WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Tuesday, August 25th, I fished with Shane Stovall and his sons, 14-year-old Connor, and 10-year-old Cooper, all of Salado, TX.
Shane works as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) for a local hospital, and was referred to me by Clint Tippett, who makes his living as an anesthesiologist, and also brought his sons, Carson and Carter, out with me back in July.
The boys slowly but surely warmed up to white bass fishing after being sluggish early on. Their dad and I kidded them about getting lazy and too used to sleeping in over their 5-month-long Spring Break, courtesy of COVID-19!
Perhaps this morning was a good “dry run” for when Salado schools go back in session next week!?
Over the course of the morning, Cooper’s confidence level rose and, after my father-and-sons crew boated their 4th “triple” (three fish caught simultaneously on the 3-armed umbrella rig), he exclaimed, “I think I’ve gone from rookie to amateur.” He then double-checked that statement with his dad to make sure he’d indicated positive progress.
PHOTO CAPTION #1: From left: Connor, Cooper, and Shane Stovall with a portion of their 101-fish catch on Lake Belton during the last week of their 5-month Spring Break. WHEN WE FISHED: 25 August, 2020, AM
WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton
HOW WE FISHED: I’ve been doing more sonar training than fishing lately, given the unstable weather we’ve been experiencing. Today was the “calm before the storm” in regards to weather in that the impacts of Hurricane Laura are due to be felt beginning tomorrow.
Although the winds were northeasterly today, this was not caused by frontal activity, and, as such, the fish fed well all morning, right up through around 10:50A. We began our day looking for low-light topwater action and found it. We were able to both downrig around the outskirts of the action for singles and doubles on white bass taken on my 3-armed umbrella rigs, as well as stop over top of several schools of white bass to work MAL Lures through them vertically. We wound up with 31 fish during this low-light bite before the sun got high enough to kill this bite.
We moved on and found fish the remainder of the morning at each of the 3 additional location we searched, but all locations held primarily small fish. After encountering our first batch of small fish (landing 5), we changed up and headed up shallow to fish for sunfish to give the boys some variety from what was fairly slow downrigging at that point. I used this time to give the white bass some time to get into more of a feeding mode, hoping either wind, cloud cover, or both might develop. The boys did great at sunfishing for first-timers. They wound up boating 40 sunfish, including a mix of bluegill, longears, redears, and greens.
Around 9:30AM, we broke from that and once again pursued white bass. By this time our fish count stood at 36 white bass and 40 sunfish.
We hit two more areas between 9:30 and 10:50AM, finding ample fish and bait at both. At both areas small white bass were seen routinely corralling fish to the surface and feeding on them briefly before continuing the pursuit underwater and out of sight. Also on the nearly calm surface we could see abundant shad feeding in pods right at the surface.
By the time the 4-hour mark rolled around, we’d landed 94 fish and were doing pretty good, albeit still on small fish. I asked the boys, who by now were sweating through their clothes, if they wanted to press on to try for a 100 fish morning. They never batted an eye and gave me the thumbs-up. In under 8 minutes we landed another 7 fish, putting our final tally at 101 fish for the morning.
TALLY: 101 fish caught and released
OBSERVATIONS: An abundance of shad feeding on the surface under near-calm conditions from 9AM on were noted this morning.
Start Time: 6:40A
End Time: 10:55A
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 73F
Elevation: 2.57′ low, -0.05′ 24-hour change, 51 CFS flow
Water Surface Temp: 83.5F
Wind Speed & Direction: Light winds under 3mph from the ENE due to counter-clockwise rotation of the atmosphere impacted by Hurricane Laura
Sky Condition: Clear blue skies and low humidity
Moon Phase: First quarter with 47% illumination
GT = 30
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
**Area 1781 – initial contact with low-light topwater fish
**Area vic 903 – combination of downrigging and working MAL Lures vertically for low-light fish away from the crowd
**Area vic B0040C – downrigging in ~22′ for smallish fish — moved on
**Area B0034G – 40 sunfish
**Area vic 1097 – downrigging for small whites
**Area 475-477 – downrigging for small whites
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)