WATER TEMPS ON A DOWNHILL SLIDE — 98 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Tuesday, 22 November, I fished with returning guest Mike Tomberlin, accompanied by his sons, Josh and Sean, and by Mike’s friend, Donna.  This was Donna, Josh, and Sean’s first time aboard with me.  The trip was in celebration of Josh and Sean’s forthcoming birthdays.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

 

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left: Sean, Donna, Mike, and Josh with a portion of their take as we pursued Lake Belton white bass under cool, grey conditions with cooling water.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED:  Tuesday, 22 November 2022 (AM)

HOW WE FISHED: 

As much as I hate to say it this early in November, I think we’ve moved “past peak” on the fantastic fall white bass fishing which, in some years, has held on through late December.  This long downward slide we’ve had on water temperature ever since the Veterans’ Day cold front tore through has cut 4-5 degrees from the surface temperature in just over a week and the fish certainly haven’t taken a liking to it.

I noted that even when we were at peak feed times today with fish driving bait close enough to the surface to interest the birds, the fish were not moving with the speed and agility that I saw just a week to ten days ago.  Corresponding with this was an increased number of “refusals” on our baits where fish either outright ignored the baits, or, followed half-heartedly a few feet and then gave up.

I’m sure things will rebound a bit when fish get used to the “new normal” if/when we get some stable and/or warming weather, but a rapid cooldown like we are now experiencing never helps.

Still, we managed a 98 fish outing, but everyone had to stay on their game for the entire time to make that happen.

We used MAL Originals with white tails the entire trip, fishing them vertically with a smoking tactic.  I did try a slab now and then, but the fish weren’t any more or less interested in that than the spinner.

When all was said and done, this crew landed 98 fish including 1 legal hybrid, 9 short hybrid striped bass, 2 largemouth bass, and 86 white bass.

TUTORIAL SMOKING VIDEO (Vertical): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE
TUTORIAL SAWTOOTH VIDEO (Horizontal): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IC3FMEQHOMQ

TALLY: 98 fish caught and released

Find MAL Lures here: https://whitebasstools.com/

OBSERVATIONS: 1) 6th consecutive trip helpful bird activity.  Birds active 8:30 – 9:50A today.

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 7:15A

End Time: Noon

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 43F

Elevation: 13.42 feet low, 0.03′ fall in last 24 hours, 40 CFS flow.

Water Surface Temp: 60.9F

Wind Speed & Direction:  Calm with fog for first hour, SSE4 for middle 2 hours, NNW3-4 for last hour

Sky Condition: Solid grey sky all morning with light fog in the first hour.

Moon Phase: Waning crescent moon at 3% illumination.

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

B0167G through B0052G – whites on slope under birds

Area vic 151 – under birds

Areas B0013C/1543/966/967/715/1544 – under birds

Area B0102C/B0042C – after bird activity ended

 

 

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

BEGGING TO GO – 119 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:  On Wednesday morning, October 12th, I fished with U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Aaron Sepaugh and his two sons, 10-year-old Braden, and 7-year-old Tucker.

The boys fished with me previously when Aaron was deployed to Europe in his role as an Apache helicopter pilot.  Since his return, the boys have been begging him to go fishing again, and today was the day they made that happen on a little break from their coursework at Central Texas Christian School.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

 

PHOTO CAPTION:   Vertical and horizontal use of the MAL Original were the ticket for white bass which have now begun relating to bottom in greater numbers thanks to significant cooling of the water down to the 40-45 foot level.  All of our fish were in 34 feet of water, or less.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Wednesday, 12 October 2022 (AM)

HOW WE FISHED:

The fish were very “fired up” this morning and, although we could have caught fish by employing just one of the three techniques we employed this morning, in the interest of adding variety to keep the kids’ interest, we wound up using vertical MAL Lure tactics, horizontal MAL Lure tactics, and downrigging with Pet Spoons to put together our catch.

The fishing followed a pretty obvious curve this morning with fish activity spiking at sunrise, then slowly tapering to a finish by around 11:30.  As evidence, we landed 50 fish in our first hour, another 54 fish in the following 2.25 hours, and a final 15 fish in our last .75 hours.

Fall fishing (my favorite of the year) is kicking in fast.  We never had to probe below 34 feet today to stay in ample concentrations of fish the entire morning.

Our first 50 fish were taken solely by working MAL Dense Lures vertically.  We split our next 54 fish equally between vertical MAL Lure work followed by downrigging once the fish slowed down a bit on their chase speed.  Although there was potential for catching fish with a horizontal tactic, the boys were new at casting spinning gear and that, combined with a cross wind, diminished their chances of success.  Still, they caught a few fish that way.

Our final 15 fish were spread across two area which we hit quickly and fished only vertically until the fish turned off to that tactic.

The MAL Dense with white body and chartreuse tail was the charm today as the extra weight helped the boys maintain contact with their lures all the time.

TUTORIAL SMOKING VIDEO (Vertical): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE
TUTORIAL SAWTOOTH VIDEO (Horizontal): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IC3FMEQHOMQ

TALLY:  119 fish caught and released

Find MAL Lures here: https://whitebasstools.com/

OBSERVATIONS: The slow arrival of a mild, dry cold front due in overnight caused a windshift from S to WSW this morning and, no doubt, enhanced the bite.

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 7:30A

End Time:  11:35A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 70F

Elevation: 12.12 feet low,  0.12′ fall in last 24 hours, 384 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 77.1F

Wind Speed & Direction:  S4-5, shifting and increasing to WSW11-12 by trip’s end.  A noticeable uptick occurred right at 10A.

Sky Condition: <5% white clouds on a blue sky

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 92% illumination.

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT:  

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Area vic 1000 – 50 fish in the first hour, all on smoked MAL Dense Lures

Area B0085C to 0187 to B0174C – 2.25 hours to catch 54 fish with a 50/50 split on downrigging vs. smoking.

Area B0154G – 6 fish via smoking MAL Dense Lures

Area B0155G – a final 9 fish via smoking MAL Dense 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 #mepps

HAVE GRANDKIDS; WILL FISH — 82 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Tuesday, August 9th, I fished with long-time client Steve Niemeier who rarely steps aboard without at least one grandchild in tow.  As we recollected today, we figured we’d shared at least 13 years’ worth of trips together, beginning with his grandson, Caleb, who began fishing with me at age 4, and will graduate high school at the end of the upcoming school year.

Today, Steve brought along two other grandsons, Oliver (age 10) and Henry (age 13), along with their dad, Andrew.  Andrew and family were down for just shy of a week’s visit from the suburbs of Chicago.

My next open date will be on August 23rd.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left: Henry, Steve, Oliver, and Andrew Niemeier with the results of the one and only “quadruple” we landed today when everyone landed a fish at the same time on the MAL Dense Lures.  With the water being so hot and the fish so deep, they simply will not survive more than ~2 minutes in the livewell, so, I don’t hold fish for photos from June until after turnover.

PHOTO CAPTION: Henry took the big fish prize for the morning.  This 4.25-pound largemouth hit Henry’s MAL Dense Lure worked vertically.  It chased the lure up off bottom in 42 feet of water.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday, 09 August 2022

HOW WE FISHED:

About the only change in variables today versus Monday was wind — we had at least a 6-8 mph wind right up until ~10:15 this morning and encountered biting fish as a result.  Now, mind you, it is still summertime and the fish were far from “on fire”, but most every time I saw a fair number of fish congregated together on sonar and stopped on them, we caught at least a few.

One very common element the past 10 days or so has been for these fish we find to get really fired up as we make our initial 5-10 drops of the MAL Lure, but the “simmer down” very quickly thereafter.  Anticipating this now, I adjusted my approach and simply stopped fishing and moved once this decline in interest kicked in.  This meant we moved a lot today.  Sometimes, it meant simply moving a few boat-lengths with the trolling motor only; other times we packed up and ran.

Our best “window” came between 9:30 and 10:20 during which time my four anglers landed 45 of their 83 fish, all in one location, and just before the wind died right about 10:30.

Once the wind died, the bite died with it, allowing us only 9 more fish at our final 2 areas fished.

Fishing the MAL Dense with chartreuse tail has been hard to beat, although I’ve found that when we’re on flatter bottom terrain and the side-imaging shows fish to the port or starboard, the fish seem more likely to strike on a sawtooth method than with a vertical presentation.  Several times we fished vertically until that initial display of interest ran its course, then switched over to fishing horizontally, thus allowing us to catch fish even after the vertical presentations quit producing.

The smoking tactic we used is demonstrated here (skip to 2:26): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE

The entire family of MAL Lures is found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY:  82 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Temperature profile as measured with a Fish Hawk TD:

0 feet 85.9F
5 feet 86.8F
10 feet 86.8F
15 feet 86.8F
20 feet 86.5F
25 feet 85.1F
30 feet 84.8F
35 feet 84.8F
40 feet 78.9F
45 feet 73.3F
50 feet 67.9F
55 feet 63.9F
60 feet 61.4F

 WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 6:50A

End Time:  11:10A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 79F

Elevation: 8.06 feet low,  0.06′ fall in last 24 hours, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 85.9F

Wind Speed & Direction:  S6-8 for 3.25 hours, then going slack for balance of trip

Sky Condition: Cloudless, pale blue skies

Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous moon at 90% illumination.

GT = 35

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Area SH0207G – MAL Dense Lures smoked for 8 fish

Area SH0218G – MAL Dense Lures smoked for 2 fish

Area SH0209G – MAL Dense Lures smoked for 3 fish

Area SH0124CG – MAL Dense Lures smoked for 15 fish (w/2 short hops)

Area 889/867 – MAL Dense Lures smoked for 45 fish

Area SH0219G – MAL Dense Lures smoked for 9 fish

 

 

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

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