WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, May 25, I ran a “Kids Fish, Too!“ trip with two young, returning guests, Koa Hanson, and his buddy, Jack Jereb, both of whom just ended their school year at the Belton Independent School District.

Both boys’ dads accompanied them.  Jeremy Hanson and Michael Jereb helped me help the boys be successful by running crowd control, setting downriggers to depth, untangling lines, and unhooking any fish I couldn’t get to.

Here is how the fishing went…


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Next available dates are June 28, & July 5, 6, 10 (all AM)


PHOTO CAPTION: Koa, front left, and Jack, front right, used a variety of tactics this morning to put together their 73 fish catch.  They sight-cast, downrigged, worked MALs vertically, and worked MALs horizontally.


PHOTO CAPTION:  Triple!!  Jack landed our first triple of the morning about 50 minutes into the trip.


PHOTO CAPTION:   Triple!!  Hanson closed us out with a triple of his own about 10 minutes before we wrapped up.


WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday, 25 May 2023 (AM)


We got going right at 6:30 this morning anticipating some early, shallow sight fishing, which has been present the last two mornings. This action did, indeed, materialize, but it did not last long, thanks to very limited cloud cover, permitting the skies to brighten very quickly this morning.

Although the fish did not push bait all the way to the surface very long, gamefish were still very much present and within 100 yards of the shoreline. We ran twin downriggers and kept the boys’ rods bent, and their dads constantly re-rigging to keep the boys in the action.

This chapter lasted a full two hours and allowed us our first 51 fish which included singles, doubles, and one triple for Jack as the boys landed a roughly 70/30 mix of white bass/short hybrid stripers.

Our go-to rig on both downriggers was a weightless, three-armed umbrella rig equipped with a trio of #13 Pet Spoons with color patterns which matched the spawning adult shad.

The last two hours was a good bit slower than the first two, thanks to brightening skies and fairly light winds. I found a small patch of fish on bottom in about 30 feet of water, but they showed little interest in a smoking tactic, so I switched the boys over to the sawtooth method, and had their dads make the long cast, then hand the rods over to the boys to execute the sawtooth retrieve. This put a few more fish in the boat where the smoking tactic had fallen short, as well as the first six fish from the final area we would try this morning.

This final area held fish, but the fish were far from enthusiastic. After the boys thoroughly covered the area with the sawtooth method, I decided to wrap up with a few downrigger runs over this area. During this time, Koa was able to land a triple of his own, and additional singles and doubles helped bring our final count up to 73 fish by the 3.5 hour mark at which I wrap up these child-oriented trips.

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

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

TALLY: 73 fish caught and released

Find the entire family of MAL Lures  here:

OBSERVATIONS: Strong threadfin shad spawning was observed this morning by 6:20A.  “Offshore” schools of nomadic white bass feeding on the tiny young-of-the-year shad continues to increase in frequency and abundance.  The Franklin’s gulls are all but gone now.



Start Time: 6:35A

End Time: 10:00A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 66F

Elevation: 12.86 feet low, 24 CFS flow, a 0.10′ increase over the last 24 hours

Water Surface Temp: ~75.2F on the surface.

Wind Speed & Direction: E5 for the first two hours, then backing off to E2-3 thereafter

Sky Condition: Blue skies with ~30% cloud cover all morning.

Moon Phase: Waxing crescent moon at 30% illumination.

GT = 95




Area BG0020CH to 1073 to B0169G – 4 fish on MAL Heavies sight-cast & counted down, 46 fish downrigged

Area vic B0042G – 4 fish sawtoothing MAL Dense Lures

Area 1411 to 1403 – 6 fish sawtoothing MAL Dense Lures, 13 fish on downriggers



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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