WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Wednesday, May 3, I fished with first time guests Bill Bebee and John Pickens.  The men were offered this trip when a friend, Mr. Reid Funderburk, as unable to attend following recent knee surgery.

Both men work in real estate, thus making their schedules flexible and allowing for a weekday fishing trip.

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: John Pickens and Bill Bebee with a few of the 74 fish we REALLY had to work for today when the skies went clear and the winds went slack.


WHEN WE FISHED: Wednesday, 03 May 2023 (AM)


We faced what is, in my opinion, the toughest of fishing conditions this morning with bright skies and calm winds for 3 1/2 of our planned four hours on the water. When the conditions are like this, the fish just turn off and become very lethargic.

Our only saving grace today was that the temperature of the water is still climbing, thus increasing the fishes’ metabolism, goading them into feeding at least a bit. Right at around 7 AM, just as the sun was peeking over the horizon, a few dozen Franklins gulls begin to dive on shad being forced to the surface by white bass beneath. What, on a normal day, would produce 30 to 40 fish or so, this morning only rendered 16 as the fish flared up, ate for just a few moments, and then settled right back down.  The popped up briefly here and there over about an eighth of a mile of shoreline for about 40 minutes until, finally, the brightening sky drove them down and out away from shore.

When that ended, the hard work of convincing disinterested fish in biting began.

We spent most of our time working MAL Heavies with chartreuse tails vertically, using a smoking tactic for bottom-hugging fish found on side-imaging and down-imaging.  At one of these locations, a solid group of fish appeared out to the starboard side of the boat and allowed for some horizontal work using the MAL Dense Lures with a sawtooth tactic.

I observed that Bill was casting a good bit further than John, and was catching fish with regularity on the sawtooth tactic, whereas John’s shorter casts we’re landing shy of where the fish were. I suggested to John that he lengthen his cast so he could get in more diagonal retrieve iterations and bring his lure past the fish more consistently. Bill chimed in, “You need more teeth in your saw!“.

As soon as John increased his cast length, he joined in on the fish-catching, as well.

So it went, catching just a few fish here in there at each of the stops we made until finally, around 10:20, a southeast wind began to kick in and began to blow at around 12 mph. I asked the fellows if they would be able to stay longer as I suspected that the fishing would pick up substantially once the wind had a chance to work on the water. It was now about 10:50. We stayed until 12:10 and during that final hour and 20 minutes, we added 30 fish to our then current count of 44 fish. After seeing the fish getting more active, I went after them with downriggers so we could cover as much bottom as possible to strain out the active fish amongst a still relatively inactive population.

We pulled a single rod with a single, three-armed umbrella rig equipped with number 13 Pet Spoons through increasingly aggressive schools of fish for this result.  In the catch were three sets of triples (one fish on each of the three Pet Spoons landed simultaneously).

When all was said and done, Bill and John landed 74 fish, including 1 freshwater drum, 6 short, hybrid striped bass, and 67 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: 74 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: 64F

Elevation: 13.76 feet low, 24 CFS flow, 0.00′ rise over the last 24 hours

Water Surface Temp: 67.5F on the surface.

Wind Speed & Direction: Calm thru 10:20, the ramping up quickly to SE12

Sky Condition: A thin white haze on a cloudless blue sky is the only cover we had today thru 10:20, then white cloud cover begin to build to ~30% by trip’s end

Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous moon at 94% illumination.

GT = 60




Area 008 thru 562 – 16 fish on smoked MAL Heavies sightcast under Franklins gulls

Area  B0201G – 9 fish on smoked MAL Heavies

Area 098 – 13 fish on smoked MAL Heavies and sawtoothed MAL Dense Lures

Area B0173G – 6 fish on smoked MAL Heavies

Area vic 2059 – 30 fish on downrigged Pet Spoons



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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