An Afternoon Quick Trip — 28 Fish with Brianne and Family

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Tuesday evening, November 20th, I fished with Mr. Jim Stoa from the Houston area, accompanied by his granddaughter, Brianne Padilla from McAllen, TX, and Matthew Morrow from Arizona.  The family converged on central Texas for the Thanksgiving holiday spent with relatives living near Belton.

Because Brianne did not have a lot of prior fishing experience, her mom thought it best to shorten the trip from the normal 4 hours, especially given the cool weather.  So, we fished from around 3:00pm until dark, around 5:25pm.

Brianne Padilla of McAllen, TX, (right), her grandfather, Jim Stoa of Houston, and Matthew Morrow of Arizona all on an afternoon family outing on Stillhouse Hollow.

Brianne landed the biggest fish of the trip.  This hard-fighting freshwater drum weighed in at 5 3/8 pounds.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass.  

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED:  Tuesday evening,  November 20, 2018

HOW WE FISHED:   The fish did not really perk up this afternoon as we struggled with cloudless, bright skies and a lack of breeze.  All of the fish we caught were taken either out of suspended schools of fish over deep water which responded to thumping, or came from smaller packs of a handful of fish per pack up in shallower water towards sunset.  We used a slower cadence for smoking with slabs the entire trip.

OBSERVATIONS: No helpful bird action this evening thanks to near-calm winds and bright skies.

Thermal profile:

0 feet 57.5

5 feet 57.5

10 feet 57.6

15 feet 57.6

20 feet 57.6

25 feet 57.6

30 feet 57.6

35 feet 57.6

40 feet 57.6

45 feet 57.6

50 feet 57.6

55 feet 57.2

 

TALLY: 28 fish, all caught and released

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 3:00 pm

End Time: 5:25pm

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 60F

Water Surface Temp:   58.3F

Wind Speed & Direction: <NNE 5

Sky Conditions: No cloud cover all day today

Water Level: 11.77 feet high and falling by about 0.14 feet daily

GT = 25

#whitebass #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:  

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area SH0062C – deep, suspended fish worked up with thumping early

**Area vic 054 – shallower, small pods of fish which were on a light, low-light feed as sunset approached.

 

Bob Maindelle, Belton Lake Fishing Guide

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

LIL’ SQUARED — 77 BIRTHDAY FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning I fished with Yvette Garcia, her 5-year-old daughter, Lilee, and Lilee’s friend from church, Lilli Moss.  This trip was in celebration of Lilee’s 5th birthday which took place on August 13th.  This same trio came aboard on August 1st last year in celebration of Lilee’s 4th birthday.  Last year the girls lasted about 3 hours and landed 48 fish.  This year, with a bit more age and experience under their belts, they hung in there for the full 3 1/2+ hours of their “Kids Fish, Too!” trip, and landed 77 fish.

That’s the birthday girl, Lilee Oliver, with a pair of fish she caught as a “double” (two fish on the same rod at the same time) as we used a 3-armed umbrella rig down between 33-36′ feet to target hungry, suspended white bass.  Beside Lilee is her buddy, Lilli Moss, and that’s the birthday girl’s mom, Yvette Garcia, in the background.

…and here’s the same crew celebrating Lilee’s birthday this time last year!!

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This was a multi-species trip focused on sunfish & white bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED:  Saturday morning, 25 August 2018

HOW WE FISHED: This morning, no matter how good the fishing, we “kept it moving” so that young Lilee was sure not to lose interest.  We began fishing for sunfish up shallow using bream poles and slipfloats with live bait.  We fished two distinct areas and landed a total of 3 species of sunfish while tallying 21 fish, all from less than 3 feet of water near thick beds of hydrilla.  By 7:45am, we were moving out to deep, clear water  — the domain of the white bass — and using downriggers to target schools of these pelagic shad-eaters.  After the downrigging worked its magic (and was still working its magic), we changed up to keep things interesting and used spinning rods equipped with tailspinners over top of a particularly thick school of white bass.  We landed a handful of white bass in this way, but Lilee expressed a preference for the downrigging, so, we returned to downrigging for a spell until the white bass action was past peak.  We wrapped up the white bass effort with exactly 30 of that species boated.  We closed out our trip fishing in a third location for sunfish once again, and topped off the trip with a final 26 additional sunfish before calling it a good morning and heading on in while the girls were still energetic and the sun was not yet blazing.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES: We fished atop the only surface action I witnessed since Wednesday morning.  This morning’s topwater action was fueled by schoolie largemouth popping young of the year shad over ~40 feet of water with white bass in great numbers hanging below them.  We experienced our fastest, most productive white bass bite during the 35 minutes or so when this topwater action was taking place.  As the surface feed went, so went the white bass fishing.

TALLY: 77 fish, all caught and released

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:45a

End Time: 10:35a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 76F

Water Surface Temp:   84.6F

Wind Speed & Direction: Winds were calm at sunrise, building to SSE5-7 by 7:45, then shifting slowly and increasing to S8-9, then SSW9-11 by trip’s end.

Sky Conditions: 30% cloud cover.

Water Level: 7.68 feet low and falling

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT:  

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 201 & vic 423 for 21 sunfish early

**Area 1440-SH0040C downrigging & tailspinners for 30 white bass

**Area SH0038C – for 26 sunfish late

 

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingelleTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

80 FISH ON THE CRUZ CRUISE – SKIFF TRIP #9

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning I fished the 2018 season’s 9th SKIFF (Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun) program trip provided free of charge to the Cruz family of Fort Hood.  Mrs. Katy Cruz, originally from Illinois, accompanied her four kids on this morning’s excursion, including Dakottah (age 14), Makenzie (age 12), Makayla (age 10), and Gavin (age 6).

Staff Sergeant Jose Cruz, originally from Puerto Rico, has been in the U.S. Army for 12 years now.  He has been deployed approximately 3 months on an overseas deployment which is forecast to last approximately 9 months.  SSG Cruz is a medic and is currently involved in training with NATO partners.

SKIFF serves to put the kids of soldiers on the water at times when duty pulls parents away from their families.  Begun in 2009, SKIFF offers trips free of charge to any military family wherein kids are separated from their parent due to that parent’s military obligations from short-term commitments like gunnery or field time at Ft. Hood, to lengthy deployments, and anything in between.  Simply call me, Bob Maindelle, at 254.368.7411 to reserve a date.

The girls, from the left: Dakottah, Makayla, and Makenzie, and little brother Gavin who was decidedly NOT in favor of touching the fish he caught!  During this morning’s trip, the kids all landed the first fish of their lives, thus earning TPWD First Fish Awards, and went on to land a total of 80 fish including 54 sunfish and another 26 white bass.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This was a multi-species trip focused on sunfish & white bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED:  Monday morning, 20 August 2018

HOW WE FISHED:  We broke this morning’s trip down into two distinct parts.  First, we nailed down some basics up in shallow water by fishing for sunfish with slipfloats and live bait in under 4 feet of water, landing bluegill, green, longear, and redear sunfish.  For part two, we headed out into deeper, clearer water in search of white bass.  Fortunately, the fish were in a feeding mood this morning to the point of driving bait to the surface, making them able to be spotted with the optics I have onboard.  Once we got near the commotion, I verified the exact location of the fish and bait using sonar and we sealed the deal with the pair of Cannon downriggers rigged up with 3-armed umbrella rigs and Pet Spoons.  After making a few runs at the fish with the downriggers and connecting each time, and to provide some variety for my young clients, we identified an area with a particularly heavy concentration of white bass holding near bottom and used the Minn Kota trolling motor’s Spot Lock function to establish a hover over these fish through the i-Pilot Link system which allows the Humminbird sonar (which I use primarily for side imaging) to be used as a remote control for the trolling motor.  Once we were hovering, I equipped the kids each with a spinning outfit and showed them how to work tailspinners vertically through the fish.  When the novelty of that tactic wore off, we did one more round of downrigging and then called it a morning before the temps hit the 90’s.  In all, we landed 80 fish including 54 sunfish and 26 white bass.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:  A mild cold front is due in in the early afternoon today and is due to change the wind direction to northerly for the remainder of the day today and all day tomorrow.

 

TALLY: 80 fish, all caught and released

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:45a

End Time: 10:30a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 76F

Water Surface Temp:   83.8F

Wind Speed & Direction: Winds S7 at sunrise, slowly moving to SW and increasing to 12 through 9:30a, then backing off to SW9-10 for remainder of trip

Sky Conditions: ~70% cloud cover, tapering to 40% by trip’s end

Water Level: 7.47 feet low and falling

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT:  

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 201 & 420 for sunfish

**Area SH0054C thru SH0044C for white bass located beneath fish crashing bait on the surface and accompanying tern activity

 

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingelleTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

Leon and the Grandsons Take on Stillhouse — 39 Fish

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning I fished a multi-species trip with Leon Kyrish’s grandsons, Connor and Will, just about a full year since their first trip to Stillhouse Hollow with me in 2017.  The boys reside north of San Antonio and Leon lives near Canyon Lake, north and west of San Antonio.  The boys and their grandparents came down early and “staged” at a hotel in Salado to avoid an extra-early morning wake up.

 

We had to work for our catch today, but the boys stayed enthusiastic the entire morning.  We landed a total of 39 fish under cloudless skies with light winds.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass and sunfish.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED:  Friday morning, 17 August 2018

HOW WE FISHED:   We fished 4.25 hours this morning, spending all but the time from 9:30 to 10:15 (fishing for sunfish) in pursuit of white bass via downrigging. We covered 4 large,distinct tracts of water, finding fish at just two, and that action was pretty light.  We had the brightest skies and lowest wind velocity of any day this week this morning and noted that natural sign was hard to come by.  We saw no bait moving, no largemouth schooling, no terns patrolling or diving on bait, and sonar returns were much reduced versus trips earlier this week.  We wound up catching 19 white bass, 1 freshwater drum, and 20 sunfish.  It was a pretty tough morning.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES: Light winds, zero cloud cover and minimal natural sign today.

 

TALLY: 39 fish, all caught and released

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:45a

End Time: 11:00a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 76F

Water Surface Temp:   82.9F

Wind Speed & Direction: No wind for first 90 minutes, then picking up from SSW under 8 for the remainder of the trip.

Sky Conditions: 0% cloud cover

Water Level: 7.31 feet low and falling

GT = 25

Wx SNAPSHOT:  

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  201 – sunfish

**Area  1447-495-1970 – white bass via downriggers and tailspinners

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingelleTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

SKIFF TRIP 2018-6: 67 Fish for the Ycaro siblings and 2 “First Fish” Awards

EXCERPTED FROM THE KILLEEN DAILY HERALD, 30 JUNE 2018:

It seems we humans have a thing for “firsts.”

We recall how Babe Ruth was the first to slug his way to 50 home runs in a season. We recollect how Roger Bannister was the first to break the 4-minute mile.

We celebrate the Wright brothers, who made the first mechanically powered flight in Kill Devil Hills, N.C., and the list goes on. But what about fishing firsts?

Thanks to the Angler Recognition Program run by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, anglers can now preserve the memories of their first catch.

That is exactly what siblings Christian and Delilah Ycaro did last week while fishing aboard my boat.

The youths’ mother, Angel Garcia, contacted me requesting a free fishing trip for her kids offered through the Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun program to youths separated from their parents by their parents’ military duty.

The children’s step-dad, Army Sgt. Christopher Garcia, is currently deployed to South Korea where he works in the information technology field. Their father, John Ycaro, a veteran, and their step-mom, Alyssa Ycaro, reside in San Jose, California.

Angel and I agreed that Wednesday would be a mutually agreeable date on which to take the kids on their SKIFF trip.

From June through the end of August I always opt for a morning trip whenever kids are involved, for a number of reasons. Winds tend to be lighter, the morning bite tends to be longer and stronger than the evening bite, and, of course, mornings are much cooler and more enjoyable.

Angel drove Christian and Delilah to the boat ramp on Stillhouse Hollow Lake where we had agreed to meet, along with her 7-month-old baby. So she could care for the baby, Angel left the older kids in my care and met us back at the boat ramp some hours later.

I provided Christian and Delilah with a safety briefing and a basic introduction to the equipment they’d be using, prayed with them, asking the Lord for safety and success, and we then headed off to the fishing grounds.

On this particular morning, we began fishing in an area which had been impacted by the southerly winds for several days. In 30 to 35 feet of water, sonar clearly revealed great numbers of baitfish which appeared as suspended clouds in the water column beneath the boat. Soon, the gamefish there to feed on those baitfish began to show on sonar as well.

Using a pair of Cannon Digi-Troll 10TS downriggers, we presented Pet Spoons on three-armed umbrella rigs just slightly above the level at which the fish appeared on sonar.

The three-armed umbrella rigs each allow three Luhr-Jensen Pet Spoons to be presented at a given time, one on each downrigger, hence, there are six baits in the water in total.

By keeping the boat moving slowly forward, these Pet Spoons, which are similar in size, shape, and color to the young of the year shad that most gamefish are feeding on this time of year, appear to swim horizontally, parallel to the bottom.

We did not go even 50 yards before Delilah’s line sprang out of the downrigger’s release clip, indicating a fish had struck her presentation. As it was her first fish ever, I carefully explained what she needed to do to successfully bring the fish boatside. Delilah listened well and, after about a minute or so, she brought not one, but two fish to the surface at the same time, one a white bass and the other a largemouth bass. She had just earned her TPWD First Fish Award.

As soon as we measured, photographed and released Delilah’s fish, I put the boat back in gear and we worked on resetting her rod while Christian’s rod remained deployed. Within seconds of beginning to motor forward, Christian’s line also sprang out of the downrigger ball’s release clip, letting us know he, too, had connected with a fish … or so we thought.

As Christian worked to bring his fish in, it soon became clear that he, too, had hooked into a double. In this case, there were two white bass on his line. One was under the 10-inch minimum length limit, so we immediately released it, but the other larger fish we kept just long enough to measure and photograph prior to releasing it as well.

Just minutes into the trip we had already boated four fish and both kids had already earned their First Fish Awards. Christian and Delilah went on to catch and release 67 fish on this outing, including largemouth bass, white bass, freshwater drum and several species of sunfish.

Those wishing to commemorate their first catch may do so by going to tpwd.texas.gov/fishboat/fish/programs/ and downloading the PDF found under the Fish Records and Awards link. This form and a photo of the angler holding the fish are then submitted to the TPWD’s Austin headquarters at the address shown on the form. This can be done by mail or electronically.

Ron Smith of TPWD processes these applications and sends the applicants an 8½-by-11-inch certificate suitable for framing, complete with a gold, raised Seal of the State of Texas affixed to it. On the certificate, the details of the catch, including, angler name, date, water body, species, etc., are recorded.

Anglers requiring assistance in working through the submission process are welcome to call upon me for assistance at 254-368-7411 or  email me at Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com.

This program is open to anglers of all ages.

HAIL TO THE CHIEFS! — 70 Fish @ Belton

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Wednesday morning, May 2nd, I fished for the second time with “The Chiefs” — including Gene Ellis (Belton Chief of Police), Floyd Mitchell (Temple Chief of Police), and Mitch Randles (Temple Fire Chief).  This trip came exactly one year from the last such trip these three fellows took together with me in 2017.  As was the case both Monday and Tuesday, the hybrid bite was strong in the first 2.25 hours of the trip, then tailed off sharply after about 9:15am.  Our catch of 70 fish included 28 legal hybrid striped bass and the remainder was a mixed bag consisting mainly of white bass with a few largemouth and blue catfish sprinkled in. In our last hour, after finding a large, deep school of white bass in about 55 feet of water, we worked slabs vertically with light spinning tackle to fish specifically for that species.

 

“The Chiefs” from left, Floyd Mitchell (Temple Police Chief), Gene Ellis, (Belton Police Chief), and Mitch Randles (Temple Fire Chief) with a brace of 3.5 pound, 19 to 20″ hybrid stripers taken within minutes of one another during an early morning feeding spree.  These hybrid stripers were taken on live shad set about 6 feet off bottom in about 40 feet of water. 

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: During this trip, we focused on fishing for hybrid striped bass using live shad through 10:30 although, in hindsight, the majority of our hybrid came by 9:25am.  In our last hour or so we targeted white bass using spinning rod equipped with 3/8 oz. slabs and Hazy Eye Stinger hooks.

WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake

WHEN WE FISHED: Wednesday morning, 02 May 2018

HOW WE FISHED:  Fishing was pretty straightforward this morning.  We used live shad when sonar revealed an abundance of hybrid striped bass on deep breaklines and caught fish well through about 9:25am.  The hybrid bite tapered off quickly thereafter and although we searched several areas and found marginal sonar returns, some of which we put baits down for, we had little success for hybrid in the later half of the trip.  Having seen this play out the same way on Monday and Tuesday, I came prepared with spinning gear to take advantage of the white bass bite which has remained much more consistent into the late morning.  We found two large schools of fish in deep water, about 80 yards apart and took fish steadily until we wrapped up around 11:30a.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:   1) The grey clouds, balmy overnight temperatures, and southerly winds really activated the fish today for a thirdday in a row.    2) There was disappointingly little in the way of spawning shad this morning.

TALLY: 70 FISH, ALL CAUGHT AND RELEASED 

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:00a

End Time: 12:30p

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 70F

Water Surface Temp:  68.3F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSE12-15

Sky Conditions:  100% grey clouds with occasional light drizzle

Water Level: 2.30 feet low and slowly falling

GT = 60

 

Wx SNAPSHOT:    

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 489/1277 – 28 legal hybrid with a few other smaller fish mixed in as we fished live shad

**Area vic 717 and vic 1469 – deep, heavily congregated white bass taken at a moderate pace on slabs

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

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

Well, your life is about to change… —

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Wednesday morning I fished with the Oliver family, including “Paw” Oliver who turned 88 that day, his four sons, Jamie, Jack, Joe, and Jeff, and Joe’s son, Thomas.  Thomas, who is expecting his first child in mid-May, sat next to Paw at one point in the trip as we moved from one place to another.  Paw knowingly said to Thomas, “Well, your life is about to change,” referring to the arrival of the baby.  I always enjoy fishing with this very close-knit family.  Today’s fishing was not as enjoyable as the fisherman from my perspective.  Once again we were plagued with light winds and clear, bright skies in that normally most-productive first 2 hours of the day, then, when the wind did begin, it came suddenly from the northwest instead of slowly ramping up from the west and swinging northerly.  The fish reacted negatively, as evidenced by the majority of our fish being caught at our very first stop of the trip.

 

Expecting dad Thomas Oliver had the “hot rod” today, landing several hybrid on live shad.

Jeff Oliver (with fish) with his brother, Joe, standing by.  Jeff had two nice pulldowns in our last 15 minutes on the water, landing the second of them from out of ~30 feet of water..

 

Paw celebrated his 88th birthday on this trip.  The fishing was to be followed by lunch, then all hands were going to pitch in to do some yardwork for him while the weather was cool and the sun shone.

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This trip was focused strictly on hybrid striped bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake

WHEN WE FISHED: Wednesday morning, 25 April 2018

HOW WE FISHED:   We fished live shad in a variety of locations, putting a mixed bag of 28 fish in the boat.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:   1) 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: 37 FISH, ALL CAUGHT AND RELEASED 

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:00a

End Time: 12:20p

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 65F

Water Surface Temp:  66.5-67.1F

Wind Speed & Direction:  NW breeze under 2 at trip’s start, ramp up rapidly from the NNW with the arrival of a mild, dry cold front.  Winds were 20, gusting higher as we departed.

Sky Conditions: Clear blue, cloudless skies

Water Level: 2.13 feet low and slowly falling

GT = R

 

Wx SNAPSHOT:   N/A

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

 

**Area vic 1482 – mixed bag on live bait

**Area vic 1079 – mixed bag on live bait

 

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

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

Longing for Stability — 75 Fish @ Belton

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Tuesday morning I fished with returning guests Rick Snelgrooes and Stuart Gehrke, accompanied by two other friends of Rick’s, Brad Messner and Dave Gullo, who came out with me for the first time.  Once again, poor fishing weather really plagued us.  We just haven’t gotten any traction from any stable weather all spring thus far.  Today, post-frontal clear skies and nearly calm winds made the fishing tough as nails.  The hybrid bite was next to non-existent, and what white bass we caught came in the noon hour as we enjoyed the first little bit of steady wind we would experience all morning.

 

Stuart Gehrke with a Lake Belton hybrid which, due to its slender build, made me look twice to verify that it wasn’t a full-blood striper.

Brad Messner, a retired U.S.A.F. instructor pilot and a Californian who normally stalks trout, was really enthusiastic about the techniques we used today, all of which were very new and different to him.

Dave Gullo managed to catch a few in between phone calls — no rest for those executive types, you know.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This trip was focused strictly on hybrid striped bass in the first 2/3 of the trip, then we saved some time at the end for vertical jigging for white bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday morning, 24 April 2018

HOW WE FISHED:   We fished live shad in a variety of locations, putting a mixed bag of 34 fish in the boat in the first 3 hours of the trip, of which a low percentage were hybrid stripers.  We then closed out the trip by vertical jigging with slabs, putting another 42 fish (all white bass) in the boat.  Thanks to the first light wind of the day beginning to move the water, we enjoyed some steady action, albeit for smaller, but more numerous, fish.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:   1) 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: 75 FISH, ALL CAUGHT AND RELEASED 

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:30a

End Time: 12:30p

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 55F

Water Surface Temp:  65.7F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SE3-6

Sky Conditions: Clear blue, cloudless skies

Water Level: 2.12 feet low and slowly falling

GT = 100

 

Wx SNAPSHOT:   N/A

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

 

**Area vic 187 – mixed bag on live bait

**Area vic B0070C – mixed bag on live bait

**Area vic 378 – a quick take of 42 white bass as the wind began for the first time all morning in the 11a to noon hour

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

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

Happy 51st with Matt, Matt, and Mitch – 33 Fish @ Belton

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Monday morning I fished with Matt Laakso, his son, Mitch Laasko, and Matt’s friend, Matt Beauchene, all from the Austin area.  This spring has been plagued with cold, unstable weather, and this morning was no exception, with yet another late April cold front pushing winds from the north west, making the skies cloudless, and dropping the ambient temperature to 48F at launch time, well below the already low lake surface temperature of 65.3, which is well below average for this time of year by a full 5-6 degrees.  We caught fish, but it certainly wasn’t fast or furious.

 

Matt Laakso with one of his birthday trip hybrid striped bass from Lake Belton.  Despite poor conditions, we still caught a few quality fish.

Mitch Laakso had consistently good technique, especially when it came to taking the rod out of the rod holder without lifting upwards using the circle hooks we had on.

Matt Beauchene with a stocky one.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This trip was focused strictly on hybrid striped bass in the first 2/3 of the trip, then we saved some time at the end for vertical jigging for white bass.

WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake

WHEN WE FISHED: Monday morning, 23 April 2018

HOW WE FISHED:   We fished live shad in a variety of locations, putting 18 fish in the boat in the first 3 hours of the trip.  We then closed out the trip by vertical jigging with slabs, putting another 15 fish (all white bass) in the boat.  Even the white bass were buckled down pretty tightly thanks to the post-frontal, high-pressure conditions.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:   1) 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: 33 FISH, ALL CAUGHT AND RELEASED 

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:45a

End Time: 1;30p

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 48F

Water Surface Temp:  65.3F

Wind Speed & Direction:  NE6-11

Sky Conditions: Clear blue, cloudless skies

Water Level: 2.11 feet low and slowly falling

GT = 55

 

Wx SNAPSHOT:   N/A

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

 

**Area vic 187 – mixed bag with legal hybrid

**Area vic 1743 – – mixed bag with legal hybrid

**Area vic B0073C – – mixed bag with legal hybrid

**Area vic B0079C – white bass via smoking with slabs & Hazy Eye Stingers

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

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SPRING BREAK GRAND FINALE — 209 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Saturday morning I fished with 4 generations of Huttos.  Tom and Jeanean Hutto, two of their sons, Don and Frank, Don’s son, Heath, and Heath’s son, Hunter, all made this trip.  This was the tenth and final Spring Break week 2018 trip I conducted.   The conditions for today’s trip were perfect — the warmest water of the spring thus far (62.2F), humid, grey skies, and a manageable southerly breeze with some instability in the weather slowly approaching from the SW.  The fish fed long and hard, thus making this the most productive trip of the spring break week.  209 of the week’s total of 1,102 fish were landed by the Huttos this morning.

 

Four generations of Huttos landed 209 fish in four hours.  From the left, that’s Tom, Don, little Hunter, Heath, Frank, and Jeanean.

We “hung bait” in our last 40 minutes on the water, and put 3 hybrid and several more white bass in the boat.  Heath landed the largest of the 3 hybrid, and the largest hybrid I’ve seen thus far for 2018.  This fish went 23.5″ and 5.75 pounds on a certified scale.  It was a very thick, heavy fish for its length.

Grandma Jeanean landed two fish on the same lure at the same time.  She was full of such tricks this morning!

WHAT WE FISHED FOR: This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass

WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake

WHEN WE FISHED: Saturday morning, 17 March 2018

HOW WE FISHED: Grey, humid, breezy conditions in advance of a change of weather had fish fired up and feeding long and hard this morning.  We had a full 3.5 hour long bite for white bass, then hung bait for a few hybrid for variety’s sake in our last 40 minutes.

OBSERVATIONS/NOTES:  Boats all around us were moving and snap-jigging with next to no success.  Staying in one area and using a smoking tactic really shined this morning.

TALLY: 209 FISH, ALL CAUGHT AND RELEASED 

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:30a

End Time: 11:30a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 67F

Water Surface Temp:  62.2F

Wind Speed & Direction:   SSW 18-20

Sky Conditions:   100% light grey cloud cover

Water Level: 2.50 feet low and falling

GT = 40

Wx SNAPSHOT:

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  B0058C / B0056C / B0054C / B0055C

 

Bob Maindelle, Central Texas Fishing Guide

Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service

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