WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Friday morning I fished with Jim Rogers of San Diego, California. Jim joined me for a 5 hour hunt for fish in the morning, then returned in the evening with his nephew, Lucas Tavill, for another 4+ hour run at the fish. Jim is an investment banker at a private, family-owned bank in San Diego, and Lucas is a First Lieutenant and West Point graduate now serving in a logistics unit on Fort Hood. The two came out with me in mid-May of 2017. On that outing, we landed 132 fish. On this trip, as the clock wound down, I felt we had a realistic shot at surpassing that number, and, indeed, we ended up with exactly 134 fish landed including primarily white bass and hybrid stripers.
Jim Rogers with the season’s largest hybrid taken on my boat thus far — a 6.25 pounder weighed on certified scales.
U.S. Army First Lieutenant Lucas Tavill with one of about 30 hybrid that went on a feeding binge for about 90 minutes, tapering off around 7:45pm. During this time fish hit both live baits of all sizes and chunk baits.
WHAT WE FISHED FOR: During this trip, we focused on hybrid early and late, and white bass at late morning and early afternoon.
WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake
WHEN WE FISHED: Friday morning, 27 April 2018
HOW WE FISHED: Jim and I began the morning casting bladebaits for smaller hybrid and white bass in an area that caught my eye as numerous herons patrolled over open water and along the shoreline. We wound up with 22 fish here before the action died, then went to a variety of areas using live bait for hybrid stripers with slow results. Every so often as we patrolled for hybrid, I detected deep, bottom-hugging white bass which we took advantage of using slabs and light spinning tackle. In the afternoon, we pursued white bass specifically for the first 2 hours, then left our last 2.5 hours for the pursuit of hybrid using live bait. Both approaches in the afternoon were handsomely rewarded. We picked up exactly 39 white bass and a single, bonus keeper hybrid on a bladebait as we used blades and slabs in water under 30′. Then, as the skies got some white haze sufficient to cut the bright, direct sun, we moved a bit deeper and picked up another 36 fish, including a nice run of keeper hybrid on all manner of bait — large, small, live, and dead.
OBSERVATIONS/NOTES: 1) Despite solid results today, the lack of stability in our weather and the repeated, frequent cold fronts have prevented any consistency in the fishery up to this point this spring.
TALLY: 134 FISH, ALL CAUGHT AND RELEASED
Start Time: 7:00a
End Time: 8:20p with an off-the-water break from 12:30p to 4:00p
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 65F in AM; 78F in PM
Water Surface Temp: 66.5-67.1F
Wind Speed & Direction: NW all day, varying from 5-9mph
Sky Conditions: Clear with occasional clouds at under 5%, and with a light, white haze developing in the afternoon.
Water Level: 2.13 feet low and slowly falling
GT = 125
Wx SNAPSHOT: For some reason, NOAA did not include wind data for this date on their forecast. It was NW5-9 most all day.
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area vic 1974/687 — 22 whites and short hybrid on blades early
**Area vic B0081C — mixed bag on bait and slabs
**Area vic 717 – 13 white bass on slabs in 52′
**Area B0082C — vertical white bass on slabs
**Area B0083C — vertical white bass on slabs
**Area 378 — vertical white bass on slabs; horizontal white bass on blades
**Area B0081C – mixed bag incl. a majority of hybrid on live/cut shad
Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)