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.
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
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area vic 593 under birds
**Area vic B0050G under birds
**Area vic 561 under birds
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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