WALL-TO-WALL OLIVERS — 81 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Thursday, May 28th, I fished with the Oliver clan which has their roots right here in the Belton/Temple Area.  Ramrodding this morning’s trip was Joe Oliver.  Accompanying was Joe’s Dad, “Paw”, Joe’s brother, Jack; Joe’s daughter, Amber, and Joe’s daughter-in-love (-law), Ashley, the wife of Joe’s son, Thomas.

I fish anywhere from 180-220 paid trips each year and enjoy nearly every single one, but, when the Olivers are due to be aboard I eagerly anticipate the time spent with them.  They love one another, are courteous, godly, supportive, and easy going.  Plus, Joe always brings me a cold Coke Zero and gives it to me at the end of the trip!

PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Jack, Paw, Joe, Amber, and Ashley Oliver with a sampling of their 81 fish landed primarily on Hazy Eye Slabs worked vertically in deep (47-53 feet) water.

WHEN WE FISHED:  28 May, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED:   Although both the shad spawn and the annual peak hybrid bite are quickly fading, by Joe’s request we gave the hybrid a shot in the first half of our trip using live shad.  We caught 13 fish on the shad, none of which were hybrid.  We landed drum, blue cat, and white bass.  In addition to the season now being past peak, our conditions in the early part of this morning’s trip left much to be desired.  It was clear, calm, and bright with just a slight ripple from the NW.  As we fished bait, the wind swung through the west and finally went WSW.  Once that southerly component kicked in, I wrapped up our bait effort and got us right onto feeding white bass with more appropriate light spinning gear.

From the mid-point of our trip to the last retrieve at about 10:50A, we took our fish count from 13 fish in the first 2 hours up to 81 fish landed in the last 2 hours.

These feeding white bass were found from bottom, up to 1/3 of the way toward the surface and were milling around in a fairly large (perhaps 90 yard) area.  We had a few regurgitate the shad they were feeding on and those shad were about 3.25″ long, which was even larger than the profile of the slabs we were using.  A smoking tactic worked well.

TALLY: 81 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: It appears the shad spawn is over for 2020.  This is now 4 consecutive days without any sign of spawning en masse.  Yes, there are a few splinter schools here and there in the shallows at first light, but not tens of thousands at a time as was the case as recently as Saturday, May 23rd.  I’m still waiting to see what happens on a stiff southerly wind, but such is not in the forecast for another 4+ days.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  7A

End Time: 11A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 82F

Elevation:  0.51′  high, 0.25′ drop, 1607 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  75.5F

Wind Speed & Direction:

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

GT =  85

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic 1292 – 13 fish on bait; mixed bag; no hybrid

**Area vic 2059 – 58 fish; 2 short hops

**Area B0041G – 10 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

THE MAN’S FIRST HYBRID STRIPER — 45 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Tuesday evening I fished with returning guest Frank Sumner of Killeen.  Frank brought as his guest Mr. Steve Arnold.  Steve leads the men’s ministry at their church and, on numerous occasions, taken Frank out on his own fish-and-ski style boat in pursuit of fish, primarily on Stillhouse Hollow.

As we got acquainted before beginning our trip, Steve shared about his desire to catch a hybrid striped bass — something he’d never experienced before.

PHOTO CAPTION: Above, Steve Arnold with the first hybrid striped bass of his life.

PHOTO CAPTION:  Steve’s fishing buddy, Frank Sumner of Killeen, with one of the 45 fish we landed last night.  Most of the action took place in the final 90 minutes of the evening.

WHEN WE FISHED:  26 May, 2020, PM

HOW WE FISHED:  This afternoon the tough conditions of the late morning continued with bright, clearing skies, a NNW wind, and bright sun following turbulent weather which brought rain the night before.  We had a tough time finding active fish in our first two hours.  During that time we got on one pod of fish in about 42 feet of water which gave up a few white bass on both slabs and live bait, but, other than that, we did a lot of hopping around looking without much catching.

Once 6:30P rolled around, our luck started to change as the light level and temperature started to drop off toward sun set.  I rigged up both downriggers with 3-armed umbrella rigs rigged with Pet Spoons, and we began presenting baits along a curvi-linear breakline in about 40 feet of water.  At first we picked up a single white bass, then a double, then a hybrid striped bass (Steve’s first!!!) and a white bass, then the white bass kept coming as they moved into and began feeding in this area.  Because of Steve’s interest in hybrid, I stopped using the downriggers though they would surely have put more fish in the boat, and switched over to live shad to increase our shot at landing additional hybrid.  This accounted for 2 more hybrid, both landed by Frank, before this area went quiet.

We moved on to a NW-facing, sloped area which often produces best in the evening, since the wind was blowing onto that feature at the time.  Sonar revealed white bass, just body-height off bottom, in about 42 feet of water.  We Spot-Locked on these and plucked a few more fish right up to sunset when we noted white bass sporadically feeding on shad at the surface around us.

This led me to look around a bit more closely, and I spotted more consistent action up shallower.  We moved up into under 16 feet of water and used the very same Hazy Eye Slabs we’d been fishing vertically with to cast horizontally into these fish feeding just sub-surface.  This was not the frothing frenzy on the surface which you see at times in the summer months, rather, fish were just occasionally chasing shad close enough to the surface to dimple the surface or make a slight boil.

The key here was accurate casting and a fast retrieve to keep the lure from sinking too far.

When dark fell and the fish quit, we’d landed 45 fish including 3 legal hybrid,  a 4-pound class blue cat, and a nice mess of white bass.

TALLY: 45 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: Light near-surface action in shallow water just after sunset this evening near Area 021.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  4:30P

End Time: 8:50P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 82F

Elevation:  0.93′  high, 0.22′ rise, 17 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  77.6F

Wind Speed & Direction: NNW14 at trip’s start, steadily decreasing to near calm by dark

Sky Conditions: 30% white cloud cover on a blue sky

GT = 20

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic 1292 – smoking slabs for slow early evening action

**Area B0040G – downrigged to find fish; fished live shad once found

**Area vic B0075C – low-light pre-sunset slabbing for bottom-hugging white bass

**Area vic 021 post-sunset near-surface action

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

LIKE AN ENEMA WAITING TO HAPPEN — 87 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Tuesday, May 26th, I fished with returning guest Dwight Stone of Georgetown.  Dwight brought with him three buddies, as well: Blake Hoekstra, a retired accountant, Larry Brewer, who is soon to retire from the HVAC business, and Otto Riedel who works in the medical industry, producing IV bags.

With overnight storms, resulting turbulent weather, a north wind, and clearing skies all before us, I told the fellows from the get-go that we’d be wise to focus on catching any fish we could locate, be it white bass, hybrid striped bass, blue catfish, or whatever else might swim beneath us, as the conditions were not in our favor.

Now, I know you’ve got to be wondering about the title of this report.  Over the course of the morning I shared that the facts and figures that go into these reports are very simple for me to generate, however the creative stuff can be a bit more challenging.  Further, I shared that coming up with catchy titles is often the most challenging part.

About this time, the fellows began recounting using a recreational water-fun device called an “Air Chair” (or something like that).  Essentially, it is a seat attached to a hydrofoil intended to tow one person seated upon the device behind a boat.  Think of it like a tricycle for would be water-skiers who are too young, too old, or too uncoordinated to water ski.  Anyway, Larry and Otto were carrying on and recounting fond memories of pulling family members around Lake Georgetown and other places on the Air Chair, when Dwight abruptly announced, “You know, I really don’t like that Air Chair thing — it’s like a an enema waiting to happen.”

Now, if your brain created a picture of the Air Chair, I know it is also capable of creating a picture of a nearly 280 pound fellow suffering a bowel flush due to an Air Chair ride going really wrong.  I’ll spare you the details Dwight shared on the aftermatho of this, as this is a G-rated blog.  So, there’s your explanation on the title.  Now, about fishing …

 

PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Blake Hoekstra, Otto Riedel, Larry Brewer, and Dwight Stone.  That white bass Otto is smirking about exceeded 14″ — one of the largest white bass I’ve seen come out of Belton in 3+ years.

WHEN WE FISHED:  26 May, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED:  This morning, once again (2nd consecutive day) saw very limited spawning shad activity — yet another sign of this solid mid-April to early June fishing beginning to shut down.

We got in on the ground floor of some strong white bass action in 43 feet of water.  I say this because there was little to go on in the way of sonar returns when I stopped the boat to fish for what turned out to be a solid 2-hour-long bite.  This quickly blew up into a full-on feed as the northern-most part of a storm cell which went right between Georgetown and Austin brought increased wind and cloud cover from the west.  During the majority of this feed, we had white bass both on bottom and suspended up as much as 1/3 of the way toward the surface, showing on sonar.

As these weather conditions cleared and brightened, the fish turned off hard, giving up only 2 fish in our final hour on the water.

Although we put bait down a few times to probe for hybrid, sonar made it pretty clear that the white bass ruled the roost in the areas we fished, so, to increase efficiency and decrease deep-hooking, we used 3/4 oz. white Hazy Eye Slabs fished vertically to catch the lion’s share of our fish this morning.

TALLY: 87 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: Minor spawning between SHAD026 and SHAD027 this AM.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  7:00A

End Time: 11:30A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 64F

Elevation:  0.93′  high, 0.22′ rise, 17 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  76F

Wind Speed & Direction:  NW 9 at trip’s start increasing to NW14

Sky Conditions: 70% grey skies through 10A, clearing quickly thereafter.

GT = 65

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic 714 to 1489

 

 

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

108 FISH ON A RAINY MEMORIAL DAY MORNING

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Memorial Day 2020, we donned full raingear and took on the elements for a great trip on a deserted Lake Belton with Steve Niemeier and his grandson, Caleb Fowler.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:    Steve Niemeier braved the elements this morning and was rewarded with a 108 fish day, which included a mess of white bass and some icing-on-the-cake hybrids.

PHOTO CAPTION: Caleb Fowler, Steve’s grandson, started us off right with this, our first legal hybrid of the morning, and our third fish of the day.

WHEN WE FISHED:  25 May, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED:  This spring’s peak hybrid bite seems to be fading as more and more white bass teem on the deep-water haunts the hybrid typically use earlier in the spring, and as some thermal separation begins to show on sonar, along with the appearance of fry-sized young-of-the-year shad beginning to show up on the surface when calm.

We pursued hybrid this morning with live shad, but did not hesitate to work over the multiple schools of white bass we encountered, at least until their energy level dropped from its peak and they began to settle back to bottom after we initially got them stirred up.

We ended up with just 2 legal hybrid and 1 short this morning.  One of those legal fish came on live shad right within minutes of getting our baits down at the first area we fished.  The other came at the last place we stopped and popped up out of a large school of white bass as Steve worked a slab through it.

The white bass were aggressive and bottom-hugging, but, once we started working our slabs through them, they fired up and rose higher in the water column.  Lots of 2- and 3-year class fish in the mix which has been a real change versus the plague of small fish over most of 2019.  These fish are strong and aggressive as their rising metabolism drives them to feed.

TALLY: 108 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: No spawning shad observed, thanks to turbulent weather, rain, and N. wind right at first light through (obscured) sunrise.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  7:10A

End Time: Noon

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 64F

Elevation:  0.7′  high, 0.1′ fall, 17 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  73.2F

Wind Speed & Direction:  NE 10, shifting and increasing to NW14 by trip’s end

Sky Conditions: 100% grey skies with light rain for the first 2 hours, then occasional brief breaks in the cloud cover.

GT = 60

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic B0039G – 6 fish incl. 1 legal hybrid on bait in an area I was drawn to by low-light topwater action

**Area vic 717/B0037C – white bass blanketing bottom here.  Caught them at will on slabs; moved in search of hybrid

**Area vic  B0075C – a smaller cluster of what turned our to be white bass; moved in search of hybrid

**Area vic  1556 – saw a few fish as we searched for hybrid; developed the bite with bait and thumping; turned into more white bass

**Area vic  344 – white bass blanketing bottom here, 1 hybrid on smoked slab

 

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

UNDERSTANDING ATTENTION SPANS — 44 FISH @ STILLHOUSE

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Saturday evening I welcomed the Beavers family aboard.  Joining me were James and Andrea, and their 4 kids: William (age 4), Emersyn (age 6), Annistyn (age 8), and Brylynn (age 10), all of Salado, TX.  James is employed in the oil and gas industry, and Andrea holds a degree in nursing.

We originally had this trip planned during the COVID-related non-essential business closure and, fortunately, were able to reschedule, which, in retrospect, help us out as the warming water put more fish up shallow than would have been the case on our originally scheduled date.

I chose to conduct this trip on Stillhouse to avoid the congestion and recreational traffic on Lake Belton on a Memorial Day weekend afternoon, and because of Stillhouse’s better population of sunfish.

PHOTO CAPTION:  Back row: Dad and mom, James and Andrea.  Front row, from left: William, Annistyn, Emersyn, and Brylynn.

WHEN WE FISHED:  23 May, 2020, PM

HOW WE FISHED:  With a 6 year age spread, you can imagine the great differences in attention span between the four kids.  My goal was to start off with some smaller, more numerous, “instant gratification” sunfish in order to get fish in the boat and build the kids’ confidence, and then move on to tactics requiring a bit more patience in tradeoff for some larger white bass.

This plan worked well, thanks to the capable hands-on assistance by James and Andrea.

We made four stops at similar, shallow water areas looking for sunfish moving up into these warming areas now in the mid-70’s with some fresh aquatic vegetation and some flooded shoreline vegetation (thanks to the reservoir being about a half-foot high).

At each of these locations we used worm fished beneath a float to present these baits to sunfish.  Each of the four locations produced multiple fish from 2.75 inches up to 6 inches, including bluegill sunfish, longear sunfish, and green sunfish.

After about 2 hours’ time the novelty of this sort of fishing wore off on the kids, in age order.  Once Brylynn lost interest and headed for the snack collection, only James and I were holding rods in our hands and we knew it was time for a transition.

So, we took a boat ride to a new fishing grounds and, using downriggers, quickly hooked up with 3 white bass using a 3-armed umbrella rig equipped with Pet Spoons.  Things looked good after that initial success, but the action waned and sent us searching over multiple areas before we connected with our next bunch of fish.

When all was said and done, the kids landed 34 sunfish and 10 white bass, all of which were released to fight again another day.

 

TALLY: 44 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  4:45P

End Time: 8:30P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 90F

Elevation:  0.52′  high, 0.17′ fall, 565 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  76.3F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSE14

Sky Conditions: 40% white cloud cover on a bright sky through 6:45, then a low bank of grey clouds in the west obscured the setting sun.

GT = 55

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic 1967, 1572 (2 hops), and 641 for sunfish

**Area vic 754, SH0035C, and 0281 for white bass

 

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

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GARRETT! — 157 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Friday morning I fished with a very nice young family — the Morgans.  Garrett Morgan is originally from this area, and his wife, Kristi, is originally from west Texas.  The two now live with their boys, Avery and Dax, in Midland, TX, where they operate several Beltone Hearing Centers.  The family returned to Morgan’s Point to visit Garrett’s folks over the Memorial Day Weekend.  Garrett’s dad, Jerry, had reserved a trip with me some months ago and decided to make the trip Garrett’s birthday present.

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left: Kristi, Dax, Garrett, and Avery Morgan, each with a Belton Lake white bass exceeding 13″.    

WHEN WE FISHED:  22 May, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED:  With two boys aboard, my first instinct was to limit the amount of “bait and wait” we did unless the hybrid were really cranked up.  So, we gunned for hybrid early on, but found little of interest to present our baits to through around 7:45.  At this time, the grey skies thinned and brightened and took on a white appearance.  More light penetrating spurred on the start of a bite.  As I searched with sonar, I came upon a massive school of white bass suspended about 1/3 of the way toward the surface from around 53 feet deep.  We got Spot-Locked on these fish and spent a full 2 hours catching and releasing.  All I did during that time was go from angler to angler releasing fish and keeping an eye out for poor technique.  Fortunately, that was rarely an issue and we therefore took full advantage of what we’d discovered.

The fish were so aggressive that, on several occasions, we landed 2 fish on one lure at the same time, one on the treble and one on the stinger.

As the wind ramped up, the fish moved to about half-way up in the water column.  We adjusted our smoking tactic using my white, 3/4 oz. Hazy Eye Slabs and kept right on catching.

By 9:45, the boys were starting to wane, so, I suggested we change things up a bit and hang bait for a bonus hybrid or two while they stretched and snacked.  Everyone was agreeable to this, so, we moved until I found some action I thought would produce hybrid.  We dropped shad down and, after just a few minutes, a school of white bass swam into our spread.  They ate shad until right at 10:45 when we decided to call it a great morning with 157 fish landed.  No hybrid landed this morning, however.

TALLY: 157 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:45A

End Time: 10:45A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 73F

Elevation:  0.57′  high, 0.04′ fall, 17 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  73.2F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSE12-14

Sky Conditions: Grey skies through 7:45, giving way to a brighter, white sky the remainder of the trip

GT = 170

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic 717/B0037C – aggressive action by suspended white bass

**Area vic B0013C – final stop in search of hybrid at late morning – only found white bass on live shad

 

 

 

 

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

THERE’S AN OLD SAYING … – 169 FISH @ LAKE BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Thursday evening I fished a multi-generational trip with “Poppsy” Doug Streater, his son-in-law, Travis Anthony, and Travis’s son, 11-year-old Colby Anthony.  Doug works in the financial industry, Travis is a surgeon, and Colby is just finishing up his current school year virtually.

We took a multi-species approach this evening.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  Doug Streater with a slab-caught Lake Belton hybrid striped bass.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: Travis Anthony with one of 7 legal hybrid we landed on slabs this evening.

PHOTO CAPTION:  Colby Anthony with the first of 7 legal hybrid striped bass we took on Hazy Eye Slabs this evening.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: 3- and 4- year class white bass made up an unusually high percentage of our white bass catch this evening.  Don’t know where these rascals were for the entirety of 2019, but they are abundant for now.

 

WHEN WE FISHED:  22 May, 2020, PM

HOW WE FISHED: The SSE winds which were lacking during today’s AM trip blew with vigor this evening, with winds right at 16mph and gusting occasionally higher.   This evening was one of those trips where everything just went right for the entire duration of the trip — no equipment issues, no weather issues, no fish location issues — we simply caught fish from start to finish and had an enjoyable time doing it.

As we started the trip, I used downriggers equipped with 3-armed umbrella rigs to locate fish and then stay on top of them as they appeared in distinct “patches” over about a quarter-mile of bottom.  We worked at this for about an hour landing singles and doubles of white bass on the Pet Spoons the umbrella rigs were equipped with until we found an area where the fish were particularly well-congregated.  We then Spot-Locked on top of these fish and worked Hazy Eye Slabs vertically with a smoking tactic and got them fired up.  Once we transitioned to the vertical tactics, we began to draw strikes from both legal and short hybrid stripers.  Eventually, these fish cooled down, necessitating a move.  We’d boated 69 fish by this time.

As we caught these fish, I explained to Colby how important it is to “make hay while the sun shines”, meaning that it is imperative to take advantage of a feeding spree by catching fish while they are easily caught, and to avoid snack breaks, bathroom breaks, tangles, picture-taking, etc. during this critical time.  This was the first “saying” of the night.

We moved only two times.  The next two schools of fish we found were so large and so aggressive that we spent the entire remainder of the trip fishing for them until they finally gave up right at sunset.  We landed 100 fish on the dot from these 2 areas, all on the white, 3/4 oz. Hazy Eye Slab with stinger hook attached.

As our tally approached 100 fish, Colby was excited at the prospect of being the one who caught that 100th fish.  As he worked his slab, he hooked what could have been that 100th fish.  As he was still reeling it in, he called out “100!”, at which time the fish pulled off before being landed.  This is where I introduced him to the second old saying of the night, “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”

At one point in the evening, Colby got on a hot streak and landed 6 or 7 fish in as many retrieves, at which time he chided his dad and grandfather, “C’mon guys, ya’ll need to catch up.”  This was a good opportunity to introduce the Scriptural saying, “Pride goes before the fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)  Dad and grandpa chimed in and provided the explanation here.

As we closed out the trip, Travis asked a bit about the conduct of my business.  I shared with him about planning, saving, and investing so as to be able to retire early and run my guide service.  This is where the evening’s last saying, also Scriptural, figured in: Proverbs 22:7 says, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.”

When I quizzed Colby at the end of the evening about all of these sayings, he fairly closely recalled each one.

 

TALLY: 169 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  4:30P

End Time: 8:30P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 89F

Elevation:  0.6′  high, 0.03′ rise, 17 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  73.6F

Wind Speed & Direction:  SSE16+ at trip’s start, tapering back to SSE

Sky Conditions: 40% white cloud cover on a blue sky

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic 1743 downrigging

**Area vic  1269 downrigging

**Area vic 2053 smoking after fish revealed here via downrigging

**Area vic 187 smoking

**Area vic B0075C smoking

 

 

 

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

FUNKY WIND, FUNKY FISHING — 76 FISH @ LAKE BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Thursday morning I welcomed returning guests Clayton Bell and his brother-in-law, Gaines Smith, both of Florence, TX, aboard for a morning of fishing on Lake Belton.  Clayton is an artist and Gaines is an Air Force veteran who went on to retire from the construction trade.

Due to a childcare miscue, the gentleman who was supposed to accompany me this morning had to back out at the last minute, and Clayton was first on my standby list of those interested in a morning hybrid trip.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  Clayton Bell took this nice hybrid striper after a slow start thanks to a funky NW breeze.  Once the winds turned southerly, it was game-on.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: This Lake Belton hybrid striped bass landed by Gaines Smith was our first of the morning.  It hit just as the wind was turning out of the south and east.

 

 

WHEN WE FISHED:  21 May, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED: This was an odd morning.   As you can see from the cut-and-paste of the weather forecast I was looking at prior to the trip, the winds were due to be manageable from the SSE with abundant cloud cover.  Yet, for the first 2 hours this morning, the winds blew from the northwest.  I knew when I saw a number of “regular” retirees darting from place to place looking for fish that I was not the only one having a tough time.  We just sort of picked at them for these two hours, landing a few white bass on live shad, doing a lot of searching with sonar, and very little finding.

Finally, about 8:45, the winds swung in a matter of 20 minutes from NW through W, to S, then settled out of the SE, starting around 7mph, then building to around 14mph.

I headed us to the most wind-exposed areas I expected would hold fish at this time of year, and the catching then began.

Due to the tough, slow start, I extended our trip until the fish quit, which was around 12:30 versus the 10:45-ish time when things had been tapering off prior to this morning.

As the winds started blowing from the SE, we continued on with live shad, at first catching hybrid (8 legal fish in all), then switching over to fishing with artificials (Hazy Eye Slabs in white, 3/4 oz.) once the white bass moved in and began consuming live shad about as fast as I could put them on a hook.

We had agreed before departing the dock that we’d try to target higher numbers of white bass in the second half of the trip after giving it a go on the hybrid early on, so we made that break at this time.  Clayton, who traditionally fishes for largemouth bass with soft plastics had a very hard, reflexive hookset which did not serve him well in fishing with light spinning tackle, braided line, and fish which do not feed by vacuuming their prey but rather by overtaking it.  He did what many are unable to do — adjusted on the fly — and was quite successful from that point forward as we used a smoking tactic to target these white bass we found in the lower third of the water column.

By the close of the trip, Clayton and Gaines had landed 76 fish, of which 8 were legal hybrid striped bass.

 

TALLY: 76 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:   Abundant spawning shad and white bass topwater action this morning from at Area 438 to the developed shoreline

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:   6:45A

End Time: 12:30P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 72F

Elevation:  0.6′  high, 0.03′ rise, 17 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  73.6F

Wind Speed & Direction:  odd NW wind at 5-6 for about 2 hours, shifting to SE then picking up to SE12

Sky Conditions: 40% white cloud cover on a blue sky

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic B0119C

**Area vic  B0201C

**Area vic Lost Rod 2

**Area vic B0182C

 

 

 

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

SEVENTY-SIX OR BUST! — 76 FISH @ BELTON LAKE

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past  Wednesday morning I welcomed returning guests Jim Wood and his grandkids, Charlotte and Jack Bailey, along with the kids’ dad, Jack Bailey, who came aboard for the first time.  Jim is a retired physician residing in McGregor, TX, and Jack and his family reside in Colleyville, TX, where Jack works in the insurance industry.

Like most kids in the US, Charlotte and Jack left school on Spring Break and never returned.  They’ve been doing online learning (yes, actually doing it, as their mom is also their principal!!).

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  Dr. Jim Wood with a 5.75 pound hybrid — our largest of the trip — taken on live shad under an unusual warm-weather morning fog.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:That’s young Jack Bailey with a hybrid of his own.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  Jack Bailey of Colleyville landed this 19-incher on a rather large, 5-inch threadfin shad.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: Charlotte Bailey preferred catching her Lake Belton hybrid as the sun shone.  As skies cleared and the wind increased, the white bass bite picked up and the hybrid bite died down.

 

WHEN WE FISHED:  20 May, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED:    When Jim originally booked this date back in February, he did so to secure a date within the peak season for hybrid striped bass, not yet knowing who might accompany him.  When his fishing buddies turned out to be his elementary-aged grandkids, I suggested we shoot for the hybrid right off the bat while the kids were fresh and the hybrid were doing their low-light feed earlier in the morning, then switch our focus to the better action white bass provide once the kids’ attention span for watching baited rods wore thin.  Jim and the kids’ father agreed this would be a wise approach, so, that’s the direction we headed.

During our time on the water, we went on to land 7 legal hybrid striped bass among the 76 fish we brought aboard.  6 of these came in the first 90 minutes of the trip as an unusual, warm fog obscured visibility.  All but Charlotte landed a hybrid during this time.

Later, as we stalked white bass, Charlotte was finally able to bring a just-legal hybrid to net, so, everyone got to enjoy the tremendous pull of these power-packed fish.

We caught our first 6 legal hybrid on live shad.  We switched over to using 3/4 oz. slabs once we shifted our focus to white bass.

Charlotte had the final fish count (which I later verified) of her first trip out with me last July memorized.  It was 73.  The kids really wanted to beat that goal.  As we approached the 4-hour mark, it was clear that that goal was possible to obtain as the fishing improved as the skies brightened and the wind picked up.

When all was said and done, my four anglers landed a new personal best total of 76 fish.  All caught and released.

 

TALLY: 76 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:   Abundant spawning shad at Area SHAD020.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:   6:45A

End Time: 11:15A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 73F

Elevation:  0.58′  high, 0.05′ rise, 17 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  72.1F

Wind Speed & Direction:  ~9 mph from the SSE

Sky Conditions: Blue sky with no cloud cover

GT = 110

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic B0149C

**Area vic  294/2059/1012

 

 

 

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

WHERE’S THE BEEF?? — 79 FISH @ LAKE BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Tuesday morning I fished with a crew of five from the Georgetown area.  Joining me was Dwight Stone, Oscar Leal, Terek Brown, Donnie Boyd, and Jay Stein.

The only one of the five who had not yet been out with me was Donnie, who works in ministry to the poor and who brings his interest in photography into ministry, as well.

The whole bunch are godly, easy-going, self-deprecating, fun fellows to have on board.  I always look forward to fishing with whomever Dwight rounds up!

Dwight first started fishing with me last fall after retiring from running a string of Sonic restaurants.  As we were talking about current events, Dwight expressed concerns about a forthcoming meat shortage, the first indicators of which he’s already seen in the supply chain of the restaurant industry.  it seems nothing has gone untouched by COVID-19, from fishing to filet mignon.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  Dwight Stone put this trip together for his buddies.

PHOTO CAPTION: Jay Stein with a Lake Belton hybrid striped bass taken on live threadfin shad.

PHOTO CAPTION: I netted about 300 baits with my trusty 5/16″ mesh Fitec net this morning in anticipation of ample bait consumption!  Terek Brown put his fair share of those baits to good use.

PHOTO CAPTION: Donnie Boyd with his first hybrid striped bass.  He said after landing it, “Man your forearms could only go for 4 or 5 of those before you’re done!”.

 

WHEN WE FISHED:  19 May, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED:   This morning’s trip divided neatly into two halves.  The first half was spent fishing live shad for hybrid striped bass.  That went swimmingly up until around 8:15 when sonar returns became few and far between and the steady bite we’d enjoyed slowed to a crawl.  During that 2.5 hour span we managed 12 legal hybrid, 4 shorts, and a few white bass.

The second half of our trip was driven by what we found via sonar.  The group concurred that if we found hybrid, we’d fish for them, but if we found white bass, we’d fish for them, instead.  The very first thing I came across was a well-congregated school of white bass in just over 40 feet of water, covering a roughly 25 yard patch of bottom.  We broke out the slabs and started catching very aggressive white bass.  The action lasted for perhaps 20 minutes, then cooled, although the fish were still present, just not chasing any longer.  We dropped bait to them and fished them until they quit, right around 11 AM.

One of the highlights of the trip was seeing blue herons feed on whole white bass which occasionally get throat-hooked when using shad.  These large birds spear these fish through with their beaks as they land in open water, rebalance themselves as they prepare to take off, and then lift out of the water with fish easily weighing 3/4 of a pound.  Neat stuff!  And, it is nice knowing the fish did not go to waste.

 

TALLY: 79 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:   Abundant spawning shad at Area SHAD027.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:   6:45A

End Time: 11:10A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 68F

Elevation:  0.50′  high, 0.05′ rise, 17 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  72.1F

Wind Speed & Direction:  ~9 mph from the SSE

Sky Conditions: Blue sky with no cloud cover

GT = 55

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic 346

**Area vic  1012

 

 

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