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If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It! -- 182 Fish on Mepps MAL Dense Lure, 17 May #14370425 05/17/22 08:36 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,453
Holding The Line Offline OP
Extreme Angler
OP Offline
Extreme Angler
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,453
WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Tuesday, 17 May 2022, I fished with a crew of four. Back during the Christmas holiday, James Copeland’s daughter, Allix, got a fishing gift certificate for him from the family. Today, “Pops”, as the grandkids call him, brought his son, JT, his son-in-law (Allix’s husband) Randle Jackson, and family friend Cody Stanley, out for a morning of catching on Lake Belton.

Here is how the fishing went …


My next openings will be on July 7th and 12th. 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 trips (until mid-March 2023).

[Linked Image]

PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Cody Stanley, JT and James Copeland, and Randle Jackson, each with a (spawned out) 14+ inch white bass we took from our first deep-water stop this morning.


WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday (AM), 17 May 2022


There was really no shallow water/top water bite this morning, thanks to a slack wind. I noted a lot fewer shad spawning without wind driving wave action onto the shoreline this morning. I suspect the lack of shad directly corresponded with the lack of white bass up shallow. With 4 men casting (well) for ~20 minutes, we only managed 2 strikes and one nice crappie landed on MAL Originals. With that, we headed out deep and stayed there the remainder of the trip.

For you who follow these detailed accounts, I know this is going to sound like a broken record, but I’m a big believe in “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. The fishing was very straightforward, with the biggest challenge being to find the fish in the first place. Once found, it was a pretty safe bet that they’d bite, given the weather and time of year.

Well-tuned Humminbird side-imaging, supported by Garmin down-imaging and colored (2-D or “traditional”) sonar helped make the location challenge manageable.

We fished only three deep-water areas this morning; at the third, we “hopped” around a few yards one way and then the other to keep up with the fish as the bite was waning, beginning around 10AM.

Other than that, we stayed Spot-Locked on the fish and all four fellows did a great job of effectively working their MAL Dense Lures vertically in conjunction with Garmin LiveScope to take fish after fish after fish. We used only one tactic, and that was the “smoking” method which involves racing the lure upward from a dead stop on bottom so as to make it look like a panicked shad swimming fast and straight for its life.

One other thing the fellows did well at today was resisting the urge to set the hook. Rather, they kept right on reeling after feeling a fish make contact with their MAL Lure. This is a critical step some folks never get the hang of. As fish pursue the MAL Lure, they push a pressure wave ahead of them (that’s like the “bulge” of water in front of a large, moving ship which you often see dolphins “riding”). That pressure wave will interrupt the spin of the MAL Lure’s blade. This interruption can be readily felt by the angler. Most mistake this for a strike, but it is not. The actual strike comes a split second later. But, if an angler sets the hook on that first sensation caused by the interruption of the blade’s spin, either a complete miss can result, or, more likely, the fish will be hooked for all of 1 or 2 seconds and then get off because the hook was on the exterior of the mouth, but not inside the jaw so as to encircle bone or cartilage.

A complete description of the vertical “smoking:” method is found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE

Our 182 fish catch included 175 white bass, 6 sub-legal hybrid striped bass, and 1 crappie. Of significance was the fact that, of the 175 white bass we landed, ~20 were under the 10-inch limit — this is a strong mature fish to juvenile fish ratio for Lake Belton.

The entire family of MAL Lures is found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

TALLY: 182 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS: Shad spawn was present, but weaker today. This could be due to heat or due to a near calm wind scenario this morning.


Start Time: 6:45A

End Time: 10:45A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 76F

Elevation: 4.09 feet low, 0.02’ fall in last 24 hours, 50 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 77.5F

Wind Speed & Direction: Calm at trip’s start with light S wind starting around 7:15 and building to S10 by trip’s end

Sky Condition: A thin, grey bank of clouds existed in the eastern sky before and during sunrise, but quickly burnt off, leaving a light blue sky with ~30% white cloud cover the remainder of the morning.

Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon at 97% illumination.

GT = 70


[Linked Image]


Areas 1012/1552, B0075C, B0042G (3 hops)

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

#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 #mepps

[Linked Image]
Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411
Holding The Line Guide Service
Stillhouse & Belton
Ask About Trips for Kids

Re: If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It! -- 182 Fish on Mepps MAL Dense Lure, 17 May [Re: Holding The Line] #14370429 05/17/22 08:47 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 434
redace1 Offline
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 434
Good, thorough, and very detailed post.
Thanks for the information and methodology.

Momma always said......
Re: If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It! -- 182 Fish on Mepps MAL Dense Lure, 17 May [Re: Holding The Line] #14370734 05/18/22 03:46 AM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 71,691
banker-always fishing Online Content
Super Freak
Online Content
Super Freak
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 71,691
Nice post and fish. As always, good job. cheers

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IGFA World Record Rio Grande Cichlid. Lake Dunlap.

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