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Soldiers' Kids Involved in Fishing Fun (SKIFF) - 50 Fish, Mepps MAL Lures, 10 Oct. #14501385 10/11/22 02:19 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,559
Holding The Line Offline OP
Extreme Angler
OP Offline
Extreme Angler
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,559
WHO I FISHED WITH: After taking a week off the water to build a home for a family down in Juarez, Mexico, I got back into the swing of things this morning.

Some time ago I set this Columbus Day Monday aside to conduct SKIFF trips for soldiers’ kids since our local school districts had the day off.

I wound up scheduling both an AM and a PM trip. This morning I welcomed an 8-year-old young man on board by the name of Keegan Hughes.

Keegan’s dad, U.S. Army Sergeant (E-5) Vincent Garcia has been in the military for three years. He is currently deployed to Poland where he serves as an artilleryman.

ABOUT SKIFF: This fishing trip was provided to this military family at no charge. S.K.I.F.F. stands for Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun. This program began in May of 2009. It is funded by the donations and fundraising efforts of the Austin Fly Fishers and other organizations they have partnered with. S.K.I.F.F. provides the children of military personnel separated from their families due to duty commitments with the opportunity to go fishing. SKIFF trips are also provided, free of charge, to Gold Star families who have lost their service member while he or she was on active duty. In mid-2019, SKIFF also began providing trips to dependents whose parents are bona fide disabled veterans. I coordinate and conduct these ~3.5-hour adventures on Belton Lake and Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir, just outside the gates of Fort Hood in Bell County, TX, year ’round. Call or text 254.368.7411.

Here is how the fishing went …


[Linked Image]

PHOTO CAPTION: Vertical and horizontal use of the MAL Original were the ticket for white bass which have now begun relating to bottom in greater numbers thanks to significant cooling of the water down to the 40-45 foot level.

[Linked Image]

PHOTO CAPTION: White bass weren’t the only fish eating shad and shad-imitating lures today! This Lake Belton smallmouth bass fell for an MAL Original Lure (white tail) as it fed amongst white bass in deep water.


WHEN WE FISHED: Columbus Day Monday, 10 October 2022 (AM)


If you look at the water temperature profile posted below, you’ll see there has been a significant cooldown with the temperature of the water nearly uniform down to about the 40’ mark. As a result, we found abundant bait and gamefish both suspended and orienting to the bottom out to that depth.

Although I don’t know the man, I am thankful to Keegan’s Grandpa JD who had taken Keegan fishing and taught him to cast. That made my job easier as Keegan was already familiar with the mechanics of casting, so, I just build on that foundation instead of having to work from scratch.

We got going around 7:15 and downrigged to cover water and get a feel for bait location, etc. until the sun rose. We continued to downrig for about 15 minutes following sunrise to see if any topwater action would develop, but none did. We landed three sets of doubles for a total of 6 fish by way of downrigging before we moved on and changed our tactics. These fish were taken with balls set between 20-24 feet over a slightly deeper bottom using 3-armed umbrella rigs equipped with #12 Pet Spoons.

For the remainder of the trip (at two distinct locations, one in 28’ and the other in 34’) we used a combination of vertical (smoking) tactics and horizontal (sawtooth) tactics to catch white bass which were both holding on bottom and/or patrolling up as much as 4’ off bottom.

Given the smaller average size of the white bass we encountered, the smaller sized bait these fish regurgitated, and the shallower water the fish were in (as compared to the 40-50’ depths we’ve been fishing all summer on Stillhouse), I opted to go with MAL Original Lures. I had one with a chartreuse tail and one with a white tail tied on and both performed identically.

We use LiveScope to assist our efforts to move these baits in front of schools of fish as they swam by. We took a total of 17 fish at our first area as young Keegan got used to the technique, polished up his casting, learned how to play and land fish, etc.

By the time we moved to our final area, he was primed and ready. In our final 45 minutes on the water, he landed more fish in that span of time (27 additional fish) than he had in twice that amount of time atop the first batch of fish we’d found.

When all was said and done at the 3.5 hour mark, Keegan had caught and released exactly 50 fish including: 1 smallmouth bass, 11 short hybrid striped bass, and 38 white bass.

TUTORIAL SMOKING VIDEO (Vertical): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDSvfXgrAUE
TUTORIAL SAWTOOTH VIDEO (Horizontal): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IC3FMEQHOMQ

TALLY: 50 fish caught and released

Find MAL Lures here: https://whitebasstools.com/

OBSERVATIONS: Much to report today: 1) the first trickle of migrating monarch butterflies was observed today, as were the first few small flocks of coots. The water temperature profile was as follows:

0 feet 77.1 F
5 feet 77.6 F
10 feet 77.9 F
15 feet 77.9 F
20 feet 77.9 F
25 feet 77.9 F
30 feet 77.8 F
35 feet 77.6 F
40 feet 77.3 F
45 feet 72.0 F
50 feet 66.1 F
55 feet 63.9 F
60 feet 62.4 F


Start Time: 7:15A

End Time: 10:45A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 64F

Elevation: 11.87 feet low, 0.13′ fall in last 24 hours, 385 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 77.1F

Wind Speed & Direction: SE4-6 through 10A, then bumping up to SE7-8

Sky Condition: <5% white clouds on a blue sky

Moon Phase: Full moon at 100% illumination.

GT = N/A


[Linked Image]


Area B0098G/840 – downrigging for 6 fish with Pets Spoons

Area vic B0185C – 17 fish on combination of vert. and horiz.

Area vic B0005C/1325 – 27 fish on combination of vert. and horiz.

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

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

Re: Soldiers' Kids Involved in Fishing Fun (SKIFF) - 50 Fish, Mepps MAL Lures, 10 Oct. [Re: Holding The Line] #14501407 10/11/22 02:35 AM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 73,430
banker-always fishing Online Content
Super Freak
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Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 73,430
Awesome post! flag soldier

[Linked Image][Linked Image]

IGFA World Record Rio Grande Cichlid. Lake Dunlap.

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Sinner's Prayer. God forgive me a sinner. I accept Jesus Christ as my Savior !
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