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.
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
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
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
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