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

THREE GENERATIONS, FOUR HOURS, 190 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Thursday afternoon, April 1st, I fished with first-time guests Bennie Goddard, his daughter, Ashley Goddard, and his father-in-law, David Barkemeyer.

This trip was Bennie’s Christmas gift to David and came at a perfect time in the season.

David has retired (multiple times) and lives in Cameron; Bennie just retired from Dow Chemical on the Texas coast and now lives in Morgan’s Point, and Ashley works as a mobile physical therapist, also living in Morgan’s Point.

PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Bennie Goddard, Ashley Goddard, and David Barkemeyer with white bass we took from out of 26 to 52 feet today as the ENE winds blew.

WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday (PM), 01 April 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

Today was one of those days where our afternoon results were actually stronger than our morning results (which is atypical).  This was thanks to a lack of wind in the morning and due to sufficient winds for most of the afternoon.

Given the light winds, and cloudless skies, I began our search for fish this afternoon in deep (52′) water.  We found an abundance of fish tight to the bottom on a gently sloping bottom and began working my 3/4 oz. Hazy Eye Slabs in their midst with immediate, strong results.  As the fish began to lose interest in the slab, we fired them back up with the MAL Lure, once my three guests had already gone through most of the vertical fishing learning curve while using the slabs in combination with Garmin LiveScope.

We boated 84 fish in our first 90 minutes on the water, through ~5P.  At this time, the ENE breeze we’d enjoyed went slack.  I searched unsuccessfully for the next 50 minutes under calm conditions and found nothing to fish for.

Around 6P, the ENE winds returned at about 6-7 mph, which was enough to ripple the surface.  I found fish in ~32 feet of water, and we took our tally up to 145 fish caught and released through 6:50P.  All of these fish aggressively pursued the chartreuse MAL Lure.

From 6:50P through to sunset at around 7:35P, we landed a final 45 additional white bass in ~26′.  Unlike the previous two groups of fish we located, this group was suspended and patrolling in the lower half of the water column.  These, too, were taken on the MAL Lure worked at a moderate cadence and vertically.

David made it a point to tell me at the trip’s conclusion that what he experienced exceeded his expectations …  he thought we’d get into one good group of fish and enjoy the lion’s share of our success from that find, so, he was pleasantly surprised when were were able to spread the wealth over the full 4 hours of the trip by fishing for the 3 distinct groups of fish we located.  I really appreciated him sharing that with me.

Hazy Eye Slabs, MAL Lures, and Stinger Hooks are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 190 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  No bird activity this afternoon.  The fish quit as the sun dropped below the horizon.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  3:30P

End Time: 7:40P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 64F

Elevation:  0.79 feet low, .02 foot 24-hour drop, 26 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 61.7 F

Wind Speed & Direction: Light ENE winds around 6-8mph, save for the period from ~5-6P (our toughest window)

Sky Condition: Cloudless skies the entire trip.

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous at 81% illum.

GT = 55

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area B0077G – 84 fish in 90 minutes out of 52′ primarily on 3/4 oz. Hazy Eye Slabs

**Area 817 – 61 fish in about an hour on MAL Lures

**Area B0187C- 45 fish in about an hour 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

AN AMAZING COMBINATION — 200 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Thursday, March 25th, I fished with returning guest Gary Davidson of Kerrville, TX.  Joining Gary for the first time aboard my boat was his son, Russell, and Russell’s friend, Josh Taylor.

Gary is a semi-retired CPA who also serves as coach of the Schreiner University shotgun team.  He’s a very good angler and wingshot.

Russell makes his living as a pharmacist in Kerrville.

Josh got his start in the aerospace field after studying engineering at Baylor.  Now, he’s begun making his own line of shallow water, aluminum-framed, jet-driven, flat-bottomed boats, called Rockfish Boats made in Kerrville.  https://www.rockfishboats.com/

PHOTO CAPTION:   From left: Russell and Gary Davidson and Josh Taylor with some of the spawn-laden white bass we got on in a big way this morning thanks to an amazing combination of rising water temperatures and overnight frontal activity.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: This is an example of one of the line of shallow water, aluminum-framed, jet-driven, flat-bottomed boats, called Rockfish Boats made in Kerrville, TX, by Josh Taylor.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday (AM), 25 March 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

Thanks to a mild cold front’s passage during the early morning hours, we were treated to fish that were both nudged on by slowly rising water temperatures and by the barometric influence of that passing front – an amazing combination which fueled strong fish feeding activity.

The white bass fed voraciously during the time from 7:30 to 8:50, during which time my three anglers landed their first 100 fish.  I had no time to put a line in the water as I went from one man to the next trying to quickly release fish so my guests could “make hay while the sun shone”.

These fish were patrolling throughout the lower half of the water column and were very densely schooled.  We used 3/4 oz. white Hazy Eye Slabs with stinger hooks attached in this water which was just nipping at 58F on the surface.  Despite the aggressive fish activity and despite the fact that a number of Forster’s terns were patrolling nearby, these birds only got off the water and fed noticeably for two brief periods during this frenzied feeding we fished atop of.

After this area slowed down around 9:15, our count stood at 141 fish. We moved to a more wind-exposed location and caught fish from off bottom at a slower pace.  I noted that the water was a bit chalky here and that the surface temperature was 58.14F, the highest I’d witnessed in the morning on Lake Belton at any point this calendar year.  Although fish did present in a suspended, moving manner, they didn’t respond well to slabs.  On a hunch, I dropped the MAL Lure (in chartreuse) and it took a fish on my very first trial.  I switched the whole boat over to MAL Lures and we caught fish here steadily on them until the wind made the water too chalky and we had to move.

We ended the trip in deeper, clearer, cooler water, thus we switched back to slabs.  It was around 11AM and we had 179 fish tallied thus far.  Everyone wanted to get to that magic 200 number, so, we really worked the fish and scrutinized LiveScope to make this happen.  With most other clients I would have headed us back well before we wrapped up this morning, but, as long as these fellows stayed engaged in chasing that 200th fish, we stayed on them, as I knew each had the ability to convert a strike to a landed fish  — something less experienced anglers would struggle to do.

Around 12:15PM, Russell announced, “Fish on!”. I unhooked our 200th fish of the trip and we called it a great morning.

Hazy Eye Slabs, MAL Lures, and Stinger Hooks are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 200 fish caught and released including 2 drum, 2  largemouth, and 196 white bass

OBSERVATIONS: The “metabolism trumps all” factor has definitely kicked in, and this morning it was further fueled by frontal activity.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  7:25A

End Time: 12:15P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 52F

Elevation:  0.74′ low with a 0.06’ 24-hour rise and 26 CFS flow thru the dam.

Water Surface Temp: 58F

Wind Speed & Direction: Winds were NNW6 for the first 80 minutes on the water, then began to increase, slowly ramping up to 16mph by trip’s end

Sky Condition: We had clearing grey skies as early morning thunderstorms cleared from W to E.  Skies no sooner cleared than a bank of thick grey clouds began to move in from the NW, putting cloud cover back to ~70% by trip’s end.

Moon Phase: Waxing crescent at 86% illum.

GT = 150

Wx SNAPSHOT:  Well, fortunately, the good folks at NOAA were really off on this morning’s forecast.  We experienced neither the high winds they forecast for the early morning, nor the steady clearing skies they forecast for mid-morning; both worked in our favor.

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area B0190C – fast action on aggressively feeding fish found throughout the lower half of the water column; 100 fish landed in 80 minutes by three anglers.

**Area B0145C – steady action by bottom-oriented fish until the winds caused the area to take on a chalky cast due to wind-induced siltation.

**Area 1469-1552 – deeper, clearer water gave up our final 21 fish, but it took over an hour of focused fishing to accomplish it.

 

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 – 62 FISH @ STILLHOUSE

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Saturday morning I welcomed my brother, Andy Maindelle, his son, Trent, and my brother’s son-in-law, Paul Stenstadvold, aboard for a rainy, cool morning of fishing.

My brother works in Austin’s corporate scene, Trent, a TAMU Sea Aggie ROTC graduate, is headed for his U.S. Army Field Artillery officer’s leadership training course this month, and Paul is working his way up the ladder running tugboats on the Texas coast.

We had planned to gather Saturday evening one last time as a family before seeing Trent depart for ~5 months, but, when the forecast went south, I moved the father and 10-year-old son I had traveling in from Houston to fish with me back to Monday, and offered my more weather-tolerant family members a shot at catching fish, albeit in a blowing rain.

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left: Trent Maindelle, Andy Maindelle, and Paul Stenstadvold with a half-dozen quality fish taken at our first stop of the morning.  We let these go right away and right where we’d landed them so they could carry on with their spawning efforts.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  Andy with our largest fish of the trip, and the only fish which was not a white bass of the 62 we landed this morning in a steady, cool rain.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED: Saturday (AM), 13 March 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

As we got underway with heavy grey skies and rain falling, I noted 2 distinct groups of birds working over fish in deep, open water.  These birds were few in number, and were pretty tentative, so I passed on them in favor of shallower action.

Despite the lack of bird activity up shallow, we were able to quickly look over large tracts of bottom with side imaging and find patrolling, schooled white bass.  We wound up fishing three distinct locations in 14-18 feet of water and doing well at each by working bladebaits horizontally with a sawtooth-style retrieve.

The last of these three areas gave up the greatest number of fish and the greatest variety of year classes of white bass.  While at this location I witnessed the first topwater action of the year with white bass chasing shad to the surface on several instances over a ~45 minute span.

Around 10:05, the fish, which I was watching move in and out of the “sheet” of sound generated by my side-imaging out to the sides of the boat, dispersed fairly quickly.  From that point on we saw no further fish activity nor bird activity; I did not find any more fish to fish for on sonar despite another half-hour of searching.  We called it a (cool, wet, soggy) morning right at the 4-hour mark with 61 white bass and 1 largemouth bass landed.  Bladebaits accounted for 100% of our fish this morning.

Hazy Eye Slabs, MAL Lures, and Stinger Hooks are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 62 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:   Had a 2.75 hour window of activity today after which the fish just shut down despite lack of an obvious weather/environmental trigger.  Non-stop action from 7:20 -10:05

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:45A

End Time: 10:40A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 68F

Elevation:  0.45′ high with a 0.00’ 24-hour change and 1 CFS flow thru the dam.

Water Surface Temp: 57.3 F 

Wind Speed & Direction: Winds were SSE7-11 the entire trip.

Sky Condition: Murky grey skies with light to moderate rainfall 100% of the trip.

Moon Phase: Waxing crescent at 1% illum. (1 day past new moon)

GT = N/A

Wx SNAPSHOT:  

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 745/SH00752 (2 short hops)

**Area vic SH0104C (season’s first topwater)

 

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

A PRETTY FAIR DAY ON “FAIR DAY” — 59 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Monday, February 8th, I fished with Todd Hudler of Academy, Texas, and his sons, Luke (age 13), and Hunter (age 11).

Todd is part of the Nuclear Medicine Department at Baylor Scott & White in Temple, Texas, where he manages the mobile PET Scanning operations.

Both of the boys are involved in the Academy Future Farmers of America (FFA), and, at a recent fund-raiser, their dad bid on a fishing gift certificate I had donated.

The boys were off from school today for “fair day” which is when the kids involved with FFA make preparations for showing their livestock at the Bell County Expo Center, so they invested the morning in pursuit of fish then got down to business in the afternoon.  The boys both raise rabbits and were planning on getting their prep done after the fishing trip.

PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Todd, Hunter, and Luke Hudler of Academy, TX, with slab-caught white bass taken under cool, foggy conditions this morning on Lake Belton.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Monday (AM), 08 February 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

The prevailing weather factor this morning was a persistent fog which cut visibility to about a third of a mile through around 10:30A when it finally began to thin (although it never cleared during the trip’s duration).

Given this scenario, I started looking for fish up shallow this morning where the limited light would be illuminating the bottom more so than in deeper water.  We took our first 7 fish in under 25 feet of water after making a few short hops to target “fresh fish”.

Our next move was out to 30 feet of water.  We found 3 pods of fish on a slow-tapering bottom and found them willing to strike as soon as we arrived, but also found they would shut off pretty quickly.

As I was looking for our fourth pod of fish in this same vicinity, some helpful bird activity pointed the way to our best fishing of the morning in terms of both quality and catch rate.  About 30 terns aggressively worked a patch of water about 200 yards in diameter for about 30 minutes.  Although the fish still were not uber-aggressive (after all, the water temp is just 53F), they were willing to chase MAL Lures better than the slower Hazy Eye Slabs we’d been using up to that point.  Once the bird action subsided, our catch rate dropped back off, and we moved on to our two final areas, both in deeper (50+ foot) water.

We found primarily small fish carpeting small segments of bottom at two distinct areas and were able to tempt perhaps one in every 15 or 20 that showed themselves with some target separation off bottom.

We finished up right around 11:15 as the bite was slowing to a crawl with exactly 59 fish landed in our 4.25 hours on the water.

Hazy Eye Slabs, MAL Lures, and Stinger Hooks are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 59 fish caught and released (2 largemouth bass, 2 drum, 55 white bass)

OBSERVATIONS:   The fog, as usual, made it tough (but not impossible) to excite fish today … I wish I understood that connection.  Understand it or not, there is definitely a connection between fog and slow fishing.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  7:00A

End Time: 11:15 A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 50F

Elevation:  0.60′ low with a 0.04’ 24-hour drop and 34 CFS flow thru the dam.

Water Surface Temp: 53F 

Wind Speed & Direction:  SE all morning at 9mph

Sky Condition: Light fog all morning to 10:30, then slight clearing to 100% grey cloudy conditions

Moon Phase: Waning crescent moon at 12% illumination

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT: N.A.

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Areas: 606 thru 099 (shallow), B0111C thru B0117C (short hops), 1859 thru 1733 (bird assistance), BG0026 (deep), vic 1391 (channel side)

 

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

IT’S A CRIME TO PAY MORE THAN A DIME – 100 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH: If you’ve ever heard the phrase “It’s a crime to pay more than a dime.” — you were most likely listening to a McLeod Auto Sales radio commercial.

This morning, Tuesday, December 1st, I fished with returning guest Travis McLeod, co-owner, along with his wife, Diane, of McLeod Auto Sales at 1601 E. Rancier Ave. in Killeen.

The McLeods have been in business for over 20 years selling used cars.  To take a break from that from time to time, Travis likes to get out and do some hunting and fishing.  Today, he braved some pretty tough weather to pursue white bass and sharpen up his own game on this abundant gamefish species on Lake Belton so as to be able to treat his own family, namely his grandkids, to some similar fishing.

Although we both enjoyed the catching, Travis also came to pick my brain a bit about tactics and sonar use.  He came away with a few valuable lessons, namely, that he’s likely been looking too shallow in his autumn fishing, and too dependent on the down-looking technologies of down-imaging and colored sonar, while not making full use of his side imaging on his own Humminbird Helix unit.

Travis is a well-traveled hunter and in that arena I picked up a tip or two from him, namely that I need to set aside time to go to the Dallas Safari Club’s Convention and Sporting Expo held annually in Dallas.

PHOTO CAPTION #1:   Travis McLeod with one of several hybrid striped bass we took from about 40 feet of water as we focused on white bass using a combination of MAL Lures and Garmin LiveScope.

 

WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday (AM), 01 December 2020

HOW WE FISHED:

After a sweet run of fishing for very aggressive fish spurred on by frontal activity this past Saturday and again yesterday, things settled back down to more normal conditions today as a southerly wind returned overnight after a very short post-frontal calm just at and after sunset last night.

Under these conditions, fish feed, but not for extended periods.  Fish chase, but not for extra long distances, and the energy they exhibit is generally less than when a rapid change of atmospheric pressure is taking place.

Today we wound up fishing 4 general locations, short-hopping a bit at the first three to keep up with the fish (under birds), to put together our catch of exactly 100 fish.  By 10:30, the winds, which were forecast to max out a 13 mph straight-line, actually rose to 16-17, with higher gusts.  It was such that we vacated open water for our last hour and fished more protected (but still wind-impacted) water.

Until we hit our last area, our ratio of young of the year fish to legal fish was very low, but, of the last 20 we landed, approx. 17 were shorts.  Regardless of size, it sure is fun to work individual fish while peering into the depths below with the LiveScope technology.

We ended up with exactly 100 fish caught this morning, including 3 hybrid stripers, 4 largemouth, and 93 white bass, with one big drum missed right at boatside which did not go on the “clicker” to be counted.

See the MAL Lure here: https://whitebasstools.com/

See tutorial video on how to work the MAL Lure here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE&t=239s

TALLY: 100 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:   2.5 hours worth of solid gull activity in the middle part of this morning’s trip.  First “killing” frost of the year occurred overnight.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  7:30A

End Time: 11:30A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 37F

Elevation:  0.86 low with a 0.03’ 24-hour drop and 34 CFS flow thru the dam

Water Surface Temp: 60.9F

Wind Speed & Direction:  S12 at trip’s start, ramping up to S16 with higher gusts to 20+ by 10:30A

Sky Condition: High, thin white cloud cover at ~20% on a light blue sky

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 99% illumination

GT = 45

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic B0098C; all fish on MAL Lures (SP)

**Area vic 086 to 1551; all fish on MAL Lures (SP)

**Area vic 1391; all fish on MAL Lures (SP)

**Area vic 844; all fish on MAL Lures (SP)

 

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