LATE START, EARLY FINISH, & STILL CAUGHT 260 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Monday, May 2nd, I fished with Rick Raatz, Ashley Schwettmann, and Clayton Whitson.

Rick runs a carpentry business based in Salado, Ashley tends bar in Killeen, and Clayton runs an excavation service out of Harker Heights.

The three became friends with fishing as the common denominator.

It was definitely a Monday, with my three anglers texting me just before our 6:45A meeting time that they’d be running late.  Even with our late start, we made up for lost time pretty quickly.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next openings will be on June 21 and 23.  Weekday mornings are always best.  Saturdays are available for on-the-water sonar training sessions (only) until after Labor Day when I’ll again offer Saturday morning fishing trips (until mid-March 2023).

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left, Clayton Whitson, Ashley Schwettmann, and Rick Raatz enjoyed excellent fishing during this annual spring warmup, as rising fish metabolism drives them to feed heavily and frequently.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Monday (AM), 01 May 2022

HOW WE FISHED:

Based on my own experience the last two weeks, and reports I got over the weekend, I anticipated easy, high-numbers fishing this morning, and that is exactly what we got.

With this in mind, I rigged up all of the rods we’d be using this morning with my MAL Heavy Lures with barbless hooks to make it easier on both me and the fish.  This, over the course of a 3-4 hour trip, also allows for more fish to be boated when less time is involved in removing the hook from each fish. We used the white tail and the chartreuse tail versions interchangeably using a smoking tactic in conjunction with Garmin LiveScope.

By about 10A, Rick’s back was “talking to him”, Clayton needed to get people and equipment moving, and Ashley probably would have stayed all day, but rode in with Rick.  We wrapped up a bit early at 10:15A with exactly 260 fish landed in three hours flat.

A complete description of this “smoking:” method is found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE

The LiveScope really is beneficial in this scenario, as it shows how high up off the bottom fish are, so each of my anglers knows how far to reel up off bottom to present their lure to individual fish they can track in real time on that sonar technology.  The LiveScope is also helpful to gauge fish activity level.  When the fish are more frenetically moving left and right, parallel to the bottom, you can see their forward rate of speed is greater than when they “settle down” and slow down.  Also, watching to see if fish are chasing a retrieved lure upwards lets my anglers know when to keep reeling, or, conversely, when to drop back to bottom.

Our final tally of 260 fish consisted of 1 short hybrid striped bass, 259 white bass.

The entire family of MAL Lures is found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

 TALLY:  260 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  I feel the slight wrinkle in the weather overnight gave the fishing a little boost this morning, although the fishing was already a 9.5 out of 10.

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 7:15A

End Time:  10:15A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 73F

Elevation: 3.91feet low, 0.06’ fall in last 24 hours, 38 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 71.0F

Wind Speed & Direction:   SSE16 for the first 3.5 hours, then calming to SSE12 thereafter

Sky Condition: Clear skies at trip’s start quickly gave way to a fully clouded sky with thin, grey cloud cover by 8:15.  Grey cloud varied from 80-100% coverage from that point on.

Moon Phase: Waxing crescent moon at 3% illumination.

GT = 25

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Areas 1804, B0039G, B0069G (2 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 #mepps

HEY, SONNY, IT’S KINDA SUNNY — 175 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Thursday evening, April 28th, I fished with Sonny Monroe and his son-in-law, Ryan Miles.

Sonny is a retired public school administrator and superintendent residing in Nolanville, TX, and Ryan is employed at Texas Hydraulics in Temple, TX.

In his retirement, Sonny got a new Ranger fishing boat, and passed down his older Champion bass boat to Miles.  After fishing with me on Thursday, the two turned right back around and did a 4-hour on-the-water sonar training session with me today (Saturday) on Sonny’s boat, using his pair of Lowrance Elite sonar units to train on.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next openings will be on June 21 and 23.  Weekday mornings are always best.  Saturdays are available for on-the-water sonar training sessions (only) until after Labor Day when I’ll again offer Saturday morning fishing trips (until mid-March 2023).

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left, Ryan Miles and his father-in-law, Sonny Monroe, landed 175 fish on a warm, partly cloudy afternoon trip this past Thursday on Lake Belton.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday (PM), 28 April 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

The heat and light we experienced on this afternoon’s trip made this the first trip in quite some time when the majority of the trip was not fished under very heavily clouded skies.

The fishing was a bit tougher, as we had to move quite a bit (8 locations in all) to keep on the bite, and wound up catching ~68% of the morning’s catch of 254.

The fish were not really all that hard to located, as large schools of fish have been the norm.  When the fish are in such large schools, at least a few will be located up off bottom, making detection with sonar much easier than when just a handful of fish are holding really tightly to the bottom.

When we found the fish, they tended to be other than enthusiastic about our presentations.  Only once, at our last stop of the evening, did the fish rise up off bottom to “greet” our falling presentations; otherwise, we had to work our baits for several iterations to get the fish excited.  Once they were excited and began biting, there was no real frenzied action.

We relied on using the MAL Dense (white body/chartreuse tail) vertically, retrieved using a smoking tactic at all but our last location.  A complete description of this “smoking:” method is found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE

At our last location, with the fish up as shallow as we would find them over the span of the entire trip, we were able to position the boat in even shallower water, cast perpendicular to the portside of the boat, and work our MAL Dense Lures back through the heavily schooled fish using a “sawtooth retrieve”.  This put a final 33 fish in the boat in about as many minutes just before and after the sun set.

Our final tally of 254 fish consisted of 2 short hybrid striped bass, 1 freshwater drum, and 172 white bass.

The entire family of MAL Lures is found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

 TALLY:  175 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: Here is the water temperature profile I measured around 3:15PM:

0 feet 72.5
5 feet 72.1
10 feet 71.3
15 feet 70.8
20 feet 70.5
25 feet 70.0
30 feet 68.6
35 feet 67.8
40 feet 66.4
45 feet 64.9
50 feet 62.6
55 feet 61.9

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 3:45P

End Time:  8:05P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 83F

Elevation: 3.81 feet low, 0.02’ fall in last 24 hours, 38 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 72.5F (nearly 5 degrees warmer on the surface than at sunrise)

Wind Speed & Direction:   SSE16 for the first 3.5 hours, then calming to SSE12 thereafter

Sky Condition: 60% moderate grey cloud cover for the first 2 hours, then clearing slightly to 30% light grey cloud cover

Moon Phase: Waning crescent moon at 6% illumination.

GT = 25

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Areas B0067G/B0002C, B0016G, B0064G, B0010C/B0056G, vic B0122C, B0082G, B0187C, B0172C

 

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 #mepps

A TIME OF RESPITE – 254 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Thursday morning, April 28th, I fished with David and Jill Weaver of Florence, TX.  David, an Aggie, is a career veterinarian, working at a successful small animal practice in northwest Austin, and Jill retired early from her work as a financial planner.

After spending much time in and around the hospital caring for a family member of late, this outdoor experience came as a very welcome break, and at a very opportune time.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next openings will be on June 21 and 23.  Weekday mornings are always best.  Saturdays are available for on-the-water sonar training sessions (only) until after Labor Day when I’ll again offer Saturday morning fishing trips (until mid-March 2023).

PHOTO CAPTION:   David and Jill Weaver really worked ‘em over this morning, boating 254 fish in a little over 4 hours’ worth of fishing.  All fish were caught using MAL Dense Lures with a “smoking tactic”.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday (AM), 28 April 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

With continued wind, cloud cover, and warming water, the fishing continued to be spectacular this morning.

Although the forecast called for ~75% cloud cover early with clearing to about 30% by afternoon, we had very few breaks in the grey skies all morning, which kept the light levels low and the fish on the feed.

We started our morning up as shallow as we would fish all morning (~22’ deep) and then moved progressively deeper to keep up with feeding fish, with our last fish coming out of 43’.

The schools of fish we found numbered several hundred individuals in each of the four schools we fished over top of today, as seen on down-imaging, side-imaging, traditional sonar, and Garmin LiveScope equally well.

The four areas we fished produced 76 fish, 18 fish, 14 fish, and 146 fish, respectively.

We relied on but one presentation today, using the MAL Dense (white body/chartreuse tail) vertically, retrieved using a smoking tactic.  A complete description of this “smoking:” method is found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE

The Garmin LiveScope help let us know when to continue reeling (as fish pursued our baits) and when to let the lure return to bottom.

David, who has a black bass fishing background, had to “unlearn” his reflexive, hard hookset in order to land more of the fish which struck his presentation, but, once he got that mastered (which he did rather quickly), he did very well.

Our final tally of 254 fish consisted of 2 short hybrid striped bass, 1 freshwater drum, and 251 white bass.

The entire family of MAL Lures is found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

 TALLY:  254 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: The wild dewberries have begun to ripen.

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 6:45A

End Time:  11:30A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 68F

Elevation: 3.81 feet low, 0.02’ fall in last 24 hours, 38 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 67.6F

Wind Speed & Direction:   SSE12 at trip’s start, slowly increasing to SSE16 with gusts to 20.

Sky Condition: 100% moderate grey cloud cover all morning with just a few momentary breaks of sun shining through

Moon Phase: Waning crescent moon at 6% illumination.

GT = 105

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Areas vic 1804 (2 hops), 1012, 1544, and 1390

 

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 #mepps

WIND + CLOUDS = FISH (261 FISH @ BELTON)

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Wednesday, 27 April, I fished with returning guests Dr. Jim Wood of McGregor, and Sky Sparks of Harker Heights.

Jim is a retired physician who got to know Sky, a medical scribe, through the wound care practice he retired from.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next opening will be on June 21st.  Weekday mornings are always best.  Saturdays are available for on-the-water sonar training sessions (only) until after Labor Day when I’ll again offer Saturday morning fishing trip (until mid-March 2023).

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  Dr. Jim Wood (left) and Sky Sparks took 261 fish on Lake Belton this morning using the MAL Dense fished vertically in deep water.

 

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Wednesday (AM), 27 April 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

Although the fish were not quite as aggressive as they were yesterday on the north wind following a frontal passage on Monday, the steady SE wind and abundant, grey cloud cover still made for excellent fishing today.

We caught fish consistently right up until around 10AM, which is when the first direct sun struck the water.

Up until that time, we took 250 fish from three locations, each in the same manner.  Our first area gave up 62 fish, the second area gave up 58 fish, and our third area gave up 130 fish.

At each of these areas we used the MAL Dense with white body/chartreuse tail for its fast-sinking characteristic.  Watching on Garmin LiveScope, we observed the rise and fall of our lures as we “smoked” them up off the bottom to tempt both bottom-oriented and suspended fish.  The longer we stayed in an area, the more suspended fish we dealt with.

A complete description of this “smoking:” method is found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE

As the direct sun began to shine on the water, our success fell off sharply. We landed only 13 additional fish in our final hour on the water.

Our final tally of 261 fish consisted of 3 short hybrid striped bass, 1 freshwater drum, and 257 white bass.

Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs and MAL Lures are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

 TALLY:  261 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  The correlation between the direct sun shining and the cessation of the morning bite was pretty distinct this morning.

 

 WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 6:45A

End Time:  11:10A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 59F

Elevation: 3.78 feet low, 0.03’ fall in last 24 hours, 38 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 67.7F

Wind Speed & Direction:   SE1-12 all morning

Sky Condition: 100% light grey cloud cover for the first 3.25 hours, then clearing quickly to 30% white cover on a blue sky in the final hour

Moon Phase: Waning crescent moon at 12% illumination.

GT = 95

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Areas 085, 682, vic 1012, vic B0131C

 

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 #mepps

TWO-MAN 305-FISH TALLY ON LAKE BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Tuesday, 26 April, I fished with returning guests Dwight Stone of Georgetown, TX, and his son-in-law, Josh Rogers of Killeen, TX.

Dwight is a well-rounded outdoorsman, comfortable with both rod and gun, and is retired from the restaurant business.  Josh is busy with a wife, two young kids, and a family-owned car business based in Florence, TX.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next opening will be on June 21st.  Weekday mornings are always best.  Saturdays are available for on-the-water sonar training sessions (only) until after Labor Day when I’ll again offer Saturday morning fishing trip (until mid-March 2023).

PHOTO CAPTION:   The Bearded Wonders — Josh Rogers and his father-in-law, Dwight Stone enjoyed great spring fishing, enhanced by frontally-impacted weather to put together a 2-man catch of over 300 fish.

 

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday (AM), 26 April 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

The fishing was already good thanks to stable, warming water, but, we got a “bump” this morning thanks to the wind and cloud cover left in the wake of yesterday’s frontal passage.  We spent a short amount of time looking for a shallow bite this morning, and, after finding little in about 25 minutes’ worth of effort, we headed out deeper, found biting fish, and the rest was history.

We fished three areas ranging from 28 to 42 feet this morning, all on gently sloping terrain, and all in wind-exposed areas.  Our first area produced 37 fish, our second area produced 36 fish, and our final area produced 229 fish.  After we’d wrapped up, I checked one more area just briefly in a bit of a scouting effort for tomorrow, and we put a quick 3 fish in the boat there and headed in for lunch.

The fishing was nearly identical at each location.  We found fish with sonar, Spot-Locked on them, got them stirred up by presenting MAL Dense lures (with chartreuse tails), and began catching fish.  There was then a “snowball effect” — as we caught more fish and created more commotion, more and more fish were drawn to us and the fishing got easier as the time spent atop those fish moved on.

At each area we had fish at every level in the lower third of the water column continuously, and the higher up in the water column the fish were, the more likely they were to chase.  We caught 100% of our fish this morning on the MAL Dense using a smoking tactic.

Noting the tendency which fish up highest off bottom had to be more aggressive, we made sure we reeled at least 2-3 cranks beyond these fish to give them time to show us if they were willing to chase (as viewed on Garmin LiveScope).  If they chased, Dwight and Josh kept reeling until they either got hit or the fish turned away.

After this morning’s trip, I took my slab rods out of the boat, as we’ll only be relying on the various weights of MAL Lures from this point through to the end of May.

A complete description of this “smoking:” method is found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE

Our final tally of 305 fish consisted of 1 short hybrid striped bass, 1 freshwater drum, and 303 white bass.

Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs and MAL Lures are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

 TALLY:  305 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Perfect conditions yielded incredible results today as stable, warming water and wind and cloud cover from yesterday’s frontal passage paved the way to a hot, extended bite this morning.

 

 WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 6:45A

End Time:  11:00A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 57F

Elevation: 3.75 feet low, 0.2’ rise in last 24 hours, 38 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 66.4F

Wind Speed & Direction:   NNE 12 for the first 3 hours, then varying from 7-10 in the final hour

Sky Condition: 100% light grey cloud cover for the first 3 hours, then clearing quickly to 10% white cover on a blue sky in the final hour

Moon Phase: Waning crescent moon at 19% illumination.

GT = 25

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Areas 1805, v1544, 1945, 1731

 

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 #mepps

GRAND FINALE – 201 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Thursday afternoon, April 21st, I fished with returning Mike Shouse, accompanied by his son-in-law and my first-time guest, Reed Neinast.

Mike serves as a Texas State Board Member and as a Government Affairs Liaison with the National Wild Turkey Federation.  Reed makes his living doing business as a consultant in Katy, TX.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next openings will be on May 11th and June 21st.  Weekday mornings are always best.  Saturdays are available for on-the-water sonar training sessions (only) until after Labor Day when I’ll again offer Saturday morning fishing trip (until mid-March 2023).

PHOTO CAPTION:   We hit into some long, girthy white bass this afternoon as the grey skies kept the light level down, and the hard southerly winds continued to blow for the fourth consecutive day.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:   Oftentimes when we enjoy extended success at one area, bottom-feeders like catfish and drum move in after the white bass regurgitate their food and defecate as a stress response to being caught.  This matter sinks to bottom, gives off a fishy odor, and draws such odor-sensitive creatures.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday (PM), 21 April 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

As afternoon fishing trips often do, this afternoon’s trip started off slowly and ended with a bang in the final 40 minutes prior to sunset, and just beyond.

The fish were fired up all day, and there was no time, even when things were slower, where we couldn’t find or catch fish, rather, it was just a matter of how many fish we had to present to in order to get bit (the look to catch ratio).

We started the afternoon off out in deeper (42′) water, and gradually worked our way up shallower as the light level dimmed down.

We used MAL Heavy Lures (barbless with chartreuse tails) for all but the final 30 minutes of this trip.

For the first three hours, we fished vertically, smoking these lures up off bottom and watching Garmin LiveScope to gauge fish response.

At our second to last area, in approximately 22′, although we had fish under the boat and were catching them, I could see larger schools moving parallel to us out to the port side as I let side imaging scroll while we stood still on Spot-Lock.  Seeing this, and despite a fair crosswind, I had Mike and Reed cast horizontally out to these fish and retrieve using a sawtooth tactic.  This worked quite well and accounted for 61 fish in under an hour’s time.

Just as the sun set into a western cloud bank (not below the horizon), these fish let up and quit feeding.  Our count stood at 151 fish.

As I looked around, I noted three blue herons looking fidgety.  I kept watching them without crowding them and, in just a few minutes, they put us onto our grand finale.  White bass had pushed both shad and American silversides (a longer, cigar-shaped minnow) up shallow and were chasing them, herding them against the shallows.

I switched the fellows over to MAL Original Lures rigged up on 8-foot spinning rods with large arbor reels which I typically use for topwater fish in the summer.  These allow long, lobbed casts and allow us to stand off from the fish and not spook them.  Long story short, Mike and Reed added another 50 fish to our count in exactly 27 minutes.  Once we hit over 200 fish, the fellows decided they’d done enough and we headed on in with 201 fish on the clicker.

A complete description of this “smoking:” method is found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE

Our final tally of 201 fish consisted of 3 short hybrid striped bass, 1 blue catfish, 197 white bass.

Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs and MAL Lures are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

 TALLY:  201 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: Here is the water temperature profile I measured this afternoon:

0 feet 71F
5 feet 70F
10 feet 69.2F
15 feet 68.6F
20 feet 68.4F
25 feet 68.1F
30 feet 68.1F
35 feet 67.8F
40 feet 66.9F
45 feet 65.1F
50 feet 63.3F
55 feet 62.9F

 

 WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 3:45P

End Time:  8:00P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 77F

Elevation: 3.73 feet low, 0.0’ change in last 24 hours, 38 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 68.3F

Wind Speed & Direction:   SSE13-14 all afternoon

Sky Condition: 80-90% light grey clouds

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 72% illumination.

GT = 95

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Areas B0002G/B0067G, 387, B0181C, vic B0126C, 691, and 0188

 

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 #mepps

NEAR-SURFACE TOPWATER TURNS ON – 101 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Thursday morning, April 21st, I fished with returning guest Matt Laakso of the Austin area.

Matt has made it a tradition for many years now to accompany me for a guided fishing trip on the occasion of his birthday.  As soon as the trip concludes, he has me put him down for the same time the following year.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next openings will be on May 11th and June 21st.  Weekday mornings are always best.  Saturdays are available for on-the-water sonar training sessions (only) until after Labor Day when I’ll again offer Saturday morning fishing trip (until mid-March 2023).

PHOTO CAPTION:   Matt Laakso and I “worked ‘em over” for a 101 fish catch using a variety of tactics as the white bass bite intensifies.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday (AM), 21 April 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

For the third consecutive day, a stiff southerly wind continued to blow since early Monday morning.  That, along with abundant grey cloud cover, made the conditions excellent once again for white bass fishing.  Add to that the steadily rising water temperature, and the stage was set for catching!

We began our trip up shallow, in under 15’, tossing MAL Heavy Lures out horizontally and retrieving them with a sawtooth tactic.  This produced 28 fish before the congregation of fish we were targeting dispersed.

As we began searching for our next location to focus on, a white flurry of activity caught my eye.  Up inside a wind-blown cove, a flock of laughing gulls were wheeling and dipping as they fed on shad being forced to the surface by white bass below.

No need to comb over large tracts of bottom tediously using sonar when this was going on!  We drove straight to the birds and started casting and catching.

When the fish showed themselves, we cast the lighter MAL Original Lures to them and retrieved with a steady cadence right away.  When the fish sounded, we let the lures sink 6 seconds and then retrieved steadily.  The action was hot and heavy.

While Matt was working in the bow, I headed back to the stern briefly and rigged up a topwater bait for him (a clear Spook Junior) so we could enjoy the visual display the white bass put on as they chopped at that bait from beneath.  By the time the action died, we’d added 22 more fish to our count, which now stood at 50 fish.

To clarify, this action was mainly just beneath the surface.  This was NOT the kind of prolonged feeding on the surface which we normally encounter at sunrise and sunset in the heat of the summer.

Once the topwater action faded, the rest of our catching took place out in deeper water.  In fact, the rest of our fish came from two areas, both in 42’.  For these fish, we use MAL Heavy Lures  (barbless, chartreuse tails) in conjunction with Garmin LiveScope to draw fish up off bottom and catch them as they chased our baits.  A complete description f this “smoking:” method is found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE

Even on his birthday, Matt had to get back to his home office to get some work done, so, when we beat that 100 fish mark in right at 4 hours on the water, we pulled the plug and headed on in.

Our final tally of 101 fish consisted of 1 short hybrid striped bass, 1 freshwater drum, 1 white crappie, and 98 white bass.

Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs and MAL Lures are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

 TALLY:  101 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: The first glimpse of white chasing shad aggressively to the surface took place this past Friday, but, this morning’s episode was much longer, more widespread, and involved a whole lot more fish.

 WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 6:50A

End Time:  10:55A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 72F

Elevation: 3.73 feet low, 0.0’ change in last 24 hours, 38 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 68.3F

Wind Speed & Direction:   SSE9-11 all morning, which was lighter than forecast

Sky Condition: 100% light grey clouds most of the morning; some light, intermittent sprinkles fell in the last hour.

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 72% illumination.

GT = 25

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Area 0169, 0182, B0184C, B0005G

 

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

UNFETTERED FEEDING – 202 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Wednesday morning, April 20th, I fished with returning guest Allen Naff of Bertram, TX, accompanied by his son, Todd Naff, of Bryan, TX.  This was Todd’s first time out with me.

Allen is retired from the Texas Attorney General’s Office, and Todd, educated as a lawyer, started a company focused on the fracking industry.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next openings will be on May 11th and June 21st.  Weekday mornings are always best.  Saturdays are available for on-the-water sonar training sessions (only) until after Labor Day when I’ll again offer Saturday morning fishing trip (until mid-March 2023).

PHOTO CAPTION:   Allen Naff and his son, Todd, evenly split the 202 fish catch we made on Lake Belton this morning.  We used Original MAL Lures up shallow early, then switched to MAL Heavy Lures as the fish moved deeper.  The fish are so aggressive now, they’ll chase and strike a lure moving just about as fast as it can be retrieved.

PHOTO CAPTION:  Todd Naff with a 5.00-pound Lake Belton blue catfish which fell for his MAL Heavy Lure (chartreuse tail).

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Wednesday (AM), 20 April 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

With a stiff southerly wind continuing to blow since early Monday morning, along with abundant grey cloud cover, the conditions were once again excellent for white bass fishing this morning.  That, combined with rising water temperature had the fish chomping at the bit to chase and eat all morning.

We began our trip up shallow, in under 15’, tossing MAL Heavy Lures out horizontally and working them back to the boat using a “sawtooth” retrieve.  The fish would hit as the lure rose diagonally up off the bottom.

As we fished, I noted some “churn” up even shallower, in under 6’, as white bass corralled shad to the surface.  I placed Allen and Todd, who had been casting from the gunwale, up on the front deck, and I manually ran the trolling motor to creep up on these fish.  This turned into a real bonus as that area gave up fish after fish as father and son cast MAL Originals (for their lighter weight) using limber spinning rods up into these fish, catching one on nearly every cast for a nice span of time.  Eventually, these fish moved on and, from that time on, we fished out deeper using vertical tactics.

Helpful laughing gulls were our clue to the presence of these deeper fish, a few of which were active enough to drive shad all the way to the surface, thus giving the gulls an opportunity to feed and giving us a chance to locate fish using other than sonar.  Once we located the “center of mass” of these fish in about 32’, we got on them and never had to move again.  These fish stayed active until right around 11:20AM, after which they finally shut down.  We caught fish steadily here for 2+ hours straight.

This final area we fished yielded 136 fish, every one of which struck the MAL Heavy (w/ barbless hook and chart. tail) used as described here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE

Our final tally of 202 fish consisted of 2 short hybrid striped bass, 1 blue catfish, 1 largemouth bass, and 198 white bass.

Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs and MAL Lures are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

 TALLY:  202 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: We are at a point in the spring where the fishes’ rising metabolism trumps all else – quantities of fish can now be taken even when poor weather conditions, which would otherwise hinder fishing, exist.

 WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 6:50A

End Time:  11:20A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 67F

Elevation: 3.73 feet low, 0.02’ fall in last 24 hours, 38 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 66.9F

Wind Speed & Direction:   SSE12 at trip’s start, steadily increasing to SSE17, gusting 24 by trip’s end

Sky Condition: 80-90% light grey clouds most of the morning.

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 82% illumination.

GT = 50

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Area 788, B0179C, B0063C, B0074C

 

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 #mepps

NEW ALL-TIME BOAT RECORD CATCH: 392 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Tuesday morning, April 19th, I fished with first time guests Mike and Randall Stone, and returning guest Shawn DeJournett.

All three men are U.S. Army veterans, and both Shawn and Randall now continue to serve as police officers — Shawn in Killeen and Randall in San Antonio.  Mike, who retired as a Field Artillery First Sergeant, now makes a living selling real estate.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next openings will be on May 11th and June 21st.  Weekday mornings are always best.  Saturdays are available for on-the-water sonar training sessions (only) until after Labor Day when I’ll again offer Saturday morning fishing trip (until mid-March 2023).

 

PHOTO CAPTION:   From left: New boat record-holders for most fish caught on a half-day trip – Mike Stone, Randall Stone, and Shawn DeJournett, all U.S. Army veterans.  Yes, Mike looks like the not-so-handsome brother on the old TV show Simon & Simon!!

PHOTO CAPTION: Although I’m pretty careful about getting my fingers dinged up as I unhook and release fish, things happen when handling 392 of them in a short span of time.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday (AM), 19 April 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

As the winds turned back out of the south following a northerly blow yesterday, those winds were accompanied by grey cloud cover and humid conditions — a perfect spring weather setup.

We caught fish continuously from start to finish this morning — 4+ hours of solid catching.

I welcomed the three men aboard at 6:50AM; by 7:45AM we had already boated 70 fish.  This was just the start of a phenomenal day.

As I searched our first area I intended to fish, I noted the fish were moving very fast — they were obviously frenzied and chasing shad which were headed up shallow to spawn.

Although I brought my slab rods, they never got touched all trip.  Instead, after seeing the results I’d experienced with some relatively inexperienced clients both before and after the Easter weekend, I brought rods rigged with MAL Heavy Lures with barbless hooks to make the catching easier on both me and the fish.  The speed at which I saw the fish moving on Garmin LiveScope let me know they would be keen on chasing the MAL.

The fishing played out identically at each of the five areas we fished.  I initially spotted fish with side-imaging, Spot-Locked atop of them, got baits down and working, then observed the fish rise up off bottom and begin to fill the lower third of the water column.  As we caught fish, the commotion those hooked fish created drew more fish, and the whole thing snowballed.

We took 70 fish at our first area, 15 fish at our second stop, 16 fish at our third stop, 75 fish at our fourth stop, and then we really hit it big as the wind ramped up so high that the handful of smaller boats on the water headed for more protected areas.  Our final stop produced an incredible 216 fish.  We fished that area for over two solid hours.

Our final count was 392 fish.  Congratulations, fellows!!

My previous boat record, taken by a party of five anglers on May 25th, 2021, was 389 fish landed on a half-day trip by Joe and Jeff Oliver, Donna Hine, Larry Lattimer and Larry Haynes.

During both record-setting trips, we used MAL Heavy Lures exclusively, and used only a “smoking” tactic fully described here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE

Our final tally of 392 fish consisted of 7 short hybrid striped bass, and 385 white bass.

Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs and MAL Lures are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY:  392 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: This has been a windy spring.  I’ve had to recalibrate my own tolerance of wind in order to run trips this spring.  I’ve had to get accustomed to boat spray by dressing for it and having clients do the same.  I’ve had to become okay with the trolling motor occasionally popping out of the water and making a racket.  I’ve had to be okay with excessive boat movement even while on Spot-Lock, etc.  The bite is definitely not hindered by the wind, in fact, strong wind enhances fish feeding.  If you run from the wind, your results will suffer.

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 6:50A

End Time:  11:35A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 57F

Elevation: 3.62 feet low, 0.01’ fall in last 24 hours, 31 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 66.9F

Wind Speed & Direction:   SE16 at trip’s start (much higher than forecast), settling down to SE13-14 by trip’s end

Sky Condition: 50-60% light grey clouds on a hazy white sky most of the morning.

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 90% illumination.

GT = 45

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Area B0194C, 187, B0118C, 081, 953

 

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 #mepps

FREE FISHING FOR SOLDIERS’ KIDS — 206 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:

This past Monday evening, April 18th, I fished with the sons of a U.S. Army member currently deployed overseas.

Matthew (a 9th grader) and Caleb (a 5th grader) were accompanied by their grandfather, Tim Herold, a U.S. Navy retiree, who, along with his wife, were down visiting their daughter, Jessica, and their grandkids.

ABOUT SKIFF:  This fishing trip was provided to this military family at no charge.  S.K.I.F.F. stands for Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun.  This program began in May of 2009.  It is funded by the donations and fundraising efforts of the Austin Fly Fishers and other organizations they have partnered with.  S.K.I.F.F. provides the children of military personnel separated from their families due to duty commitments with the opportunity to go fishing.  SKIFF trips are also provided, free of charge, to Gold Star families who have lost their service member while he or she was on active duty.  In mid-2019, SKIFF also began providing trips to dependents whose parents are bona fide disabled veterans.  I coordinate and conduct these 3.5 to 4 hour adventures on Belton Lake and Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir, just outside the gates of Fort Hood in Bell County, TX, year ’round.  Call or text 254.368.7411.

Here is how the fishing went …

______________

My next openings will be on May 11th and June 21st.  Weekday mornings are always best.  Saturdays are available for on-the-water sonar training sessions (only) until after Labor Day when I’ll again offer Saturday morning fishing trip (until mid-March 2023).

PHOTO CAPTION:   From left: “Grandpa” Tim Herold and his grandsons, Caleb and Matthew, all were treated to a SKIFF fishing trip while the boys’ dad is deployed.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Monday (PM), 18 April 2021

HOW WE FISHED:

Fishing was pretty simple this afternoon.  A steady NNE wind at ~11-12 mph kept the water rippled and the fish biting.

Thanks to the fairly bright conditions, the fishing took place in 24-37 feet of water this afternoon.  We fished only vertically with Caleb and Tim using MAL Dense lures (chartreuse tails), and with Matthew sticking with the 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab which he had used on a previous trip with me, and therefore had some confidence in.  However, when the bite turned on, he saw his results lagging behind that of his grandpa and younger brother, and eventually joined in on using the MAL Dense, as well.

Once we got set up in a “Spot Lock” position over the fish and began working our lures, the commotion drew fish in, which, in turn, drew even more fish in.  The longer we stayed in an area, the more fish we attracted, and the better the bite got.  Eventually, the fish would thin out and/or lose interest, but we spent nearly an hour over each of the final three groups of fish we found (the first group of small fish we found up shallow I used as a “teaching tool”, and then we left them in pursuit of better quality fish in deeper water).

The smoking tactic we used is explained fully here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE

Our final tally of 206 fish consisted of 3 short hybrid striped bass, and 203 white bass.

Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs and MAL Lures are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY:  206 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: Today marked the first time the MAL outperformed the slab in a vertical presentation as the water has warmed up this spring.  This was true of both the AM and PM trips.

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 3:45P

End Time:  7:15P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 71F

Elevation: 3.62 feet low, 0.01’ fall in last 24 hours, 31 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 68.5F

Wind Speed & Direction: NE11 entire trip

Sky Condition:30% white cover on a blue sky

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 96% illumination.

GT = 100

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Area 1000, 0147, B0082G, 564

 

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 #mepps