WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Tuesday, 08 Dec., I was joined by returning guest Gary Davidson of Kerrville, TX.
Gary fished with me back on Oct. 9th this year, scoring high numbers of white bass, accompanied by his wife, Rachel, when the water temperature was still in the high 70’s.
One of Gary’s goals during that trip was to work through the maze of options on sonar and trolling motors out there to best equip a new deep-vee aluminum fishing boat he has on order.
As a semi-retired CPA, things get quiet around the office in December, so, he sent me a note to put him on the standby list in case someone cancelled on a last-minute basis. Gary wanted to come back out, not so much to catch fish, but to iron out a few loose ends on sonar, and to understand additional white bass tactics as we head into cooler months.
With a sonar training postponement today due to COVID, I was able to customize a trip for Gary which included use of three different techniques for white bass, plenty of real-world sonar interpretation, and some blue catfish fishing, all finished up with the shore-based portion of my sonar training done in the parking lot.
PHOTO CAPTION #1: Our multi-species efforts today included laying about 40 minutes aside to focus on blue catfish.
PHOTO CAPTION #2: As we used three tactics for freshwater pelagics (smoking, easing, and snap-jigging), we pulled dozens of white bass and 2 hybrid in for a real close look!
WHERE WE FISHED: Belton Lake
WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday (AM), 08 December 2020
HOW WE FISHED:
If you’ve followed my reports for any length of time, you’ll know I try to be an “honest broker”. If I have a great day, I’ll call it what it was; likewise, if I have a tough day, you’ll know it, too. I don’t just report on the highlights; I report on every trip I make.
All that said, today, for the first time since bringing my MAL Lure to market, I noted a decreased interest in that lure versus a slower tactic. I felt certain this time would come, but I did not know at just what water temperature this slowdown would occur. I am putting the “nail in the floor” at between 58 and 59F surface temperature.
I am definitely not mothballing the MAL Lure — we actually caught at or above half of our catch on it, but, those fish we caught were active fish — they were either feeding under birds, or up high in the water column patrolling.
The fish we encountered in the first hour on the water did not fall into either one of these categories — they were holding tight to the bottom and were not chasing shad, thus, they were not attracting birds.
When the fish were in such a mood, the easing tactic I’ve written much about produced fish steadily. We used my 3/4 oz. white Hazy Eye Slab with Stinger Hook attached and slowly raised the slab upwards while observing fish behavior on Garmin LiveScope. When we found the speed they liked, we just kept replicating that and observed how the bite slowly got more aggressive as the fish moved faster and farther from bottom, and as they followed the lure in greater numbers as compared to when we began.
Eventually, the activity level rose to the point where the fish were hitting the MAL Lure and, at the same time, drawing in birds. Even when the birds settled, the MAL Lure attracted the remaining suspended fish still patrolling at a steady clip.
We stopped fishing for white bass at the 3 hour mark with 78 white bass, 1 largemouth, and 1 short hybrid tallied in order to spend some time on blue catfish.
We used some favorite doughbait of mine on my Catfish Plumbs to present our baits to fish in ~44 feet of water after getting their attention with range cubes. We fished one area with no success, then moved and fairly quickly observed a fish creeping in along bottom toward Gary’s Catfish Plumb. He had his finger on the braid so as to feel a bite and immediately set the hook well. When the fish came to net we had a 6.75 pound bluecat on deck. After a few photos, we decided, based on sonar returns showing white bass all around us, to invest our last few minutes into white bass. We landed 1 more white and 1 keeper hybrid and called it a great morning before the fish gave up for the morning.
See the MAL Lure, Hazy Eye Slabs, and Catfish Plumbs here: https://whitebasstools.com/
See tutorial video on how to work the MAL Lure here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE&t=239s
TALLY: 83 fish caught and released
OBSERVATIONS: There were 3 episodes of gull activity this morning. #1 was birds on shad (no gamefish) in deep, open water right before and during sunrise; #2 was birds and fish on shad over ~40-45′ which lasted ~20 minutes from 9:20 to 9:40; #3 was birds and fish on shad over 40-45′ which lasted ~30 minutes from 10:10 to 10:40.
Start Time: 7:45A
End Time: 12:45P
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 37F
Elevation: 0.97 low with a 0.00’ 24-hour change and 34 CFS flow thru the dam
Water Surface Temp: 58.4F
Wind Speed & Direction: WNW6-7 all morning
Sky Condition: Bluebird skies
Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 45% illumination
GT = 64
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area vic 086; all fish on 3/4 oz. Hazy Eye Slabs (SP)
**Area vic 966-B0013G; fish split 50/50 on MAL Lures and 3/4 oz. Hazy Eye Slabs (SP)
**Area vic 1209; 1 blue catfish fish on dough bait (SP)
**Area vic 1277; all fish on 3/4 oz. Hazy Eye Slabs (SP)
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
#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