PRESIDENTS’ DAY MORNING — 50 FISH WITH THE AUSMAN BOYS

WHO I FISHED WITH: This Presidents’ Day Monday I set aside both my morning and evening trips to take soldiers’ kids out on the water fishing through the SKIFF program.

This morning I welcomed aboard the Ausman brothers, Jameson (age 11) , William (age 9), and Samson (age 7).
The boys’ father, U.S. Army Colonel Charles Ausman, is a logistician currently deployed to southwest Asia where he is winding down a 9-month-long separation from his kids and wife, Jessi.
ABOUT SKIFF:  SKIFF trips have been provided to military families at no charge since May of 2009.  SKIFF is funded by donations from Austin Fly Fishers, The McBride Foundation, & Austin Subaru.  S.K.I.F.F. provides children of military personnel separated from their families by duty commitments with the opportunity to fish.  SKIFF trips are also provided to Gold Star families who have lost their service member.  In mid-2019, SKIFF began providing trips to kids of bona fide disabled veterans.  I conduct these 3.5 hour adventures on Belton Lake and Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir year ’round.  Call or text 254.368.7411.
Next available dates are 26-29 Feb. (AMs)
Here is how the fishing went…

PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Jameson, William, and Samson Ausman with a portion of their 50-fish Presidents’ Day 2024 catch from out of Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: Jameson and Samson double-teamed this large drum.  It was our final fish of the trip, so, I assigned Jameson as the net man as Samson worked the rod and reel, and by hook or by crook, the fish wound up in the boat!

 

PHOTO CAPTION: William brought this channel catfish (an unusual catch on slabs) to net, and Jameson closed the deal with an accurate, well-timed scoop.

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

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED: Monday, 19 Feb. 2024 (AM)

HOW WE FISHED: 

We got going right at 7:20 this morning and fished until right at 11 AM. Although the two-day cold snap, which began late Friday with an incoming cold front and ended today as southerly winds returned, didn’t help things any, it also didn’t set things back noticeably, either.

 

The fish remained in just about the same locations doing the same things at the same times as they were last week, prior to the cold front. I did note that there seemed to be more actual migratory movement  by fish moving undaunted & straight parallel to the river channel. When I say undaunted, I mean no matter what they might be presented with, their minds were made up that they were just going to keep right on swimming.

 

Only infrequently would one of these fish be duped. Noting this early on, I tried to put the boys on bottom-oriented fish instead, so they did not have to deal with adjusting bait height to suspended fish, nor with detecting a light bite and then setting the hook, given their limited experience.

 

When all was said and done, the boys caught every last one of their fish by doing a slow-smoking, retrieve up off the bottom with most of the fish landed being fish which originated on the bottom and chased the boys’ baits upwards. Birds were helpful for about half of this 3.5-hour adventure. After that, we had to rely solely on sonar. The only bait we employed this morning was the white, 5/8 ounce Bladed Hazy Eye Slab.

 

If I’d had more experienced anglers aboard, I’d likely have given dead-sticking for those migratory fish, a try, but I just didn’t see the wisdom in that this morning.

 

The boys caught exactly 50 fish, including three largemouth bass, two freshwater drum, one channel catfish, and 44 white bass, every last one of which was legal.

Here is a tutorial on the snap-jigging method … 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: 50 fish caught and released 

 

OBSERVATIONS: I spotted the first mosquito hawk of the spring this morning, and the first red-winged blackbird just showed up at our bird feeder.

 

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 7:20A

End Time: 11:00A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 35F

Elevation: 16.87 feet low, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 52.1F on the surface.

Wind Speed & Direction: SSW 5-10 all morning

Sky Condition: Cloudless, pale blue skies

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 78% illumination.

GT = N/A

 

Wx SNAPSHOT:    

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:  

Vic 100 (4 fish), vic 338 (13 fish), vic 1536 (20 fish), vic 074 (13 fish)

 

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

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide #BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing #bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport #fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday #Fitec #austinsubaru

THEY MADE IT A DOUBLEHEADER — 120 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH: On Thursday morning, Feb. 15th, I fished a second consecutive day with long-time Lake Belton angler Bill Pasko and his friend, Mike Adams.  This was an “away game” for the two fishing buddies, as I guided them once again this morning on Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir.

Both fellows are in their late 70’s, both own their own boats and are solid multi-species anglers, and both are Vietnam-era veterans.

The thing I appreciated most about them was their willingness to listen to the suggestions I made concerning the tactics we employed.  I’ve guided for 18 years now, and it is crystal clear that the older and more experienced men are, the less coachable they tend to be.  This simply wasn’t the case for Bill and Mike.

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 Feb. 26-29 (AMs)

 

PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Bill Pasko and Mike Adams with a sampling of the 120 fish they landed this past Thursday morning, Feb. 15th.  The pair worked white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab vertically with a variety of tactics to put together an excellent catch for February.

 

 

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

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday, 15 Feb. 2023 (AM)

HOW WE FISHED: 

After a 59 fish outing on Wednesday morning and very little variance in the water from Wednesday to Thursday, we had a pretty good idea of where the fish were going to be and when they were going to be there.

The morning started out much as Wednesday did with widely scattered groups of perhaps 8-20 fish per school cruising a deep flat feeding on both shad and sunfish, thus drawing the attention of gulls.  Feeding loons in the area further drew in more gulls.

The fish were more scattered and less enthusiastic here in the first hour, partially due to thick cloud cover preventing a sudden brightening of the sky.

I had Bill and Mike using the white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab worked with an easing tactic to connect routinely in ~24-26′ aided by Garmin LiveScope.

With 20 fish picked up at this first stop and the action waning, we moved on to an underwater draw in slightly deeper water (~32′).  Using the same tactics, with a bit of snap-jigging thrown in when no fish were showing at all in order to draw fish in, Bill and Mike picked up another 18 fish across two locations before that bite waned as the last of the morning’s bird activity was closing out.  Now, we had to rely upon sonar alone to find fish.

On Wednesday around this time we headed to the lower third of the lake and zeroed after 35 minutes of looking.  Today, we checked out the upper third of the reservoir.  I’d found some fish there during a scouting effort on Jan. 27th and Bill was curious what might be going on in that area.  We found chalky to turbid water with lots of flotsam from still-rising water after last weekend’s rains.  We found little on sonar, dropped lines once without result, and headed back downlake.

We went on to fish three more areas, all adjacent to the river channel but in varying depths of water.  Bill and Mike continue to either ease or slow-smoke the white slab at each location.  They added 4 fish at our first channel-related stop, 10 fish at the next, and a whopping 68 fish at our final (and shallowest) stop of the morning.

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: 120 fish caught and released.

 

OBSERVATIONS:  We experienced the first aquatic insect hatch I’ve witnessed thus far in this winter season — a sure sign of a slow warm-up despite ups and downs in the weather.

 

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 7:15A

End Time: 12:00P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 43F

Elevation: 16.89 feet low, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 52.4F on the surface.

Wind Speed & Direction: SW winds varying from 3-9 all day

Sky Condition: Grey cloud cover at near 100% all morning, gradually thickening over that time.

Moon Phase: Waxing crescent moon at 38% illumination.

GT = 75

Wx SNAPSHOT:    

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:  

100, vic 338, vic 1013, vic 267, vic 315, 074

 

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

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide #BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing #bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport #fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday #Fitec #SubaruAustin

IT WAS AN AWAY GAME FOR THIS TEAM — 59 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH: On Wednesday morning, Feb. 14th, I fished with long-time Lake Belton angler Bill Pasko and his friend, Mike Adams.  This was an “away game” for the two fishing buddies, as I guided them this morning on Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir.

Bill is a detail-oriented fellow who actually dives into the details I include in my fishing reports. He has been helpful to me through the 18 years I’ve run my guide service, and routinely makes constructive posts on the Texas Fishing Forum.

A few of the things we set out to accomplish came about from such details.  One of the things Bill most expressed interest in was closely studying well-tuned side-imaging on my Humminbird Apex 16 so as to recognize the difference between bottom-oriented white bass and other species showing on sonar.

Neither of the fellows had a great amount of experience with Garmin LiveScope, so, getting to use that technology in a real-world scenario for 4+ hours was also beneficial.

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 Feb. 26-29 (AMs)

PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Mike Adams and Bill Pasko hoist a nice take of white bass.  Four of the 59 fish they landed were white bass exceeding 15 inches, with the largest going 16.50 inches.

 

 

PHOTO CAPTION: Mike and Bill landed a “bycatch” of largemouth and drum over the course of the morning in addition to the target species of white bass.

 

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

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED: Wednesday, 14 Feb. 2023 (AM)

HOW WE FISHED: 

You’ve heard the saying “No good deed goes unpunished.”.   Well, I experienced a bit of that today.  Yesterday I had two excellent, well-travelled anglers aboard specifically in pursuit of a freshwater drum for each man.

 

We put in over 8.5 hours of effort and did not land a single freshwater drum despite routinely catching these (and quality largemouth) as bycatch all winter on most every trip.

 

This morning, within the first 40 minutes on the water, three of our first eleven fish were freshwater drum which exceeded 4 pounds!!!  Unbelievable!

 

As we got going this morning, loose bird activity pointed the way to our first area to search for fish.  We made multiple short hops in this 1/8th mile diameter area, picking up white bass, drum, and largemouth bass by working white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs vertically using both an easing tactic and a slow-smoking tactic.  While Bill and Mike worked hard at this, I got in an occasional cast horizontally using a jighead and white curltail grub.

 

The bird action lasted about 90 minutes, after which we were left to search for fish relying solely on sonar.

 

We fished 6 areas and boated a total of 59 fish, of which four exceeded 15″, with the largest going 16.50 inches.

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: 59 fish caught and released.

 

OBSERVATIONS:  Thanks to recent rains and a slow, net warming trend over the last three weeks, the surface temperature has returned to just over 50F and the lake has risen to 16.89 feet below full pool. Fish and bait are beginning to move shallower.  All of our fish came from between 23 and 34 feet this morning.

 

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 7:30A

End Time: 12:05P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 43F

Elevation: 16.89 feet low, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 50.3F on the surface.

Wind Speed & Direction: SW winds varying from 3-9 all day

Sky Condition: Pale blue, cloudless sky.

Moon Phase: Waxing crescent moon at 27% illumination.

GT = 55

Wx SNAPSHOT:    

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:  

101 (1 short hop), SH0044C (1 short hop), 268, 94, vic SH0016G, and 104.

 

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

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide #BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing #bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport #fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday #Fitec #SubaruAustin

ONE MAN’S COOT IS ANOTHER MAN’S TREASURE — 66 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH: On Tuesday morning, Feb. 13th, I fished with first-time guests Jerry Burch and Nathan Rollins.

Jerry had an unusual request.  He and eight friends are in a friendly competition to see who can be the first to capture 100 fish/game species by way of hunting and fishing.

Jerry had seen some of my posts indicating a routine bycatch of freshwater drum as I guide clients to catch white bass.  He reached out to me to see if we might be able to help add that species to his list, and to Nathan’s.

If that went well, I had a contingency plan to pursue channel catfish and smallmouth bass, as well.

Along the way we drew a humorous correlation between “serious” anglers fishing for drum, and “serious” waterfowl hunters hunting for coot.

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 Feb. 26-29 (AMs)

 

PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Jerry Burch and Nathan Rollins with a nice pair of white bass they took as we made a day-long effort to capture a freshwater drum for both men.

 

 

PHOTO CAPTION: All winter long as I guide for white bass, I see largemouth bass and freshwater drum caught as bycatch.  Today, this largemouth cooperated, but our highly sought after drum were in short supply.

 

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

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday, 13 Feb. 2023 (AM)

HOW WE FISHED: 

Although I routinely catch drum without doing anything special beyond what is necessary to lure white bass, since we desired to catch drum this morning, I did changeup a few things.  First, instead of the Bladed Hazy Eye Slab, I used a slab with a bead-filled glass vial encapsulated within it so as to make extra noise which I have seen drum respond to positively in the past.  Additionally, instead of slow-smoking or easing, we stuck with snap-jigging so as to keep the lures on or near bottom 100% of the time.

It was tough watching so many opportunities to catch white bass go by, but Jerry and Nathan stuck with it.  By the time 1PM had rolled around, they’d landed 27 fish, including 26 white bass and 1 largemouth bass, but no drum.

We took an off-the-water lunch break and reconvened at 2:25 and fished until 5:20PM.  We added another 39 fish to the tally, every single one of which was a white bass.

So, after 8.5 hours of intelligent effort, we did not come up with a single drum.  Regardless, Jerry and Nathan enjoyed their outing, learned much, and were particularly enthused about using Garmin LiveScope.

 

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: 66 fish caught and released.

 

OBSERVATIONS:  Thanks to recent rains and a slow, net warming trend over the last three weeks, the surface temperature has returned to just over 50F and the lake has risen to 16.89 feet below full pool.

 

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 7:30A

End Time: 5:20P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 32F

Elevation: 16.89 feet low, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 50.4F on the surface.

Wind Speed & Direction: SW winds varying from 4-9 all day

Sky Condition: Pale blue, cloudless sky.

Moon Phase: Waxing crescent moon at 47% illumination.

GT = 50

Wx SNAPSHOT:    

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:  

Vic. SH0239G, 0095, SH0134C, SH0247G, vic 1950, SH0279G, and SH0094C

 

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

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide #BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing #bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport #fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday #Fitec #SubaruAustin

HAS DEADSTICKING DIED? — 20 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH: On Thursday, February 8, I fished with long-time client and friend Gary Davidson from Kerrville, Texas.

We have both been intrigued by the potential which wintertime deadsticking holds, but both admit we have not yet figured this sort of fishing out to the extent we have other effective white bass and hybrid stripe bass techniques.

This morning we intended to dedicate the trip to deadsticking for suspended, shad-oriented fish and do some comparisons with bait size, bait color, the use of scent, and lure movement.

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 Feb. 21, 22, 26, 27 (AMs)

 

PHOTO CAPTION: Gary Davidson of Kerrville with a bonus bluecat which slowly approached and then slurped in his deadsticked pink fluke from about 48 feet of water.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday, 08 Feb. 2023 (AM)

HOW WE FISHED:

Long story short, I suspect this now three-week-long, slow warming trend, which has put our surface temperature back between 52 and 54 degrees, has halted what was developing as a good deadstick bite as the water temperature fell below 50 degrees and continued to cool slowly by around the middle of January.

This cooling definitely pulled shad together and nearer, if not directly over, the main channel. On this morning’s trip we found no bait in such locations.

We fished for five hours and spent the first 3.5 hours searching for bait and game fish. Although we caught fish at each of the locations where bait and gamefish were found, and did so using deadstick tactics, we never saw the kind of horizontal bands of interested fish which needs to form beneath the boat in order for a good result to be had.

After seeing this repeatedly, we spent the tail end of the trip looking for bottom-oriented fish in more traditional locations. Although our single best producing stop came at one of these areas, and the fish there were caught by easing or slow smoking a slab, these fish were still very reluctant. This came as no surprise as we had next to no wind all morning.

When all was said and done, we had landed exactly 20 fish including 2 blue catfish, two large mouth bass, one short hybrid, and 15 white bass of which about 12 were of legal size. Gary nabbed the largest fish of the morning with an 8.75 pound blue cat which fell for his dead sticked bubble gum pink fluke on a jig head.

Gary and I agreed that with what little we have seen and learned of deadsticking thus far, we both now have more enthusiasm about fishing in January and February, and we look forward to continuing to experiment, but, it looks like that experiment will restart in 2025, Lord willing.

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

 

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

TALLY: 20 fish caught and released.

 

OBSERVATIONS: Here was the water temperature profile taken down to 55′ on 08 Feb.:

0 feet, 54.2F
5 feet, 52.9F
10 feet, 52.3F
15 feet, 52.2F
20 feet, 51.9F
25 feet, 51.7F
30 feet, 51.4F
35 feet 50.9F
40 feet, 50.5F
45 feet 50.2F
50 feet, 49.9F
55 feet, 49.0F

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 7:30A

End Time: 12:20P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 59F

Elevation: 13.85 feet low

Water Surface Temp: 52.6F on the surface.

Wind Speed & Direction: SSE/SSW <4 all morning

Sky Condition: Grey skies all morning

Moon Phase: Waxing crescent moon at 0% illumination (new moon was yesterday).

GT = 25

Wx SNAPSHOT:    

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:  

 B0263G, vic B003JWG, B0264G, B0265G, vic B0042C

 

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

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide #BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing #bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport #fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday #Fitec #SubaruAustin


Here’s an up-to-date calendar so you can check availability: https://holdingthelineguideservice.com/available-dates.php

Next available dates are Feb. 5, 6, 7, & 8 (AMs)

PHOTO CAPTION: This 4.25-pound largemouth was a personal best for Jackson.  He lured it in, hooked it, fought it, and brought it to net all by himself.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: That is a pair of bonafide 15″ white bass, considered trophy class fish by TPWD, taken just 40 minutes apart under cool conditions with a diminishing fog.  The fish both struck a white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED: Friday, 02 Feb. 2023 (AM)

HOW WE FISHED:

As water temperatures continue to rise, thanks to slightly above average temperatures for February for several consecutive days, and nighttime temperatures overnight in the low 60s,  a noticeable uptick in fish activity levels has been apparent.

 

We got off to a great start right at 8 AM with a light south breeze and fairly heavy gray cloud cover.

 

Jackson quickly got the hang of the slow-smoking tactic.

 

While sitting atop a feeding school of white bass, Jackson landed his first three fish after getting the hang of smoothly and continuously reeling his white, 5/8 ounce Bladed Hazy Eye Slab.

 

No sooner did we begin firing on all eight cylinders, then an unexpected, heavy fog moved in, and, quite literally, put a damper on things . We struggled for the next 30 minutes as what was a brightening sky began to darken once again, bird activity slowed to nearly zero, and the bite soured.

 

Slowly, the skies brightened, even though the fog remained, and the fish began to start feeding again, as did the birds, although we nearly had to be directly beneath any birds to actually see them due to the fog’s thickness. We only fished three locations all morning with the fishing getting gradually more productive at each one.

 

By the time the fog finally lifted just after 11 AM, the bite was on a downhill slide.

 

Boom-Pa, as Jackson refers to Dwight, and I both thought Jackson was just about done around 11:10 or so with 47 fish to his credit. We weren’t sure if he was going to get up and grab a rod again after mentioning that his wrist was sore, and sitting down to take a granola mix break.

 

I challenged him to make it an even 50 fish or to fish until 11;30, whichever came first.  By 11:25, Jackson had landed his 50th fish of the trip and began to rally. He asked if we could stay a little longer so that he could catch 52 fish. Of course, we did just that, and headed in around 11:35.

 

Although Jackson may not have set the hook on every one of those 52 fish, he did reel each one in and hoisted each one over the gunwale to me. His catch included 47 white bass, two of which measured right at 15 inches, two largemouth bass, the largest of which was 4.25 pounds, and three freshwater drum.

 

Before leaving the parking lot, Dwight made plans to do this same thing in May for his granddaughter, Jemma who will turn 10, and we kicked around dates in September to do likewise for his grandson,  who will turn five.

 

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

 

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

TALLY: 52 fish caught and released.

 

OBSERVATIONS: Here was the water temperature profile taken down to 50′ on 02 Feb.:

0 feet,52.6F
5 feet, 51.4F
10 feet, 50.0F
15 feet, 49.9F
20 feet, 49.9F
25 feet, 49.5F
30 feet, 49.2F
35 feet, 48.8F
40 feet, 48.7F
45 feet, 48.4F
50 feet, 48.3F

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 8A

End Time: 11:35A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 61F

Elevation: 17.23 feet low

Water Surface Temp: 52.6F on the surface.

Wind Speed & Direction: S4-9 all morning

Sky Condition: Grey skies quickly turning into a morning-long fog

Moon Phase: Waning crescent moon at 45% illumination.

GT = 5

Wx SNAPSHOT:    

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:  

Area 1950 – 3 fish slow-smoking with the white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab
Area SH0083C/2020 – 23 fish slow-smoking with the white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab
Area SH0268G – 26 fish fish slow-smoking with the white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab

 

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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A PERSONAL BEST FOR HIS 8TH BIRTHDAY — 52 FISH w/ JACKSON ROGERS

WHO I FISHED WITH:

On Friday morning, February 3, I welcomed aboard eight-year-old Jackson Rogers, chaperoned by his grandfather, Dwight Stone, for a 3.5 hour “Kids Fish, Too!” fishing trip in celebration of his eighth birthday.
“Kids Fish, Too!” trips are less expensive and shorter in duration than my standard trips, and all of the focus of the trip is on the children’s success.
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 Feb. 5, 6, 7, & 8 (AMs)

PHOTO CAPTION: This 4.25-pound largemouth was a personal best for Jackson.  He lured it in, hooked it, fought it, and brought it to net all by himself.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: That is a pair of bonafide 15″ white bass, considered trophy class fish by TPWD, taken just 40 minutes apart under cool conditions with a diminishing fog.  The fish both struck a white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED: Friday, 02 Feb. 2023 (AM)

HOW WE FISHED:

As water temperatures continue to rise, thanks to slightly above average temperatures for February for several consecutive days, and nighttime temperatures overnight in the low 60s,  a noticeable uptick in fish activity levels has been apparent.

 

We got off to a great start right at 8 AM with a light south breeze and fairly heavy gray cloud cover.

 

Jackson quickly got the hang of the slow-smoking tactic.

 

While sitting atop a feeding school of white bass, Jackson landed his first three fish after getting the hang of smoothly and continuously reeling his white, 5/8 ounce Bladed Hazy Eye Slab.

 

No sooner did we begin firing on all eight cylinders, then an unexpected, heavy fog moved in, and, quite literally, put a damper on things . We struggled for the next 30 minutes as what was a brightening sky began to darken once again, bird activity slowed to nearly zero, and the bite soured.

 

Slowly, the skies brightened, even though the fog remained, and the fish began to start feeding again, as did the birds, although we nearly had to be directly beneath any birds to actually see them due to the fog’s thickness. We only fished three locations all morning with the fishing getting gradually more productive at each one.

 

By the time the fog finally lifted just after 11 AM, the bite was on a downhill slide.

 

Boom-Pa, as Jackson refers to Dwight, and I both thought Jackson was just about done around 11:10 or so with 47 fish to his credit. We weren’t sure if he was going to get up and grab a rod again after mentioning that his wrist was sore, and sitting down to take a granola mix break.

 

I challenged him to make it an even 50 fish or to fish until 11;30, whichever came first.  By 11:25, Jackson had landed his 50th fish of the trip and began to rally. He asked if we could stay a little longer so that he could catch 52 fish. Of course, we did just that, and headed in around 11:35.

 

Although Jackson may not have set the hook on every one of those 52 fish, he did reel each one in and hoisted each one over the gunwale to me. His catch included 47 white bass, two of which measured right at 15 inches, two largemouth bass, the largest of which was 4.25 pounds, and three freshwater drum.

 

Before leaving the parking lot, Dwight made plans to do this same thing in May for his granddaughter, Jemma who will turn 10, and we kicked around dates in September to do likewise for his grandson,  who will turn five.

 

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

 

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

TALLY: 52 fish caught and released.

 

OBSERVATIONS: Here was the water temperature profile taken down to 50′ on 02 Feb.:

0 feet,52.6F
5 feet, 51.4F
10 feet, 50.0F
15 feet, 49.9F
20 feet, 49.9F
25 feet, 49.5F
30 feet, 49.2F
35 feet, 48.8F
40 feet, 48.7F
45 feet, 48.4F
50 feet, 48.3F

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 8A

End Time: 11:35A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 61F

Elevation: 17.23 feet low

Water Surface Temp: 52.6F on the surface.

Wind Speed & Direction: S4-9 all morning

Sky Condition: Grey skies quickly turning into a morning-long fog

Moon Phase: Waning crescent moon at 45% illumination.

GT = 5

Wx SNAPSHOT:    

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:  

Area 1950 – 3 fish slow-smoking with the white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab
Area SH0083C/2020 – 23 fish slow-smoking with the white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab
Area SH0268G – 26 fish fish slow-smoking with the white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab

 

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

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide #BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing #bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport #fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday #Fitec #SubaruAustin