WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Thursday, January 11, I fished with returning guest Mike Hall, a fellow small business owner from Round Rock, TX.

Mike does home remodeling, including windows, roofing, and siding doing business as Heritage Home Services (https://heritage-homeservices.com/). Although Mike has a boat of his own, he likes to fish with me from time to time to get a feel for what is taking place in the fishery at various points along the way through the annual cycle so he can make the most of his own fishing trips in his limited downtime.

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 Jan. 22-25 (AMs)


PHOTO CAPTION: Stillhouse reliably produces quality white bass.  These fish, both taken by Mike Hall early in the trip, both exceeded 14″.  All fish today came on a white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab.

Find the Bladed Hazy Eye Slab here: https://whitebasstools.com/

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday, 11 Jan. 2023 (AM)


Today looked to be the last decent day of weather for the foreseeable future with two arctic cold fronts approaching Central Texas  Just a day and a half apart this coming Friday and then again on late Saturday. We started off at 39° with nearly calm winds this morning.


Paying very close attention to bird activity, mainly by ring-billed gulls, we found our first catchable fish of the morning in just under 30 feet of water. Although active, patrolling after shad, and quite willing to strike, these fish would not rise off the bottom.


For that reason, we stuck with a snap-jigging tactic through about 9:10 AM. The two things I emphasized on the snap-jigging to Mike was the initial adjustment  of the slab, making sure it was truly suspended inches off the bottom (not hitting the bottom every stroke), and actually snapping the rod up and immediately placing it back where it started so that the lure achieved a freefall (instead of just lowering it).


After the birds left and the fish slowed down in this location, we moved progressively deeper and continued to encounter active fish through about 10 AM when we noticed some hesitancy beginning to kick in. Observing this, I moved us to the deepest water I could still find fish in, and we were able to stay in biting fish willing to pursue a slowly smoked slab through about 11 AM.  At 11 AM, we observed what I often refer to as the “beginning of the end”, where fish begin to wrap up their morning feed with little an angler can do to get them re-ignited.


All fish this morning came on the white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab.


We closed out the trip with a total of 71 fish, 100% of which were white bass , and about 60% of which were legal fish with our several largest right at the 14 inch mark.


Here is a tutorial on the snap-jigging method we used … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGtrnAQ_T94&t=55s


Here is a tutorial on the slow-smoking tactic we used… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIPopSLUYoQ

TALLY: 71 fish caught and released.



The water temperature profile measured on Stillhouse Hollow on 01 Jan. 2024 was:

0 feet 54.3F
5 feet 54.7F
10 feet, 54.9F
15 feet, 54.9F
20 feet, 54.9F
25 feet, 54.9F
30 feet, 54.9F
35 feet, 54.9F
40 feet, 54.7F
45 feet, 54.2F
50 feet, 53.6F



Start Time: 7:35A

End Time: 11:45A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 39F

Elevation: 17.86 feet low, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 53.8F on the surface.

Wind Speed & Direction: Calm winds for first 45 minutes, then a building SE wind getting up to 12 by end time.

Sky Condition: Bluebird, cloudless sky.

Moon Phase: New moon at 0% illumination.

GT = 25





Area SH0023G – 10 fish snap-jigging and smoking white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs
Area SH0266G – 18 fish snap-jigging and smoking white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs
Area SH0014G – 14 fish snap-jigging and smoking white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs
Area 0250 – 6 small fish snap-jigging and smoking white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs
Area vic SH0241G – 4 fish from a suspended, motionless school which had already turned off
Area vic SH0254G – 18 fish snap-jigging and smoking white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs
Area vic 1038 – 1fish snap-jigging and smoking white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs


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)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

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