SPRING BREAK 2022 – TRIP #2 w/ George, Geoff, Kaden, & Greg – 200 Fish

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Tuesday, March 15th, I fished with returning guests George VanRiper, his adult son, Geoff, Geoff’s 11-year-old son, Greg, and Kaden Howley, another of George’s grandsons, age 13.

I was excited to fish with this crew today as a mild, dry cold front blew in and wind speed was on the rise, which normally leads to excellent fishing.  This morning was no exception!   My crew of four landed exactly 200 fish in just over 4 hours’ time.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next few openings will be on March 30th and April 4th thru 7th.  Weekday mornings are always best.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left: George and Greg Van Riper, Kaden Howley, and Geoff Van Riper.  All 200 fish these fellows caught came on the Bladed Hazy Eye Slab (5/8 oz. in white), fished with a slow-smoking tactic.

PHOTO CAPTION:  Eye, Eye, Eye!  One of the features on the Bladed Hazy Eye Slab is the black “false eye” on the hook-end of the lure (as well as a small, spinning willowleaf blade, and a stinger hook).  The size of the lure and the eye on it are just-right imitators of the threadfin shad these fish are feeding upon.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday (AM), 15 March 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

Right around 5p yesterday evening, a line of storms advanced from W. to E. over Central Texas as a mild cold front moved in.  Overnight, the atmosphere cooled and dried, leaving a cloudless, windy weather setup this morning.  Despite this being a “cold front”, the morning temperature was actually 6 degrees warmer than the previous morning’s low, so, although we still had to dress for the weather, the fishing was pretty comfortable.

We started out in deeper, clearer water than we did yesterday, due to the lack of cloud cover.  I felt some of the deeper areas would be well-lit thanks to a bright sunrise, and they did.

We found our first school of fish in about 37′ and landed 48 fish there.

We wound up fishing four areas, catching a majority of our fish (133 to be exact) at our second stop.

We added 11 fish at our third stop, and rounded the trip out with a final 8 fish at our last stop.

The bite really tapered off around 11AM.  By that time we’d landed 181 fish, and decided to give it another 45 minutes to see if we could make or break that 200 fish mark.

Every last one of our fish came on the white,  5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab fish with a slow-smoking tactic.

We caught exactly 200 fish this morning, including 13 freshwater drum, 4 short hybrid striped bass, and 183 white bass.

Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs and MAL Lures are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 200 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  We fished the frontal “weather window” which exists during daylight hours from the time the storm front passes, and until northerly winds reach peak velocity and plateau.  The fish were definitely turned on!

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 7:30A

End Time: 11:50A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 54F

Elevation: 3.24 feet low, 0.00′ change in last 24 hours, 30 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 51.9 F

Wind Speed & Direction:  WNW14 at sunrise, slowly increasing to NW19-20 by trip’s end.

Sky Condition: Blue bird

Moon Phase: Waxing crescent moon at 91% illumination.

GT = 40

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Areas vic B0118C, B0178C, 1934, & B0009C

 

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 #mepps

TRES HERMANOS — MUY FRIO — 71 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  On this cold, rainy Monday, January 24th, I fished with three of the four Fullerton brothers – Ian (age 12), Josh (age 10), and Christian (age 7), on what was the 2022 season’s second SKIFF trip.

The boys’ dad, U.S. Army Chaplain Derrick Fullerton, is currently deployed to Europe; we’d been talking about putting this trip together since well before he departed.

Since the boys mom, Karen Fullerton, homeschools all four of her boys, their schedule is flexible.  When I saw low pressure weather moving our way and moderate temperatures accompanying that weather, I reached out to see if the older boys could make it.

SKIFF is an acronym for Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun. It is a program now in its 13th year, sponsored by the Austin Fly Fishers, and supported by individuals and entities, all of whom desire that kids separated from a parent by that parent’s military duty, be given an opportunity to experience the outdoors through fishing during that time of separation, free of charge.  The program offers a time of respite for the home-front parents who may need a short break from single-parenting.  Reservations for SKIFF trips may be made by phoning or texting 254.368.7411.   Children must be 5 years of age or older.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next few openings will be on January 31st and February 2nd.  Weekday mornings are always best.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Josh, Ian, and Christian Fullerton endured very tough weather conditions to put together a mixed bag of 71 fish, including white bass, hybrid, largemouth, and drum.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Monday (AM), 24 January 2022

HOW WE FISHED:

What a crazy weather scenario! Meteorologists began calling for a chance of rain today as far back as last Thursday, but, with each passing day, the chance of rain and the forecast accumulation grew less and less.

As I left the house, there was between 31 & 61% chance of rain over the 4 hours I’d be with the boys, and only 7/100th of an inch accumulation called for.  Well, you guessed it — we had a cold, continuous rain the entire morning with air temps starting at 50 and falling to 48 by 11AM.  We got more than a half-inch of rain!

The boys were true troopers and so eager to catch fish I just didn’t want to let them down.  Their mom told me as she dropped them off that this trip had been the topic of conversation for a few days, and that the boys were in no way difficult to rouse this morning.

We endured a dark, wet, cold first two hours, landing only 5 fish during that time.  With the boys all wet to the skin, we took a warm-up break with all 4 of us huddled in the single cab of my truck with the heater blasting on our reddened hands.  Snacks helped get the boys’ mind off the cold and, after about 30 minutes, they were chomping at the bit to get back out again!

Fortunately, although a light drizzle continued to fall, the skies had brightened and the light SW breeze continued.  Through rain-speckled glasses, I stared at the rain-splattered side-imaging absolutely scrubbing it for any signs of white bass life we could find.  At 10:55, we had a breakthru!

I got on the fish I’d found in 31 feet of water, Spot-Locked on them, got the boys ready for action and our luck instantly changed.  For the next hour and twenty minutes the boys watched their baits descend on Garmin LiveScope into fish piled up on bottom.  As they retrieved their slabs (white, 5/8 oz. Hazy Eye Slabs) upwards slowly, the fish followed, overtook them, and struck.  We caught white bass, juvenile hybrid, largemouth bass, and freshwater drum.  By making 3 “short hops” in the same general area, we added 66 fish to our tally in that final effort before mom’s minivan pulled up about quarter past 12.

Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs and MAL Lures found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 71 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: The water temperature profile was as follows:

0 feet 53.1F
5 feet 53.2F
10 feet 53.5F
15 feet 53.5F
20 feet 53.5F
25 feet 53.6F
30 feet 53.6F
35 feet 53.6F
40 feet 53.6F
45 feet 53.5F
50 feet 53.2F
55 feet 53.2F
60 feet 53.2F
65 feet 53.2F

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 7:30A

End Time: 12:15P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  50F

Elevation: 2.8 feet low, 0.02 fall, 34 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 53.1F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SW6-8 all morning.

Sky Condition: Varying degrees of grey with precipitation 100% of the trip

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 62% illumination.

GT = N/A

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Areas 097 – 5 fish early, then B0103C/1614/473 in the last 1.5 hours

 

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 #mepps

30 DEGREE START, 80 FISH FINISH — LAKE BELTON, 04 JAN.

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Tuesday, 04 January 2022, I fished with first time guests Clint and Chandler Zimmerhanzel on Lake Belton in pursuit of white bass.

Clint was high bidder on a gift certificate I provided to the Ralph Wilson Youth Club Fall Fundraiser at the Wildflower Country Club & Golf Course in Temple, TX, and today was the day he chose to redeem it.

Clint is a Texas Farm Bureau Insurance agent at their Harker Heights agency (txfb-ins.com).  Chandler, a University of Mary Hardin-Baylor nursing graduate, works in the pediatric intensive care unit at one of our local hospitals.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next few openings will be on January 12th, 17th, & 18th.  Weekday mornings are always best.

PHOTO CAPTION: Chandler and Clint Zimmerhanzel pushed through a 30F start to an 80 fish finish on Lake Belton this morning.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: We landed 11 largemouth in a total catch of 80 fish, which comes to 13+%, all of which were 14-17 inches.  That’s a decent tournament bag on Lake Belton without even trying to catch this species!

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday (AM), 04 January 2022

HOW WE FISHED:

Two keys to success this morning: wind & birds.  Despite the recent cold snap, and despite clear skies, the returning south wind (and a good bit of it — up to 14+mph this morning) was enough to trump all of that and get the fish pushing shad all throughout the water column.

When those shad got near the surface, the birds (mostly Forster’s terns today, not gulls) keyed in on them and gave a great visual as to where the fish were.  Still, prudent use of sonar was useful to find exactly where the fish were after birds identified the general proximity.

Due to the winds, and because I wasn’t sure of the the Zimmerhanzels’ experience level, I rigged up with 5/8 oz. white Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs and they turned out to be a good choice.

All of our fish were taken on a slow-smoking vertical tactic in under 34 feet of water.

When all was said and done, we landed exactly 80 fish, including 11 largemouth bass, 7 juvenile hybrid striped bass, 3 freshwater drum, and 59 white bass.

Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs and MAL Lures found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 80 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: Despite the cold spike we’ve had since just after sunset on Saturday, the water temperature did not drop drastically, and the fish were still biting well today thanks to a stiff SSE breeze all morning.  Temperature profile was as follows:

0 feet 59.6F
5 feet 59.8F
10 feet 60F
15 feet 60F
20 feet 60F
25 feet 60F
30 feet 60F
35 feet 60F
40 feet 60F
45 feet 60F
50 feet 60F
55 feet 60F
60 feet 59.8F
65 feet 59.8F

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 7:20A

End Time: 11:45A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  30F

Elevation: 2.40 feet low, 0.03 fall, 34 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 62.1F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSE9 at trip’s start and staying there through 9:30, then ramping up to SSE14 by trip’s end.

Sky Condition: Bright, cloudless skies

Moon Phase: Waxing crescent moon at 4% illumination.

GT = 75

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Areas 1933, 216, 1799, 2052, 840, and 1604 with bird assistance at all but 1604.

 

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 #mepps

A RETURN TO STILLHOUSE — 95 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Tuesday, December 28th, I spent a full day on the water with returning client Allen Naff of Bertram, TX.  The morning was spent fishing for white bass on Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir, and the afternoon was spent training Allen on his Humminbird sonar units.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next few openings will be on January 5th & 12th.  Weekday mornings are always best.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: Allen Naff and I got into a some magnum white bass on Stillhouse this morning primarily using the 3/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab with a vertical, slow-smoking approach.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday (AM), 28 December 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

The wind and cloud cover were ideal this morning for the first two hours, then the winds slacked off and the skies brightened making things a bit tougher in the last half of the trip.  We ended with a solid run of 20 fish as the wind once again kicked in, rippling the surface and enhancing the bite.

I’ve not fished Stillhouse in several months, and did not intend to until the water temperatures fell below 55F, however, Allen specifically requested we fish Stillhouse as he had recently fished Lake Belton with me and, living in Bertram, wanted an introduction to a body of water a bit closer to him.

I’d hoped to do some scouting before fishing with Allen, but my schedule just did not allow, so, we launched out banking on experience and the power of observation, and, fortunately, those were sufficient today.

Because Allen was interested in a “big picture” of fishing Stillhouse for white bass, as well as getting the most out of his sonar, I moved more frequently than I would have were he just interested in catching fish.  This allowed us to cover more ground, and use the sonar in more fish-finding scenarios.

As soon as a population of fish began to show disinterest, we moved instead of trying to “milk” a few more fish out of the population we’d been fishing over.

The most effective retrieve for us today was a slow-smoking retrieve, and the most effective bait was the white, 3/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab.  We used the 3/4 oz. version of this same bait at one location due to depth in order repeatedly get our lures to bottom more quickly when fish were active, but the smaller version definitely drew more interest.

When all was said and done, we landed exactly 95 fish, including 1 largemouth bass, 6 freshwater drum, and 88 white bass.

Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs and MAL Lures found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 95 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: Very sparse gull activity witnessed today.  Caught fish in as much as 43′.

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 7:40A

End Time: 12:10P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  68F

Elevation: 1.88 feet low, 0.001 fall in last 24 hours, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 62.6F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSW7 at trip’s start, building to S10 by the second hour, then falling under 4mph in the third hour, and picking back up to 7-8 by trip’s end.

Sky Condition: Fully greyed skies for the first two hours, then thinning and brightening with 80% cloud cover.

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 46% illumination.

GT = 40

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Area 008 – 21 fish on a slow-smoked Bladed Hazy Eye Slab (3/8 oz. white) with a few on the MAL Heavy fished with a sawtooth pattern after the vertical bite calmed down.

Area 287 – 18 fish on a slow-smoked Bladed Hazy Eye Slab (3/4 oz. white) with a few on the MAL Heavy fished with a sawtooth pattern after the vertical bite calmed down.

Area SH0025C – 9 fish on a slow-smoked Bladed Hazy Eye Slab (3/8 oz. white)

Area 720- 5 fish on a slow-smoked Bladed Hazy Eye Slab (3/8 oz. white)

Area 0113- 5 fish on a slow-smoked Bladed Hazy Eye Slab (3/8 oz. white)

Area 0112 – 5 fish on a slow-smoked Bladed Hazy Eye Slab (3/8 oz. white)

Area vic 1888 – 8 fish on a slow-smoked Bladed Hazy Eye Slab (3/8 oz. white)

Area vic 0308 – 4 fish on a slow-smoked Bladed Hazy Eye Slab (3/8 oz. white)

Area 1535 – 20 fish on a slow-smoked Bladed Hazy Eye Slab (3/8 oz. white)

 

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 #mepps

A GRAND, POSITIVE CHANGE — 139 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Monday, September 27, I fished on Lake Belton with returning guest Gary Jones.

Gary came out with me once before with three buddies in the late spring after being the high bidder on a fishing gift certificate I’d presented to the Ralph Wilson Youth Club for a fundraiser.

Gary appreciated the intentionality with which I’d designed my guide boat after seeing it and fishing from it that first time, and, as a result, ordered a similar boat.  So, in many ways, this was a ‘dry run’ for Gary, nailing down how to use the boat, sonar, and other accessories to pursue freshwater pelagics.

I appreciate clients who come ready to learn and who are willingly coached — Gary is one of those fellows.

PHOTO CAPTION:   Gary Jones with a couple of the 139 fish we boated this morning from the surface all the way down to 42 feet deep.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Monday (AM), 27 September 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

We caught fish from shallow to deep, and from top to bottom this morning.  That short, intense cold front’s passage last week really has spurred a grand, positive change in the fishing.  The surface temperature was below 80F for the first time since the spring today, and the fish are moving into deep water areas they have not occupied for months.

We started our morning looking and listening for fish popping shad on topwater and caught 4 by sight-casting MAL Originals with silver blades/chartreuse tails.  We then used side-imaging to find fish in under 25 feet of water as they moved deeper with the brightening sky.  We chose to cast off the port or starboard side based on the look of side-imaging, and scored regularly from a fixed position by holding into the wind with Spot-Lock.  We used MAL Heavy Lures with white blades and chartreuse tails for this work.  We landed 13 more fish in this manner.

As the schools of white bass pressed deeper with the increasing light level, they eventually scattered sufficiently to make me think downrigging would be the better option, and, given that Gary had never downrigged, but planned to do so with his new boat, I used this as an opportunity to show him the ropes.  He got the hang of things after just a few iterations, and we routinely landed all singles today on the 3-armed umbrella rig equipped with Pet Spoons. We took an additional 12 fish on the ‘riggers.

By about 8:50 AM, these fish played out and, despite precisely presenting downrigged baits to the bottom-hugging schools of white bass we could see on sonar, they no longer took chase and bit.  We moved on to greener pastures.

As I searched with sonar over some open water areas, we spotted some topwater commotion about 200 yards away.  I shared with Gary that at this time of the morning, the topwater action is typically just the tip of the iceberg, with the real story playing out well beneath the surface.  This was the case in this situation.  As we slipped over top of where the topwater action had briefly occurred, there were white bass and hybrid striped bass all throughout the lower 2/3rds of the water column.  We stopped, got the Garmin LiveScope gear focused on the fish, and then worked MAL Heavy Lures with silver blades/white tails vertically for an easy dozen fish, including two 4-pound class hybrid, before this wandering school of fish moved on.  Our tally now stood at 41 fish.

It was now just shy of 9:30 AM.  We continued searching out fish and bait in the 40-foot range.  The next school of fish we found on sonar would keep both of us busy full-time for the next 90 minutes to come.

Once again, we geared up with MAL Heavy Lures with silver blades/white tails for the vertical work we were about to do, assisted by Garmin LiveScope.  From the time we first dropped our baits to the final time we reeled up to head back in, there was never fewer than three dozen fish on the screen with, literally, hundreds of fish appearing at times, all heavily congregated and moving with a purpose pursuing the shad also found in the area — just incredible.  We landed another 98 fish here before Gary threw in the towel at around 11:10AM.

MAL Lure fishing tutorials:

MAL Lures are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 139 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Since last week’s cold front, the season’s first coots have migrated down; I also spotted a pair of bald eagles, multiple large flocks of teal, and multiple osprey.

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 6:50A

End Time: 11:10A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  64F

Elevation: 1.05 feet low, .04 foot fall, 71 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 78.6F

Wind Speed & Direction: S5-7 all morning

Sky Condition: Skies were under ~55% white cloud cover on a blue sky

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 65% illumination.

GT = 225

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1746 – 4 fish sight casting on MAL Originals; 13 fish on horizontal retrieve w/ MAL Heavy Lures

**Area vic B0180C – 12 fish on downrigged 3-armed umb. rigs

**Area B0097G –  Vertical MAL Heavy work w/ LiveScope; 10 fish

**Area 1298 –  Vertical MAL Heavy work w/ LiveScope; final tally 139

 

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 #mepps

PAWN STARS — 132 FISH @ LAKE BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:   This evening, Thursday, May 20th, I fished with returning guest Doug Blackwell and a friend of his, first-time guest Trey Nelson. The men are co-workers at the Action Pawn store on the corner of Hwy. 195 and I-14 in Killeen, where Doug serves as store manager.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left:  Doug Blackwell and Trey Nelson experienced famine, then feast, on the first hot, calm, sunny day we’ve had in quite a long time.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  Whites and hybrids aren’t the only fish that eat MAL Lures.  The shad-imitating properties of the MAL Lure draw strikes from all sorts of fish, like this Belton Lake blue catfish.

 

WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday (PM), 20 May 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

The clearing, calm conditions I left behind at the close of this morning’s trip only worsened into the afternoon.  As I met Doug and Trey around 3:30 (they showed up early), it was hot, bright, and calm.  I told them straight-up that it was going to be slow for the first half of the trip unless wind and or cloud cover developed.

We did not have any wind or cloud cover develop over that period of time, and, as a result, landed a grand total of exactly 4 fish in our first 2 hours on the water.

At 6:10PM, things changed quickly, and for the better.  An ESE breeze had begun to ripple the surface for the first time all afternoon, and, as the sun continued getting lower in the sky, we got to the point where the heat slacked off and the shadows were growing longer.

I’d had my eyes on a pretty good sized (~40 bird) flock of Franklin’s gulls.  Occasionally, 2-3 scouts would leave the bunch that was resting on the water to go look around, but nothing serious.  Then, all of the sudden, 75% of the flock lifted and began circling an elliptically-shaped patch of water about 400 feet by 100 feet in size.  Before long, every last bird was up and flying.  These birds were definitely on bait, although no splashes from beneath were present to indicate gamefish being present, as well.  No matter, sonar took care of that part!

We found hundreds of fish just on the cusp of turning on to feed and rode that horse for a full 2 hours, seriously making up for some lost time.

We relied on MAL Lures for 100% of our fishing this evening, working them vertically in conjunction with well-tuned Garmin LiveScope.  By the time all was said and done, we actually surpassed our morning tally of 130 fish by 2.  Normally, the evening produces about 70% of what the morning has produced.  In fairness, my morning efforts were intentionally curtailed once we’d landed 113 fish in order to go fish live shad for hybrid, so this is not really and apples to apples comparison.  Bottom line: this story ended much better than it had begun.

In addition to the plentiful, quality white bass (we landed under 5 undersized fish from this entire catch), we also boated several drum and a blue cat which took a liking to the MAL Lure.

Persistence paid off!

MAL Lures  are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

Tutorial on how to fish MAL Lures is found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE

TALLY: 132 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  With Proctor dumping ~500CFS and Belton still accumulating without releasing, Belton is steadily rising ~.15 to .20 feet per day.  I would imagine the COE will open the gates before too long.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  4P

End Time: 8:10P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 84F

Elevation:  2.03 feet high, +0.14 24-hour change, 26 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 73F

Wind Speed & Direction: Calm thru 6P, then ESE5-6

Sky Condition: Clearing skies with ~40% white cloud cover

Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous at 58% illumination

GT = 25

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic 593 under birds

**Area vic B0050G under birds

**Area vic 561 under birds

 

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

UMHB BASS TEAM IN ACTION ON BELTON – 130 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:   This morning, Thursday, May 20th, I fished with Dr. Aaron Baggett of Belton, TX.  Aaron is part of the faculty at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton where he teaches psychology, and where he also serves as the staff point of contact for the university’s new bass fishing team.

Accompanying Aaron this morning were two of those team members, Carter Vaughn of Katy, TX, and Caleb Ramm of Salado, TX.

The weather was still good, but, we lacked a decent wind this morning, so, we had to work harder and move more frequently, but, we still put together a good catch.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left: Caleb Ramm, Carter Vaughn, and Dr. Aaron Baggett, all of the UMHB Bass Team, worked MAL Lures and the LiveScope this morning with a solid result under tougher, low-wind conditions.

PHOTO CAPTION: UMHB Bass Team member Carter Vaughn landed his first freshwater drum ever.  Although he’s fished in Somerville, Conroe, Houston Lake, and Buffalo Bayou for years, he’d never landed one of these.  He was pretty happy about it!!  And, you guessed it, it hit an MAL Lure.

PHOTO CAPTION:  You just can’t take the UMHB Bass Team out fishing and not catch at least one token bass.  Caleb Ramm of Salado sealed that deal with a well-worked MAL Lure.

WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday (AM), 20 May 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

It was the most calm morning we’ve had in over two weeks, and, as you might expect, the fishing showed it.  It took almost a half-hour of looking to find our first fishable bunch of fish, and that only produced a handful of white bass in the boat.

Calm winds are not a death sentence, at least not with other positive factors at work like the ones we enjoyed today: rising water, rising water temperature, the influence of low pressure, and grey cloud cover.  I knew we could find and catch, but it was going to require more effort than the uber-easy fishing of late.

Fortunately, the anglers I had aboard today had a positive attitude and a good work ethic, and we landed on our feet when all was said and done.

In review, we caught most of our 130 fish at two distinct locations, doing two “short hops” at each of them.  The scenario was much the same at both … given that the fish were “low key” today, I was not searching for haystacks of fish going crazy throughout the water column, rather, just a handful of fish slightly separated from bottom was all the hint we’d get today about the presence of fish in a given area.

My crew worked the MAL Lures and Garmin LiveScope with near-surgical precision, taking full advantage of the technology despite Carter and Caleb never having seen it first-hand prior to this trip.

Also, instead of going to town catching fish immediately once we let our lures down, it was more realistic to expect that the fish were going to need to be coaxed a bit by the commotion we created by our presence and our presentations.  After a while, the fishing slowly peaked, plateaued, then fell off.  As soon as a downturn in results occurred, it was time to start looking anew.

In this way, we landed our 100th fish by 9:10AM, and stopped specifically targeting white bass with artificials by 9:30AM with 113 fish landed, including 111 white bass, 1 drum, and 1 largemouth bass.

We went on to invest the remaining 1.5 hours into attempting to catch hybrid striped bass on live shad.  During this effort, we, landed 17 more white bass, bringing our total to 130 fish, but, we did not catch a single hybrid, nor have any takedowns which I felt could have been hybrid.

By 11AM, there was the weekday version of a mass exodus off the lake as whatever bite other anglers had been enjoying must have ended as the winds went calm and the surface went glassy for the first time in several weeks — proof positive that white bass activity and wind correlate with one another.

MAL Lures  are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

Tutorial on how to fish MAL Lures is found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE

TALLY: 130 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  With Proctor dumping ~500CFS and Belton still accumulating without releasing, Belton is steadily rising ~.15 to .20 feet per day.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:55AM

End Time: 11:05 AM

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 64F

Elevation:  2.03 feet high, +0.14 24-hour change, 26 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 70.2F

Wind Speed & Direction: N to NW under 5 until ~10:30, then going calm.

Sky Condition: Grey skies all morning; no precipitation.

Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous at 58% illumination

GT = 145

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  B0089G; count to 39 fish on MAL Lures

**Area B0198C; count to 53 fish on MAL Lures

**Area 2035; count to 113 fish on MAL Lures

Transitioned to live shad thereafter; finished with 130 fish with the last 17 sprinkled over 3 different areas.

 

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

OPEN FIELD TACKLES ALL MORNING LONG — 160 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:   This past Thursday morning, May 13th, I fished with returning guests Dwight Stone and Kyle Simank of Georgetown.

Dwight is a retired restaurateur and Kyle operates Guns Plus in Georgetown.  For you gun buffs out there, Kyle employs his own on-site gunsmith who has done good work for me and got my gun back to me ahead of schedule and under budget.  I like dealing with a store with an in-house gunsmith because it cuts down on the turnaround time to get work done, and you can speak face-to-face with the person doing the work, unlike shops which farm the work out.

Some of you may recall the incredible 38-pound, 5-fish haul of largemouth we had back in January on Stillhouse Hollow — it was Dwight whom I was guiding on that once-in-a-lifetime trip.

 

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  Kyle Simank (left) and Dwight Stone really worked their MAL Lures a full four hours with a “diminishing returns” factor slowly kicking in thanks to a failing north wind which would die back to ~3mph by trip’s end.  They landed 160 fish this morning.

 

WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday (AM), 13 May 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

For the third morning in a row we had a 59F air temperature, heavy grey skies, and just a touch of occasional drizzle.  The wind was still blowing from the north at 10 while I launched my boat, and was still going 8-9 as we began fishing.  Our first hour was our best, and as the wind nearly came to a halt by our fourth hour, so did the bite.

Since the hybrid number have been (very) down this season, we made up our minds in advance that we were going to shoot for high number of white bass.

Dwight had used the MAL Lure/Garmin LiveScope combination previously, so he was primed and ready to catch fish.  Kyle was a fast study, so he started contributing almost immediately, partly driven by his desire to beat Dwight’s fish count!!

It is great to see guys (and gals) get excited as they watch white bass zero in on their MAL Lure as is works its way off bottom, see the signatures of fish and lure merge, then have the rod come to life in your hand.  It’s like watching a safety outrun a receiver and make a perfect open field tackle from behind — BAM!!

We fished two areas in our first hour, and landed a total of 85 fish.  As the winds subsided and the bite got weaker, we would move a lot and work the remaining three hours to put another 75 fish in the boat.

As the winds weakened and the fish turned off, we would find fish, get our MAL Lures down to them, get the fish fired up temporarily, catch a few, then watch them get lackadaisical soon after.  This scenario repeated itself many times over as we fished another 6 areas in those last 3 hours.

Most of our fishing took place at or deeper than 40 feet this morning.

We ended the morning with 160 fish caught and released; 159 white bass and 1 freshwater drum.

MAL Lures  are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

Tutorial on how to fish MAL Lures is found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE

TALLY: 160 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  As the wind speed declined, so did the bite.  We observed the first post-sunrise topwater action by white bass forcing mature shad to the surface since before the spawn.  Moved a lot this morning to stay on the fish.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  7:00AM

End Time: 11:00AM

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 59F

Elevation:  0.74 eet high, +0.14 24-hour change, 27 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 68.4F  (this represents a slight net cooling for the week)

Wind Speed & Direction: NNW8-9 at trip’s start, tapering to NNW3 by trip’s end

Sky Condition: Heavy grey skies all morning

Moon Phase: 2nd day after new moon; waxing crescent at 3% illumination

GT = 25

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area B0078C count to 29; white bass on MAL Lures

**Area 355 count to 85; white bass on MAL Lures

**Area B0052G count to 101; white bass on MAL Lures

**Area B0086G count to 114; white bass on MAL Lures

**Area 678 count to 124; white bass on MAL Lures

**Area 1404 count to 135; white bass on MAL Lures

**Area B0149C count to 142; white bass on MAL Lures

**Area B0120C count to 160; white bass on MAL Lures

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

ALL IN THE FAMILY – 186 FISH @ LAKE BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:   This morning, Tuesday, May 11th, I fished with a crew of five including David Vahrenkamp who coordinated the effort, his father-in-law, Jerry Marlatt, David’s buddy, A.J. Shiller, A.J.’s dad, Jackie Shiller, and A.J.’s father-in-law, Jerry Worley.

Of the entire crew, only Jackie had not been out with me previously.

As with many of my scheduled parties from mid-April to present, we’d hoped to be thick into hybrid fishing by now, but that simply has not materialized, so, we’re takin’ lemons and makin’ lemonade!!

PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Jerry Worley, Jerry Marlatt, Jackie Shiller, A.J. Shiller, and David Vahrenkamp with some of the mature white bass we landed on cool, wet May morning.

PHOTO CAPTION: Above, Jerry Worley with a 6-pound class bluecat which fell for a live shad.

PHOTO CAPTION:  Jerry Marlatt with the first hybrid striped bass he’s ever landed.  Taken on live shad.

WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday (AM), 11 May 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

With a chill in the 59F morning air and damp, cold front conditions facing us, I decided we’d hit the white bass hard early, and stick with them until I found a reason to do otherwise.

As is often the case on mornings with heavy cloud cover, the bite got off to a slow, soft start this morning.  I believe this is because the sudden brightening of the sky which occurs on clear days serves as a feeding trigger, and, on grey days, that trigger is absent or diminished.

We experienced moderate action at the first two areas we fished, with fish “flaring” with excitement as soon as we got our presentations to them initially, but then losing enthusiasm quickly thereafter.  We made multiple short hops at these areas, putting together a catch of 74 fish in our first 2.25 hours, all on the original MAL Lure.

The second area we fished (Area 152), held mainly small fish and, although we could have kept hopping and catching more, I decided to move during this “window” when the feed seemed to be perking up to see if we could find another school of fish offering better quality.

We really hit the goldmine with this decision.  Area B0077G was teeming with fish and the fish were actively feeding on shad when we found them. In the next 50 minutes, my crew of five caught 106 more fish before the bite weakened.  During this frenzy, A.J. gave the new MAL Heavy a try and really liked its faster sink rate.

It was now around 10AM.  I offered a few options: 1) we could keep looking for white bass, but, compared to what we’d just experienced, that would likely be anti-climactic, or 2) we could fish with the live shad I brought and give it about an hour to see if we could score on hybrid.

My crew opted for option #2, and we hung baits for about 75 minutes, landing 1 legal hybrid (Jerry M.) at 4.25 pounds, 1 quality blue catfish (Jerry W.) at over 6 pounds, and 3 more white bass.

We ended the morning with 186 fish caught and released.

MAL Lures  are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

Tutorial on how to fish MAL Lures is found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE

TALLY: 186 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: The air temperature was 11 degrees cooler than the water temperature before dawn this morning; no shad spawning observed at multiple areas surveyed.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  7:00A

End Time: 11:20A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 59F

Elevation:  0.34 feet high, +0.08 24-hour change, 27 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 70F

Wind Speed & Direction: NNW8-9 all morning

Sky Condition: Grey skies with occasional light mist all morning

Moon Phase: New moon

GT = 90

Wx SNAPSHOT:

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  vic 1482 w/ short hops

**Area 152 w/ short hops

**Area B0077G – outstanding fishing for white bass; 106 fish in under an hour

**Area B0089C – 1 legal hybrid, 1 blue cat, multiple white bass

 

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

FISHING WITH THE CANNADY FAMILY – 177 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:   This past Wednesday, April 28th, I fished with the Cannady family of Morgan’s Point, TX.

Adrian Cannady, his wife, Melissa, and their kids, Dylan, Tristan, and Cortland accompanied me on a multi-species trip on Lake Belton after bidding on a fishing trip at a Ralph Wilson Youth Club fundraiser back in 2019.

Adrian leads the Temple Economic Development Corporation and is a fellow West Pointer, so we had plenty in common to talk about during our trip.

PHOTO CAPTION:   From left, Dylan, Tristan, Adrian, Melissa, and Cortland (in foreground), with a portion of their 177 fish catch made on MAL Lures.

PHOTO CAPTION:   Tristan Cannady poses with his dad, Adrian, after landing this 6.25 pound Lake Belton hybrid striped bass on a chartreuse MAL Lure.

WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake

WHEN WE FISHED: Wednesday (AM), 28 April 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

Easy fishing for high numbers of aggressive white bass was just right for a boatful of fairly inexperienced anglers.  None of the kids had caught fish before, and Adrian had primarily saltwater experience previously, so, working through the learning curve required a bit of doing at first, but, after a while of ‘trial by fire’ everyone got the hang of the intricacies of using the MAL Lure correctly and, from that point on, it was catching, not fishing.

The weather remained ideal, with wind and grey cloud cover, although by mid-morning, the winds got so high (18+mph with higher gusts) that I had to go looking for fish in more protected areas.  Fortunately, these areas also held fish and so we were able to keep right on catching until 11 a.m. when we called it a good morning and headed in to the dock.

For me, there were two remarkable highlights.  The first was listening to the kids, especially 7-year-old Cortland, as eacj hooked and landed their first fish.  There was disbelief, screaming, excitement, and celebration all rolled into one 15-second package.  The second highlight was when Tristan hooked and brought to net a 6.25-pound hybrid while working his chartreuse MAL Lure through some white bass holding tight to the bottom.  After growing accustomed to the smaller white bass we were landing, the strength of the pull and the duration of the fight from this hybrid was a whole new experience for this young man.

We worked MAL Lures vertically in conjunction with Garmin LiveScope all morning  — like they say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  This is a deadly combination!

MAL Lures  are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

Tutorial on how to fish MAL Lures is found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE

TALLY: 177 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: High winds dictated we move to areas I’d not recently fished (see last two areas shown below), but, we managed to find fish anyway.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  7:15A

End Time: 11:00A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 73F

Elevation:  0.92 feet low, no 24-hour change, 26 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 65.9F

Wind Speed & Direction: SSE12 at trip’s start, steadily increasing to SSE18 with higher gusts

Sky Condition: 100% grey cloud cover all morning

Moon Phase: One day past full moon

GT = 20

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic 691; MAL Lures

**Area vic 1369 with 3 short hops; MAL Lures

**Area 381; MAL Lures

**Area B0028C; MAL Lures

**Area B0080C; MAL Lures

 

 

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