WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Thursday afternoon, April 8th, I fished with brothers Jeffrey (age 14) and Jacob (age 11) Long, accompanied by their neighbor, Mr. Brad Phillips who came not to fish, but to help me help the boys be successful.
Brad runs a local home inspection business and has fished with me previously, which is what led him to call on me to show the boys he brought out a good time.
Mr. Phillips had a water line to an icemaker break during the “big freeze” of ’21, which, in turn caused much ceiling damage. Well, despite the cold and the messy work, the boys (and their dad who is in construction) hauled over tools and materials sufficient to make the house useable and livable until a permanent repair could be effected.
Today’s trip was Mr. Phillips’ way of repaying the boys for their help and kindness.
PHOTO CAPTION: Jeffrey Long (age 14) and his brother, Jacob (age 11) wore the white bass out this evening with the fishing greatly enhanced by approaching storms. Check out that grey sky in the background. The MAL Lures they used put 160 fish in the boat in just under 3.5 hours.
WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake
WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday (PM), 08 April 2021
HOW WE FISHED:
We started our hunt for fish this afternoon under light blue skies with a high, thin, white haze and SSE winds at 13-14 — not “made to order” weather, but decent. As the afternoon moved on, we got more wind (up to 16 straight-line with brief, higher gusts), and, more importantly, we had some turbulent weather move in on us from the north and west in the form of a storm cell which would later drop damaging hail on Belfalls, Westphalia, and other nearby communities.
As most afternoon trips do, this trip began a bit slowly. We found fish without much problem, but we had to present to quite a number of fish to get just one or two to perk up and strike. Add to this the fact that the boys were new to the tactics we were employing, and, as a result, we did just okay during our first 70 minutes or so. We fished three “short hops” at one vicinity and pulled 36 fish. By the time we left, the fish were beginning to perk up, and the skies were getting greyer by the minute. It was fixin’ to get good!
Our next stop saw the boys, now much more experienced and making none of the rookie mistakes they were making at the beginning of the trip, take another 73 white bass from one Spot-Lock position. The weather was definitely causing the fish to stir. It was still prior to 6P, and already the fish were beginning to rise up off the bottom, well up into the water column, and were beginning to chase shad swiftly.
Once this area’s productivity began to fade, I moved us right away (not waiting for the action to grind to a halt) as I knew we could find and catch fish more quickly elsewhere. We checked two more areas. The first was a bust. The second was a gold mine.
We set up over about 36 feet of water. The white bass were 2.5 to 3 feet thick on bottom, and more active fish were just swarming throughout the lower half of the water column. As I got us set up with Spot-Lock and got the Garmin LiveScope aimed well, we could hear the distant rumbling of thunder to the NW. Hamilton Co. was under a thunderstorm warning. The weather was turning these fish on, but the threat of being driven off the lake by that very same weather became a very real concern.
At 6:50P, the boys let their MAL Lures down into the feeding frenzy and the fish literally swam upwards to meet their falling baits. The boya landed fish after fish after fish, most 12-13 inches, for 35 minutes straight, taking our tally from 109 to a final count of 160. That’s 51 fish in 35 minutes; I couldn’t keep up taking fish off the hook — I handed Brad a pair of curved-tip forceps and he backed me up!
We’d planned to stay until 7:30 at the latest, but, at 7:26, the wind suddenly shifted 180-degrees and picked up speed, and, the temperature begin to drop sharply. We hauled in all the gear and made a beeline back to the boat ramp.
We never did see a bolt of lightning nor have a drop of rain fall on us, but, a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for Bell Co. between the time I dropped my crew off and the time I got my boat on the trailer.
What an evening of fishing!! We finished up with exactly 160 fish, including 157 white bass, 1 smallmouth bass, and 2 freshwater drum. 100% of these fish were caught on my MAL Lure retrieved with a moderate cadence.
Hazy Eye Slabs, MAL Lures, and Stinger Hooks are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/
TALLY: 160 fish caught and released
OBSERVATIONS: No bird assistance this afternoon. Fish activity was spurred on by turbulent weather.
Start Time: 4:00P
End Time: 7:30P
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 82F
Elevation: 0.80 feet low, .04 foot 24-hour fall, 26 CFS flow
Water Surface Temp: 66.2 F
Wind Speed & Direction: SSE13-14, increasing to SSE15-16, then turning NW suddenly around 7:30 in advance of storms
Sky Condition: Cloudless for first hour with high, thin haze, then grey skies slowly sliding in and thickening over the remainder of the trip.
Moon Phase: Waning crescent at 12% illum.
GT = 45
Wx SNAPSHOT: N/A
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area V0153 – 3 short hops for 36 fish; MAL Lures
**Area B0064G – one stop for 73 fish; MAL Lures
**Area 564 – one stop for 51 fish; MAL Lures
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
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