WHO I FISHED WITH: This past Thursday morning, April 21st, I fished with returning guest Matt Laakso of the Austin area.

Matt has made it a tradition for many years now to accompany me for a guided fishing trip on the occasion of his birthday. As soon as the trip concludes, he has me put him down for the same time the following year.

Here is how the fishing went …


My next openings will be on May 11th and June 21st. Weekday mornings are always best. Saturdays are available for on-the-water sonar training sessions (only) until after Labor Day when I’ll again offer Saturday morning fishing trip (until mid-March 2023).

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PHOTO CAPTION: Matt Laakso and I “worked ‘em over” for a 101 fish catch using a variety of tactics as the white bass bite intensifies.


WHEN WE FISHED: Thursday (AM), 21 April 2021


For the third consecutive day, a stiff southerly wind continued to blow since early Monday morning. That, along with abundant grey cloud cover, made the conditions excellent once again for white bass fishing. Add to that the steadily rising water temperature, and the stage was set for catching!

We began our trip up shallow, in under 15’, tossing MAL Heavy Lures out horizontally and retrieving them with a sawtooth tactic. This produced 28 fish before the congregation of fish we were targeting dispersed.

As we began searching for our next location to focus on, a white flurry of activity caught my eye. Up inside a wind-blown cove, a flock of laughing gulls were wheeling and dipping as they fed on shad being forced to the surface by white bass below.

No need to comb over large tracts of bottom tediously using sonar when this was going on! We drove straight to the birds and started casting and catching.

When the fish showed themselves, we cast the lighter MAL Original Lures to them and retrieved with a steady cadence right away. When the fish sounded, we let the lures sink 6 seconds and then retrieved steadily. The action was hot and heavy.

While Matt was working in the bow, I headed back to the stern briefly and rigged up a topwater bait for him (a clear Spook Junior) so we could enjoy the visual display the white bass put on as they chopped at that bait from beneath. By the time the action died, we’d added 22 more fish to our count, which now stood at 50 fish.

To clarify, this action was mainly just beneath the surface. This was NOT the kind of prolonged feeding on the surface which we normally encounter at sunrise and sunset in the heat of the summer.

Once the topwater action faded, the rest of our catching took place out in deeper water. In fact, the rest of our fish came from two areas, both in 42’. For these fish, we use MAL Heavy Lures (barbless, chartreuse tails) in conjunction with Garmin LiveScope to draw fish up off bottom and catch them as they chased our baits. A complete description f this “smoking:” method is found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE

Even on his birthday, Matt had to get back to his home office to get some work done, so, when we beat that 100 fish mark in right at 4 hours on the water, we pulled the plug and headed on in.

Our final tally of 101 fish consisted of 1 short hybrid striped bass, 1 freshwater drum, 1 white crappie, and 98 white bass.

Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs and MAL Lures are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 101 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: The first glimpse of white chasing shad aggressively to the surface took place this past Friday, but, this morning’s episode was much longer, more widespread, and involved a whole lot more fish.


Start Time: 6:50A

End Time: 10:55A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 72F

Elevation: 3.73 feet low, 0.0’ change in last 24 hours, 38 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 68.3F

Wind Speed & Direction: SSE9-11 all morning, which was lighter than forecast

Sky Condition: 100% light grey clouds most of the morning; some light, intermittent sprinkles fell in the last hour.

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 72% illumination.

GT = 25


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Area 0169, 0182, B0184C, B0005G

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)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bobmaindelle

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Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411
Holding The Line Guide Service
Stillhouse & Belton
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