WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Monday, May 8, I fished with returning guests – – the father and son team of Frank and Marcos Sumner.

Frank, a US Army veteran who worked in the military healthcare field, now continues in that same field as a civilian. Marcos and his family reside south of Austin where Marcos works in the banking industry.

Here is how the fishing went…

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

Next available dates are June 21, 22, 27, & 28 (all AM)

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left: Marcos  Sumner and his dad, Frank, with a few of the 101 fish we caught.  Fishing was strong at both the start of the trip and again at the end, with two tough hours in between.

PHOTO CAPTION:  Triple!  Frank landed both of our two sets of triples as we downrigged for disinterested fish.  We used #13 Pet Spoons behind umbrella rigs.



WHEN WE FISHED: Monday, 08 May 2023 (AM)


I encouraged Frank and Marcos to be punctual for our 6:40 AM start time suspecting that we would have an opportunity to sight-cast to white bass and hybrid striper feeding in shallow water on spawning shad.

That shallow action did materialize, and thanks to thin, but complete, gray cloud cover, that early morning feed lasted for a full 70 minutes and allowed us a take of 51 fish all on MAL Heavy Lures with chartreuse tails, counted down to either a four-, six-, or eight-count depending on the light level and what I was seeing on sonar.

As this fairly easy and productive fishing tapered off sharply as the sun began to burn through the clouds, I told Frank and Marcos that it was now time to go to work. Thing was … I didn’t know just how much work it was going to be this morning. Over the next 2 1/4 hours we were only able to put six more fish in the boat as I found it difficult to locate large groups of fish, and also found that those fish I did find were quite reluctant to chase and strike our presentations.

Last week, when the fishing got tough, downrigging was the cure, but, that was when there were ample fish present and after those abundant fish had turned off after feeding pretty well prior to.

This morning, those large groups of fish I’d hoped to downrigger over were in short supply.  I hit one open water area which the wind was impacting pretty substantially, and we were able to pick up seven fish on the downriggers.

Seeing the effectiveness of this approach, I backtracked to one of the areas where we found fish earlier in the morning, but could not get them to fire up.

Fortunately, the fish were still there and this time, they went for the horizontal movement of the downriggers.  We spent the remaining 75 minutes of the trip at that location, catching singles, doubles, and two sets of triples as the wind reached peak speed, and the skies began to clear.

To best imitate spawning shad, I chose a number 13 Pet Spoon with silver prismatic tape, and a yellow feather for the tail.  I placed three of these behind the three-armed umbrella rig on 22-inch leaders and that combination was simply deadly. I tried to keep the downrigger balls about 4 feet off the bottom so these lazy fish did not have to travel very far if they were interested.  We landed 37 more white bass in this area.

We wrapped up this morning’s trip with exactly 101 fish, including 43 hybrid, all of which were short, and all of which were taken while we were sight-casting during the first 70 minutes of the trip

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

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

TALLY: 101 fish caught and released

Find the entire family of MAL Lures here:

OBSERVATIONS:  The migration of Franklin’s gulls looks like it is all but over now with but a handful of these very helpful birds witnessed this morning.


Start Time: 6:40A

End Time: 12 Noon

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 70F

Elevation: 13.72 feet low, 24 CFS flow, 0.02′ rise over the last 24 hours

Water Surface Temp: 70.0F on the surface.

Wind Speed & Direction: SSE11 at trip’s start, building slowly to an end-of-trip peak of SSE13

Sky Condition: 100% moderate grey cloud cover with brief spurts of direct sun breaking thru in the final 90 minutes

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 91% illumination.

GT = 25




Area vic 1562 – 51 fish on sight-cast MAL Heavies counted down to 4, 6, or 8

Area 098 – 6 fish on smoked MAL Heavies

Area vic  B0023C thru 1556 – 7 fish on downrigged Pet Spoons

Area vic B0041G – 37 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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