JOSEPH THE LUCKY CHARM – 137 FISH @ STILLHOUSE

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning I fished Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir with accomplished bass tournament angler Kyle Kirkes, accompanied by one of his employees, Joseph Cruz, of Copperas Cove.

Kyle is a hard-working, local, small businessman who operates Lonestar Irrigation, an irrigation, pest control,  and fencing company.  Kyle does good work.  He’s does pest control for me, and I’ve trusted him to service my mom’s home, as well — and we don’t let just anybody take care of my mom!!

Lonestar Irrigation Facebook Page

This trip was an “employee appreciation” event for Joseph who has been with Kyle for several years now.

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left: Joseph Cruz and Kyle Kirkes with white bass from Stillhouse Hollow which we took using three different methods this morning.

WHEN WE FISHED:  12 June, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED: I’m not a believer in “beginner’s luck”, but, if there was such a thing, Joseph would be the poster child for it.  Joseph doesn’t fish a whole lot, and, when he does, by his own admission, it is from the bank and typically doesn’t produce a lot of fish.  This morning, after a brief rundown on how the downriggers worked, Joseph was into our first fish of the day … or, should I say our first 3 fish of the day.  The guy kicked us off with a triple — 3 fish, one on each of the 3 lures on the 3-armed umbrella rig we were using.  Then, he just kept the doubles coming over and over again.  He had 7 fish in the boat before Kyle knew what was going on.

We downrigged successfully at two distinct areas about a half-mile apart from each other, occasionally stopping briefly whenever I saw bottom-oriented fish clustered sufficiently tight together to lead me to believe we had a chance at hovering atop them and taking them vertically.  It seemed that each time we stopped, Joseph would hook and land the first fish from the school below.

Both fellows are hard workers and make a living with their hands.  I shared with them how “hands-on” people tend to get the hang of setting up the downriggers much more quickly than folks who make a living by talking on the phone, riding a desk, or staring at a computer.  Indeed, I gave these guys one demo (crawl), then talked them through doing the downrigger setup themselves (walk), and then they were off doing it themselves with little need for coaching from that point forward (run).  Crawl, walk, run — where have all you veterans heard that before?!?  This made us very efficient, as my sole job then was to steer the boat and keep us on fish.

As the SW breeze which barely rippled the surface subsided, it revealed light, widespread surface action caused by largemouth, white bass, and gar chasing shad individually to the surface (NOT the surface-churning topwater action which will come later in the summer, if we’re lucky).  Seeing this, we focused our efforts in the vicinity of the action and soon detected a large school of bottom-oriented white bass out some yards to our left showing on the Humminbird Solix’s side-imaging view.  I marked these, then ran over them with a downrigger ball (unrigged) to see if I could elicit a response.

For more about this “wrecking ball” tactic, see my In-Fisherman magazine article: Wrecking Ball White Bass by Bob Maindelle

When the fish came to the moving ball, I knew it was “game on”.  We Spot-Locked and worked modified Gangbanger spoons horizontally and MAL lures vertically through these fish taking our tally up to 87 fish by around 9AM when the sonar and surface water went quiet.

We moved, checked two locations with minimal results, and then arrived at at third location.  As soon as I slowed the boat, the sonar lit up with bait in a horizontal band from 20-25 feet deep over a deeper bottom.

We got the ‘riggers down, caught fish on each one, then brought them right back up again because what I saw near bottom was the best look I’ve seen since back on the morning of June 1st on Lake Belton, before the water began to stratify.

Long story short, we worked MAL lures vertically in one area and put an additional 49 fish in the boat before they finally quit right around 10:15.  Our final tally was 137 fish, including 2 largemouth, 1 drum, and 134 white bass in the 1-, 2-, and 3-year class.

TALLY: 137 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  A definite thermal break, clearly visible on sonar, is now in place on the upper (river) end of the reservoir, topping out at 32 – 34′.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:15A

End Time: 10:25A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 64F

Elevation:  0.39′  high, 0.05′ drop, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  80.3F

Wind Speed & Direction: SW4 at sunrise, going light and variable shortly thereafter, then picking up from the ESE at 7-9 beginning around 9:15

Sky Conditions: Cloudless “bluebird” sky

GT =  75

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  SH0017C to SH0079C – downrigging for suspended fish with balls @ 21′; 1 stop for vertical work

**Area  SH0024G – brief downrigging leading to vertical and horizontal work (2 hops)

**Area  SH0025G – brief downrigging leading to vertical work; 1 stop for 49 fish

 

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)

 

#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

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

WELL, I’M ALMOST 52 – Stillhouse Hollow, 57 Fish

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning I fished a “Kids Fish, Too!” package trip with “Grandpa” Utah Harris, his granddaughter, Aubrey Mangan (age 9), and two of Aubrey’s friends, Emily Cathey (almost 10), and Sammi McCrary (almost 12).

It’s funny to me that the girls told me the age they are about to be … I don’t believe I’ve ever shared with anyone that I’m “almost 52”!!

Anyways, Aubrey moved to Texas from Ohio about a year ago and now resides with her grandpa in Temple, where her two buddies are from.

 

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left: Aubrey Mangan, Sammi McCrary, Utah Harris, and Emily Cathey.

WHEN WE FISHED:  10 June, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED:  This morning was glorious!  A cool, dry, 64-degree air temperature greeted us prior to sunrise in the wake of a rare, early summer cold front’s passage over night.  The air temperature was still in the 70’s as we came off the water roughly 4 hours later.

As is often the case, fish activity was spurred on by the frontal activity.  Fish will often stay active until the cold front’s winds peak.  Fishing will typically get quite difficult after the north winds subside, and until they return from the south once again.  This morning, we were on the right side of that trend.

We ran dual downriggers for 3.25 hours, fishing 3 areas and finding fish at the first and last of these areas.  The fish at the first location were both suspended and on bottom in 26-34 feet of water (we hit this area under low-light conditions).  The fish at the final location came up to our gear from off bottom in 40-46 feet of water.  The 3-armed umbrella rig equipped with Pet Spoons did the trick over and over again for singles and doubles; we took one triple this morning.

On about 4 occasions (once at our first stop and three times at our last) I saw sufficient numbers of fish congregated to where I thought we’d stand a better chance of catching fish by fishing vertically for them.  Although we did catch fish on 3 of 4 of these stops, we never really got them fired up and drawn up under the boat in higher numbers than first appeared on sonar.

As the morning moved on, the NW wind we started with swung N, then NE and picked up to 12-13 mph.  The fish really turned on well, but, unfortunately, the girls’ interest in continuing to do what they’d already been doing for 3+ hours, was waning.  So, I left biting white bass behind and went up shallow for a few minutes of sunfishing just to close out the trip with some variety.

We got bait down atop the hydrilla in shallow water and fairly quickly put all three girls onto 2 sunfish each.  We then enjoyed the breezy, cool ride back to our launch point.

TALLY: 57 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  A definite thermal break, clearly visible on sonar, is now in place on the upper (river) end of the reservoir, topping out at about 34′.

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:15A

End Time: 10:15A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 64F

Elevation:  0.47′  high, 0.05′ drop, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  82F

Wind Speed & Direction: NW0-4 at sunrise, swinging steadily to the N and increasing to 7-9, then continuing to swing NE10-13

Sky Conditions: Cloudless “bluebird” sky

GT =  0

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  306 to Area SH0936C – downrigging for suspended, low light white bass adjacent to the river channel

**Area  vic 196 to Area 858 – deep, bottom oriented white bass launching off bottom to come up to the ‘rigger ball

**Area  SH0121C – sunfish up shallow

 

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)

 

#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

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

LOOK! FISH RINGS!!! – 48 FISH @ STILLHOUSE

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning I fished a “Kids Fish, Too!” package trip with Mrs. Shauna Vargas and her sons, 8-year-old Mateo, and 5-year-old Dominic.

Summer is the best time for elementary-aged kids as white bass provide the quality, while sunfish provide the quantity.

These trips are less expensive than adult trips, and run a maximum of 3.5 hours instead of 4+ hours as adult trips do.

Neither boy had been on a boat before, nor had ever caught a fish before this morning’s trip.  By trip’s end both had earned a Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. “First Fish Award”.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left: Mateo, Shauna, and Dominic on the boys’ first boat ride and fishing trip.  The boys were as yet undecided about touching/holding fish at the time we snapped this photo at mid-morning!

WHEN WE FISHED:  08 June, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED:  This morning we put a solid 2.5 hours into downrigging for cooperative white bass, primarily in the 1- and 2-year class.  There is a very definite thermal separation quickly developing (see below) and every white bass we found this morning was suspended above 30′.  I set the downriggers between 16-24′ and rigged up with Pet Spoons on 3-armed umbrella rigs to get the job done.

We picked up singles, doubles, and 2 triples, primarily from small suspended schools of anywhere from 5 to 30 fish each.

Around 8:15A, about an acre of loosely schooled white bass began herding threadfin to the surface and popping them individually.  We drove from “fish ring” to fish ring (Dominic’s term for the splash pattern made by the feeding fish) and encountered fish routinely as we did so.

Once this action peaked and died, the boys were ready for a change.  We had about an hour left, and the boys hung in there for about 45 minutes’ worth of shallow sunfishing before the increasing heat and decreasing enthusiasm let Shauna and I know it was time for a refreshing ride back to the boat ramp.  We ended the trip with 32 white bass and another 16 sunfish, including longear, bluegill, and redears.

TALLY: 48 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Light topwater action at mid-morning over ~1 acre of water with white bass popping individually at the surface in pursuit of threadfin shad.  No aggressive schooling.  Temperature profile was as follows:

0 feet 84.2
5 feet 85.9
10 feet 86.2
15 feet 86.1
25 feet 81.9
25 feet 79.2
30 feet 77
35 feet 72.5
40 feet 69.9
45 feet 64.4
50 feet 61.7
55 feet 60.1
60 feet 59.2
65 feet 58.7

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:30A

End Time: 10:00A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 72F

Elevation:  0.54′  high, 0.02′ drop, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  84.2F

Wind Speed & Direction: SW7, decreasing to SW3-4

Sky Conditions: 25% white clouds on blue skies

GT =  5

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  SH0079C to HOUSE005 to 539 – downrigging for steady action on suspended schools of whites

**Area  SH0019G – about 45 minutes’ of downrigger action fueled by near-surface action easily seen on the near-calm surface as white bass drove shad

**Area  420/421 – sunfish up shallow

 

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)

 

#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

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

SOMEONE CALL A NURSE … WAIT, I AM A NURSE! — 47 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Saturday morning I fished with Sid and Kristien Spindor of Salado.  Sid contacted me earlier this spring looking for some manner of water-related activity to do with his wife after their Caribbean cruise was cancelled due to COVID-19.

After waiting patiently for my next available opening, this morning we made it happen on Lake Belton.

Sid is an engineer working at a plastics business in Georgetown, and Kristien is an operating room nurse at one of our local hospitals.

My wife is also a nurse and, during her college years, I helped her study and practice her skills from time to time.  As the Spindors and I were fishing our final location of the morning, Kristien, who was standing to my right, shrieked.  As I looked over at her, I saw she had one of the tines of the treble hook from the lure she was using stuck in her finger, between the skin and the nail.  I instinctively grabbed the line above the lure to relieve the strain her taut fishing line was placing on it, then quickly removed the point from her finger.  Luckily, the point did not penetrate up to the barb.

After letting things calm down for a few moments, Kristien took me up on my offer of a Band-Aid.  I tried to reassure her by using one of the nursing terms I recalled from helping Rebecca.  I told her I would be sure to maintain the “sterile field” on the Band-Aid.  I think this made her realize I had some medical background, which, in turn made me aware that I was now likely being evaluated as to the quality of my patch job by and OR nurse of all people!!  We got the Band-Aid on securely and Kristien went right back to catching fish in no time.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  Sid and Kristien Spindor took a guided fishing trip with me today on Lake Belton after COVID-19 scuttled their plans for a Caribbean cruise.

WHEN WE FISHED:  06 June, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED:  Summer patterns are definitely starting to kick in with low light times seeing the majority of the activity.  We landed 47 fish this morning, with 21 of those coming prior to 7:30, then a slower, steady catch of fish thereafter.  Fish are beginning to suspend more, with sparse action on/near bottom.  Fish are also beginning to move routinely, both in terms of locations they are found in as they pursue shad, and in terms of the increased speed at which they are patrolling.

This morning we check two areas for shallow fish which moved up to feed overnight, and found fish at the second of those locations.  We worked these moving, feeding fish over with downriggers, catching singles and doubles as we went.  There was no topwater action to give away fish location, so sonar was key.

After this initial feed wrapped up around 7:30, we experienced a lull, they got back on fish around 8:40.  This time, the fish were deeper, more scattered, and more suspended.  Over the course of the next 75 minutes, we only encountered one scenario where I saw enough bottom-oriented fish to bother jigging for, and that did not produce.  Eventually, these fish dissipated and we made one final move.

Once again, we started off by covering water with hooks in via downrigging, caught fish, and then stopped atop the one school of bottom-oriented white bass we found here.  This produced just 3 fish before that school moved on.  We wrapped up the trip with one final round of downrigging before the wind went out of the fishes’ sail and we called it done right at the 4-hour mark as the sun was getting hot.

 

TALLY: 47 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  No topwater action worth noting as of yet.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:15A

End Time: 10:15A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 72F

Elevation:  0.28′  high, 0.01′ drop, 17 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  82F

Wind Speed & Direction: SW7-10

Sky Conditions: 25% white clouds on blue skies

GT =  0

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  vic 1642 thru B0123C – 21 white bass shallow downrigging under low light

**Area  1404 thru B0096C – white bass as singles, doubles, and 2 triples on ‘rigger

**Area 1743 – found fish with ‘riggers, then smoked for 3 as morning bite ended

 

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)

 

#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

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

3 GENERATIONS, 70 FISH – PM FISHING @ LAKE BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Friday evening I fished a multi-generational trip with the Benedick family.  Jered, who lives in Belton, coordinated the trip, which included his son, Tyler, Jered’s dad, Ron, and Jered’s twin brother, Matt.  Ron and Matt came down for a visit from the Ardmore, OK, area.

All of the men are involved in ministry.  Ron is a retired pastor, Jered is a youth pastor turned youth counselor, and Matt is a hospice chaplain.

After Monday evening’s particularly tough trip on Belton, and after looking at the forecast which called for calm/very light winds and clear skies, I was a bit skittish about this trip, but, thanks to a SE wind velocity higher than forecast in the first 2 hours of this trip, all turned out well.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left, Matt, Ron, Tyler, and Jered Benedict with part of our 70-fish haul on a toasty June evening on Lake Belton.

WHEN WE FISHED:  05 June, 2020, PM

HOW WE FISHED:

After meeting everyone and covering the basics on the gear and presentations we would be using, we started off downrigging along a deep breakline.  No sooner did we get both ‘riggers in the water then we had both rods go off as we encountered a sizeable, deep school of white bass holding tight to bottom in a feeding posture.  As soon as we reeled those biters in, I changed us quickly over to spinning rods equipped with Hazy Eye Slabs (white, ¾ oz. with stinger hooks) and we worked these fish over with a smoking tactic.

We caught fish steadily for about a half-hour, including 2 largemouth and 1 freshwater drum in addition to over a score of white bass.  After these fish dissipated, we continued downrigging in this general area and steadily picked up singles and doubles on the 3-armed umbrella rigs we were using, both equipped with Pet Spoons until the fish gradually lost interest, necessitating a move.

The first 90 minutes went better than expected.  We then experienced a bit of a lull, checking several areas without result.  Around 7:10, we began to slowly pick up white bass once again, and the catch rate improved right on through sunset with singles, doubles, and triples coming over the gunwale steadily.

Just following sunset, we found yet another sizeable school of white bass sufficiently close to the bottom to stay put long enough for us to Spot Lock on and fish vertically for.  This feed lasted only 10-12 minutes as the fish continued to move both shoreward and upwards in the water column, but everyone caught several fish during the spree.

We closed the trip out with one last round of downrigging.  Our final tally of 70 fish consisted of 67 white bass, 2 largemouth, and 1 drum.

TALLY: 70 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  No topwater action worth noting as of yet.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  4:40P

End Time: 8:45P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 92F

Elevation:  0.28′  high, 0.01′ drop, 17 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  82F

Wind Speed & Direction: SSE2-4

Sky Conditions: 25% white clouds on blue skies

GT =  30

Wx SNAPSHOT: N/A

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  vic 677- white bass found via downrigging, then worked over with smoking tactic

**Area  1608 thru B0196C

**Area B0018G – center of mass for pre- and post-sunset action on ‘riggers and smoked slabs

 

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)

 

#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

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

BACK TO STILLHOUSE — 63 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Tuesday morning I returned to Stillhouse with another boat full of kids after doing well there fishing for a combination of white bass and sunfish this past Saturday.

I fished with Dave K. and his kids, Savannah (age 7), Cole, and Caden (4-year old twins).

PHOTO CAPTION: Multi-lure rigs seem to shine in the summer months when young-of-the year shad are abundant.  The white bass we took today all came on 3-armed umbrella rigs equipped with Pet Spoons

WHEN WE FISHED:  02 June, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED: We started our day off with downriggers down searching for bait and for suspended and bottom-oriented white bass.  After striking out in the first area we searched, we enjoyed about an hour’s worth of action at the second area we covered.  The downrigging was simple, effective, and enjoyed by the kids, so, we stuck with it as long as their interest level remained high, then transitioned to vertical jigging for the sake of variety when I judged a bit of variety was in order.

Once this bite dissipated, and at about the 2 hour mark on this 3.5 hour long “Kids Fish, Too!” package trip, we moved up shallow and gunned for sunfish.

We landed 21 white bass and 42 sunfish.  The sunfish came on bait presented under floats in shallow hydrilla cover.

 

TALLY: 63 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  No topwater action worth noting as of yet.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:45A

End Time: 10:15A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 68F

Elevation:  0.6′  high, 0.00′ drop, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  78F

Wind Speed & Direction: ENE2-4

Sky Conditions: Clear blue skies

GT =  0

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  1128-040 for downrigged white bass

**Area  039 – SH0058C for downrigged and smoked white bass

**Area  SH0121C for 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)

 

#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

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

FROM BOOM TO BUST — 21 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Monday evening I fished with Lamar Story, Bruce Dvorak, and Carl Hughes.  The three have been friends for about 40 years.  Lamar serves as one of the gatekeepers at the Westcliff Park on Lake Belton.  Bruce and Carl came down from the Dallas area to do some fishing on Monday and some golfing on Tuesday with Lamar.

After a great morning with 96 fish in the boat, this afternoon’s trip was disappointing both in terms of quality and quantity.  We landed only 21 fish, and only three of these were more than yearling white bass.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: No spin or sugarcoating here, nor reporting on just the good trips.  After a better-that-average morning, we struggled this afternoon. From left: Carl Hughes, Lamar Story, and Bruce Dvorak spent the final four hours of the evening with me on Lake Belton and landed just 21 fish.

WHEN WE FISHED:  01 June, 2020, PM

HOW WE FISHED:  We had trouble finding fish to fish for this afternoon.  We never found a single, solid concentration of fish holding on or near bottom to stop atop of and fish for “in detail”.  The fish we found were scattered, generally small fish which were in small packs of 4-8 fish each suspended up about mid-way in the water column.  We ran dual downriggers over them equipped with Pet Spoons fished on 3-armed umbrella rigs and caught mainly singles.

I anticipated at least light topwater action by white bass pushing shad to the surface right at sunset, but, sunset was heavily obscured by cloud cover and the fading light scenario we normally enjoy at sunset did not take place.  Several herons on station anticipating the same action I was left early after failing to see what we all hoped to see.

Between the near-calm winds and increasing water temperature pushing us toward summer patterns, it was just a tough outing all the way around.

TALLY: 21 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  No evidence of spawning shad whatsoever.  Fish are beginning to move off of deeper bottom features.  Summer fishing patterns slowly beginning to unfold.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  4:40P

End Time: 8:50P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 82F

Elevation:  0.26′  high, 0.25′ drop, 1607 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  78.3F

Wind Speed & Direction: ENE2-4

Sky Conditions: Grey skies all evening

GT =  N/A

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area B0167C (off east tip) – downrigging for scattered, suspended fish

**Area vic B0170G to 171 – downrigging for scattered, suspended fish

**Area vic 357 – downrigging for scattered, suspended fish

 

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)

 

#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

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

ANALYZE THIS! — 96 FISH @ LAKE BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Monday, June 1st, I fished with co-workers and friends Aaron Baggett and Josh Bias, both professors of psychology at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, TX.  COVID-19 fouled our first attempt at fishing together, then a babysitting situation scuttled our second attempt.  The third time was a charm.

PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Aaron Baggett and Josh Bias with a few of the 96 fish we landed this morning, including 95 white bass and 1 freshwater drum.

WHEN WE FISHED:  01 June, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED: We got on it early this morning — early enough that we were waiting on topwater action to begin.  When it did, it went for about an hour, thanks to grey skies ushered in by a light NE wind. During this time we sight-cast spoons to individual fish using spinning gear with large arbor reels for distance.  When the white bass gave up on pushing shad to the surface, they continued feeding subsurface up shallow until 7:50AM.  During this time, we downrigged successfully for singles, doubles, and a few triples using 3-armed umbrella rigs equipped with Pet Spoons.

From 8A to 9:15A things got very quiet.  We struggled to find fish and observed a number of Belton regulars, mainly retirees, moving and looking for fish, as we were doing.

Around 9:15 things began looking up for us when we experienced the first brighter sky conditions of the morning.  Within minutes of the grey skies thinning (although still fully obscuring the sun), the fish began to get active.  We found our first late morning fish on bottom in 40 feet of water in a school about 25 yards in size.  We fished them with a smoking tactic using my Hazy Eye Slabs equipped with stinger hooks.  When the fish thinned, slowed their feeding, or dispersed, we moved a few boat lengths very slowly to try to maintain contact with them, and did so with consistency for about an hour.

After this, I noted that the fish moved to our south, over deeper water, and suspended from 25 feet down to 40 feet over a 60+ foot bottom.  When we found tight congregations, we smoked for them.  When we found more loose congregations, we employed the downriggers.  We flipped back and forth between smoking and downrigging until around 11:15 when nothing but sparse suspended fish remained in the area.

TALLY: 96 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  No evidence of spawning shad whatsoever.  Fish are beginning to move off of deeper bottom features.  Summer fishing patterns slowly beginning to unfold.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:15A

End Time: 11:15A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 72F

Elevation:  0.26′  high, 0.25′ drop, 1607 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  77.3F

Wind Speed & Direction: NE2-5

Sky Conditions: Grey skies all morning

GT =  55

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1019 to B0197 – early morning downrigging for 6 smallish white bass

**Area vic B0041G to B0042G – 57 white bass via smoking slabs in 2 short hops

**Area vic B0148C and south to the 60′ countour – 19 fish in 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)

 

#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

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

SKIFF TRIP WITH THE DENHARTOG BOYS — 69 FISH @ STILLHOUSE


WHO I FISHED WITH:  On Saturday, May 30th, I conducted the season’s 6th Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun (SKIFF) program trip with the DenHartog boys who, accompanied by their mom, Valerie, traveled down the day before from Rockwall, TX, to participate in this trip.

The boys’ father, US Air Force Major Adam  DenHartog is currently assigned as the Senior Air Defense Liaison to Saudi Arabia, which is a one year deployment.  The boys’ mom received her undergraduate degree in teaching from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton in the early 2000’s and now substitute teaches in addition to being a stay-at-home mom.

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.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Jason and Matthew DenHartog caught 48 white bass and 21 sunfish during their SKIFF fishing trip taken as their dad is deployed to Saudi Arabia with the U.S. Air Force.

WHEN WE FISHED:  30 May, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED: Although the morning was bright, we had enough wind to ripple the surface, albeit from the north.  We began the trip by downrigging for white bass suspended over 35-50 feet of water with our downrigger balls set around 24-28 feet.  The boys got the hang of using the downriggers pretty quickly and therefore were able to help rerig their own lines once fish were landed, thus allowing us to “make hay while the sun shone”.   As we downrigged successfully, I began to note schools of feeding white bass forming up on the bottom amidst a strong presence of bait in the area.  At one point, we were able to stop downrigging and Spot-Lock over once such school to work slabs vertically through them.  We caught well this way, but the boys expressed a preference for the downrigging, so, we went back to that tactic until the novelty wore off on that.

At this point it was time to make a transition.  We headed up shallow to aim for sunfish using floats and bait.  The hydrilla crop is coming on strong this year thanks to clear water and rising temperatures, and this is home to thousands of sunfish of a variety of species: bluegill, longear, green, redear, and their hybrids.  The boys got the hang of watching their floats (not the fish approaching their baits) and setting the hook quickly, thus avoiding time-consuming deep hook removal.

After making a few short hops in one cove and landing 21 sunfish, the boys were ready for another transition.

We went back to downrigging, found one nice school of fish which we slabbed for,  and then rode the downrigging tactic out to the boys’ satisfaction right to the last minute of the trip.  We landed another 19 fish in our closing hour.

TALLY: 69 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: A nice blanket bait in the lower 1/5th of the water column in the vicinity of Area 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:45A

End Time: 10:45A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 63F

Elevation:  0.6′  high, 0.01′ rise, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  77.3F

Wind Speed & Direction: N4-5

Sky Conditions: 15% white, thin hazy cover on a blue sky

GT =  NA

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1114/644 – produced 48 fish in two separate stops, one at low-light, the other at the start of our final hour on the water

**Area 231 – produced 21 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)

 

#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

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

THIS WAS FOR THE BYRDS — 82 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  On Friday, May 29th, I fished with returning guests Tom and Tracie Byrd of Weir, TX, accompanied by Tom’s sister, Patty Williams.  This trip was arranged by Tom in celebration of Tracie’s 71st birthday.  Tom, a former USAF fighter pilot, and Tracie live “in the country” on the outskirts of Austin where they keep up with their own horses and board a few others’ horses, as well.  Patty is a long-time Frost Bank employee.  The Byrd’s have been out with me for a number of years, typically in celebration of Tracie’s birthday.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Tom and Tracie Byrd and Patty Williams with nice Lake Belton white bass taken on Hazy Eye Slabs during the late morning.

WHEN WE FISHED:  29 May, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED:  With the annual spring peak hybrid bite (and shad spawn) nearly over, we opted to chase white bass this morning, instead.  We started off the low-light portion of the trip downrigging and covering water resulting in a catch of 6 singles taken on Pet Spoons affixed to 3-armed umbrella rigs.  The area we fished did not hold large concentrations of fish, nor bait, so we moved on spending about 70 minutes or so looking over multiple prime hybrid-holding areas, finding little.

As we arrived at yet another prime hybrid haunt, sonar revealed strong fish signatures, but they were clearly not hybrid.  Rather, there were multiple large (300-400 fish) schools of fish in the area holding from bottom all the way up to 1/3 of the way to the surface.  When fish are in this posture, they are ripe for plucking, so, we Spot-Locked, got slabs down and started pulling fish.  We made two “short hops” here to stay on the fish and wound up pulling 57 white bass from out of this school before the action dissipated.

We moved a few hundred yards, keeping a sharp eye on sonar, and, in water about 10′ deeper, encountered yet another very large school of white bass.  Again, we Spot-Locked, worked our slabs well, and brought another 19 fish over the gunwale until the fish finally cooled off for good around 11AM.

TALLY: 82 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: Very light spawning shad activity at SHAD028 this morning, which was a wind-impacted shoreline given the NW breeze we had.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  7A

End Time: 11A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 66F

Elevation:  0.26′  high, 0.25′ drop, 1607 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  75.5F

Wind Speed & Direction: NW10

Sky Conditions: 30% white, thin hazy cover on a blue sky

GT =  60

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1019 to B0197 – early morning downrigging for 6 smallish white bass

**Area vic B0041G to B0042G – 57 white bass via smoking slabs in 2 short hops

**Area vic B0148C and south to the 60′ countour – 19 fish in 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)

 

#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

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle