WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Veterans’ Day 2019, I fished with long-time client Steve Niemeier and two of his granddaughters, 11-year-old Macy Fowler, and 4 1/2 year old Zoey Haberer. Steve is one of those fellows who (wisely) specifically plans his trips around peak fishing times of year — always coming out between mid-April and late May for the best hybrid striped bass fishing of the year (a quality fishery), and also coming out between late October and mid-December for the best white bass fishing of the year (a quantity fishery).
It amazes me that more folks don’t fish this time of year. Both this past Saturday and again today, on a holiday, there were only 3 vehicles with trailers in the parking lot at a time when our fish tallies typically exceed 100 fish in a 4-hour trip.
I was excited for Steve and the girls as the weather forecast which, beginning last Wednesday showed the possibility of us cashing in on some strong, pre-frontal fishing action, held together long enough for us to take advantage of it. Often, the timing of a big cold front’s arrival will speed up or slow down as the forecast matures, but this one stayed dead on. We got in a full 4+ hours between 7-11am under perfect conditions — manageable breezes from the SW, then W, and with a nice layer of grey clouds.
PHOTO CAPTION: Everything was biting and biting well today. This is a mix of blue and channel cats we took out of 38′ after the girls caught so many white bass they got bored with the success. That’s Macy Fowler on the left with the hefty blue cat (3.75 pounds), and Steve helping his other granddaughter, Zoey Haberer, display her channel catfish while also holding his own blue cat.
PHOTO CAPTION: The white bass were really fired up. We took 89 fish from one area without moving over a 1.75 hour span. The only reason I moved very far at all was to create a little transition and distraction to get the girls to refocus at a new location using the same successful tailspinner tactics. We took 129 white bass in all.
PHOTO CAPTION: Steve saved the best for last. He boated our largest fish of the morning, this nice 20″, 4-pound hybrid right before the front moved in.
WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton
WHEN WE FISHED: 11 November 2019, AM
HOW WE FISHED: Fortunately, with a 4 1/2 year old onboard in the cool season when sunfish are no longer an option, we had pre-frontal weather to fire the fish up and provide lots of action. For once, I was actually glad for all the small white bass Belton has produced of late, as it provided ample, constant action which was just right for my two youthful anglers.
We fished four distinct areas for white bass. In actuality, we could have stayed put at any one of these and kept right on catching my moving the boat a tad, but, a boat ride tends to help kids refocus and gives them a renewed sense of expectation so they re-engage and focus better. At all of the areas we fished, the tailspinner continued to produce well and outproduced the slab I tried on occasion, thanks to water which is still in the mid-60’s from top to bottom.
When little Zoey had all the fishing she could handle, she became the “fish-putter-backer”, using my dipnet to deposit our caught fish back into the lake very gently. When that novelty wore off, she became the “chum-chucker”, freshening up our catfish spread with new chum to keep the fishing coming in and biting.
We landed 129 white bass, 3 channel catfish, 7 blue catfish, and 1 hybrid striped bass this morning, all in 4 hours’ of effort, for a grand total of 140 fish caught and released.
TALLY: 140 fish caught and released
OBSERVATIONS: One really nice, unintended consequence of using the tailspinners is that all white bass are lip hooked every time. Due to the length of the lure and the fact that the fish are approaching it from beneath and getting caught by the belly-hook, the length of the lure fit cross-wise in their mouths prevents the lure from being swallowed which is not the case with slabs. This makes for very fast catch-and-release so when they are really biting hot and heavy my anglers can maximize their results; of course, it is gentler on the fish, too.
Start Time: 7:00A
End Time: 11:10A
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 64F
Elevation: 2.37 feet low, 0.02′ 24-hour fall, 34 CFS flow
Water Surface Temp: 66.1F
Wind Speed & Direction: SW10, scaling back and shifting to SSW5-6 before the “hammer dropped” and the cold front came in
Sky Conditions: Grey skies the entire trip
GT = 30
#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow
Wx SNAPSHOT: This is what a perfect fishing forecast looks like — 7a to 11a !!
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Areas B0171C/788 (89 fish in 1.75 hours), B0185c/2041 (up to 110 fish), 1675 (up to 122 fish), and 1882 (our final 8 fish) – for white bass
**Area 1909 for catfish in ~38′
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)