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.
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
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
Areas 1804, B0039G, B0069G (2 hops)
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)
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