WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Thursday, May 11, I fished with longtime clients Tommy and Sylvia Maedgen from Troy, Texas.
Both are now retired, both enjoy the outdoors, and both are very good at the various fishing tactics we needed to employ today mainly because they have fished with me in all weather, and in all seasons and so they already had familiarity with the methods required to consistently catch white bass here in the late spring. Hence, there was really no learning curve for them.
Here is how the fishing went…
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PHOTO CAPTION: Tommy and Sylvia Maedgen with a few of the quality white bass they took primarily fishing MAL Heavy Lures vertically this morning. The largest of the two fish Tommy is holding was just fractions of an inch shy of 16″!
PHOTO CAPTION: Triple! Sylvia landed this triple to close out the trip and put us over the 100 fish mark as we downrigged for white bass late in the morning. We used silver #13 Pet Spoons with silver prismatic tape on the bodies and yellow tails behind umbrella rigs.
WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton
WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday, 11 May 2023 (AM)
HOW WE FISHED:
We are in a strange weather pattern with the jet stream way up north in the continental U.S., thus allowing for a counter-clockwise spin of Gulf moisture to stay in place over us for a number of days now, with at least three more days of the same forecast to follow.
This made for a very murky, dark gray sky this morning. Although the shad spawn was heavy, there was not as much shallow water gamefish action as there has been over the past several weeks. In fact, the fishing really didn’t get going until after 7:30 when the sun had risen a bit higher and begin to burn off some of the gray cloud cover.
Once we “saw the light” (as the light level reached “squinting brightness“), the fishing turned on and stayed on right up through about 10:20. Prior to 10:20 AM, we hit three distinct areas and found decreasingly aggressive white bass congregated at each location. We did not experience the two hour lull in the middle of the morning, which has been bothersome over the last week or so.
Once these fish were found, the catching was pretty straightforward. I Spot-Locked over top of the fish, got Garmin LiveScope adjusted so Tommy and Sylvia could see their lures ascend and descend very well, and then they began working their MAL Heavy Lures with chartreuse tails vertically using a smoking tactic. The key, as always, with the smoking tactic is to get the blade spinning as close to bottom as possible, and to never change cadence while a fish is seen chasing after the lure on LiveScope.
In this manner, Tommy and Sylvia put 89 fish in the boat through 10:20. At this point, the fishing got increasingly difficult with each passing moment. Although we found groups of fish, they were very reluctant to chase. Although we picked up three more fish using the sawtooth method when I spotted large schools of fish out to the port side of the boat, it was the downriggers that helped us get our final count up over 100.
The downriggers allow for efficiently covering large tracts of the bottom when the fish are sluggish, thus weeding out the few remaining active fish from an increasingly inactive population. We ran twin downriggers with three-armed umbrella rigs each outfitted with three #13 Pet Spoons and trolled them using the bottom-tracking feature on the Cannon Optimum TS downriggers I retrofitted by guiding boat with for this 2023 season.
Our count of 101 fish included one freshwater drum, and exactly 100 white bass.
Here is a video I put together on the Smoking Tactic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE
And, here is a video I put together on the Sawtooth Method: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IC3FMEQHOMQ
TALLY: 101 fish caught and released
Find the entire family of MAL Lures here: https://whitebasstools.com/
OBSERVATIONS: I witnessed the second most intense shad spawn of this spring this morning with millions of fish really moving fast, churning the shallows, and actually often creating a wake as they moved parallel to the shoreline.
Start Time: 6:40A
End Time: 11:30A
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 68F
Elevation: 13.57 feet low, 24 CFS flow, 0.11′ rise over the last 24 hours
Water Surface Temp: 70.9F on the surface.
Wind Speed & Direction: SSE4-6 all morning
Sky Condition: 100% moderate grey cloud cover all morning.
Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 63% illumination.
GT = 25
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
Area 684 – 57 fish on smoked MAL Heavy Lures with chartreuse tails
Area 355 – 15 fish on smoked MAL Heavy Lures with chartreuse tails
Area 1483/B0031C – 17 fish on MAL Heavy Lures with chartreuse tails
Area vic 835 – 13 fish on downrigged Pet Spoons (10) and sawtoothed MAL Dense Lures (3)
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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