WHO I FISHED WITH: Yep, it was like the Don Henley classic out there this morning … this morning, Thursday, August 31, I fished a “Beat the Heat“ special trip with returning guests, Jim Wood and George Vanriper — and company was quite scarce!
My “Beat the Heat“ trips are three hours in length with the fee prorated accordingly (versus 4+ hours for a standard trip). These trips are focused on topwater action in that low-light portion of the morning when such activity is most likely.
I’m offering these through Sept. 14 if anyone else is interested.
Jim, a retired surgeon, and George, a retired army aviator, used this occasion to meet one another in person for the first time after George asked me to suggest others he might occasionally pair up with to fish lakes Belton and Stillhouse. Both men are boat owners and are pretty good largemouth bass anglers in their own right, so , I helped put them in touch with one another.
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 Sept. 5-7 (AM)
PHOTO CAPTION: Retired U.S. Army aviator George VanRiper and retired surgeon Dr. Jim Wood with some handsome whites taken on early morning topwater on an all-but-deserted Lake Belton.
PHOTO CAPTION: Jim and George’s catch of 57 fish included 3 hybrid, of which only this guy was a keeper (and was released). 52 of the 54 white bass were of legal size.
PHOTO CAPTION: This was the view of the parking lot at the boat ramp this morning. I love this time of year!! Kids are back to school, summer vacation is over, football is kicking in, and hunting cranks up tomorrow … all these factors equate to less and less pressure on the fish and freedom to pursue fish without being followed or crowded.
WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton
WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday, 31 August 2023
HOW WE FISHED:
We were originally scheduled to fish yesterday, but, with a pretty stiff north wind still blowing after Sunday’s cold front moved through, I did not feel confident about topwater action materializing. We put off the trip until this morning when the north winds were due to let up and south winds were due to return once again.
This turned out to be a good decision.
Around 10:05, the winds went nearly slack prior to the forthcoming wind shift, and the heat really started pouring on. We wrapped up at that time with exactly 57 fish boated. As is often the case, this time of year, the lake was nearly deserted.
Although there was not the amount, nor the intensity, of topwater action this morning as compared to before the cold front’s arrival, we were able to get into about 90 minutes’ worth of action during which my two anglers were able to boat exactly 44 fish using Cork Rigs.
Cork Rigs, which I make by hand and sell on my website, couple a popping cork with a shad-sized streamer, and allow for a light bait to be presented at long distances.
Once the topwater action died down at 8:15, the job of putting fish in the boat immediately got much tougher.
We pressed on until about 10:05 and put a final 13 additional fish in the boat, including three hybrid, and, our only two short white bass. All of these fish were taken using downriggers with 3-armed umbrella rigs equipped with Pet Spoons.
TALLY: 57 fish caught and released.
See a tutorial on the Smoking Method here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE
Here is a tutorial on the Sawtooth Method: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IC3FMEQHOMQ
Find the Cork Rig here: https://whitebasstools.com/
OBSERVATIONS: Here was the water temperature profile taken this morning:
0 feet, 86.8F
5 feet, 86.8F
10 feet, 86.8F
15 feet, 86.8F
20 feet, 86.8F
25 feet, 86.2F
30 feet, 83.3F
35 feet, 75.6F
40 feet, 68.2F
45 feet, 65.6F
50 feet, 64.5F
Start Time: 6:35A
End Time: 10:05A
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 73F
Elevation: 17.11 feet low, 56 CFS flow
Water Surface Temp: 86.8F on the surface.
Wind Speed & Direction: WNW6 at trip’s start, slowly fading to calm by trip’s end as a forthcoming windshift was underway
Sky Condition: 0% cloud cover on a slightly hazy blue sky.
Moon Phase: Full super blue moon at 100% illumination.
GT = 75
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
Area 1055 to 1545 – 43 legal white bass & 1 short hybrid by 8:15A
Area B0084G thru B0085G, and Area 1223 – singles, doubles, and a triple for a total of 14 fish by downrigging Pet Spoons on 3-armed umbrella rigs.
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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