WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Thursday, August 3rd, I fished with returning guest Russel Martin.  Last summer Russel came out with a buddy and help me help that friend’s two young daughters catch white bass on Stillhouse.

Today, Russel brought his wife, Shauna, and their two college-aged sons, Cole and Ryder, aboard.

I tried to shoot everyone straight about the fishing being tough this time of year; I made them all aware of the “game plan” I intended to follow, and the things they could do to help their own results.

Here is how the fishing went….


Here’s an up-to-date calendar so you can check availability:

Next available dates are August 21 – 24 (AM)


PHOTO CAPTION:  The Martin clan, from right: Cole, Ryder, Russel, and Shauna.  This was one of two “quads” they landed when all four anglers brought a fish in within a few seconds of one another.  Because these fish are being taken from deep, cool water, they will very quickly perish in a warm livewell at much lower surface pressure, hence, I don’t keep such fish for photos in the summer.


PHOTO CAPTION: This was our single largest white bass.  It was landed by Russel on the same MAL Heavy with white tail everyone was using this morning.  It just eclipsed the 14″ mark.


PHOTO CAPTION:  All 101 fish came on the MAL Heavy with white tail worked vertically.


WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday, 03 August 2023


After multiple days with sub-par results in our first hour from 6:20 to 7:20, I bumped our start time back to 7:15 today.

The plan was to find fish with sonar, then, with four rods going simultaneously (plus the added commotion of the splasher), attempt to draw fish in beneath the boat and catch them using a vertical smoking tactic with MAL Heavy Lures in conjunction with Garmin LiveScope.

If we stopped and failed to draw fish within a few minutes’ time, we moved until we made contact.  Once we found fish, I gauged their responsiveness and made a call on sticking or moving.

We checked 5 areas with the first 3 being unproductive.  The fourth kept my crew busy for the majority of the trip which was an unusually long time for fish to remain active in one area in the summer months.

By 10:50 the Martins had landed 91 fish.  I’d figured the fish would be shutting down in the fourth hour, let everyone know this, and gauged their interest in staying where we were and likely picking up a few more fish, albeit at a much slower pace than that we enjoyed as the bite peaked at mid morning, or, rolling the dice and leaving fish to find fish.

We left a declining situation, found a few more fish in a very similar scenario, and by 11:30 had taken our tally to 98.  If you know me, you know I just can’t stop fishing that close to 100, so, I suggested we fish until 11:40 or 100 fish, whichever came first.  The Martins were up for this, so, we fished on.

At exactly 11:37, a nice, slow moving school of white bass came cruising by just 2-3 feet off bottom with enough individuals to fully populate the Garmin 12′ monitors from far left to far right.  Three of the four rods connected, and, just like that, we were at 101 fish, and the end of a busy morning.

Of these 101 fish, 1 was a just-legal largemouth bass, and the other 100 were all legal white bass with just one, the 59th fish landed (by Russel), exceeding 14″.


TALLY: 101 fish caught and released.

See a tutorial on the Smoking Method here:

Here is a tutorial on the Sawtooth Method:

Find the entire family of MAL Lures  here:

OBSERVATIONS: Young of the year bait is just about everywhere in the 28-37′ range.  Here was the water temperature profile down to 50′, and the reason why the bait is where it is:

0 feet, 87.2F
5 feet, 88.2F
10 feet, 88.6F
15 feet, 88.6F
20 feet, 88.6F
25 feet, 87.3F
30 feet, 83.1F
35 feet, 77.4F
40 feet, 72.2F
45 feet, 68.1F
50 feet, 63.8F



Start Time: 7:15A

End Time: 11:40A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 79F

Elevation: 16.08 feet low, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 87.2F on the surface.

Wind Speed & Direction:  S6 at trip’s start, peaking at S13 with gusts at mid-trip, then scaling back to S10-11 for the remainder.

Sky Condition: 0% cloud cover on a slightly hazy blue sky.

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 95% illumination.

GT = 0




Areas vic 871 and SH0033G gave up all of our fish today



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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