ADI, THE CLEAN-UP BATTER – 83 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH: After laying off the fishing since last Wednesday to conduct a few sonar training sessions and avoid being on the water during a holiday, I headed back out fishing today with returning guests Larry Brewer, Larry’s granddaughter, Adi Zwern, and Larry’s friend, Blake Hoeskstra.

 

Larry and his wife host each of their grandkids, one at a time, over the summer, and both this summer and last have taken each of them on a fishing adventure.  With Eymon’s and Finley’s trips already completed, Adi was the Summer of 2021’s clean-up batter.

At age 8, I knew we’d need to do some sunfishing to keep Adi’s interest up for a full 3.5 hours on this Kids Fish, Too! trip, so, I opted for Lake Belton.  Much of the traditional sunfish haunts on Stillhouse are now clogged with hydrilla due to that aquatic vegetation growing well while the lake was ~3′ high.  Now that the water has fallen back to near normal, that vegetation is now matted over in shallow water making it difficult to get a light bait down to where the fish are.  By comparison, Belton has no aquatic vegetation to deal with.

PHOTO CAPTION:    From left:  “Uncle” Blake Hoekstra, 8-year-old Adi Zwern, and “Pop Pop” Larry Brewer at the close of a great 3.5-hour kids trip just for Adi on Lake Belton.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday (AM), 06 July 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

Both Belton and Stillhouse rose overnight as a flash flood warning went out for Bell Co. in the hours from 8pm to midnight.  Stillhouse came up 0.12 feet and Belton rose a quarter-foot.

Belton is definitely off-color, with a yellow-brown stain to it.

We got going around 6:30 with heavy cloud cover and started our morning off looking for topwater action.  We found light, scattered, sporadic topwater action mostly out in wide open water.  These were “nomadic” fish just cruising and chasing the uber-abundant shad now present in the system.

Although with the ENE wind blowing a ripple on the water, the “nervous water” created by white bass feeding on small forage was barely noticeable, we found several schools and tried drifting with them so as not to pressure them by chasing with the outboard or trolling motor.  This worked pretty well, and we closed the final gap between boat and fish using the white MAL Heavy which casts a country-mile.

The trick was manually closing the bail the instant the lure hit the water and then cranking fast to keep the lure up near the surface where the white basses’ attention was focused.

We landed 28 white bass over the course of the morning in this way.

Additionally, we made two separate stops up shallow to fish for sunfish.  Adi had prior experience with this from last year, and really did well at keeping her rod tip out of the water and setting the hook appropriately once her float was pulled under.

Adi landed 55 fish on the long-pole, including bluegill, longear, redear, and green sunfish, with 2 spot-tails thrown in for good measure to expand her “species landed” inventory.

About 10:15 Adi looked at her grandpa and said, “I think I need to take a break.”  We knew it was time to finish on a strong note right then and there.  As Adi and crew left the parking lot, the first precipitation of the morning began to fall.

MAL Lures are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 83 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:30a

End Time: 10:20a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 73F

Elevation:   2.48′ high, .25′ rise (thanks to a steady 4-hour rain overnight), and a flow of 2640 cfs

Water Surface Temp: 81.9F

Wind Speed & Direction: Light & variable ENE all morning

Sky Condition: Solid grey cloud cover all morning thanks to stubborn upper level low pressure sitting right atop Central Texas

Moon Phase: Waning crescent moon at 11% illumination

GT = 55

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1933/488 topwater

**Area B0199C/1463 topwater

**Area 1583 sunfish

**Area B0095G brief topwater

**Area B0045G 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) 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

SNAKEBIT ON A MURPHY’S LAW KIND OF DAY…

WHO I FISHED WITH: As you read this, remember, I try to shoot you straight on every trip report I write, and, I write a trip report for every single trip I make, not just the good ones.

This morning I fished with Lori Ostberg and her kids, Leslie and Chance, all from western Montana.  Lori and Leslie were part of the record-breaking team of 4 anglers (which included Robin and Tyler O’Dell) which, back in late April of this year, set a boat record for most fish landed in a half-day trip with 333 fish boated.  Lori thought her son would really enjoy the fishing and wanted to include him on a trip during an already planned visit here in June/July.  I told her at the time that the fishery would be different … I just didn’t know how different.

It was one of those days when nothing seemed to go right.  I woke up this morning, started going through my normal pre-trip routine, stepped outside to gauge the weather and saw we were fogged in.  My heart just sank.  Fog is a precursor to a poor trip nearly every time I’ve experienced it.  So, in addition to the fishing already being “summertime tough”, we now had fog to contend with.

Next, I arrived at the lake and the new-fangled admission kiosk was out of service, so, I had to weasel my truck and boat under the partially opened gate to get ready for the arrival of my guests.

As I backed my truck down the ramp, the protective cover on the inside of my trailer’s fender fell on the ground with a loud clank as the several tack welds holding it on all managed to fail.

We fished our tails off for 4 hours straight, fishing in the fog for 3 hours, and then in the increasing heat with windless conditions for our final hour, all for 5 fish hooked and only 3 fish landed.

I was disappointed, frustrated, and just shaking my head for the rest of the day.  In good conscience, I did not charge my clients a red cent, and wound up postponing my trip tomorrow as the weather forecast looked even worse with bright, calm conditions forecast, and flood water still gushing through both dams at Belton and Stillhouse.

Finally, as I bid farewell to the Ostbergs and put my boat on the trailer, my Drotto Boat Latch failed to work for the first time ever, and one of the plastic trim pieces on one of my Garmin sonar units fell off randomly.

You better believe I drove home about 10 miles per hour under the speed limit and with both hands on the wheel!!

 

PHOTO CAPTION:    From left: Lori, Chance, and Leslie are all smiles despite a very, very tough day on the water.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED: Wednesday (AM), 30 June 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

I’ve said it often, June is my least favorite month of the entire year for fishing.  It is the month during which I intentionally take at least a week off to go prairie dog hunting just to get away from the lack of predictability June brings.

This morning we hit no less than 15 distinct areas, every single one of which held white bass clearly seen on sonar.  No matter what we did, including using downriggers to run baits horizontally instead of vertically, we just could not get the fish to follow and strike.  On numerous occasions we all watched in dismay as entire schools of 30-40 fish just moved from one side of our LiveScope screen to the other without breaking their stride and without ever flinching or expressing any interest whatsoever in our presentations.

Lori, Leslie and Chance were troopers, doing everything I asked them to do and doing it well and consistently.

Failing to find fish is one thing, but finding them and then not being able to catch them is another.  Sometimes this happens for a short while, but, over a 4-hour span the fish eventually turn on and can be caught, but that just was not the case this morning.

Snakebit — that’s all there was to it.  Going to give it a rest, let both lakes bleed out some more water, let the holiday revelers do their thing, and then get back on it after the long Fourth of July weekend wraps up next Tuesday.

We never did get a sniff on the downriggers.  What we caught we caught on the white MAL Heavy Lures.

MAL Lures are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 3 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Over at Lake Belton the water is still falling rapidly.  Today it stood at 3.72 high, with a .46′ 24-hour fall and an outflow of 4,600 CFS.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  7:00A

End Time: 11:05A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 73F

Elevation:  0.40 feet high, -0.02 24-hour change, 200 CFS flow (flow was halved over the weekend, down from ~400 CFS)

Water Surface Temp: 84.2F

Wind Speed & Direction: Light & variable ESE winds all AM.

Sky Condition: For for 3 hours, followed by rapid clearing to calm, sunny conditions.

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 64% illumination

GT = N/A

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1569

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 SMART W/ SCOTT & TYLER – 41 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Tuesday, June 29th, I fished with father-and-son team Scott and Tyler Roach from the Georgetown, TX, area.  Tyler is soon to be 11 years old and did a pretty good job handling a spinning rod and reel.

Scott owns a 22′ Kenner tunnel-hull with a 150 2-stroke Merc on it, allowing he and Tyler to fish on their own on lakes around Central Texas, as well as down on the Gulf Coast.

We originally had plans to fish together in March, but a severe cold front ended those plans.

All in all, the 73F start and grey clouds made this a pretty tolerable late June morning by Texas standards.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:    From left: Tyler (age 10.999) and his dad, Scott Roach with a nice pair of white bass the two landed seconds apart as Scott leveraged off of the excited schoolmates which followed Tyler’s hooked fish to the surface.  “Fishing smart” like this put another 10-12 fish in the boat which would otherwise not have been landed.

 

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday (AM), 29 June 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

Fishing continued to require a lot of work and a lot of moving to find willing fish thanks to the mixed-up weather we are currently experiencing, all driven by an upper-level low pressure system.  Today’s winds were again mainly easterly which never bodes well for excellent fishing.

We fished three areas which held congregated fish in the 40-60 foot range (which is the depth from which we caught fish yesterday) and did not get so much as a solid follow from these fish.  I suspect the dark grey skies kept it nearly pitch black at those depths so early in the morning, so much so that I actually adjusted my start time for tomorrow from 6:30A to 7:00A to get through that unproductive  time around (obscured) sunrise.

Once it brightened a bit the fish perked up and we began catching fish pretty well.  The action was steady, but we only had one really solid 25 minute run from 9:30A to 10:00A.  Other than that we caught our fish in 2-3 fish spurts.  Often, when Scott or Tyler hooked up, the other was able to leverage off of that by reeling his lure near the “haystack” of fish that followed the hooked fish upwards as they temporarily got more aggressive than normal.

All of our work was done with the MAL Heavy in white color this morning.  I did try downrigging during our first 45 minutes on the water after we couldn’t get the fish fired up otherwise, and they did not respond to that horizontal tactic, either.

By the time 11AM rolled around, Scott and Tyler both had sore wrists and were ready to consume some groceries.  Our tally stood at 40 white bass and 1 freshwater drum for the morning.

MAL Lures are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 41 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Over at Lake Belton the water is still falling rapidly.  Today it stood at 4.18 high, with a .56′ 24-hour fall and an outflow of 4,646 CFS.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:30A

End Time: 11:05A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 73F

Elevation:  0.42 feet high, -0.02 24-hour change, 200 CFS flow (flow was halved over the weekend, down from ~400 CFS)

Water Surface Temp: 82.2F

Wind Speed & Direction: E for first two hours at ~6, then ESE ~7 the rest of the morning.

Sky Condition: 100% grey cloud cover all morning.

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 73% illumination

GT = 45

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic SH0031G w/ 2 short hops

**Area vic 1446 w/2 short hops

 

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

QUITE SOAKING WET — 44 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Monday, June 28th, I fished with Dave Wesley, a retired petroleum engineer from the Houston area, now living in Georgetown.  His son, Dr. Josh Wesley, a physician now living in Waco, joined us, as did Dave’s neighbor, Keith Sherman, who is a retired salesman from the Houston area, and who also resides in the Georgetown area.

The three men fish occasionally, and their prior experience with white bass saw them catching much smaller fish than the quality specimens we landed from Stillhouse this morning.

We had to work long and hard for our fish, but were rewarded in the end.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:    From left: Dave and Josh Wesley, and Keith Sherman with a few of the quality white bass we took in the late morning using MAL Lure in deep water.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: Josh Wesley landed our largest fish of the trip this morning by bringing this 3.50 pound largemouth to net, although Dave had a much larger fish which we suspect was a large catfish, which pulled the hook after a lengthy struggle.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED: Monday (AM), 28 June 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

I was a tough day on the water this morning thanks to a pretty confused weather scenario.  Beginning around 3p yesterday, Sunday, 27 June, we got 2.00 inches of rain spread over three separate doses which fell in a ~4 hour span.  As this system, driven by low pressure, moved in, the weather got very unpredictable.  We ran from 95F, hot and humid in the shade, to a rain-cooled 72F with heavy cloud cover in under a 12 hour span.

As we got going this morning, I put downriggers down while the skies were still dark to target suspended fish up high in the water column to feed.  We stuck a triple in under 5 minutes’ of effort and I thought, despite the NE breeze, that the low pressure influence might just treat us well this morning.  That was not the case.

Once the suspended fish disappeared and we began targeting schooled fish on bottom in deep water, the fish were pretty scattered, only appeared in small groups, and were hard to convince to bite.  At best we landed 1 or 2 fish as soon as we stopped at a given location, if that.  This went on for 3 hours as we tried more than a dozen areas.  We found fish everywhere we went, and caught a few, thus confirming they were white bass, but, it was hard to get a frenzy stirred up no matter what we did.

Finally, just after a wind shift from NE to E, at around 10:15AM, I spotted the largest single group of white bass I’d found on sonar all morning — perhaps 40-50 fish in the school, as seen on side-imaging.

We Spot-Locked on them and got a better-than-average response with fish both willing to chase our MAL Lures upwards for quite a ways and then strike them, and to consolidate under the boat from the area surrounding us (I could follow this while leaving side-imaging playing while we were Spot-Locked (although the image is always grainy when not moving slow and straight).

We fished these white bass for all they were worth vertically, then, seeing there were still fish out to the port side of the boat not coming in to the commotion we were creating, we cast in that direction and executed lift-drop retrieves and continued catching right up until the second dose of rain hit us, after which the fishing tapered to nil very quickly, and after which we were all quite soaking wet.

We finished the trip with 43 white bass and one 3.50 pound largemouth, all taken on the white MAL Heavy.

 

MAL Lures are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 44 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Over at Lake Belton the water is still falling rapidly.  Today it stood at 6.31 high, with a .48′ 24-hour fall and an outflow of 4,693 CFS.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:30A

End Time: 11:15A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 72F

Elevation:  0.56 feet high, -0.06 24-hour change, 201 CFS flow (flow was halved over the weekend, down from ~400 CFS)

Water Surface Temp: 85.9F

Wind Speed & Direction: NNE<5 through 9:15A, then shifting E<5

Sky Condition: 100% grey cloud cover all morning, with 2 short bouts of rain between 10 & 11 AM

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 82% illumination

GT = 50

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1237/1241/1221 was the only area of over a dozen we fished on this morning that provided any consistency.  We landed 35 of our 44 fish at this one location in our final hour on the water, from 10:15 to 11:15AM

 

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

I FISHED WITH THE CORNBREAD QUEEN!!! – 70 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Thursday, June 24th, I fished with Josh Pearson, his dad, and his soon-to-be 8-year-old daughter, Joce (pronounced JOE-see).  This trip was in celebration of Joce’s 8th birthday which is tomorrow.

Now, Joce is a bit of a local celebrity.  If you’ve ever been to Miller’s Smokehouse in Belton, you may have noticed the sign posted around waist level at the cash registers where you place your order.  That sign says, “JOCE SAYS YOU NEED CORNBREAD”   Well, I got to fish with THAT Joce today!

For your convenience and entertainment, that iconic image is shown below!

We talked about that moist, buttery, sweet cornbread, which I estimated weighing about 4 pounds per cubic inch, but, had to stop talking about it soon thereafter because it was only 8:30 A.M. and my mind had started wandering toward lunch a bit too early.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:   Three generations of Pearsons gave the white bass a run for their money this morning on white MAL Heavy Lures in deep water.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: Joce Pearson, the Miller’s Smokehouse Cornbread Queen!

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday (AM), 24 June 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

We got off to a bit of a late start this morning as my crew needed to stop for snacks before meeting up with me.  This cost us about 25 minutes of that sweet low-light time when downrigging catches suspended feeders real well just as the light level is transitioning from dark to light at sunrise.  Regardless, we put 4 singles in the boat on as many passes over the same area before the sky brightened and those fish quit.  This was helpful as it got Joce’s attention right away, added a bit of variety to the trip, and gave her confidence that we’d be catching fish, plus, it introduced dad and granddad to a form of fishing they’d not done before.

After a short stint of downrigging, we transitioned to deep water right away as the cloud cover was minimal and the sun was now shining brightly and directly.

The remainder of the trip’s success was had over a roughly 1,000 foot stretch of bottom.  Due to the fishes’ posture just slightly  up off bottom, they showed unmistakably well on side-imaging.  Once I found a nice group of fish, I used the i-Pilot Link function to Spot-Lock atop them.  We’d fish them as long as they’d aggressively chase the MAL Lures, then I’d move upwind as far as necessary to find another group, and so on.  We did this approximately 5-6 times up until Joce let us know she was finished at around 10:15 AM.

By this time, we’d added another 66 fish to our count, all taken on the MAL Heavy in white color.

These summertime fish are finicky.  If the fish don’t fire up as soon as you get your lures down to them, they probably aren’t going to fire up.  I find that moving routinely is the key to getting bit and staying bit.  Observing for “fresh” fish to move in from beyond the reach of your sonar into your sonar’s cone of coverage is key.  If all you’re seeing are the same resident fish staying stationary below the boat, it is time to move.

Mr. Pearson, who graduated from Texas A&M back in the early 70’s, paid me (and Stillhouse Hollow) a nice compliment today when, after a lifetime of fishing, he let me know that today’s catch was the highest quality catch of white bass (size-wise and condition-wise) that he’s ever landed.

MAL Lures are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 70 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Over at Lake Belton the water is falling at a steady clip.  Today it stood at 7.10 high, with a .50′ 24-hour fall and an outflow of 4,710 CFS.

The Stillhouse temperature profile looked like this today.  No thermocline has yet set up; I suspect this is due to the ongoing outflow of water.

0 feet 85.9

5 feet 86.1

10 feet 86.1

15 feet 85.9

20 feet 85.9

25 feet 84.2

30 feet 80.135 feet 77.6

40 feet 74.8
45 feet 73.150 feet 70.7

55 feet 68.2

60 feet 63.8

65 feet 61.2

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:55A

End Time: 10:15A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 77F

Elevation:  0.65 feet high, -0.09 24-hour change, 400 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 85.9F

Wind Speed & Direction: S5 at trip’s start, increasing to S13 by trip’s end

Sky Condition: 10% white cloud cover all morning on a bright, hazy sky

Moon Phase: Full moon

GT = 20

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area SH0003G to SH0027C – downrigging for low-light fish, 4 fish

**Areas 863 to 762, stopping for wolfpacks of fish seen on side-imaging as we idled along – steady action on MAL’s

 

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

THANKS, GRANDMA JOYCE! – 84 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Wednesday, June 23nd, I fished with first-time guests Jonathan and Bryson Wallace.  This father and son team traveled in from up in the DFW area and stayed overnight in Salado.

Jonathan’s mom, Joyce Wallace (Bryson’s grandma), treated the fellows to this trip.  At age 12, this was Bryson’s first time on a motorized boat (he’d been on a small sailboat before).

Jonathan, a U.S. Navy veteran, served on a submarine based out of Connecticut and now sings (primarily country music) for a living in the DFW area.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:   From left: Jonathan and Bryson Wallace with a portion of the catch from their father-and-son trip on Stillhouse this morning.  The pair landed 84 fish on white MAL Heavy Lures.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED: Wednesday (AM), 23 June 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

Fishing was much-improved this morning over yesterday’s cold-front-impacted trip.

This morning the best “window” for us was from 7:10 to 8:00 during which time we took 47 fish which were in a feeding frenzy and struck our white MAL Heavy lure on just about every well-presented presentation.

We started the day downrigging for fish up high in the water column using the greater light amount there to feed as the sun rose.  The bite moved downward in the water column as the sky brightened and, once I saw fish near bottom, I knew it was time to change our approach.  We took 22 fish on the downriggers, including three triples and two doubles.

From the time the fish hit bottom to the end of the trip, we worked the MAL Heavy Lures vertically, taking our tally up to 69 fish landed by 8:30, then, things really scaled back.  We landed an additional 15 fish in our final two hours, catching them just one or two at a time, and typically picking them up soon after arriving at a new area where the presentation was novel for a short while.  Once the fish had seen the presentation a time of two, they grew disinterested.

This happens often in the summer, both on Stillhouse and Belton, where the white bass action gets very “consolidated” into the first few hours of light and the final few hours of light, with tough fishing in between.

 

MAL Lures are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 84 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Over at Lake Belton the water is falling at a steady clip.  Today it stood at 7.10 high, with a .50′ 24-hour fall and an outflow of 4,710 CFS.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:30A

End Time: 10:40A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 74F

Elevation:  0.74 feet high, -0.12 24-hour change, 400 CFS flow (reduced from 744 the previous day)

Water Surface Temp: 84.6F

Wind Speed & Direction: S9 at trip’s start, increasing to S13 by trip’s end

Sky Condition: 750% grey cloud cover all morning

Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous at 98% illumination (day before full moon)

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area SH0003G to SH0027C – downrigging for low-light fish, then transitioning to vertical work with MAL’s once the fish moved to bottom as the skies brightened; 22 fish

**Area 1987 – where we stopped downrigging and transitioned to MAL work; frenzied feeding from 7:00 to 8:00, then tapered to nil by 8:30; 47 fish

**Area 071  – moderate action on MAL’s

**Area 889  – moderate action on MAL’s

**Area 039/SH0058C  – moderate action on MAL’s

 

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

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AN IBUPROFEN AFTERNOON – 61 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Tuesday, June 22nd, I fished with first-time guests Mike and Colin Moultis from the Austin area.

This father and son team is originally from Boothbay Harbor, Maine.  When Colin got out of the Army at Fort Hood and moved to Austin to start a moving business, he built a cabin for his folks on his property and now they are all Texans.

Colin’s girlfriend, Ileanette Pla, who is also a veteran here in the Ft. Hood area, gave this trip as a Fathers’ Day gift.

 

MAL Lure

PHOTO CAPTION:   From left: Colin and Mike Moultis enjoyed a father-and-son fishing trip on Stillhouse this morning, targeting white bass.   If Mike looks familiar, you may remember him from the “sonar counter” at the Round Rock Bass Pro Shops store where he worked for a while in his retirement.

 

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday (AM), 22 June 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

The big story today was the weather that blew through last night.  Yes, on the first official day of summer (which begins with the summer solstace, the longest day of the year) we enjoyed what will likely be the coolest morning until September thanks to a mild cold front which moved through beginning around 9P last night, complete with a spectacular lighting show and just a hint of rain.

This morning we had 100% grey cloud cover and tapering NNE winds.  The front came and went under cover of darkness, so, there was no opportunity to fish the pre-frontal or just-post-frontal peak that exists as fronts move by.

We were left with very finnicky fish today, seeing many, many time move fish make feints at our lures than actually overtake and strike them.  Still, we landed 61 fish, all of which were of legal size.

We began our morning using downriggers to fish for suspended white bass up mid-way in the water column using the lighter conditions there to feed before bottom-oriented fish perked up. We picked up 9 fish in about 30 minutes using 3-armed umbrella rigs rigged with 2 Pet Spoons and 1 spinner.

Once the light level got to a certain point, we transitioned to vertical fishing with MAL Heavy Lures in white color and stuck with that approach for the remainder of the morning.

We started fishing MAL’s vertically when the fish we were downrigging over settled to bottom, and then went on to fish 3 more areas successfully with short hops taken at the first two of these.

As I often say on the boat, “If you don’t deal with rejection well, don’t get a Garmin LiveScope.”  That device reveals the cold, hard truth about the percentage (overwhelming majority) of fish which choose to reject your presentation.  It is an eye-opener, and, on days like to today, and also be a heart-breaker.  Watching 1 in perhaps every 30 or 40 fish sighted actually go for your bait is a bit humbling.

Regardless of all of that, we still had a solid day of fishing, and the fish we caught were quality fish.

By the time we’d boated our 50th fish with about a half-hour left to go, Mike put up his rod for a rest and told Colin and me that his elbow was telling him is was going to be an “ibuprofin afternoon”!

 

MAL Lures are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 61 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Over at Lake Belton the water is falling at a steady clip.  Today it stood at 7.60 high, with a .45′ 24-hour fall and an outflow of 4,720 CFS.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:20A

End Time: 10:50A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 72F

Elevation:  0.86 feet high, -0.17 24-hour change, 774 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 84.7F

Wind Speed & Direction: NNE10 at trip’s start, tapering off slowly to NNE7 by trip’s end

Sky Condition: 100% grey cloud cover all morning

Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous at 92% illumination

GT = 60

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area SH0003G – downrigging for low-light fish, then transitioning to vertical work with MAL’s once the fish moved to bottom as the skies brightened

**Area 108 – moderate action on MAL’s

**Area  867 – moderate action on MAL’s

**Area SH0048G – – moderate action on MAL’s

 

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

2 GRANDKIDS DOWN, 1 TO GO — 138 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Monday, June 21st, I fished with returning guests Larry Brewer, his friend, Blake Hoekstra, and Larry’s 16-year-old grandson, Eymon McCormick, who is visiting with Larry and his wife for a few days.

Mr. and Mrs. Brewer host their three grandkids, one at a time, over the summer, and, beginning last summer, began taking each on their own fishing trip with me.

On June 9th, Larry’s granddaughter, Finley, enjoyed a solo 83-fish day as we combined white bass fishing and sunfishing into a shorter 3.5 hour trip intended for elementary-aged kids.

This morning, all three of my guests fished a standard 4-hour trip and we focused strictly on white bass.

I’ve been off the water for 10 days as Rebecca and I headed out west on a prairie dog hunt after running ~6 trips per week every week since early March.  As much as I enjoyed that time in Wyoming, it was good to be back behind the wheel and the sonar screens this morning hunting for white bass instead of rodents!

MAL Lure

 

PHOTO CAPTION:   From left: Larry Brewer, Blake Hoekstra, and Eymon McCormick with a few of the 3-year class white bass which made up the vast majority of our catch this morning.

MAL Lure

 

PHOTO CAPTION:   White bass weren’t the only fish hitting the MAL Heavy this morning.  Larry took this 3-pound class largemouth working the MAL vertically in deep water.  It was one of two legal largemouth we landed this morning.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED: Monday (AM), 21 June 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

I don’t make it any secret that June is my least favorite month to fish of the entire year (which is one of the reasons I take off a week in June to go hunt prairie dogs).  There is typically a lot of environmental change taking place in a short span of time.  These things include the setup of the thermocline, the corresponding movement of fish into depths at or shallower than the thermocline, water temperatures rising above the white bass’ preferred temperature range, the appearance of young-of-the-year shad in open water, and, this year, high flows out of the dams at both Belton and Stillhouse.

No matter how well you do today, that is no guarantee on how you’ll do tomorrow; simply put: June lacks consistency.

This morning we did well given all that is going on.  The morning started a bit murky with 100% cloud cover, but, by ~7:30, we could see the orb of the sun barely showing through the thinning (but still 100%) coverage of clouds.

In our first hour, we hit two areas after finding a few fish scattered near bottom and with shad in the vicinity.  During that hour we landed 22 white bass on the MAL Heavy Lure in white.  We had a lot of fish chase but not commit, and we had a lot of fish not chase at all.

I relocated to a stubby underwater point which was being impacted directly by the southerly wind now blowing at 10 mph, and, in our second and third hours here, we landed 38 fish and 47 fish, respectively without ever moving from this slow-sloping area in about 46 feet of water. We continued to catch fish (17 more) here into our fourth hour on the water, as well.

The bite began to soften substantially by 9:45, and, in our final 45 minutes on the water we moved 3 different times to put a final 16 fish in the boat, for a final tally of 138 fish landed, including two legal largemouth bass.

The fishing was identical at each location … we’d find the fish with sonar (relying on DI, SI, and 2D equally), Spot-Lock atop them, drop and work MAL Heavy Lures (in white) vertically in conjunction with Garmin LiveScope and enjoy the results over and over again.

As the bite waned in our final hour, despite finding lots of fish, they would “flare” with interest only briefly, allowing us to catch 1 or 2 fish per angler before settling down to bottom and remaining there, albeit disinterested.

Of the 138 fish we landed, only 2 white bass were sub-legal, with the vast majority being 3-year class fish at ~13.00-13.50 inches.

MAL Lures are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 138 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Over at Lake Belton the water is falling at a steady clip.  Today it stood at 8.00 high, with a .41′ 24-hour fall and an outflow of 4,728 CFS.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:20A

End Time: 10:40A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 80F

Elevation:  1.02 feet high, -0.22 24-hour change, 778 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 80.6F

Wind Speed & Direction: S6 at trip’s start, building slowly to S13

Sky Condition: 100% grey cloud cover for first 2.5 hours, then breaking up to 80% grey cloud cover

Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous at 85% illumination

GT = 50

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  1239 – relatively disinterested fish due to very low-light penetration through thick clouds

**Area vic 854/862 – moderately interested fish as the wind built and the skies brightened a bit

**Area  1419 – best stop of the morning – over 100 fish landed here in over 2 hours of solid fishing

**Area 889 – 2 short hops for a few quick fish at each as the bite was tailing out

**Area 071 – a few quick fish as we first presented baits as the morning bite was tailing out

 

 

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

5th SKIFF TRIP OF THE 2021 SEASON – REYNOLDS FAMILY

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Saturday morning, June 13th, I conducted the 2021 season’s 5th SKIFF trip welcoming aboard Maria Reynolds (mom), and two of her three kids, Makenna (age 11), and Bryson (age 8).

The children’s father, Sergeant First Class Brad Reynolds, passed away at age 38 while on active duty at Fort Hood on May 13, 2020.  SFC Reynolds served as an Army aviation helicopter mechanic.

Maria, originally from the Philippines, is a nurse working in the endoscopy department at Advent hospital in Killeeen.

SKIFF is an acronym for Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun. It is a program now in its 12th year, sponsored by the Austin Fly Fishers, and supported by individuals and entities, all of whom desire that kids separated from a parent by that parent’s military duty, be given an opportunity to experience the outdoors through fishing during that time of separation, free of charge.  The program offers a time of respite for the home-front parents who made need a short break from single-parenting.

PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Makenna, Maria, and Bryson Reynolds with a portion of their 64-fish catch taken from Stillhouse Hollow on the morning of June 12, 2021.

PHOTO CAPTION: Makenna landed our largest fish of the trip.  This freshwater drum hustled up off the bottom and grabber her well-presented MAL Heavy Lure in white color.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

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

HOW WE FISHED: Up until this trip’s start time I was only expecting Bryson.  He and his dad used to fish a lot and so, with his 9th birthday coming up this month, his mom arranged this trip for him.  At the last minute his older sister, Makenna, decided she’d go ahead and give it a try, and so that took our party size up to three.

The kids quickly got the hang of working the MAL Lure so as to get the spinner blade working efficiently as we did a “practice round” near the courtesy dock before taking our act out on the road and trying to catch fish.

We fished one general area, making a few short hops to stay up with the fish, from our trip’s start to around 8:55AM when the white bass bite shut down pretty quickly for us.  During this time the kids successfully worked their MAL Heavy Lures vertically to the tune of 51 white bass and 1 freshwater drum taken from out of right around 40 feet of water.  Thanks to pretty grey, murky skies, the bite got off to a slow start, but, by 7:30, it was off to the races for a solid 70+ minutes of catching as fast as the kids’ sore wrists would allow.  A few times I had to change spinning reel handles to the opposite side of the reel so the kids could give their wrists a break.

Just for variety’s sake, we did a bit of downrigging after the white bass shut down.  We picked up one white bass that way and then changed over to sunfishing for the remainder of the morning.

Heading up into flooded brush, we broke out the long poles and presented live bait under floats for bluegill, redear, and longear sunfish.  The kids landed 11 sunfish before Makenna gave out right around 10AM as the hot, humid weather and early wake-up began to take its toll.  Bryson lasted another 10 minutes and we then decided to wrap it up and enjoy a cooling, breezy ride back in to the boat dock.

The kids wound up catching a total of 64 fish.

MAL Lures are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 64 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Lake Belton was still rising.  Today it stood at 9.82 high, with a .10′ 24-hour rise and an outflow of 4,767 CFS.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:40A

End Time: 10:20A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 73F

Elevation:  2.92 feet high, -0.09 24-hour change, 783 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 78.9F

Wind Speed & Direction: S4-6

Sky Condition: 100% grey cloud cover all morning

Moon Phase: Waxing crescent at 4% illumination

GT = N/A

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 103/262/105 – 51 white bass on MAL Heavy (white)

**Area  420/421 – 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) 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

ZOEY’S SUMMER SUNNIES — 38 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Thursday evening, June 10th, I fished with 6-year-old Zoey Haberer, accompanied by her grandfather, Steve Niemeier, as we targeted sunfish on Stillhouse Hollow.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:   Zoey Haberer’s catch of 38 fish consisted mainly of sunfish like this redear taken out of ~5 feet of water in a band of bare bottom between the shoreline and a parallel line of near-shore hydrilla growth.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday (PM), 09 June 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

With the recent cessation of rains, Stillhouse crested and is now falling slowly from a peak elevation of over 3 feet above full pool.  This has created a unique, and short-lived situation along the shoreline.  Because we are squarely within the growing season for hydrilla, that form of aquatic vegetation is now growing out of portions of the lake bottom which is normally dry land.  It is doing this by spreading toward the shore from the already-established plants out in slightly deeper water.

So, now there is a band of clean bottom located between the shoreline and this new “wall” of hydrilla which will only exist as long as the water is high.  In areas where the bank is more steeply sloped, this “clean bottom” offers an opportunity to present baits to sunfish hiding in the hydrilla and to do so without getting your presentation tangled in weeds.

This is what we focused on this afternoon in an attempt to keep Zoey engaged for her 3.5-hour-long “Kids Fish, Too!” trip.

We looked and tried fishing at a number of areas, finding all of our sunfish success at two of them.  Wherever we could get one sunfish to bite, we were sure to catch more as the sunfish were congregating in distinct areas given the scenario described above.

Using a pole, float, and worms as bait, Zoey landed exactly 35 sunfish including redear, longear, and bluegill sunfish.

With about an hour remaining until sunset, and Zoey having lost interest in any more sunfishing, we tried our luck on twilight white bass.  Unlike Belton, Stillhouse does not often have a strong evening white bass bite.  The main reason we were on Stillhouse is because of the greatly fluctuating conditions over on Lake Belton, which continues to rise, thus making access difficult, and ramp closures being a very real possibility with each day the water rises.

We found a few fish in our last hour, and Zoey reeled in two white bass and a single freshwater drum as we worked MAL Lures vertically in conjunction with Garmin LiveScope.  This brought our final total to 38 fish for the evening.

MAL Lures are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 38 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Lake Belton is still rising.  Today it stood at 9.44 high, with a .18′ 24-hour rise and an outflow of 5,445 CFS.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  4:45P

End Time: 8:25P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 91F

Elevation:  2.92 feet high, -0.09 24-hour change, 783 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 78.9F

Wind Speed & Direction: S11

Sky Condition: Pale blue sky with no cloud cover

Moon Phase: New moon

GT = 55

Wx SNAPSHOT:

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area SH0047G – 12 sunfish

**Area  SH0046G – 23 sunfish

**Area vic 108 – 2 white bass, 1 drum on MAL Heavy (white) 

 

 

Bob Maindelle

Full-time, Professional Fishing Guide and Owner of Holding the Line Guide Service

Belton Lake Fishing Guide, Stillhouse Hollow Fishing Guide

254.368.7411 (call or text) Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow #BeltonFishingGuide #LakeBeltonFishingGuide

#BeltonLakeFishingGuide #stripers #stripedbassfishing #rockfish #sandbass #freshwaterfishing #fishing

#bass #bassfishing #whitebass #panfish #crappie #fishingonaboat #fishingtackle #fishinglife #fishingsport

#fishingaddict #fishingpicoftheday #fishingtime #fishinggear #fishingday

#Fitec