WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Thursday, May 18, I fished with longtime clients Tom and Tracie Byrd of Weir, Texas, and Tom’s sister, Patty Williams, who lives out west of San Antonio.

As they have for many years now, this crew came out in celebration of Traci‘s birthday. This was her 74th!

Before we launched, Tom asked me to join him at the trunk of his car.  He opened the trunk and revealed a painting Tracie had made for me.  It took her about an hour a day for three weeks to draw the picture in charcoal and then paint it with some input from her painting coach.  What a nice thing to do!!

Here is how the fishing went…

Here’s an up-to-date calendar so you can check availability: https://holdingthelineguideservice.com/available-dates.php

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


PHOTO CAPTION:  From left: Tom and Tracie Byrd and Tom’s sister, Patty Williams, each with one of the solid white bass we got into this morning using MAL Heavy Lures fished vertically.


PHOTO CAPTION:  Triple!  After wearing the fish out fishing MAL Lures vertically, they finally gave up around 10:15.  We ran downriggers to “mop up”, and Patty wound up with three at a time.


PHOTO CAPTION:  This was the original artwork Tracie presented me with this morning.   I’ve got awesome clients!!!


WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday, 18 May 2023 (AM)


There were both positive and negative factors at work when one considered today’s weather. On the positive side, this was the first day of a returning south wind, and we were due to have at least a bit of wind, which actually did materialize. On the negative side, there was no cloud cover at sunrise leaving bright skies to contend with.

Thanks to a lack of wind overnight, there was also very little shad spawning activity this morning, hence, there was not a strong draw bringing gamefish shallow after this forage.

As we got going, I, idled along parallel to a productive bank in 18 to 22 feet of water looking on down imaging, colored sonar, and that side of side-imaging aimed towards the bank, looking for signs of shad and/or white bass. The first group we came across was scattered, but fish were definitely present.

I first tried getting everyone going on a horizontal sawtooth tactic. That did not do too well with the fairly short casts the ladies were making, so, we went vertical instead, and wound up putting all our first five fish in the boat and, more importantly, working all of the kinks out of this “smoking“ tactic early on, which would serve us well the remainder of the trip.

Seeing that shallow water was likely not going to produce all that well this morning, I shifted out to deeper water and found a very large, active school of fish in just over 40 feet of water. This school produced 37 fish for us, every one of which was taken using a smoking tactic with an MAL Heavy Lure with chartreuse tail. After this school lost interest, I moved about 100 or so feet away, found another, similarly active and large school of fish. We sat on these fish for a full two hours and took our fish count up to 104, again, using the smoking tactic and the MAL Heavy.

These fish finally gave up around 10:15 AM. Since Patty had expressed an interest in understanding how the downriggers worked, I suggested that we finish out the trip using the downriggers.  I explained how they help cover ground and put baits in front of a lot of disinterested fish, helping us to weed out the few still active fish from among them.

We spent our last 30 minutes or so downrigging and picked up a single, a double, and a triple adding a final six fish to our count and finishing up the morning a bit early with 110 fish landed and the birthday girl just about worn smooth out.

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: 110 fish caught and released

Find the entire family of MAL Lures  here: https://whitebasstools.com/

OBSERVATIONS:  The first “offshore” schools of nomadic white bass feeding on the tiny young-of-the-year shad continues to increase in frequency and abundance.



Start Time: 7A

End Time: 10:50A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 66F

Elevation: 13.33 feet low, 24 CFS flow, no change over the last 24 hours

Water Surface Temp: ~76.7F on the surface.

Wind Speed & Direction: Calm at sunrise, with a SE wind picking up to 6 as the morning went on

Sky Condition: Bright blue skies with ~20% white cloud cover.

Moon Phase: Waning crescent moon at 2% illumination.

GT = 40




Area B0182C – 5 fish on smoked MAL Heavies

Area B0222G – 36 fish on on smoked MAL Heavies

Area B0223G – 63 fish on on smoked MAL Heavies, then 6 final fish downrigged from the same area


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)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

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