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Variety: The Spice of Life -- 80 Fish, Mepps MAL Originals, 10 Oct. #14502103 10/11/22 09:19 PM
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: 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 had two families take me up on the offer. I fished with 8-year-old Keegan Hughes in the morning.

In the afternoon, I welcomed aboard Paisley (age 7) and Leighton (age 6) Schmidt.

In what is the exception and not the rule, the kids’ father, U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Josh Schmidt was able to accompany his children. CW2 Schmidt has served for 16 years.

CW2 Schmidt and his Warrant Officer Advanced Course class graduated a few days ahead of schedule from their course held at Fort Sill, OK. Hence, he was able to join his kids unexpectedly as he returned home to Fort Hood qualified to promote to Chief Warrant Officer 3 in the Air Defense Artillery branch where he works with the Patriot Missile system.

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: Variety was the key to holding the Schmidt kids’ interest during their 3.5 hour SKIFF trip on Lake Belton. The kids caught white bass, short hybrid striped bass, and sunfish using a mix of four different tactics.


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


As Josh and the kids showed up, I told Josh the fish were ready to bite and that the challenge was going to be getting our two young anglers to consistently do what was necessary to catch them.

Fishing MAL Lures vertically and horizontally seems pretty simple taken at face value, but things like retrieve speed, retrieve length, and initiating blade spin can be tricky.

We launched and, based on lessons learned and sonar observed both during the morning trip and over the course of an additional hour I spent scouting in advance of the Schmidts’ arrival, we drove right to the fish and Spot-Locked atop them. Sure enough, Paisley and Leighton made all the “rookie mistakes” everyone new to fishing MAL Lures does, but, Josh and I coached them through that and, before long, the kids were catching fish consistently. Before long, they had caught enough fish in a short period of time using the MAL Original Lures with chartreuse tails in a vertical (smoking) tactic that their wrists got sore and they were questionable about continuing.

Observing this, I broke out the downriggers so we could continue catching fish while eliminating the constant reeling involved with working the MAL Lures. This was also very productive as the mild temperatures and southerly winds really had the fish turned on. These downrigged fish were all taken on 3-armed umbrella rigs equipped with #12 Pet Spoons.

Eventually, the kids tired of this downrigging success (note: young kids need variety to stay interested), and I suggested we head up shallow to probe for sunfish with poles and bait. We landed 8 sunfish during this short break from the white bass, then finished up the night with a nearly 30-fish catching streak on white bass using a combination of vertical and horizontal (sawtooth) tactics.

We ended the evening with a total of 80 fish including 8 sunfish (bluegills and greens), 5 short hybrid striped bass, and 67 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: 80 fish caught and released

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

OBSERVATIONS: Much to report today! 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. Additionally, we saw the first trickle of migrating monarch butterflies was observed today, as well as 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: 3:45P

End Time: 7:15P

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 84F

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

Water Surface Temp: 77.1F

Wind Speed & Direction: SE7-8

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

Moon Phase: Full moon at 100% illumination.

GT = N/A


[Linked Image]


Successful pre-trip scouting at:

B0154G, B0153G, 1000, and vic B0067G

Fish caught with clients at:

Area 369 thru B0085C (21 fish smoking MAL Originals & 23 fish on downriggers)

Area B0168C – 8 sunfish

Area vic 387 – 28 fish on MAL Originals used 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: Variety: The Spice of Life -- 80 Fish, Mepps MAL Originals, 10 Oct. [Re: Holding The Line] #14502322 10/12/22 12:59 AM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 73,392
banker-always fishing Online Content
Super Freak
Online Content
Super Freak
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 73,392
Solid post. Good times. thumb

[Linked Image][Linked Image]

IGFA World Record Rio Grande Cichlid. Lake Dunlap.

John 3:16

Sinner's Prayer. God forgive me a sinner. I accept Jesus Christ as my Savior !
Re: Variety: The Spice of Life -- 80 Fish, Mepps MAL Originals, 10 Oct. [Re: Holding The Line] #14510953 10/20/22 04:49 PM
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 253
Slick Rick ‘06 Offline
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 253
Great trip report! I enjoyed reading this.

You ain’t gonna catch any sittin’ on the couch.
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