MY SWEET LITTLE BROTHER … THE POTLICKER!!! — 103 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Saturday evening, August 29th, I fished for a second time with the entire Olds family from the Austin area.  Joining me this evening were Brian, Tasha, Katelyn (age 12) and Connor (age 8).  They previously came out with me back in November of 2016.

Both Brian and Tasha work in the computer industry, and 2020 has been a very busy one for them thus far. 

They got to squeeze in a few vacation days for the first time in a long time last week, and wanted to do this fishing trip together before the busyness of the new school years with sports-filled weekends, etc. kicks in.  

PHOTO CAPTION #1: The Olds Family — August 2020

PHOTO CAPTION #2: The Olds Family — November 2016  

WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake

HOW WE FISHED:   As I thought ahead on how to conduct this trip and keep the kids engaged, my chief concern was the combination of very hot weather and the possibility of slow action in the first half of the trip, leaving the kids too worn out to enjoy the typically solid action from white bass about 1.5 to 2 hours prior to sunset.

Since the kids fished with me previously in November, and since that was 4 years ago, I thought doing something different on this trip would keep them engaged, so, I chose a few shaded areas where I felt our chances at catching sunfish would be strong.  Sunfish typically fall out of my catch by mid-October, but, the hotter the water, the better they bite. We hit two shallow water areas using bream poles and, with Brian’s capable assistance, we kept both Connor and Katelyn on the fish for a full 2+ hours, landed bluegill sunfish, green sunfish, and 1 longear sunfish.

As the kids fished, I noted that Connor had a “tendency” to flip his rig right into the same spot Katelyn had just pulled a sunfish from instead of fishing with confidence in his own areas.  I chuckled when I saw this and told the kids that in the fishing world, this is called “potlicking” and that a person engaged in potlicking is called a potlicker. 

Defined, a potlicker is someone who, instead of having the confidence in their own abilities to find and catch fish, simply looks for others who have found fish and then horns in, uninvited, on top of the person who has already put the work.  After introducing the term, as siblings will, each accused the other fairly routinely of potlicking for the remainder of our trip. Potlicking aside, the kids boated 62 sunfish.

Around 6:30-6:45 we shifted gears and changed our focus to hunting white bass in open water using downriggers.  The fishing was pretty straightforward as we used 3-armed umbrella rigs equipped with Pet Spoons.  We got right into fish after setting the balls to depth, and the frequency of our hookups increased as dark approached.  We took singles, doubles and two sets of triples right up until dark, putting 41 white bass in the boat. 

You can bet the sibs were quite competitive on the downrigging fish count, as well!!  

TALLY: 70 fish caught and released (69 white bass, 1 largemouth bass)

OBSERVATIONS: No observed topwater action.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  4:30PM

End Time: 8:30PM

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 100F

Elevation:  2.75′ low, -0.05′ 24-hour change, 51 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  86.0F

Wind Speed & Direction: SSE8.

Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous with 86% illumination

GT = 50

Wx SNAPSHOT:  

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area B0032G and B0036G 62 sunfish in first 2 hours

**Area 085 – center of mass for evening downrigging for white bass.  Fished out deeper than this area up to around 7:50, then moved on the shallow side of this area for the last minutes of light.    

 

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

NO PET BUFFALOS – 105 FISH

 

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Wednesday morning, 29 July, I fished Lake Belton with two young lady anglers — Lils and Zoey Haberer, accompanied and assisted by their mom, Emily, and their grandfather, Steve Niemeier.

Zoey is 5 years of age, and Lils is 8.

PHOTO CAPTION #1:  That’s Emily and little Zoey with a buffalo nearly as long as Zoey is tall!

PHOTO CAPTION #2: Lils Haberer with an 11th hour largemouth we picked up downrigging after causing havoc for the local sunfish population for over 2 solid hours.

WHEN WE FISHED: 29 July, 2020, AM

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

HOW WE FISHED: With girls so young, I had a fairly limited amount of time to find some “easy” fish before they became disinterested. In a scenario nearly identical to the day before, although our forecast called for SW winds, we actually had ESE winds during that critical low-light time from just before sunrise to just after it during which much shallow water topwater feeding typically takes place. That easterly wind just seems to put the brakes on the topwater bite. We actually spotted fewer suspended fish than the day before, and saw no early topwater fish at all this morning. After patrolling, looking, and downrigging a bit, by the 1-hour mark we’d managed to lose 2 young of the year white bass (which were all of about 4″ long), and land another.

I decided at that point that we needed to provide some “instant gratification”, so, we headed up shallow and proceeded to put a hurt on the local sunfish population.

Over the next 2.25 hours, the girls landed exactly 102 sunfish, including bluegill, green, and longear sunfish. Lils was ably assisted by Steve, and Zoey was coached by her mom. This was just the ticket to refocus the girls after a very slow start.

By the time the second area we fished for sunfish played out, we were right around the 3.5 hour mark and Zoey had just about played out, and I suspected Lils wasn’t too far behind. I suggested that we give downrigging just one more try to see if we couldn’t end the day with some larger fish.

Since the girls could move around and snack while we downrigged, and because this was a change of pace from the sunfishing, that suggestion went over well.

We put in all of about 20 minutes’ worth of downrigging during which time Lils came up with a nice largemouth bass — her largest fish of the trip. Not to be outdone, Zoey (with much help from Emily, or perhaps it was the other way around), landed a 16.00-pound smallmouth buffalo.

The whole boat erupted in cheering when the fish was secured in the net. We revived the fish, took some photos, and released it. It was then that Emily noticed Zoey was pouting up in the front of the boat with her head down.

When asked what was the matter, she shared with her mom that she wanted to take the buffalo home as a pet and was therefore very sad that we had released it.

Besides that, we had a good trip even if the white bass weren’t cooperative.

TALLY: 105 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  The presence of an easterly wind these past two mornings has just killed the low-light bite. After the sun gets up and the wind starts to move the water, occasional “popcorn” schools of briefly appearing whites could be seen for just seconds at a time out in open water.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:20A

End Time: 10:15A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 75F

Elevation:  1.35′ low, 0.06′ 24-hour change, 54 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  84F

Wind Speed & Direction: ESE6-7 during the first 2 hours, shifting to SE thereafter.

Moon Phase: First Quarter Moon +2 (a.k.a. waxing gibbous moon)

GT = 40

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1583 and B0158C for sunfish

**Area vic 1604 for light action on downriggers late in the AM

 

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)

#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

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

WE WENT TOPLESS! — 46 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Tuesday, 28 July, I fished Lake Belton with Dwight and Connie Stone of Georgetown. Dwight gave me a ring about this time last year and has since booked a number of trips with me, and has also referred a number of others, for which I’m very grateful.

Dwight is a retired small businessman, a good angler, a Christ-follower, and so the two of us just hit it off right away.

This was the first time Miss Connie came aboard. She does the term “better half” much justice!!

We set out with high expectations of topwater action after yesterday’s resurgence following Hurricane Hanna’s weather anomaly. That topwater action just was not in the cards, however. Between an easterly component to the wind and a more dry than humid feeling to the air, the morning just didn’t have that “topwater feeling” to it.

So, when I say we went “topless”, I mean we did not have ample opportunity to sight-cast to aggressively feeding topwater feeding fish this moring whatsoever.

PHOTO CAPTION: A dry atmosphere and winds just east of SE put the fish down today. They bit, but not on topwater. Our fish were caught via downrigging and working MAL lures vertically.

WHEN WE FISHED: 28 July, 2020, AM

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

HOW WE FISHED: We tried mightily in the first 70 minutes under low-light conditions to find topwater action, but there was none to be found. I noted a number of the weekday “regulars” also spot-hopping looking for a topwater bite, but finding none.

By 7:40, we gave up on that, settled in to use the downriggers to find fish, and then, when the situation allowed, sealed the deal with MAL lures worked vertically.

We hit 3 distinct areas, catching best early on, then finding the bite waning slowly toward 10:45 when we called it a day and headed in.

We only found one opportunity to work lures vertically. All of the other scenarios in which I identified bottom-hugging white bass resulted in those fish moving off before we could get locked on them, despite our efforts to hustle and get on them promptly.

Summer, with its high water temperatures, mean fish metabolism is at a peak. These fish must feed to meet the demands of their bodies, and the white bass are nearly constantly patrolling after shad, not staying put very long.

TALLY: 46 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Beating/thrashing the water definitely kept fish pulled in under the boat and helped reignite a waning bite several times in the one instance we had to fish vertically with MAL lures today.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:20A

End Time: 10:45A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 75F

Elevation:  1.29′ low, 0.03′ 24-hour change, 54 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  84F

Wind Speed & Direction: ESE6-7 all morning

Moon Phase: First Quarter Moon +1 (a.k.a. waxing gibbous moon)

GT = 60

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic B0123C – encountered multiple, hesitant schools of mid-depth white bass in ~20 feet of water; took 3 on downriggers anticipating they would emerge on the surface shortly thereafter, but, they never did.

**Area B0031G – the one location where downrigging resulted in a nice take of white bass fished vertically, hitting MAL lures in about 38′.

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)

#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

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

AFTER HURRICANE HANNA – 102 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Monday, 27 July, I fished with Mr. Terry Spidell of Harker Heights, TX, accompanied by his two grandsons, 17-year-old Kristian Barr, and 12-year-old Adrian Booker, also of Harker Heights.

Terry joined me once before, accompanied by his son back in May when the fish were still bottom-oriented and the water much cooler, so, today was a very different sort of trip fishing for bait-oriented fish with an existing thermocline.

Lake Belton white bass fishing
PHOTO CAPTION: Terry Spidell, Adrian Booker, and Kristian Barr with a portion of our 102-fish catch.

WHEN WE FISHED: 27 July, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED: After laying off the fishing this weekend due to poor conditions generated by Hurricane Hanna, I was back at it this morning under solid conditions, complete with grey cloud cover and SE winds.

The cloud cover was actually a bit heavier than desired, with some light drizzle falling until around 7:10. The fish got off to a later start thanks to the dreary, grey skies, but, around 7:15 things started to happen and the fishing stayed solid right up to around 9:20, then tapered down over the hour that followed.

We started off casting MAL lures to topwater feeding fish for about 40 minutes up shallow, in under 22 feet of water. Once they quit, there was no residual downrigger bite to be had, so we moved on.

Over the next 75 minutes an open-water topwater bite began, peaked, and fell, allowing for downrigging, sight-casting, and some vertical work with MAL lures.

By 9:30, we’d landed 88 fish and hoped to hit 100 by 10:30. We moved to a new area to try to find some fish with the downriggers which we could then sit atop of and work MAL lures vertically for. As it turned out, the fish we found were pretty scattered, so, we just stuck with the downriggers. At 10:30, we had 95 fish, and I told the boys we’d fish until 10:45 or until we hit 100, whichever came first. They redoubled their efforts at keeping up with the downriggers and playing their fish well. By 10:40, we hit 102, thanks to a couple doubles

TALLY: 102 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Although the low-light topwater action lasted the longest I’ve seen so far this summer, there was no open water feed thereafter from 8-10AM in the locations such feeding had occurred Mon. – Wed. this week.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:20A

End Time: 10:45A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 75F

Elevation:  1.26′ low, 0.00′ 24-hour change thanks to light rains over the weekend spawned by Hurricane Hanna, 34 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  85F

Wind Speed & Direction: SE5-6 all morning

Moon Phase: First Quarter Moon

GT = 60

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area B0123C low-light topwater

**Area B0123C – shallow topwater action & downrigging

**Area B0105C – shallow topwater action, downrigging, and some vertical work

**Area vic B0024G – late morning fish feeding from bottom to halfway up in the water column in ~25-27′

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)

#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

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

HALF-AND-HALF

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Friday, 24 July, I fished with Mr. Rick Sacket and his wife, Paula.

The Sackets came out with me once before for a sonar training session on their Lowrance Hook 12 unit conducted on Stillhouse Hollow. However, due to some health issues, they weren’t able to get right back out on the water and put into practice the things I showed them, and so they desired a “refresher”, especially since adding a Humminbird Helix unit to the bow of the boat.

We did a split “half-and-half” fishing/sonar training trip so I could demonstrate how the sonar I have was useful in finding fish and what it takes to catch white bass consistently in the summer months, and so I could review and set up the sonar units for Rick on his own boat. Note: this is not something “new” that I’m offering — rather, it is a unique scenario for a couple who had already been through my 3-4 hour sonar session.

Lake Belton Texas white bass caught via downrigging
PHOTO CAPTION: Rick and Paula Sacket with a few of the 37 fish they landed in just under 2 hours on a day made tough by the north wind. We went on to do a sonar training afterwards on Rick’s boat, which he trailered to our fishing trip and left in the parking lot as we pursued white bass.

WHEN WE FISHED: 24 July, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED: As the old saying goes, “Winds from the north, the fisherman goes not forth.” We had a northerly breeze blowing well before sunrise this morning thanks to the counterclockwise spin of the atmosphere induced by Tropical Storm Hanna, which is sitting in the Gulf of Mexico poised to come ashore around Corpus Christi this weekend.

This really killed the bite today, despite being on the dark cycle of the moon.

We observed all of about 15 minutes of topwater action before sunrise, had these fish to ourselves as long as they fed, and put just 12 fish in the boat before they sounded. Neither Rick nor Paula were real strong on casting with spinning gear, so that hindered us a tad, but, the greater factor was the wind significantly dampening the action.

My desire during that portion of the trip we dedicated to fishing was to demonstrate topwater action and how to respond to it, downrigging, and vertical work for fish located on/near bottom while downrigging.

As soon as the topwater bite was over, we moved on to downrigging. We picked up a single, then two sets of doubles before encountering a large school of bottom-oriented fish.

This allowed us to retool with spinning rods equipped with MAL lures and work vertically, allowing us to catch a final 20 fish all from one location in about 28 feet of water. We concluded our fishing efforts at 8:15, with a catch of 37 fish in just under 2 hours.

TALLY: 37 fish caught and released (in just under 2 hours)

OBSERVATIONS:  Although the low-light topwater action lasted the longest I’ve seen so far this summer, there was no open water feed thereafter from 8-10AM in the locations such feeding had occurred Mon. – Wed. this week.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:20A

End Time: 8:15A (ended fishing effort, began sonar training)

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 79F

Elevation:  1.2′ low, 0.03′ 24-hour fall, 34 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  85F

Wind Speed & Direction: NNE 2-5 all morning

Moon Phase: Waxing crescent (New moon +4 days)

GT = 25

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

Lake

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic 016 – brief pre-sunrise topwater action

**Area B0023G – downrigging leading to vertical work with 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)

#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

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

EVER CAUGHT A SUNFLOWER FISH?

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Thursday, 23 July, I fished with 5-year-old Jed Miller. Ned is the son of Dusty Miller, and grandson of Dirk Miller, all of Miller’s Smokehouse fame in Belton, TX.

Today, Pappy Dirk came along in a support role simply to enjoy and encourage his grandson, and to help me help Jed be successful.

PHOTO CAPTION #1: Dirk Miller and his grandson, Jed Miller, with a pair of the 34 white bass we took under ideal summertime conditions for a low-light topwater bite.
PHOTO CAPTION #2: Jed landed two fish on one lure at the same time on his very first attempt with a topwater after doing some previous damage with an MAL lure retrieved sub-surface.
PHOTO CAPTION #3: Once the sun hit the water and the white bass sounded, it was sunfish time. Jed landed this beautiful longear on live bait fish under a float.

WHEN WE FISHED: 22 July, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED: Thanks to a gentle SE breeze and thin cloud cover, the environment was just right for some low-light topwater action just before, during, and after sunrise. We essentially drove from the boat ramp directly to fish just beginning to push shad to the surface and then proceeded to catch them non-stop for about 70 minutes.

5-year-olds need variety to keep them focused, and so when I sensed that Jed was getting antsy catching fish on my custom MAL lure, I switched him over to a topwater plug so as to add a visual aspect to the fishing. About the time he was losing interest in that, the fish sounded as the direct sun struck the water, thus allowing us to begin downrigging.

The downrigging produced two sets of doubles which Jed was excited about, then, once the novelty of downrigging wore off, we dove into yet another experience — that of sunfishing, or, as Jed called it, “sunflowerfish fishing”.

By the time we left the white bass behind, Jed had landed 34 of them.

As the heat intensified at the second of two stops we made for sunfish, Dirk and I saw Jed’s interest quickly fading and knew the time to wrap things up had come so as to keep this a memorable and positive experience for Jed.

With our tally now standing at 68 fish, Dirk told Jed he’d take him to lunch if he could land two more fish to make it an even 70 for the morning’s effort. Jed knuckled down and landed a juvenile largemouth for his 69th fish, and, shortly thereafter pulled in a final bluegill sunfish to make it an even 70.

We snapped a few photos to commemorate the trip and then headed to the dock.

TALLY: 70 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Although the low-light topwater action lasted the longest I’ve seen so far this summer, there was no open water feed thereafter from 8-10AM in the locations such feeding had occurred Mon. – Wed. this week.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:20A

End Time: 9:15A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 77F

Elevation:  1.17′ low, 0.07′ 24-hour fall, 34 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  84.5F

Wind Speed & Direction: SSE 4-7 all morning

Moon Phase: Waxing crescent (New moon +3 days)

GT = 85

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 013 to 1792 – low light topwater action

**Area 1792 to 292 – post-topwater downrigging

**Areas B0029G and 492 – sunfish

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)

#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

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

TOPWATER TIME – 107 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Wednesday, 22 July, I welcomed Gary and Kathy Janacek aboard for a morning in pursuit of white bass on Lake Belton.

Gary is the retired CEO of the Scott & White Credit Union in Temple, where Kathy also more recently retired from.

I donated a fishing trip again this year to the Morgan’s Point Fire Department fundraiser held each Valentines’ Day, where the Janacek’s bid on it. Today was the day they chose to redeem it, and that turned out to be a good choice.

PHOTO CAPTION:  Gary and Kathy Janacek with a few of the 107 Lake Belton white bass we took using a combination of downrigging, sight-casting, and vertical jigging.

Spend enough time in the outdoors, and you’ll see all manner of sights … this floatplane took a few passes over us this morning.

WHEN WE FISHED: 22 July, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED: After a poor result under low-light conditions impacted by an easterly wind yesterday, the fish more than made up for it this morning by feeding aggressively on the surface for right at an hour just before and after sunrise. These fish were herding shad to the surface and feeding upon them voraciously. Most of the fish we landed regurgitated 2 to 8 shad and were going for more when they hit our lures.

This action wrapped up around 7:30. We then went searching for fish, hopeful that we would find fish revealing their locations by feeding on topwater out over open water as has been the case the last two mornings.

Indeed, we were able to find a school of fish absent of any other boats and caught fish in abundance before any other boats arrived. As the fish wrapped up their topwater feed around 9AM, they continued to feed subsurface. This is where the downriggers really shined. They allowed us to effectively cover water while presenting 6 baits at the exact depth the fish were holding at (25-30 feet), and then stop over top of exceptionally large schools revealed by sonar. Once atop these fish, we worked MAL lures with their exceptional strike-to-land ratios until the fish dissipated, at which time we then resumed downrigging. We went through 6 or 7 such iterations between 9AM and the time we called it quits at 10:10AM.

TALLY: 107 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Temperature profile at depth:

0 feet 86.1

5 feet 86.1

10 feet 86.1

15 feet 85.9

20 feet 85.1

25 feet 84.5

30 feet 83.1

35 feet 80.7

40 feet 75.7

45 feet 71.2

55 feet 69

55 feet 67.6

65 feet 66.4

65 feet 65.5

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:20A

End Time: 10:10A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 79F

Elevation:  1.1′ low, 0.11′ 24-hour fall, 34 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  84.5F

Wind Speed & Direction: SSE 4-7 all morning

Moon Phase: Waxing crescent (New moon +2 days)

GT = 50

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic B0104C – low light topwater action allowing for sight casting

**Area vic 506 – mid-morning topwater action over open water lasting briefly, but leading to downrigging and vertical jigging success

**Area vic 155 to 1975 – found fish with sonar, downrigged until large schools were found, then worked vertically to capitalize

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)

#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

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

2 DAYS, 6 KIDS, 334 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH: On Monday and Tuesday this week I fished with 3 generations of the Oliver clan. The common denominator each day was Papa Joe Oliver who treated both kids and grandkids to a morning of fishing on Lake Belton.

On Monday, Joe’s daughter, Amber, accompanied by her three kids, Ben (age 13), Beau (age 6), and Addie (age 5) came aboard, as did the kids’ uncle, Thomas (Joe’s son/Amber’s brother).

On Tuesday, Joe’s son, Corey, and Joe’s daughter-in-law, Britt, accompanied by their three kids, Cullen and Presley (10 year old twins), and Harper (age 8) joined me as part of their visit from Oregon.

PHOTO CAPTION: Back row – Amber, Thomas, Ben, and Joe; front row – Addie and Beau  

PHOTO CAPTION: Back row – Joe and Britt; front row – Cullen, Harper, Presley, and Corey.

HOW WE FISHED: As I thought through what we might anticipate over the course of these two days, I came equipped to fish with downriggers, to fish vertically with MAL lures, to fish on top with MAL lures and/or Gang Banger Spoons, and to fish up shallow for sunfish.

DAY 1: On day 1 we were fortunate to stay in the white bass from before sunrise until 10 A.M., save for a short lag just as the sun hit the water, and for about 20 minutes thereafter. Prior to sunrise, we took singles and doubles on newly modified Pet Spoons fished on the downriggers, taking a total of 24 fish before the action waned as the sun rose.

About 25 minutes after sunrise, we found white bass feeding aggressively over open water and very willing to hit MAL lures as they fed on shad from 1 to 3.5 inches. About 60% of the fish we caught from this topwater action regurgitated multiple shad.

DAY 2: An early east wind sure put a damper on the low-light bite this morning. We landed only a half-dozen fish in our first 75 minutes on the water. As the clouds cleared, the skies brightened, and the wind faded and shifted SE, the bite came on strong with a repeat of yesterday’s long, intense, open-water feed with multiple, large schools of white bass working the surface and staying there, gorging on shad from young-of-the-year, up to 3.5 inches in length. The action was best from 8AM to 9:15AM, then faded to nil by 9:35AM. By this time, we’d landed 111 white bass and 1 hybrid striper. These were all taken on the MAL lure.

We put in a final 25 minutes focused on sunfish, catching bluegill, longears, and greens in shallow water using bait, and adding a final 40 fish to the count for a day 2 total of 152

WHEN WE FISHED: 20 & 21 July, 2020, AM

TALLY DAY 1: 182 fish caught and released

TALLY DAY 2: 152 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  When fish were apparent on the surface, we sight cast to them; when they could not be seen on the surface but could still be seen on sonar, we allowed our MAL lures to drop to a 10-count to get bit.

CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:30A both days

End Time: 10:00A both days

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 75F on day 1, 77F on day 2

Elevation:  0.9′ low, 0.05′ 24-hour fall, 34 CFS flow on day 1

Elevation:  0.94′ low, 0.04′ 24-hour fall, 34 CFS flow on day 2

Water Surface Temp:  84.7F

Wind Speed & Direction: ESE 8 at sunrise and for about 75 minutes, then dropping and shifting to SE4-5 and clearing slightly

Moon Phase: New moon on Day 1; Waxing cresent (new +1) on Day 2

GT = 60 & 80

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

DAY 1:

DAY 2:

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

DAY 1

**Area 016 thru 017 for pre-sunrise white bass on downriggers (which certainly could have been taken on topwater, as well)

**Area 1120-1206 – open water feed which lasted 2.5 hours

DAY 2

**Area B0133C & vic 1579 – light, brief instances of schooling whites on surface

**Area B0027G through B0028G – open water frenzied feeding for long whiles from 8AM to 9AM

**Area vic 490 – open water feeding providing consistent action from 9 to 9:30AM

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)

#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

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

1st FISH OF THE A.M. = 1st FISH OF HIS LIFE

WHO I FISHED WITH: On Saturday, July 18th, I fished with Clint Tippett and his two young sons, Carter (age 7) and Carson (age 5).  We attempted to make this event happen last year, but dates didn’t work out.  Then, again in February we tried to set something up for March and COVID saw to it that those plans were foiled.  So, the third time was a charm this morning.

This trip was specifically focused on the boys’ success, so Clint, an anesthesiologist at Baylor Scott & White in Temple, helped me help them.

Prior to this morning’s trip, Carson had never landed a fish, and Carter only had a handful to his credit.

PHOTO CAPTION:   5-year-old Carson Tippett proudly displays the first fish of his life, a Stillhouse Hollow white bass landed just after sunrise while downrigging in deep water.

PHOTO CAPTION: 7-year-old Carter Tippett with the largest of the 50 fish we landed today.  This white bass fell for a Pet Spoon – one of three presented simultaneously on a 3-armed umbrella rig.

WHEN WE FISHED: 18 July, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED:  Clint and I spoke by phone the evening before this trip (which was originally just to include Carter) and agreed that Carson would join us.  I laid out what to expect based on my experience in fishing with kids this age and in this season of the year.

We planned to fish for white bass early on when the kids’ attention span and enthusiasm level was high, then move on to fishing up shallow for more cooperative and abundant sunfish later in the morning.

These plans worked out pretty well. The white bass action was more subdued this morning than over the past few trips, but the boys both landed 4 white bass a piece, included Carson’s very first fish ever, thus earning him a TPWD First Fish Award. By around 8:15, the deep action on white bass was waning, and so we retooled and headed up shallow.

All of these white bass came on downrigged 3-armed umbrella rigs equipped with Pet Spoons.  At no time did I see a congregation of white bass which I felt warranted stopping to work vertically for.

We made two stops up in shallow water specifically targeting sunfish.  We landed 36 sunfish at our first stop, then made a tally of 50 fish (which would require each boy catch 3 more fish) our goal at our final sunfish stop.  The boys handily met that goal and, now at the 3.5 hour mark, dad and I knew it was time to wrap up before the boys got too (choose any combination):  hot, bored, hungry, irritable, whiny, distracted, etc.  Thus, we ended on a good note with the boys landing roughly equal numbers of fish.

TALLY: 50 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Temperature profile at depth:

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:30A

End Time: 10:15A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 75F

Elevation:  0.9′ low, 0.05′ 24-hour fall, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  87F

Wind Speed & Direction: S6 at sunrise, increasing to SSE12 by trip’s end

Moon Phase: Waning crescent moving to a new moon on 20 July

GT = 55

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 062 thru SH0031G – serpentine downrigging pattern for deep white bass in lower third of water column

**Area 200 and 189 – sunfish

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)

#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

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

ON THE EDGE OF TOPWATER TIME — 60 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Friday morning, July 3rd, I fished with first-time guests Todd Roach and Jason Walrath, both of Salado.  Todd works as a chiropractor in Killeen, and Jason, after recently retiring from the U.S. Army as an aviation officer, is now a pilot for United Airlines.

We pursued white bass on Stillhouse Hollow both because the fishing has been solid, and so as to avoid the holiday crowd on Lake Belton.

PHOTO CAPTION:  Todd Roach (left) and Jason Walrath put 60 fish over the gunwales this past July 3rd via a combination of downrigging and vertical work.

WHEN WE FISHED:  03 July, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED:  With fairly stable wind, weather, and water conditions each day now for well over 2 weeks, the fishing has settled into a predictable summer pattern.  All the action is above the thermocline which is set up around 35 feet in the upper 2/3rds of the lake, and deeper in the main basin.

The tactic which put fish in the boat for us this morning was to find (and catch) fish with the downriggers and then stop atop strong groups of bottom-oriented fish to work vertically for them.

The action started early today, with the strongest bite and most active fish up off bottom and up ~4-5 feet in the water column between 6:40AM and 7:50AM.

We found that the cooperative schools of fish hugging bottom which responded to our vertical tactics did not stay put long.  Once the fish cleared sonar, we moved, as these fish did not hold in the area, nor did they circulate back underneath the boat, despite efforts at thumping and beating on the water to draw them in and keep them there.

I noted today that the fish we encountered also seemed to be in smaller, more splintered groups.  By 9:15, the fish were clearly already on their way to shutting down.  For every 4 or 5 schools of fish we encountered, each with 20-40 fish per school, we’d only get one school jazzed enough to pursue baits, and even then would only get 1-3 fish out of that school.

I used a combination of #12 and #13 Pet Spoons on my 3-armed umbrella rigs today, and the fish definitely showed a preference for the slightly larger #13s.  For the vertical work, we used MAL lures.

TALLY: 60 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: Although not to the extent encountered on Wednesday under a better wind and cloud cover scenario, each location giving up white bass this morning also had, “schoolie” largemouth bass popping shad on the surface, as well.  I’m anticipating the topwater action to really come on strong over the next few weeks — very exciting!

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:20A

End Time: 10:45A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 77F

Elevation:  0.22′ low, 0.04′ 24-hour fall, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  82F

Wind Speed & Direction: SSW5 increasing to SSW11 by trip’s end with occasional gusts to 13

GT = 22

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Areas v1423, v062, v1708, and v1146

 

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)

 

#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

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle