To Make Hay While the Sun Shines, Catch Fish While it Doesn’t! — 74 Fish

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Friday, September 1, I fished with returning guest, David Vahrenkamp, joined by three first time guests Jonathon Baumann, Riley Baumann, and Riley’s 11-year-old son, Jackson, all distant relatives of David’s.

This was all a part of a long weekend devoted to fishing, golfing and dining, in celebration of David’s birthday.

Here is how the fishing went…


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

Next available dates are Sept. 5-7 (AM)


PHOTO CAPTION:  From left: Jonathon, Riley, and Jackson Baumann and David Vahrenkamp with a sampling of the white bass taken mainly on the surface under low-light conditions using the Cork Rig.


PHOTO CAPTION: Jonathon Baumann with our sole legal hybrid striped bass which crushed a #13 Pet Spoon downrigged just above the thermocline.


WHEN WE FISHED:  Friday, 01 September 2023


As has been the case for quite some time now, this morning’s fishing was very front-loaded, with the majority of the catching taking place in the first 90 minutes of the trip and under low light conditions as the white bass herded shad against the surface and fed upon them aggressively, thus revealing their location despite a bit of chop on the water.

As I noted earlier this week, the shad growth rate in this protracted summer heat has been substantial, and I’m finding now that downsized baits are no longer mandatory as they had been throughout the month of August.

My four anglers lined up abreast of one another, either on the port side or the starboard side and cast perpendicular to the side of the boat out into the surface feeding white bass.  I put them within range by drawing near using the outboard, then closing the last 80 to 100 yards using the trolling motor.

Until you actually try this yourself, you will not appreciate how many fish the outboard motor spooks if you try to get close to topwater fish using the outboard.

This morning the top water action went from 6:54 AM to about 8 AM and then rapidly fell off over the next 15 to 20 minutes. During this time my crew put 59 fish in the boat. It would take another 2.5 hours to catch an additional 15 fish which all came just one at a time on downriggers as the white bass really settled down after binging at sunrise.

Those fish taken on downriggers were taken using three armed umbrella rigs. I equipped one with number 12 Pet Spoons, and the other with number 13 Pet Spoons.

Those fish taken early on top water all came on my hand-made Cork Rigs, which utilize a weighted popping cork to help take a light, shad-imitating streamer out to a much greater distance than with any other means.

Our 74 fish catch consisted of two hybrid striped bass, of which one was legal, two freshwater drum, five blue catfish, with the remaining 65 fish all being legal sized white bass with the top eight or ten eclipsing  the 13 inch mark.

TALLY: 74 fish caught and released.

See a tutorial on the Smoking Method here:

Here is a tutorial on the Sawtooth Method:

Find the Cork Rig here:

OBSERVATIONS: I spotted the first migrating teal flock of the season this morning.  Here was the water temperature profile taken on 31 August this week:

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: 10:45A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 73F

Elevation: 17.19 feet low, 56 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 86.8F on the surface.

Wind Speed & Direction:  ESE6 at trip’s start, fading to light and variable by 8:25

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

Moon Phase: Full super blue moon at 100% illumination.

GT = 85




Area 1292 thru B0031C – early morning, low-light topwater action




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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