WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Saturday afternoon I fished with Beverly Travis of Belton and Alex Castillo of Austin on Lake Belton following a tough morning of fishing on Stillhouse.  Beverly tried to get her and her grandkids out with me last year, but foul weather prevented.  After visiting my booth at the Central Texas Boat and Outdoor Show the week before, we made plans to try again today.

I offered the option of more, but smaller fish at Belton, or fewer, but larger, white bass at Stillhouse.  Beverly, who coordinated the trip, opted for greater action at Lake Belton.

This time, Beverly brought Alex Castillo.  The two ladies met through a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department program called Texas Outdoors-Woman Network (T.O.W.N.).  The mission of T.O.W.N. is to provide all women the opportunity to experience outdoor activities in a safe, non-threatening, and supportive environment.  The program was started by several graduates of TPWD’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) workshop.


PHOTO CAPTION:   From left: Beverly Travis, a Christian counselor from Belton, and Alex Castillo, who works in the environmental field in Austin, teamed up through TPWD’s Texas Outdoors-Woman Network (T.O.W.N.) to split a half-day white bass fishing trip on Lake Belton, landing 55 fish on a tough day of fishing.

WHEN WE FISHED:  Saturday, 01 February 2020, PM

HOW WE FISHED: I was prepared for a tough afternoon today.  As I rolled into the launch area, long-time Belton multi-species angler Mike P. was on his way out after having fished a long morning and into the afternoon for just 24 fish as he chased white bass, resulting in just 2 legal fish in his catch.  I had similar difficulties not finding fish, but getting them to bite, over at Stillhouse, landing just 20 fish between 7:15 and noon.

Before we left the launch area I provided a thorough explanation on the very slow, methodical tactic of “easing” we would rely on to catch our fish this afternoon, emphasizing how important very slow movement was, and demonstrating it for Bev and Alex.

The ladies got the hang of the tactic very quickly.  As was the case on Stillhouse this morning, finding fish was not all that challenging, but getting them to bite was another story.  Routinely, when I found fish on an area, there were several dozen fish in the schools I Spot-Locked atop of.  Such a school would typically yield 2-4 fish fairly soon after we began jigging, and then the fish, though still present, would shut down.  Seeing this trend develop, we adjusted our approach and moved very readily to new “batches” of fish soon after a given school would shut down.

We did well, given the conditions, boating a total of 55 fish, including 3 drum and 52 white bass.  One interesting note was the intensity of this evening’s low-light bite.  As we used the trolling motor to ease into our final area of the trip, I saw fish suspended in the water column from halfway to bottom, all the way to the bottom.  This was the first time I’d seen fish more than a foot off bottom all day (Belton or Stillhouse).  As we fished for these fish and began catching them, the fish suddenly turned on well.  We took our tally from 36 fish to a final count of 55 fish (hence, 19 fish caught) in the last 20 minutes of the trip.

We relied on the very reliable white, 3/8 oz. Hazy Eye Slab, with stinger hook attached.  Roughly 80% of the fish caught today (Belton and Stillhouse) came on the stinger hook, as has been my experience for several years now when the water temperatures reach near annual lows.

TALLY: 55 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:   Experienced a hard low-light feed at and just following sunset tonight, following a day of tough fishing. 19 fish in 20 minutes from fish all throughout the lower half of the water column.


Start Time:    2:00P

End Time:  6:15P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  66F

Elevation: 3.00 low, -0.02′ 24-hour change, 17 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:   53.2F

Wind Speed & Direction: NW7-0

Sky Conditions: Clear, cloud-free, blue skies

GT = 30

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow




**Area  B0113C to 1671 to 565 : 3 short hops early, then one final stop near sunset

**Area 1845 to 1619: 3 short hops early, then 2 short hops later on second visit here



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)





Twitter: www/


WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Monday morning I had the pleasure of fishing with a true Central Texas native, Dirk Miller, owner of Miller’s Smokehouse on Central Ave. in Belton.  It was one of those win-win situations … I had a party which had to cancel last minute on Monday’s trip and so I posted a discounted trip on Facebook and, within the hour, Dirk let me know he’d like to go.  He was already planning to try to kayak fish at Fayette (which would have been tough after the winds exceed the forecast by quite a bit).

Dirk is an avid multi-species angler, so, we had a lot to talk about.  I really enjoyed our conversation about the trophy blue cat fishery over on Tawakoni.

At trip’s end, Dirk paid for the trip and then some, AND presented me with jalapeno and cheese stuffed summer sausage and a mess of beef-pork blend “snack sticks” (think Slim Jim, only way bigger and way better).  Now, bear in mind, this was above and beyond that upon which we had dined on during our numerous snack breaks on the water!  I texted my wife and told her to put our lunch plans on hold, as they had just changed for the better!!

We saved the best for last.  This big ol’ channel cat took Dirk’s slab, came to net, and we called it a great day right then and there and headed for the boat ramp.


Despite the incoming cold front, the white bass really thumped our slabs this morning and fell for a variety of retrieves.


Oh yeah!!!  I’ve received some good tips through the years.  This ranks right at the top.


WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This was a multi-species trip focused on white bass.  We also landed numerous drum and one chunky channel cat.

WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow

WHEN WE FISHED:  Monday morning,  November 26, 2018

HOW WE FISHED:   We fished through the tail-end of a mild, dry cold front’s arrival this morning with winds 13-14 from the NNW the entire time, making for a wind-chill well below freezing.  However, the moving water got the fish feeding well, allowing us to land fish consistently for the entire 4+ hours we fished.  The fish were most aggressive in the first 90 minutes and actually chased a slab as we used a smoking tactic.  After the skies brightened and mid-morning rolled around, the bite slowed and we had to downshift to snap-jigging, but the fish thumped us steadily and kept it busy enough to ward off the chill.  We ended up with 77 fish including about a dozen drum, one channel cat, and the balance of white bass, mainly in the 1.5 and 2.5 year class.

OBSERVATIONS:   We had a strong start and a strong end, with a slow hour in the middle.  The fish really turned on in the last 90 minutes before the obscured sunrise; this action coincided with the appearance of many schools of small shad feeding on the surface all over the lake after the winds had been calm for about an hour.


TALLY: 77 fish, all caught and released



Start Time: 7:00a

End Time: 11:30a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 34F

Water Surface Temp: 56.6

Wind Speed & Direction: NNW13-14

Sky Conditions: Full, grey cloud cover all afternoon

Water Level: 10.78 feet high and falling by about 0.18 feet daily w/ 1,182 cfs flow, increasing to ~1530cfs around noon

GT = 55

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow




**Area SH0070C – low light smoking

**Area SH0067C- 1701-SH0064C – snap-jigging

**Area  vic 713  – snap-jigging

**Area  SH0071C  – snap-jigging



Bob Maindelle, Belton Lake Fishing Guide

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)




Twitter: www/