WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Friday morning, June 2nd, I fished with first-time guests Mr. Joseph Schmidt from the Austin area, and his friend Patti Powell who lives in Belton.

Joseph practices general dentistry and has his own boat and a strong background in saltwater fishing; Patti is stepping back into real estate and arrived this morning already handling spinning gear well, which was a big help.

Here is how the fishing went…


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PHOTO CAPTION: Joseph Schmidt and Patti Powell with a few of the 112 fish they caught and released using a variety of methods to imitate both the juvenile and adult shad which the gamefish were feeding on this morning.

PHOTO CAPTION: Triple!  Joseph landed two sets of triples as we covered water using downriggers while keeping an eye on sonar to find large concentrations of fish.


WHEN WE FISHED: Friday, 02 June 2023 (AM)

HOW WE FISHED: We began at 6:15 AM in order to take advantage of any early topwater action which might materialize.  There wasn’t much going on until just after the sun rose.  Once it did, I spotted several pockets of topwater action. After observing yesterday’s substantial topwater feed, I came prepared this morning not only with small MAL Mini Rigs, but also with even smaller Cork rigs with small streamers to imitate the smallest of the newly hatched shad which so many of the white bass are now focused on.

We spotted our first school of open water white bass around 6:40, and they were definitely pursuing young-of-the-year shad.  Both Joseph and Patti cast to the schools accurately as I kept the boat in range.  They picked up their first 10 fish this way before this action died quickly.

I spotted a second group of fish, but there were already boats nearby, so we just bypassed that “boat show” and continued on to find our own fish.

The topwater action got quiet for a while, so, through 8:20, we used a combination of downrigging to cover ground and find fish (most of which were suspended around 16-22′) and, once we found an area which a greater than average density of fish, we’d stop, let the splasher work to draw the fish in, and work MAL Heavies vertically through them using a smoking tactic.  We added 18 more fish to our tally in this manner.

Around 8:20, with partly cloudy skies and a gentle S. wind, open water surface feeding began with great numbers of white bass pursuing adult threadfin shad to the surface.  We swapped back and forth between sight-casting when the fish were plentiful and nearby, showing themselves on the surface, using a vertical smoking tactic in conjunction with Garmin LiveScope when the screens lit up indicating fish moving beneath us, and a count-down tactic when we saw the majority of the fish out to the port or starboard side of the boat courtesy of side-imaging.

The action began to taper around 9:40, and by 10:15 things had throttled way back to the level they were at prior to 8:20.

We wrapped up right at the 4-hour mark with 112 fish landed, including 2 short hybrid stripers, 1 blue catfish, 1 largemouth bass, 1 freshwater drum, and 107 white bass, of which ~8 were short.

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

TALLY: 112 fish caught and released

Find the entire family of MAL Lures  here:

OBSERVATIONS:  Being prepared (i.e. with lures already selected and tied on) to imitate both juvenile shad and adult shad was key today.



Start Time: 6:15A

End Time: 10:20A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 68F

Elevation: 12.64 feet low, 24 CFS flow, a 0.00′ change over the past 24 hours

Water Surface Temp: ~78.4F on the surface.

Wind Speed & Direction: SSE3-5 at trip’s start, very slowly swinging to due S while maintaining the same velocity

Sky Condition: 100% grey cloud cover until ~8:20, then rapidly dissipating to blue skies and 30% white cloud cover.

Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous moon at 97% illumination.

GT = 0




Area vic B0057G – 10 fish on Cork Rigs with fry imitator streamers

Area vic B0092G – 14 fish via downrigging to find & smoking MAL Heavies to catch

Area vic B0228G – 88 fish on a combination of smoking, sight-casting, and counting down MAL Heavies



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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