WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Monday, August 17th, I fished with Shane LaCanne and his 7-year-old son, Fisher, of Salado. This was a “Kids Fish, Too!” package trip, tailored just for elementary-aged kids. Such trips have a reduced duration and a reduced price tag versus adult trips.
Shane brought both of his boys out with me once before, but this trip was just for Fisher, in celebration of his birthday back in July.
Today’s big story was the weather. Last night, a cold front pushed through very suddenly with brief, strong winds and a bit of rain. As we were on the southernmost extreme of that system, no sooner did the front pass, than our winds, which blew NW from around 2:30A to 3:15A, turned right back around out of the south. It is really hard to classify this as pre-frontal, because it wasn’t until around 9:30AM that the winds finally changed to a northerly component for keeps. At that time the fishing, which was average this morning, began to sour quickly.
One thing is for sure, I will be doing sonar training on Tuesday and Wednesday to avoid the no-doubt tough fishing over the next 2 days with light northerly winds and bright, cloudless skies!
PHOTO CAPTION #1: 7-year-old Fisher LaCanne and his dad, Shane, with the two best fish Fisher landed on our 51-fish outing under “squirrely” wind and weather conditions.
WHEN WE FISHED: 17 August, 2020, AM
WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton
HOW WE FISHED: The crazy weather definitely impacted the early morning, low-light topwater bite, as it was essentially non-existent this morning. I spotted only 2 instances of topwater feeding whites all morning, both of which were witnessed after 8AM and only for a few seconds. So, we moved back out to mid-depths, found shad, and began to work near where bait was abundant, but not relaxed (meaning, it was balled up and in a defensive posture).
We downrigged for a solid hour, putting 17 white bass and 1 blue cat in the boat, all the while never finding a single scenario which convinced me to pull up the ‘riggers and go vertical with MAL Lures. Since most of these fish were on the small side anyway, we left these fish to look for greener pastures.
The second area we fished was more productive, and was also later in time from the early morning’s frontal passage. Again, we found abundant bait and that bait was in balls, up off bottom. I intended to begin searching with ‘riggers down, but almost immediately came upon a sizeable school of bottom-hugging white bass which I felt certain would respond to a smoking tactic with MAL Lures. We got the boat in a hover over these fish, let the lures down, and the fish were all over them.
Over the next 90 minutes we alternated between downrigging to find schools of bottom-dwelling white bass and then fishing vertically for them as long as they would bite. We added another 33 white bass to our catch. The catch rate began to slow rapidly around 9:30 when the winds finally took on a northerly direction after swinging from S, through W in the time between pre-dawn and 9:30.
In our final 45 minutes on the water, we caught only 6 fish, and all of them came on the downrigger as we had to get our baits in front of a mess of disinterested fish in order to strain out a few still willing to bite.
TALLY: 51 fish caught and released
Start Time: 6:30A
End Time: 10:15A
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 74F
Elevation: 2.19′ low, -0.01′ 24-hour change, 51 CFS flow
Water Surface Temp: 84.2F
Wind Speed & Direction: S12 before sunrise, calming to S6 shortly thereafter, then slowly shifting SSW, SW, W, then WNW by 9:30A Sky Condition: ~15% white cloud cover with light blue skies and low humidity
Moon Phase: Waning crescent with 3% illumination; 2 days ’til new moon
GT = 25
Wx SNAPSHOT: Two wx snapshots I took today; one taken at 4AM, the other at 6AM, as the wind forecast direction changed drastically:
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area vic B0133C to B0024G – 18 fish via downrigging with many small fish in the mix
**Area vic 788 – 2+ hours of catching, tapering sharply around 9:30A with a windshift to the NW
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