CAT HERDING — 70 FISH @ STILLHOUSE

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Saturday morning, August 1st, I fished with a boatload of boys from Georgetown, TX.  Joining me were Luke and Liam Shinners (twin 9-year-olds), and Cooper Wankerl.  Luke and Liam were chaperoned by their dad, Brian, and Cooper was joined by his grandfather, Steve Murphy, who first fished with me last fall when treating an old high school buddy to some time in the outdoors. Steve and Brian are neighbors, and since the boys are all about the same age, they thought a fishing trip might be fun while Cooper was in town visiting for the summer. With the boys all being the same age, and all being buddies, plus the novelty of a boat ride and the anticipation of catching fish, the boys had a bit of sensory overload going on.  To say they were distracted from time to time would be an understatement.  A couple times I looked up at Steve who was smiling and shaking his head, silently wondering how I was maintaining sanity enough to actually help these three young guys consistently put fish in the boat.  The old cliche about herding cats was definitely appropriate here. Nonetheless, all turned out well!
PHOTO CAPTION #1: From left: Cooper Wankerl, Liam Shinner, and Luke Shinner with a trio of the 45 white bass we took through 9AM via downrigging and vertical work with MAL Lures on Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir. PHOTO CAPTION #2: Cooper Wankerl with a nice 2.25-pound largemouth taken from 34′ of water in over 50 feet of water.  It was found near a large school of threadfin shad nearly 4″ in length. WHEN WE FISHED: 01 August, 2020, AM WHERE WE FISHED: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir HOW WE FISHED: This trip broke down neatly into three parts.  Part one was early morning downrigging for white bass holding between 30-35 feet down over a deeper bottom.  This yielded 21 fish in the form of singles and doubles over the first hour-plus on the water, including 19 white bass, 1 drum, and 1 largemouth.  As this action died down, some very light schooling action broke out on the surface, fueled by schoolie-sized largemouth forcing shad to the top.  I moved to the action and found white bass feeding on the same forage fish, only down deeper in the water column.  Steve, Brian and I worked hastily to get my MAL Lure-equipped spinning rods in the boys’ hands and get the lures headed beneath the boat to where the fish were showing to be holding on sonar.  We used a smoking tactic to work these fish, doing three “short hops” with the jog function of the Ulterra trolling motor to keep up with these fish as they slowly moved about. Over the next hour, the boys put another 26 white bass in the boat before the action began to wane around 9:10AM.  If I had adult anglers aboard, we would have certainly stuck with these fish longer and pulled more out, but, the boys were accustomed to the fast and furious fishing, so, when several minutes passed between bites as the feed was winding down, I sensed them losing interest quickly, so we left the white bass while they were still biting and made a shift to sunfishing at that time to finish out the trip. We hit 3 distinct areas, all up in shallow cover, for our sunfish using floats with live bait suspended beneath.  The boys wound up with 23 sunfish, including a mix of bluegill and longears.  Right around 10:30, as Cooper landed the 70th fish of the trip, we decided to wrap it up and head back in. TALLY: 70 fish caught and released OBSERVATIONS:   Albeit light, this morning’s topwater feeding by largemouth was the first I’ve seen on Stillhouse since the last full moon. TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES: Start Time:  6:30A End Time: 10:30A Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 73F Elevation:  1.44′ low, 0.05′ 24-hour change, 1 CFS flow Water Surface Temp:  84.3F Wind Speed & Direction: NNE breeze the entire trip, starting pre-dawn at ~6mph, and slowly tapering to NNE4 by trip’s end Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous moon w/ 2 days until full moon GT = 20 Wx SNAPSHOT:  
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS: **Area vic 040 early downrigging **Area vic 070 to 866 – whites under topwater largemouth using MAL Lures **Areas 203, BOW004S cove, and 1948 for shallow sunfish   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

NO PET BUFFALOS – 105 FISH

 

WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Wednesday morning, 29 July, I fished Lake Belton with two young lady anglers — Lils and Zoey Haberer, accompanied and assisted by their mom, Emily, and their grandfather, Steve Niemeier.

Zoey is 5 years of age, and Lils is 8.

PHOTO CAPTION #1:  That’s Emily and little Zoey with a buffalo nearly as long as Zoey is tall!

PHOTO CAPTION #2: Lils Haberer with an 11th hour largemouth we picked up downrigging after causing havoc for the local sunfish population for over 2 solid hours.

WHEN WE FISHED: 29 July, 2020, AM

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

HOW WE FISHED: With girls so young, I had a fairly limited amount of time to find some “easy” fish before they became disinterested. In a scenario nearly identical to the day before, although our forecast called for SW winds, we actually had ESE winds during that critical low-light time from just before sunrise to just after it during which much shallow water topwater feeding typically takes place. That easterly wind just seems to put the brakes on the topwater bite. We actually spotted fewer suspended fish than the day before, and saw no early topwater fish at all this morning. After patrolling, looking, and downrigging a bit, by the 1-hour mark we’d managed to lose 2 young of the year white bass (which were all of about 4″ long), and land another.

I decided at that point that we needed to provide some “instant gratification”, so, we headed up shallow and proceeded to put a hurt on the local sunfish population.

Over the next 2.25 hours, the girls landed exactly 102 sunfish, including bluegill, green, and longear sunfish. Lils was ably assisted by Steve, and Zoey was coached by her mom. This was just the ticket to refocus the girls after a very slow start.

By the time the second area we fished for sunfish played out, we were right around the 3.5 hour mark and Zoey had just about played out, and I suspected Lils wasn’t too far behind. I suggested that we give downrigging just one more try to see if we couldn’t end the day with some larger fish.

Since the girls could move around and snack while we downrigged, and because this was a change of pace from the sunfishing, that suggestion went over well.

We put in all of about 20 minutes’ worth of downrigging during which time Lils came up with a nice largemouth bass — her largest fish of the trip. Not to be outdone, Zoey (with much help from Emily, or perhaps it was the other way around), landed a 16.00-pound smallmouth buffalo.

The whole boat erupted in cheering when the fish was secured in the net. We revived the fish, took some photos, and released it. It was then that Emily noticed Zoey was pouting up in the front of the boat with her head down.

When asked what was the matter, she shared with her mom that she wanted to take the buffalo home as a pet and was therefore very sad that we had released it.

Besides that, we had a good trip even if the white bass weren’t cooperative.

TALLY: 105 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  The presence of an easterly wind these past two mornings has just killed the low-light bite. After the sun gets up and the wind starts to move the water, occasional “popcorn” schools of briefly appearing whites could be seen for just seconds at a time out in open water.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:20A

End Time: 10:15A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 75F

Elevation:  1.35′ low, 0.06′ 24-hour change, 54 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  84F

Wind Speed & Direction: ESE6-7 during the first 2 hours, shifting to SE thereafter.

Moon Phase: First Quarter Moon +2 (a.k.a. waxing gibbous moon)

GT = 40

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1583 and B0158C for sunfish

**Area vic 1604 for light action on downriggers late in the AM

 

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

1st FISH OF THE A.M. = 1st FISH OF HIS LIFE

WHO I FISHED WITH: On Saturday, July 18th, I fished with Clint Tippett and his two young sons, Carter (age 7) and Carson (age 5).  We attempted to make this event happen last year, but dates didn’t work out.  Then, again in February we tried to set something up for March and COVID saw to it that those plans were foiled.  So, the third time was a charm this morning.

This trip was specifically focused on the boys’ success, so Clint, an anesthesiologist at Baylor Scott & White in Temple, helped me help them.

Prior to this morning’s trip, Carson had never landed a fish, and Carter only had a handful to his credit.

PHOTO CAPTION:   5-year-old Carson Tippett proudly displays the first fish of his life, a Stillhouse Hollow white bass landed just after sunrise while downrigging in deep water.

PHOTO CAPTION: 7-year-old Carter Tippett with the largest of the 50 fish we landed today.  This white bass fell for a Pet Spoon – one of three presented simultaneously on a 3-armed umbrella rig.

WHEN WE FISHED: 18 July, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED:  Clint and I spoke by phone the evening before this trip (which was originally just to include Carter) and agreed that Carson would join us.  I laid out what to expect based on my experience in fishing with kids this age and in this season of the year.

We planned to fish for white bass early on when the kids’ attention span and enthusiasm level was high, then move on to fishing up shallow for more cooperative and abundant sunfish later in the morning.

These plans worked out pretty well. The white bass action was more subdued this morning than over the past few trips, but the boys both landed 4 white bass a piece, included Carson’s very first fish ever, thus earning him a TPWD First Fish Award. By around 8:15, the deep action on white bass was waning, and so we retooled and headed up shallow.

All of these white bass came on downrigged 3-armed umbrella rigs equipped with Pet Spoons.  At no time did I see a congregation of white bass which I felt warranted stopping to work vertically for.

We made two stops up in shallow water specifically targeting sunfish.  We landed 36 sunfish at our first stop, then made a tally of 50 fish (which would require each boy catch 3 more fish) our goal at our final sunfish stop.  The boys handily met that goal and, now at the 3.5 hour mark, dad and I knew it was time to wrap up before the boys got too (choose any combination):  hot, bored, hungry, irritable, whiny, distracted, etc.  Thus, we ended on a good note with the boys landing roughly equal numbers of fish.

TALLY: 50 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Temperature profile at depth:

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:30A

End Time: 10:15A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 75F

Elevation:  0.9′ low, 0.05′ 24-hour fall, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  87F

Wind Speed & Direction: S6 at sunrise, increasing to SSE12 by trip’s end

Moon Phase: Waning crescent moving to a new moon on 20 July

GT = 55

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 062 thru SH0031G – serpentine downrigging pattern for deep white bass in lower third of water column

**Area 200 and 189 – sunfish

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

FISH SATURDAY … GET MARRIED MONDAY — 40 FISH @ STILLHOUSE

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Saturday, July 11th, I fished with returning guest Shawn Leverington who has been out with me twice before.  Accompanying Shawn this go-round were his sister and brother-in-law, Sarah and Matt Todd, as well as his soon-to-be father-in-law, Mike Carroll.

Shawn is to be wed this coming Monday to his fiancee, Kelly, in an evening ceremony at the Dead Fish Grill on Lake Belton, so family from both sides have come to town for the event.  Sarah, a teacher, and Matt, a federal fire fighter, drove down from Wisconsin, and Mike, a estate planning attorney, came in from Austin.

Shawn is a U.S. Army Reservist working full-time at Fort Hood as commander of the Warrior Transition Unit there.  The WTU’s stated mission is to provide command and control, primary care, and case management for soldiers in transition to establish conditions for healing and to promote the timely return to the force or transition to continue serving the nation as a veteran in their community.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:   From left: Sarah and Matt Todd, Mike Carroll, and Shawn Leverington

PHOTO CAPTION: Triple!!  3 fish on the 3-armed umbrella rig simultaneously.

WHEN WE FISHED: 11 July, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED: After experiencing just so-so fishing on Belton yesterday morning, and given that I expected a heavy weekend crowd there, I fished with Shawn and crew on Stillhouse today and was glad we made that call.

Summer fishing is always a challenge, but, thanks to some wind from the SSW, we did alright today.  The bite started just as the sun cleared the eastern horizon and went strong until around 8:15, after which fishing slowed dramatically.

As has been the case for the last few weeks, and will be the case for weeks to come, we found and caught fish on the downriggers, which allowed us to cover ground with sonar and to cash in on the occasional “patch” of bottom-hugging fish via vertical jigging with MAL lures.  The ‘riggers were equipped with 3-armed umbrella rigs rigged with Pet Spoons.

We actually gave vertical work a try before our first downrigger run this morning, as I saw a nice 50-60 fish school right on bottom in water just over 45 feet, but, it was still pretty dark down there and we just couldn’t get them excited.  We stopped to work vertically about 5 times this morning, catching fish on two of those pauses.

We witnessed no topwater action today, which was not surprising, as there was next to zero cloud cover.

We finished our morning right around 10:30 with 39 white bass and 1 largemouth landed.

TALLY: 40 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  No clouds, no topwater action.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:15A

End Time: 10:30A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 77F

Elevation:  0.57′ low, 0.04′ 24-hour fall, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  83F

Wind Speed & Direction: S7 +/- 1 mph all morning

Moon Phase: Last day of the waning gibbous, moving into the last quarter moon tomorrow.

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area SH0030G to SH0031G to SH0032G  – downrigging and vertical work

**Area vic 878 –  downrigging

 

 

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

WE WORKED FOR ‘EM TODAY — 27 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Friday, July 10th, I fished Billy Champlin of Killeen, TX, and his father-in-law, Tom Estes, of Florence, TX.  Billy’s wife, Teri, put the trip together as a Fathers’ Day gift to the both of them.

Billy serves as a TPWD Lieutenant Game Warden here in Central Texas and has been in law enforcement off the pavement for over 20 years now.

Tom retired from the quarry/stone business and just this year began a post-retirement job of substitute teaching in Florence’s public schools.

Both fellows had fished a good bit previously.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:   From left: Tom Estes and his son-in-law, Billy Champlin, with a few of the white bass we worked to catch from Lake Belton this morning.

WHEN WE FISHED: 10 July, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED: Fishing was tough today.  We had lightly whitecapping waves (w/ a ~13 mph wind) prior to sunrise and no cloud cover for about 90 minutes.  The wind relented a bit and broken white cloud cover built in as the morning progressed.  There was no topwater action in the areas I searched during the key topwater time right before, during, and just after sunrise.

We wound up covering a lot of water today with downriggers, encountering small schools of white bass with roughly 20-30 fish in each school.  These schools were typically 2-6 feet off bottom but were not carpeting the bottom, rather, they were “balled up” and appeared similar to shad when they form into bait balls, except the individual fish in the school were clearly visible, especially on Garmin DownVu.

On a number of occasions (probably 9 or 10) we saw excellent sonar returns, pulled the downrigging gear in quickly and circled back to Spot-Lock on top of the fish we’d seen, only to find them a) gone, b) present but in lower numbers than we first encountered, or c) unenthusiastic.  Over the course of our trip, we only landed 3 or 4 by fishing vertically.

Around 8:30 I noticed some light topwater action fueled by white bass chasing very large shad (4+ inches) over about a three-quarter acre area.  We tried pinning these fish down to fish for them, but they were in very small, splintered groups and moving quickly.  After failing to catch any by patiently waiting for a boil and sight-casting, we again tried a vertical approach resulting in 1 fish, and then went back to downrigging to cover water, and picked up another 4 fish this way.  Covering water was the key for these moving fish.

 

TALLY: 27 fish caught and released, including 26 white bass & 1 freshwater drum

OBSERVATIONS:  Only sporadic topwater action under a waning gibbous moon as we just passed full and are heading into the new moon which will occur on 20 July.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:15A

End Time: 10:45A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 77F

Elevation:  0.05′ low, 0.02′ 24-hour fall, 34 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  82F

Wind Speed & Direction: S13 +/- 1 mph all morning

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area B0025G to B0026G – downrigged with some success after keying on sporadic, light topwater

**Area 1975 to 687 – downrigging

**Area vic  -1604 downrigging

 

 

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

HE’S A TEN — 54 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Tuesday, July 7th, I fished yet again with Mr. Larry Brewer of Georgetown, accompanied by his life-long friend, Blake Hoekstra, and Larry’s 15-year-old grandson, Eymon McCormick.

Eymon heads into his sophomore year in high school at the end of the summer.  His visit with Larry and Mrs. Brewer has included varied activities, including driver’s education provided by Grandpa Larry.

When I asked Eymon where, on a scale of 1 to 10, he felt he currently fell in terms of his preparedness to drive, he promptly relied, “I’m a 10.”   Larry reminded him that Grandma Brewer still rated him at a minus 10, thus the average is zero.   Driver’s ed. continues …

 

PHOTO CAPTION:   From left: Larry Brewer, Larry’s grandson, 15-year-old Eymon McCormick, and Blake Hoekstra with a half-dozen of the 54 fish we managed on a morning made tough by turbulent weather.

WHEN WE FISHED:  07 July, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED: Bottom line this morning:  we had to work for ’em.  Thanks to very turbulent weather, we had all manner of sky conditions and light levels this morning see-sawing back and forth and never consistent for more than 20 minutes or so.

Our best run of fish came from 7:00 to 8:00 when, under completely grey skies, we downrigged and consistently pulled fish and, while doing so, noted three sizeable schools of white bass which came up on top and stayed put for perhaps 12 minutes, allowing us a quick 16 white bass, all eager to take a Hot Bite Gang Banger G2.

Around 8:15, a storm cell moved in from the west and dumped rain on the Ft. Hood training area to the west of Lake Belton, but only brought sprinkles our way.  During the entire, roughly 50-minute event with gloomy, dark skies and light drizzle, we managed only 2 fish.

Once the storm cell moved east, the skies got bright quickly, the atmosphere warmed, and we began to see signs of life again, included approximately 7 schools of white bass which fed at the surface just briefly within 100 yards of the area we’d chosen to downrig in.  We managed consistent downrigging action here, taking a number of singles and one double, before the wind picked up, the skies greyed again, and the fishing slumped once more.

From 10:20 to 11:15, yet another clearing, warming window occurred in advance of a significant line of storms which moved in from the north and dropped rain from 1 to 4 pm.  During this “window” of clearing, warming weather, we encountered another good feed, this time after most of the boats which showed this morning had already packed it up.

As we fished in ~26 feet of water after stopping in the area when Garmin down-imaging revealed a nice, bottom-oriented school of fish spread over a ~20 yard area, we took our fish count from 38 fish up to 54.  These fish were all 1- and 2-year fish and were all taken on MAL lures used with a smoking tactic.

TALLY: 54 fish caught and released, including 52 white bass, 1 largemouth, and 1 crappie

OBSERVATIONS:  As is typical for summertime fishing, we really had to hustle to get the boat positioned and lures down to the fish once we found some bottom-hugging whites, as these fish would not stay put very long.  Beating the water definitely aided in reigniting fish interest and in drawing and keeping them under the boat.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:15A

End Time: 11:45A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 79F and quite humid

Elevation:  0.42′ low, 0.04′ 24-hour fall, 34 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  82F

Wind Speed & Direction: S10 +/- 2 mph all morning

GT = 60

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area 1606 to 181 – early downrigging

**Area 1799 to 1702 to 1791 – downrigging leading to topwater action

**Area B0024G to 099 – downrigging with moderate success

**Area B0023G – MAL’s produced a final 15 fish from a bottom-hugging school in ~26-28′

 

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

ON THE EDGE OF TOPWATER TIME — 60 FISH

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Friday morning, July 3rd, I fished with first-time guests Todd Roach and Jason Walrath, both of Salado.  Todd works as a chiropractor in Killeen, and Jason, after recently retiring from the U.S. Army as an aviation officer, is now a pilot for United Airlines.

We pursued white bass on Stillhouse Hollow both because the fishing has been solid, and so as to avoid the holiday crowd on Lake Belton.

PHOTO CAPTION:  Todd Roach (left) and Jason Walrath put 60 fish over the gunwales this past July 3rd via a combination of downrigging and vertical work.

WHEN WE FISHED:  03 July, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED:  With fairly stable wind, weather, and water conditions each day now for well over 2 weeks, the fishing has settled into a predictable summer pattern.  All the action is above the thermocline which is set up around 35 feet in the upper 2/3rds of the lake, and deeper in the main basin.

The tactic which put fish in the boat for us this morning was to find (and catch) fish with the downriggers and then stop atop strong groups of bottom-oriented fish to work vertically for them.

The action started early today, with the strongest bite and most active fish up off bottom and up ~4-5 feet in the water column between 6:40AM and 7:50AM.

We found that the cooperative schools of fish hugging bottom which responded to our vertical tactics did not stay put long.  Once the fish cleared sonar, we moved, as these fish did not hold in the area, nor did they circulate back underneath the boat, despite efforts at thumping and beating on the water to draw them in and keep them there.

I noted today that the fish we encountered also seemed to be in smaller, more splintered groups.  By 9:15, the fish were clearly already on their way to shutting down.  For every 4 or 5 schools of fish we encountered, each with 20-40 fish per school, we’d only get one school jazzed enough to pursue baits, and even then would only get 1-3 fish out of that school.

I used a combination of #12 and #13 Pet Spoons on my 3-armed umbrella rigs today, and the fish definitely showed a preference for the slightly larger #13s.  For the vertical work, we used MAL lures.

TALLY: 60 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: Although not to the extent encountered on Wednesday under a better wind and cloud cover scenario, each location giving up white bass this morning also had, “schoolie” largemouth bass popping shad on the surface, as well.  I’m anticipating the topwater action to really come on strong over the next few weeks — very exciting!

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:20A

End Time: 10:45A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 77F

Elevation:  0.22′ low, 0.04′ 24-hour fall, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  82F

Wind Speed & Direction: SSW5 increasing to SSW11 by trip’s end with occasional gusts to 13

GT = 22

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Areas v1423, v062, v1708, and v1146

 

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

FIRST, LARGEST, AND MOST — 54 FISH FOR ADI

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Wednesday, July 1st, I fished a “Kids Fish, Too!” trip for Adi Zwern, the youngest granddaughter of Mr. & Mrs. Larry Brewer of Georgetown, TX.   Adi just got into town last night from Houston for about a week’s stay with her grandparents.  Adi’s sister, Finley, was treated to a similar trip last week, and the girls’ brother, Eymon, will get to go fishing next week, weather permitting.

Adi had never landed a fish before.  By the time 3 1/2 hours had passed, she’d not only landed her first fish, but (it goes without saying), the largest fish, and the most fish, as Pop Pop Larry and his buddy, Blake Hoekstra, both came along as able assistants helping me help Adi be successful.

 

PHOTO CAPTION #1:  This is the first fish of Adi’s life!!!

 

 

PHOTO CAPTION #2:   This is Adi’s current PB (personal best) — a 3 1/8 pound largemouth bass!!

 

WHEN WE FISHED:  01 July, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED:  Fishing was just right for having a youngster aboard today.  The fish cooperated for the entire time, thanks to a southerly wind and grey cloud cover, thus keeping fish coming over the side from start to finish, and helping Adi stay engaged.

We began our trip by probing with downriggers to which we’d attached 3-armed umbrella rigs rigged with Pet Spoons.  We caught singles and doubles steadily, most of which were suspended 3-5 feet up off bottom.  I believe these fish were up off bottom making use of the light there.  As the sun continued to climb and brightened the sky thru the thick, grey cloud cover, more and more bottom-hugging fish showed on sonar.  I believe the light was sufficient at that point to allow them to feed well at that greater depth.  Once I saw fish on sonar holding on bottom, we used a vertical tactic with MAL lures to the greatest extent possible.  The fish were mainly 2-year class fish with 1-year and 3-year fish sprinkled in.  These 2-year fish put up a good fight, especially when you’re 7 and weigh about 45 pounds!!  From time to time Adi’s arms got tired and we switched back over to downrigging until she gave us the thumbs-up that she’d recovered sufficiently to “go vertical” again.

We wound up with 37 white bass and 2 largemouth, including a nice 3 1/8-pounder before the fish started to slow down around 9:15.

At this point, we invested the rest of the trip into the pursuit of sunfish up shallow.  Adi landed 15 sunfish, including longears, redears, and bluegill.  We caught these on bait under slipfloats.

TALLY: 54 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:   Due to clouds/Saharan dust since Sunday, water surface temperature has dropped to 80 F.  Noted topwater largemouth feeding on 1.25″ shad from 1960 to SH0033C in open water.  Temperature profile was taken on Fish Hawk TD.  Note the 8 degree change in a matter of 5 vertical feet from 35 to 40 feet:

0 feet 82.1
5 feet 82.1
10 feet 82.1
15 feet 82.1
20 feet 82.1
25 feet 82.1
30 feet 81.9
35 feet 81.1
40 feet 73.0
45 feet 68.1
50 feet 63.9
55 feet 62.3
60 feet 60.9
65 feet 60.1

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:45A

End Time: 10:15A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 77F

Elevation:  0.16′ low, 0.04′ 24-hour fall, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  80F

Wind Speed & Direction: S9 at sunrise, tapering steadily up to S13-14.

GT = 55

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  vic 517 thru 853 to 1395 – white bass on MAL’s fished vertically after finding fish with downriggers; 39 fish

**Area 1948 – 15 sunfish

 

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

3 FIRST FISH AWARDS — 78 FISH @ STILLHOUSE

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Saturday, June 27th, I fished a “Kids Fish, Too!” trip for sisters Sophia (age 9), Hannah (age 8), and Emmelia (age 6), accompanied by their father, Ken Staples, of Belton, TX.

Back on May 23rd, I conducted a similar trip for James and Andrea Beaver and their four kids.  The Staples saw the summary of the trip on Facebook and contacted me about doing something similar for their girls.  Today was the day we made that happen.

 

 

PHOTO CAPTION #1:  That’s Ken in the background, and, from left, Emmelia, Sophia, and Hannah, each with the first fish of their lives!!

 

PHOTO CAPTION #2:  Sophia landed our first largemouth bass of the morning.  It went 3.75 pounds. This was a beautifully marked fish showing strong Florida-strain coloration in the black blotches down its sides.

 

PHOTO CAPTION #3:  Not to be outdone by her older sister, Hannah hauled in this 5.50 pound largemouth about 30 minutes later.

 

WHEN WE FISHED:  27 June, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED:  As I welcomed everyone aboard this morning, I quickly learned that the girls had never caught fish before, so, we were literally starting from “Square 1” with the fundamentals of how to hold the gear, how to use the gear, etc.   The girls father, Ken, was a great help, but also had limited prior experience, and so was limited as to the extent of aid he could lend.  In the end, all turned out well.

Ken understood my rationale in pursuing the toughest fish requiring the most patience and attention (white bass) first, while the girls were all keen to fish, and then taking on easier, more abundant, but smaller, fish (sunfish) toward the end when their enthusiasm had waned a bit.

We put about 2.5 hours of effort into white bass fishing.  We were fortunate to find active, bottom-oriented fish right off the bat this morning before putting downriggers in, so, we set up over top of these fish and worked MAL lures vertically for them, putting 17 fish in the boat before they moved on.

We then turned to downrigging.  This transition came at a good time, as the girls were starting to lose focus on the pretty exacting technique the vertical work required.  We landed singles, two doubles, and a triple on the downriggers and found two more schools of white bass hunkered down on bottom which allowed us to work vertically for them. We used one 3-armed rig and one 3-armed rig with a “tailgunner” — 7 baits in all.

By 9AM, we’d amassed a catch of 51 white bass and 3 legal (14″+) largemouth bass.  The bite was starting to fade, so, we moved on to our final adventure — sunfishing.

We made two stops in the shallows fishing bait beneath small, sensitive floats, landing bluegill, longear, and green sunfish — 2 dozen of them, to be exact.

By 10:15, our second area was petering out and the time had come to wrap up.  All of the girls thanked me (without prompting by their dad), expressed that they had fun, and asked dad when they could go again.

Each of the girls earned her TPWD “First Fish Award” with the first three white bass we landed this morning.

TALLY: 78 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Saharan dust once again obscured the sun today and is forecast to linger for some weeks to come.  Despite the cloud cover and wind, some minor, open water surface feeding by largemouth blitzing shad was visible in the chop.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:30A

End Time: 10:15A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 77F

Elevation:  0.01′ low, 0.04′ 24-hour fall, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  82F

Wind Speed & Direction: S9 at sunrise, tapering steadily up to S13-14.

GT = 0

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area  1395 – white bass on MAL’s fished vertically and via downrigging from 6:45 to 7:45

**Area vic SH0058C – white bass on downriggers leading to vertical work through 9A

**Areas 238 and 1572 – 24 sunfish

 

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

ONE GRANDKID AT A TIME – 50 FISH @ STILLHOUSE

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning, Friday, June 26th, I fished a “Kids Fish, Too!” trip for almost-9-year-old Finley Zwern of Houston, the granddaughter of Mr. Larry Brewer of Georgetown, TX.

Larry first got the idea of taking his grandkids out fishing as they visit with he and his wife one at a time this summer as he himself fished with me back in May when he was invited along by Mr. Dwight Stone, a long-time friend of his.

Finley was the first grandchild to visit for the week this week.  She excitedly told me all about making a cake, snickerdoodle cookies, and DIY Play-Doh.   I suspect these three activities were not organized by Grandpa Larry.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:  Larry Brewer and his granddaughter, Finley Zwern, with a pair of white bass taken on Stillhouse Lake.  Finley landed 50 fish this morning.

 

WHEN WE FISHED:  26 June, 2020, AM

HOW WE FISHED: We devoted about the first 2/3rds of the trip to the pursuit of white bass, then left time at the end for fishing for sunfish up shallow.

We struck out at the first location we searched out for white bass, although it was grey and murky with the newly risen sun obscured by cloud cover at this time.  We then found fish in deeper, clearer water spread over a wide area with small packs of 10-15 fish each glued to the bottom as the sun cleared the clouds in the eastern sky and it began to brighten up.  By running the downrigger within 5-8 feet of the bottom we got these fish to peel away from bottom and expose themselves to sonar.  We picked up a lot of singles today among the 27 white bass we landed, with only one double  — this was testament to the sluggish mood the fish were in.

When one particularly large group of bottom-hugging fish were seen on sonar (which produced one caught fish on the downriggers), we stopped atop these fish and really worked them with MAL lures with excellent results, right up until Finley complained of wrist pain from catching the 2- and 3-year class white bass we’d found.  So, we returned to downrigging, landed another couple of fish bringing our tally up to 27 white bass, at which time we switched over to shallow-water sunfish.

The sunfishing was simple and resulted in 23 fish, including bluegill, green sunfish, and longear sunfish, all landed on bait fished beneath a float.

We hit two potential areas on our final ride back to the ramp, but to no avail.  The white bass had turned off by this time.

TALLY: 50 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  Saharan dust obscured the sun today and is forecast to linger for some weeks to come.  I laid off fishing Tue.- Thu. this week due to unstable weather, incl. N. winds and rain, and did sonar training instead.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:  6:15A

End Time: 10:10A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 73F

Elevation:  0.03′ high, 0.03′ 24-hour fall, 1 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  82F

Wind Speed & Direction: S9 from sunrise to 9:15, then spiking up to S13-14, and then blowing harder and gusting just as I pulled out of the water at trip’s end

Sky Conditions: 100% grey skies all morning.

GT = 55

Wx SNAPSHOT: 

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic 1395 – 27 white bass – downrigged to find, worked MAL’s vertically to capitalize

**Area 1256 – 23 sunfish

 

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