WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Monday, May 1, I fished with brothers Corbin and Matt Seliga. Corbin is a pharmaceutical salesman in the Georgetown area, and Matt is a physical therapist working in the Fort Worth area. The brothers were offered this trip when a friend of Corbin‘s from church, Mr. Reid Funderburk, as unable to attend following recent knee surgery.

Both Matt and Corbin had prior fishing experience and arrived with the ability to handle a spinning outfit already under their belt.

Here is how the fishing went…

Here’s an up-to-date calendar so you can check availability:

Next available dates are June 6 and 21 (AM)


PHOTO CAPTION:  From left: Corbin and Matt Seliga each with a pair of the white bass we teased up from between 30-35 feet this morning using a “smoking tactic” with MAL Heavy Lures in conjunction with Garmin LiveScope.




WHEN WE FISHED: Monday, 01 May 2023 (AM)


About five minutes before the Seliga‘s arrival, a flock of terns begin to work a distance away on a wind blown shoreline, and I assumed they were on shad being driven to the surface and the shoreline by hungry white bass.

By the time Matt and Corbin arrived and we hustled over to the scene of the crime, whatever was there had dissipated, so we spent a few more minutes on this cloudless morning looking for shoreline action, but found none.

This left us fishing the entire trip in deeper, open water primarily using sonar to find the fish we caught.

The water was a little turbid, there was small flotsam everywhere, and, according to the USACE, the lake rose over a half-foot thanks to Friday night’s hard rains, which dropped 1.5 to 2.5 inches area wide.

The fishing was just average this morning. We had no problem finding fish, but the fish never really got fired up at any of the locations we caught them at. Although we did give the sawtooth method a try here and there, we only landed two fish with that method. The other 87 fish put in the boat this morning came using the MAL Heavy Lure with chartreuse tail worked vertically using a smoking tactic in conjunction with Garmin LiveScope.

We had birds get fidgety twice this morning, but both times they worked for just a few minutes and over a large span of water.  I ran to both episodes and still had to use side-imaging extensively to find a nearby concentration of fish worth stopping for.  I believe (mainly) small hybrid are very aggressively chasing shad to the surface in small pods.  Anything that breaks the surface will immediately draw a “dogpile” response from dozens of these hungry Franklin’s gulls, thus sort of making a mountain out of a molehill.

Although by the end of the trip, we were able to laugh about it, Matt had a very reflexive, hard hookset built into his “muscle memory”, which he found hard to overcome. This cost him quite a few fish this morning. The reason why hooksetting is undesirable using the smoking tactic is because that tactic is a zero-slack tactic using braided line, which is a zero-stretch product. When you couple these things together, and understand the white bass’ habit of swiping at a bait then turning away, you begin to understand why hooksetting is not only a necessary, but counterproductive.

Additionally, the white bass (and any other object moving through the water) push a pressure wave ahead of themselves as they swim toward and overtake the bait. This causes an interruption in the spinner blade’s action, and this happens a split second before the fish actually closes its mouth over the hook. Setting the hook the instant this sensation is felt results in a premature hookset and missed or lightly hooked (and then lost) fish.

I know there are a lot of MAL Lure users out there who struggle with this, so I mention it in hope you can understand not just the “what”, but the “why” behind it.

Our catch of 89 fish consisted of 3 freshwater drum, 3 short, hybrid striper, 1 blue catfish, and 82 white bass

Here is a video I put together on the Smoking Tactic:

And, here is a video I put together on the Sawtooth Method:

TALLY: 89 fish caught and released

Find the entire family of MAL Lures here:



Start Time: 6:50A

End Time: 12:10P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 55F

Elevation: 13.77 feet low, 24 CFS flow, 0.50′ rise over the last 72 hrs. thanks to heavy rains Fri. night

Water Surface Temp: 66.5F on the surface.

Wind Speed & Direction: E4-5, building to E13 by trip’s end

Sky Condition: A thin white haze on a cloudless blue sky is the only cover we had today.

Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous moon at 82% illumination.

GT = 40




Area 1749 – 28 fish on smoked MAL Heavies

Area  083 – 17 fish on smoked MAL Heavies

Area B0063G – 11 fish on smoked MAL Heavies

Area B0169G – 2 fish on smoked MAL Heavies

Area vic B0173G – 10 fish on smoked MAL Heavies

Area 1402 -21 fish on smoked MAL Heavies



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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