY: 106 fish caught and released
Find Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs and MAL Lures here: https://whitebasstools.com/
OBSERVATIONS: After hitting 60F+ a few weeks back, the water surface temperature dropped back below the 60F mark up until this past weekend.
Start Time: 7:45A
End Time: 11:30A
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 55F
Elevation: 14.26 feet low, 24 CFS flow, .01′ fall over the last 24 hrs.
Water Surface Temp: 62F on the surface.
Wind Speed & Direction: NNW8 all morning
Sky Condition: 90% white-grey cloud cover.
Moon Phase: Waxing crescent moon at 35% illumination.
GT = 35
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
Area B0014C/B0192C – 20 fish (most small) on smoked slab/MAL Heavy
Area 0154 – 42 quality fish under birds taken by counting down MAL Heavies
Area 0149/0151 – 23 fish, mixed size, on smoked slab/MAL Heavy
Area 0403 – 10 fish, mixed size, on smoked slab/MAL Heavy
Area B0068C – 11 quality fish under birds taken by counting down MAL Heavies
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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