BUCKET (and) LIST – 24 FISH w/ STEVE WEBB

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Monday morning I fished with Mr. Steve Webb.   This was one of two trips Steve booked with me as we spoke on the floor of the Central Texas Boat Show back in January.  Steve is a very good multi-species fisherman with a leaning towards catfish.  During our first trip, I got to introduce him to the Garmin LiveScope technology as we used it to vertical jig for deep white bass on Stillhouse.

On this trip, Steve specifically wanted to pursue hybrid striped bass.  He came with a notebook (and a really fancy bucket!) in which he had thought ahead and written down a list of questions he wanted to ask.

Even when you are successful on your own, as Steve is, seeking input from others who do well at what they do helps you become a better angler.  To this end, I try to book two trips a year with professional guides outside of this region to try to stay sharp and keep improving.  Kudos to Steve for having this mindset.

It was very enjoyable for me to share what I know about some things I do often and at the same time learn from Steve about how to handle certain sets of circumstances encountered when catfishing.

PHOTO CAPTION: Although the hybrid didn’t feed long and hard this morning, we enjoyed a few scrapes.  On one occasion Steve had a second rod go down just as he was bringing a hybrid to net.  He grabbed the second rod as I kept the first hybrid in the net and in the water, and we managed a quick “doubles” photo before releasing boat.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  Steve Webb, his notebook, and his bucket!!  Some men spend money on cars, some on boats, some on expensive golf clubs, or fancy clothes; not Steve — nope, Steve spends his money on buckets.

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:   Hybrid striped bass using live shad (and a few bonus blue cat)

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED:   06 May 2019, AM

HOW WE FISHED: It’s not too often I contact a client before the trip and they say, “I really don’t like catching fish.”, but, Steve did.

We agreed that finding fish is much more challenging than catching fish.

So, on this trip, we did, indeed, find a few pockets of fish – in fact, every stop we made held at least a few fish.  When we found fish, we hovered atop them with Spot Lock, then proceeded to have a conversation about one of the many topics Steve hoped to cover in our morning together.

Steve asked a lot of good questions, many involving the influence of wind on fish location, as well as questions about the whole genre of catching and keeping shad.

The fishing was a bit slow but, when blue cat invaded our bait spread, I got to see firsthand a tactic Steve tried to explain to me at the Boat Show for catching them.  I won’t divulge Steve’s secrets here, but, suffice it to say that I was impressed with both the simplicity and efficacy of the technique.

 

OBSERVATIONS:  Area SHAD014 which I tend to rely upon for bait in May is now inundated with flood water, thus, I had to find shad elsewhere.  SHAD025 produced well and showed potential for producing more than just this morning.

TALLY: 24 fish caught and released – including 6 legal hybrid

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:00a

End Time: 11:30a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  67F

Elevation:  6.04 feet high with a 0.71foot 24-hour rise, and a flow of 431 cfs.  This was due to heavy, area-wide rains mid-day Thursday and all day Friday, 2 & 3 May.  Downstream flooding on the Brazos is preventing the release of water, so it is presently just accumulating in Belton and Stillhouse.

Water Surface Temp:  70.1F

Wind Speed & Direction:  ESE9-13mph

Sky Conditions:  Grey skies with varying levels of cloud thickness through the morning

GT = 60

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:     

 

 AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic 1945 – low light bite for hybrid on live shad; late morning blue cat present

 

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

IN COUNCIL WITH THE CHIEFTAINS – 50 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Thursday morning I fished what has become an annual event with “The Chief”, including Temple Fire Chief Mitch Randles, Temple Police Chief Floyd Mitchell, and Belton Police Chief Gene Ellis.  These public servants are all stand-up fellows, earnestly concerned about the communities they live in and serve, and have a love for their own families that is, unfortunately, uncommon these days.  I look forward to this trip from the moment they schedule it a year in advance.

PHOTO CAPTION:  Temple Fire Chief Mitch Randles with an early morning Lake Belton hybrid striped bass.  A very short sunrise bite took place this morning, and then the impacts of the unstable weather kicked in an really ate into our hybrid catch this morning.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  Temple Police Chief Floyd Mitchell with one of a pair of hybrid he landed on live shad before a cold east wind put a damper on the hybrid bite.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  Belton Police Chief Gene Ellis with one of the six hybrid we landed on live shad Thursday morning before setting our sights on white bass.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:   Hybrid striped bass using live shad, and white bass using artificials

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED:   02 May 2019, AM

HOW WE FISHED: The hot streak of hybrid fishing which began on 21 April faltered today thanks to some “wonky” weather which entered our area in the form of an outflow boundary (think of a mini-cold front) oozing out of the significant weather system that slammed into the DFW/north Texas area the day before.  Just hours before the trip there was thunder, lightning, and strong northwest winds.  By 7am, the winds had gone easterly, there was a chill in the air, and the humid, tropical feel to the atmosphere was gone.  In our first 3+ hours on the water, we managed only 6 legal hybrid and 2 white bass as we targeted hybrid with live shad.

Knowing that our results were driven by weather, not by failing to search where hybrid typically locate, I relocated us and, with the chiefs’ consent, shifted our focus to white bass using artificial lures.  In under 90 minutes’ time were were able to make up for some lost time and succeeded in putting a final 42 fish in the boat, including 3 short hybrid and 39 white bass, all taken from about 26 feet of water on a combination of Hazy Eye Slabs with Hazy Eye Stinger hooks, and tailspinners.

As I bid farewell to the chiefs, I touched base with other anglers in my network.  One retired gentleman who is a very good hybrid angler reported just one hybrid caught by around 10am, and, as of 12:30pm, one of the other guides I spoke with had yet to land a single legal hybrid.   I noted that several other groups of anglers whom I typically see in pursuit of hybrid at this time of year were moving frequently in search of these weather-impacted fish.

 

OBSERVATIONS:  Area SHAD014 produced only scant results this morning.  A few shad moved onshore, then moved right back out and it was all over in a matter of minutes.  I managed to get enough netted to make up for what we would use for the morning, but not much more.  Also saw two small pods of shad, thanks to egret action, at SHAD022 , but did not attempt netting them.

TALLY: 50 fish caught and released – including 6 legal hybrid

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:00a

End Time: 12:15p

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  63F

Elevation:  1.7 feet high with a 0.25 foot 24-hour drop, and a flow of 2700 cfs

Water Surface Temp:  69.1F

Wind Speed & Direction:  ENE9-13mph

Sky Conditions:  Grey skies with varying levels of cloud thickness through the morning

GT = 30

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:     

 

 AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area B0150C – low light bite for hybrid on live shad

**Area B0087C to B0088C – hybrid on live shad

**Area 708 to 788 – white bass on slabs/tailspinners

 

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

HYBRID WEATHER — DAY 3!!! — 47 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Wednesday morning, May 1st, I fished with Eddy Howton, Jimmy Cox, and Dwayne Jones on Lake Belton in pursuit of hybrid striped bass.

All three men are retired.  Eddy served in law enforcement and emergency operations his entire career, retiring from Fort Hood.  Jimmy retired from a career as an educator, with his last assignment as the principal at Troy Junior High School.  Dwayne retired as a federal parole officer.

Just for fun: If you ever want to get Jimmy laughing, ask him about the red rod covers I use to protect my hybrid rods during transportation!!

PHOTO CAPTION:   From left, Eddy Howton, Jimmy Cox, and Dwayne Jones.  There is something about those grey skies, humid, warm conditions, and southeasterly breezes that really turn these fish on.  We landed 47 fish, of which 41 were legal (18-inch or longer) hybrid striped bass.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:   Hybrid striped bass using live shad.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED:   01 May 2019, AM

HOW WE FISHED: This morning’s trip was the single most productive hybrid trip of the 2019 season thus far.  Of the 47 fish landed, exactly 41 were legal hybrid up to 5.25 pounds

Once again, we fished strictly live bait in pursuit of hybrid striped bass this morning.  This morning’s best action took place between 7:00am and 8:30am, with a lighter feed from 8:30am to 9:30am, a lull through 10:45am, and then an end-of-morning feed from 11:00am – 12:30am.

Every hybrid we caught today came on livley shad.  Medium-sized shad of about 3.25″ in length seemed to produce best.  Larger shad were readily struck, but often resulted in dead baits instead of hooked fish.  Cutbaits produced no hybrid this morning.

OBSERVATIONS:  Area SHAD014 once again produced sufficient bait this morning with minimal effort.  There is a definite wrinkle in the weather headed our way, and I’m concerned that our water temperature is still too cool to trump the impact which that weather may bring.  Only time will tell.

TALLY: 47 fish caught and released – including 41 legal hybrid

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:00a

End Time: 12:30p

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  75F

Elevation:  1.96 feet high with a 0.20 foot 24-hour drop, and a flow of 2706 cfs

Water Surface Temp:  69.1F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SE10-12mph

Sky Conditions:  leaden grey skies with sparse, short-lived episodes of drizzle

GT = 85

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:     

 

 AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic 717 early

**Area vic B0150C late

 

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

HYBRID WEATHER — DAY 2!! – 41 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Tuesday, April 30th, I fished with 3 fishing buddies/co-workers including Chris Lester, Chris Holle, and Mike White.  All of them work at the Blackland Research Center in Temple and have been out fishing with me twice before during the cool season as we vertically jigged for white bass.  This was their first time fishing with me for hybrid striped bass.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:   Chris Lester with our single largest hybrid of the trip, weighing in at just slightly over 5.00 pounds.  This morning’s strikes at the live shad were very aggressive, with fish rocketing off bottom to take the baits, then swimming off with the baits rapidly.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:   Mike White managed one hybrid a piece on the two rods he was keeping an eye on.  These fish were landed just seconds apart.  Chris Lester kept on fish submerged on the Rapala Fish Gripper to keep it healthy as Mike landed the second fish.  We then did a quick photo and turned them both back quickly.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:   Chris Holle shows one of his better fish caught this morning.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:   Hybrid striped bass using live shad.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED:   30 April 2019, AM

HOW WE FISHED:  Once again, we fished strictly live bait in pursuit of hybrid striped bass this morning.  This morning’s action took place between 7:00am and 9:38am.  After this time the bite died hard.  Due to excessive wind, the locations which have produced well in the late morning were inaccessible.  I noted that one other boat of typically successful recreational anglers arrived in the same vicinity I was fishing around the 9:30a timeframe, and later discovered they moved because their bite had died at this same time, as well.

All three men I had aboard did well at holding off on turning the reel’s handle (using circle hooks) until the fish moved off with the bait in a sustained manner, hence, they hooked a high percentage of the hybrid which struck out baits.

OBSERVATIONS: Three quick throws provided all the bait needed for a full trip at SHAD014 although no motion could be seen for the wind blowing pre-sunrise.  The take of the baits by the hybrid was more immediate and aggressive this morning; I expect this will only get more so as the water temperature climbs and the fishes’ metabolism continues to increase.  3 of the 29 hybrid we landed showed clear signs of having been caught and released previously.

TALLY: 41 fish caught and released – including 29 legal hybrid

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:00a

End Time: 11:30p

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 74F

Elevation: 2.15′ above full pool with a 0.15′ 24-hour fall and a 2706 cfs flow

Water Surface Temp: ~67.7F

Wind Speed & Direction: S11-18

Sky Conditions:  leaden grey skies with drizzle or light rain ~25% of the time.

GT = 62

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:     

 

 AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1012/1552 – caught 39 of our 41 fish at this location, all by 9:38am.

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

HYBRID WEATHER – 50 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Monday, April 29th, I fished with returning guest Brian House, accompanied by two first-time guests, Jason Moon and Nick Szyman.  The three men got to know one another working out at the same gym.  Brian is a U.S. Navy vet, Jason is a U.S. Army vet, and Nick is a U.S. Army Staff Sergeant still on active duty.

PHOTO CAPTION:  Brian hooked up first and often today.  He had great technique on the reel, waiting for a sustained pull until he methodically turned the reel’s handle slowly allowing the circle hooks we used to cam around and latch onto the fish.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  Jason, originally from Georgia, is now using his G.I. Bill to pursue a degree as he operates his own taxidermy business.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:   U.S. Army SSG Nick Szyman with a nice 4-pound class Lake Belton hybrid striped bass taken on live shad.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:   Hybrid striped bass using live shad.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED:   29 April 2019, AM

HOW WE FISHED:  We fished strictly live bait in pursuit of hybrid striped bass this morning.  The stiff SSE breeze and grey cloud cover were very welcome after the bright sunny skies of this past weekend.

The shad spawn was heavy this morning and the hybrid put on their best show to date.  Of the 50 fish we landed today, 29 were legal hybrid.  We landed no undersized hybrid.  The remainder of our fish consisted mainly of blue cat and white bass, with a single largemouth bass thrown in the the mix.

We fished only two areas extensively today.  The first area produced from 7:30 to 9:30am.  During this time we landed 35 fish, including 22 legal hybrid.

We then had a hour’s lag as I searched numerous areas without success.

Then, from 10:38 to 12:30, we enjoyed another 2 full hours of slower, but still productive fishing.  This second run produced another 15 fish, including 7 more legal hybrid stripers.

OBSERVATIONS:   Large shad produced best early; then medium-sized shad and cutbait produced best at the end of the morning. “One and done” shad situation at SHAD014 although no motion could be seen for the wind blowing pre-sunrise.

TALLY: 50 fish caught and released – including 29 legal hybrid

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:00a

End Time: 12:30p

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 68F

Elevation: 2.30′ above full pool with a 0.06′ 24-hour fall and a 1672 cfs flow

Water Surface Temp: ~67.4F

Wind Speed & Direction: S12-15

Sky Conditions:  Grey skies with “squinting light” penetrating all morning

GT = 65

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:     

 

 AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  717/B0148C  – 35 fish, including 22 legal hybrid

**Area B0149C – 15 fish, including 7 more legal hybrid

 

 

 

 

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

FRONT-LOADED HYBRID – 30 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Saturday, April 27th, I fished with Temple-based CPA and long-time client Steve Niemeier.  Steve typically books several trips each year and has always included his grandkids on his trips from as soon as they are able to fish (around 5 years of age).  Today, his granddaughter, Macy Fowler, age 10, got to join us.

I was really impressed with Macy in that I only had to explain/show her something one time and she would immediately get the hang of it.  At age 10 she also hung in there really well as we passed on smaller fish opportunities to put legal hybrid in the boat, which required some waiting and patience on her part.

PHOTO CAPTION:    The hybrid fishing was “front-loaded” this morning, with a majority of our legal fish taken in the first 90 minutes.  Here Steve Niemeier and his granddaughter, Macy Fowler, grip two fish caught just seconds apart as a small school of hybrid came into our vertically presented bait spread.

PHOTO CAPTION:    This mid-morning surprise came just after I had moved us to get away from small fish including smaller blue cat, white bass, and (very) short hybrid.  Although all of these same fish would present themselves at this stop several yards away from the fish we’d hoped to leave behind, it wasn’t before this battle-scarred largemouth found Macy’s shad suspended up off bottom.  It weighed 6.75 pounds and measured 23.75 inches (just shy of a Big Fish Certificate length by .25 inches).

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:   Hybrid striped bass using live shad.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED:   27 April 2019, AM

HOW WE FISHED:  We fished strictly live bait in pursuit of hybrid striped bass this morning and did best in our first 90 minutes.

With water temperatures still lagging behind “normal”, the hybrid bite still has not really taken off yet, but is at least consistent.

Fishing live shad on a tight-line rig with a 3/4 oz. egg sinker, quality swivel, 25# fluorocarbon leader and circle hook (with mono tag) is standard fare.  I have been gauging the distance off bottom at which we present our baits based on fish aggression level and the presence of smaller, non-target species like white bass and blue catfish.

We never caught more than two hybrid at any one location although we saw additional fish present before and after catching the legal hybrid we caught, they would come up to the level of our baits, then turn away, and then only as singles or pairs.

OBSERVATIONS:  Even more white bass coming down the tributaries today headed for deep, clear water.  Shad spawn visibly evident at the following: SHAD023, SHAD017, and SHAD024.  I netted successfully at SHAD024.  Reliable source indicated shad also spawning at SHAD025 and SHAD009 thru SHAD010 to SHAD011.  We got checked by TPWD today — no issues.

TALLY: 30 fish caught and released – including 8 legal hybrid

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:45a

End Time: 12:15a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 62F

Elevation: 2.33′ above full pool with a 0.06′ 24-hour rise and a 1672 cfs flow due to 2-3 inches of rain in the watershed 3 days ago

Water Surface Temp: ~67F

Wind Speed & Direction: S10-14

Sky Conditions:  Bright, cloudless blue skies

GT = 20

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:     

 

 AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  vic 1298 early

**Area  1743/346 – mid-morning action with lots of smallish fish — moved 3 times to get away from small fish just killing baits

**Area  B0082C late

 

 

 

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

We’re Getting There – 38 Fish @ Belton

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Friday morning I fished with David Burke of Belton, TX, and his friend, Glen Wagoner, of DeSoto, TX, near Dallas.  The two have been friends for about 14 years.  David first came out fishing with me solo during peak hybrid season in 2017, then last year brought Glen along.  This year Glen brought his dad, also named Glen, along, as well.  David is a U.S. Navy vet and retired counselor, Glen III works as an estate manager, and Glen Jr. retired from the painting business and now works part-time for a trucking company.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:    From left: Glen Wagoner Jr. David Burke, and Glen Wagoner III each with an early morning hybrid striped bass which struck live shad on Lake Belton.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:   Hybrid striped bass using live shad.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED:   26 April 2019, AM

HOW WE FISHED:  We fished strictly live bait in pursuit of hybrid striped bass this morning and did best in our first 90 minutes and in our last 45 minutes, with slower action during mid-morning. With water temperatures still lagging behind “normal”, the hybrid bite still has not really taken off yet, but is at least consistent.  Slowly but surely, we’re getting there!

Fishing live shad on a tight-line rig with a 3/4 oz. egg sinker, quality swivel, 25# fluorocarbon leader and circle hook (with mono tag) is standard fare.  I have been gauging the distance off bottom at which we present our baits based on fish aggression level and the presence of smaller, non-target species like white bass and blue catfish.

OBSERVATIONS:   Each day I see more and more white bass beginning to filter back in to deeper, clearer water haunts.  I noted that the Cowhouse arm picked up some whitish coloration from Wednesday’s rains.  Also noted the non-target blue catfish seem, on average, larger thus far this season.  The majority which strike live or cut bait are hooked and landed (versus much smaller blue cat experienced in years past which would nibble a shad from the tail end but not get hooked due to small mouth size).  Netted shad successfully at SHAD022 as they spawned in shallow water.

TALLY: 38 fish caught and released – including 19 legal hybrid

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:15a

End Time: 11:35a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 62F

Elevation: 2.27′ above full pool with a 0.31′ 24-hour rise and a 1672 cfs flow due to 2-3 inches of rain in the watershed 2 days ago

Water Surface Temp: ~66.6F

Wind Speed & Direction: NNW8-12

Sky Conditions:  Bright, cloudless blue skies

GT = 25

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:     

 

 AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  vic 1945 early

**Area  B0037C late

 

 

 

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

ON THIS DAY, 29+ YEARS AGO … 37 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, April 23rd, I fished with returning guests, father and son Matt and Mitch Laakso.  This was a birthday trip for Matt, scheduled a full year ago as we concluded his birthday trip in 2018.  We actually had to leave the fish biting at 11:35a this morning so Matt could make his 2:30p business flight for North Carolina out of Austin-Bergstrom airport!

 

PHOTO CAPTION:   Mitch Laakso (left) and his dad, Matt Laakso, with a late morning pair of hybrid taken just after the glassy-calm surface got rippled by a light easterly breeze.  The fishing closely tracked with wind velocity today, allowing these two anglers a total of 17 legal hybrid, all taken on barbless circle hooks and all released in excellent condition.

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:   Hybrid striped bass using live shad.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED:   23 April 2019, AM

HOW WE FISHED:   We fished live shad in pursuit of hybrid stripers for a full 4+ hours this morning.  For the 3rd trip in a row (I believe on account of the unseasonably cool water temperature), we typically caught the fish we witnessed on sonar which led us to stop at the areas we fished, but we never got a “chain reaction” going via pulling in fish from around us, thus, we had to move frequently, even if just a few boat-lengths.

Most of our fish came from 43-50 feet of water.  Shallower areas had an annoying abundance of small blue catfish on them.

We did best when the ESE wind blew, and noted a lack of action, or at least a lack of enthusiasm in the strikes we got, when the winds were calm.

Our 2nd hour and final hour were best, as that is when we enjoyed the best winds.  Unfortunately, we had to leave the fish biting at trip’s end so Matt could make a 2:30p flight out of Austin.

OBSERVATIONS:  The fish seemed to have no preference today on bait size.  If the wind was blowing, the fish were active and they readily took whatever lively baits we sent down to them.  Experimental cutbaits drew blue cat and zero hybrid this morning.  Netted shad successfully at SHAD014 as they spawned in shallow water.

TALLY: 37 fish caught and released – 17 legal hybrid, 4 short hybrid, and a 50/50 mix of white bass and blue catfish.

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:15a

End Time: 11:35a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 68F

Elevation: 0.71′ above full pool with a 0.01′ 24-hour rise

Water Surface Temp: ~65.4F

Wind Speed & Direction:

Sky Conditions:  100% thin, grey cloud cover with occasional drizzle

GT = N/A

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:     

 

 AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  717

**Area  vic 1289

**Area  B0037C

 

 

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

MOVE OR GO FISHLESS – 34 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, April 22nd, I fished with MJ Linder of Belton, his 80-year-old dad, Gene Linder of Abilene, Justin Hall and Justin’s 13-year-old son, John Hall, both from Gatesville.  MJ owns Mobility Therapies, his dad is a retired college educator, Justin is a youth pastor in Gatesville, and John is in middle school in Gatesville where he’s currently playing 7-man Spring Football.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  MJ Linder (right) and his dad, Gene, age 80, scored early on live shad.  Our best bite came in the first two hours this morning.

 

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  Justin Hall and his 13-year-old son, John, took these fish just moments apart as an aggressive pack of hybrid passed into our bait spread and grabbed what we were offering.

 

 

PHOTO CAPTION: Gene Linder landed our largest fish of the trip.  This blue cat went for a cutbait we had put out for variety’s sake.  It went 8.50 pounds on a certified scale.

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:   This was my first trip of the season devoted strictly to fishing for hybrid striped bass with live shad.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED:   22 April 2019, AM

HOW WE FISHED:   Fishing was fair this morning, although I expected a bit better based on the wind speed, wind direction, and cloud cover.  We fished live shad all morning and found the same scenario as I did last Friday — that when we pulled up on an area, we’d essentially catch what was there, but would not see fish pulled in from adjacent areas attracted by the commotion we made by thumping, with chum, nor by the frenzied movements of hooked fish.  Thus, it was necessary to move soon after the bite tapered off.  My conversation with one other Lake Belton angler confirmed this was happening elsewhere, as well.

The first 2 hours of the morning was best.  We got a lot of “lookers, not takers” in the last 2 hours of the morning; and this observation was confirmed by a fellow guide I checked in with after my trip had concluded.

OBSERVATIONS:   The later it got the more frequently we had disinterested fish inspect our baits without committing.

TALLY: 34 fish caught and released – 15 legal hybrid, 3 short hybrid, 12  blue cat, 1 largemouth bass, and 3 white bass.

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:15a

End Time: 11:45a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 64F

Elevation: 0.7′ above full pool with a 0.09′ 24-hour rise

Water Surface Temp: ~64.1F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSE11, increasing to SSE14 by trip’s end

Sky Conditions:  100% thin, grey cloud cover

GT = 50

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:     

 

 AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  B0090C thru 344 – best hybrid action in first 2 hours after sunrise

**Area  151 – abundant, but finicky, fish here; a few hybrid mixed in

**Area  966 –  encountered bluecat with baits close to bottom; a few hybrid mixed in

 

 

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

ANYONE KNOW HOW TO DO CPR? – 53 FISH @ STILLHOUSE

WHO I FISHED WITH:  On April 20th I fished with Jason Lange and his son, Andrew (age 16), and Will Sears and his son, Tyler (age 15).  All four were first time guests and came after being high bidders on a gift certificate from a recent Central Texas Christian School fundraiser.

Jason is a cardiologist with the Baylor Scott & White health system based at the Metroplex facility  in Killeen where he works with Will’s wife, a gastroenterologist.  Will is in the residential and commercial construction trade and runs Sears Builders and Development in Temple.  Andrew still attends CTCS, and Tyler recently transferred to Belton High School.

 

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left: Will Sears, Tyler Sears, Andrew Lange, and Jason Lange, each with one of the 53 fish we landed in a 4-hour morning white bass fishing trip on Stillhouse Hollow.

 

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  15-year-old Tyler Sears landed this 4.25 pound largemouth on a soft plastic grub on a 1/4 oz. jighead and on spinning gear intended for white bass.  After quite a tussle, we worked together to slide the fish into the net, then did a little C-P-R (Catch – Photograph – Release).

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:   This was a multispecies trip focused on white bass.

WHERE WE FISHED:  Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED:   20 April 2019, AM

HOW WE FISHED:  This very clear, cool morning, we began working up shallow first under low light conditions throwing soft plastic paddletail grubs on 1/4 oz. heads to white bass hanging on shallow flats.  As expected under post-frontal conditions, the bite was hindered a bit by the bright skies and relatively calm winds.  We experienced a slow, steady pick of fish through about 8:40a, when the shallow bite died for keeps.  We landed 15 white bass, 1 crappie, and 2 largemouth during this bite.

We immediately headed for deeper, clearer water and searched a number of potential fish-holding areas for fish.  When we found a few fish, I introduced everyone to LiveScope-assisted vertical jigging with 3/8 oz. Hazy Eye Slabs/Stingers.  Everyone really seemed “wow’ed” by the demo I provided (which resulted in a landed white bass which came racing about 25 feet from off the bottom in 40′ to grab my slab).  From that point on everyone stayed engrossed in properly working their baits so as to capitalize on interested fish.  Due to the post-frontal conditions, the fish were somewhat reluctant, but the time from 10:00 to 10:30 produced well thanks to the peak wind conditions we enjoyed during that span.  We ended up catching 35 white bass via vertical jigging, thus taking our tally to 53 fish.

OBSERVATIONS:    Thanks to 2 solid days of high winds, the upper 1/3 of Stillhouse was siltier than I care to fish; I believe this impacted our bite from fish accustomed to sight-feeding.

TALLY: 53 fish caught and released

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 6:45a

End Time: 11:00a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 46F

Elevation: 0.53′ above full pool with a 0.12′ 24-hour rise

Water Surface Temp: ~64F

Wind Speed & Direction:    WSW3 at trip’s start, and staying just barely strong enough to ripple the water until around 10, when it picked up to a consistent WSW9

Sky Conditions: No cloud cover.

GT = 40

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:     

 

 AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  vic 1697 & 1724 – low-light, shallow bite from 7 – 8:35 for 18 fish on paddletail grub/jighead

**Area 1201 – whites on channel shoulder via LiveScope with Hazy Eye Slabs/Stingers

**Area SH0108C –  whites on channel shoulder via LiveScope with Hazy Eye Slabs/Stingers

 

 

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