Back-in-the-Saddle on Saturdays — 51 Fish @ Belton

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Saturday, September 9, I resumed my Saturday fishing schedule and will now continue to offer Saturday trips (as well as Thursday evening trips) from now until Spring Break 2024.

This morning’s trip was a “Kids Fish, Too!“ trip for two buddies, Samuel Shugg (age 11) and his friend, Dein Dodson (age 8).

The boys were accompanied by Samuel‘s dad, Chris Shugg, who came with a valid fishing license, and the desire to help me help the boys be successful.

Here is how the fishing went.…

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

Next available dates are Sept. 12-14 (AM)


PHOTO CAPTION:  From left: Samuel and Chris Shugg helped Dein Dodson celebrate the capture of this 5.25-pound Lake Belton hybrid striped bass on their Saturday morning “Kids Fish, Too!” trip tailored just for kids.


PHOTO CAPTION: White bass surface action was really hindered by this morning’s heavy wave action, but, we found a mess of them early on which responded well to downrigging.  That’s Samuel Shugg on the left and Dein Dodson on the right.


WHEN WE FISHED:  Saturday, 09 September 2023


Before first light this morning, I could see flickers of lightning from the tops of thunderheads building north and east of the DFW area. Those were on the lead edge of a cold front due to enter into central Texas air space around 3 PM today. As a result, we had higher than forecast southeasterly winds at 12 to 15 mph before sunrise.

Unfortunately, those winds, which were much higher than the 7-8 mph winds forecast for the morning, pretty much eliminated the topwater bite this morning.

Given the wind situation, we went with “Plan B“, which was to present shad-imitating #13 Pet Spoons to feeding white bass by way of downrigging.

We used a pair of downriggers, each equipped with three-armed umbrella rigs, to present six baits at any given time. We fished in this manner through around 9 AM during which time the boys caught a mixed bag of 15 legal white bass, 2 short hybrid, 1 legal hybrid, and 2 blue catfish.

Although the bite was never really super strong this morning, it definitely dropped off around 8:30 or so. By 9 a.m., we retooled and headed up shallow to invest our final hour in pursuit of sunfish using fiberglass poles, fixed length lines, and slip floats to present live bait to a mixed bag of sunfish in shallow water. During that final hour, the boys put exactly 31 sunfish in the boat, including bluegill, greens, and long ears.

We wrapped up at the 3.5 hour mark, as is customary for these shorter and less expensive “Kids Fish, Too!” trips.

The boys final count was 51 fish, all of which were caught and released.

TALLY: 51 fish caught and released.

Find the 3-Armed Umbrella Rig here:

OBSERVATIONS:  The water temperature profile shown below was taken on 07 Sep.  This will likely represent the hottest condition Lake Belton will rise to, given the forthcoming change of seasons, and predictions for cold fronts and cloud cover this week.

0 feet, 87.0F
5 feet, 86.4F
10 feet, 85.9F
15 feet, 85.6F
20 feet, 85.5F
25 feet, 85.0F
30 feet, 82.9F
35 feet, 76.8F
40 feet, 69.0F
45 feet, 66.8F
50 feet, 65.1F
55 feet, 68.3F
60 feet, 62.9F


Start Time: 6:35A

End Time: 10:10A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 81F

Elevation: 17.66 feet low, 56 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 85.1F on the surface.

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSE12-15 all morning

Sky Condition: 30% white cloud cover on a blue sky.

Moon Phase: Waning crescent moon at 26% illumination.

GT = 50




Area vic 1791 – early AM downrigging

Area 1583- sunfishing in final hour


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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