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Warm Air, Cold Fish -- 51 Fish, 20 Feb. 2023 #14636624 02/20/23 09:28 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,747
Holding The Line Online Content OP
Extreme Angler
OP Online Content
Extreme Angler
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,747
WARM AIR, COLD WATER –51 FISH @ BELTON

February 20th, 2023 by Bob Maindelle

WHO I FISHED WITH: This Presidents’ Day morning, Monday, Feb. 20th, I conducted my first fishing trip with clients aboard since rotator cuff surgery back on 13 Jan.

This trip was in celebration of James DuBose’s birthday, and was arranged for by his wife, Ashly. She worked mightily to keep this trip a secret AND coordinate it at a time when James, his dad (Vernon), and his brother (Chris) would all be available and present, as Vernon and Chris live down by Galveston.

If you follow me routinely, you’ll recall I fished a scouting trip back on Feb. 7th, anticipating a crew of clients on Feb. 9th. Well, one of those fellows got sick and the trip didn’t happen. Then, this trip was originally scheduled for last Friday (ambient air temp. 31F, wind chill 22F) and we all felt delaying to this morning was a better bet — and it was!

At this point, I am full re-opened for business and my booking calendar is up-to-date. If a date says “OPEN AM” or “OPEN PM”, I am available. You can always just call or text to check on a date, as well. Here’s that calendar: https://holdingthelineguideservice.com/available-dates.php

Here is how the fishing went …

______________



[Linked Image]


PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Chris, James, Ashly, and Vernon DuBose with a few of the 51 fish they landed via slow-smoking slabs and dead-sticking with soft plastics and jigheads.

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Monday, 20 February 2023 (AM)

HOW WE FISHED:

I spoke with a lot of disappointed anglers at the boat ramp today — mainly largemouth bass anglers who were beginning to probe up shallow for black bass. The warm air had everyone hoping that spring was coming on, but, the water temperature told a very different story. It measured only 52.3 on the surface. Bear in mind that during our last cold snap (Thur. thru Sat. last week), the air temp only exceeded the water surface temp. after around 3p on Saturday. Otherwise, that was a full 60 hours of cooling which preceded that.

I started our trip well after sunrise today (at 7:45A) as I’ve found very little in the way of fish or bird activity during the first hour of light since the water temp slipped into the low 50’s earlier this winter.

Even with a later start, we only took 3 fish in the first hour. By 9:15A, as the wind begin to increase and the sun began to shine more brightly (thru a full 100% coverage of thin clouds), the bite began to come on strong. The white bass bite definitely followed “bell-shaped” curve today, peaking around 10A, then dropping off about a half hour later.

As we moved around to several areas looking for aggressive fish, we found the fish most aggressive (though still far from truly aggressive) as soon as we dropped baits down to them. We’d typically take a few fish, then the fish would remain in the area (drawn, no doubt, by the thumper), but turn off to the slab (white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs). Seeing this, we changed over to deadsticking with a jighead and soft plastic, moved the baits much more slowly, and began catching once again. We found any suspended fish MUCH more likely to strike than those fish remaining on, or just barely off, the bottom.

Without Garmin LiveScope, our catch would have been half of what it was this morning, as the detail it provided allowed everyone to present their baits with great precision on a consistent basis to these reluctant, cold fish.

I know everyone, including myself, is getting that spring itch, but that water temperature has to temper our expectations to avoid disappointment.

Our tally of 51 white bass consisted of 3 short fish, and 48 legal-sized fish. This was a 3.25-hour trip.

TALLY: 51 fish caught and released

Find Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs with Stinger Hook here: https://whitebasstools.com/

OBSERVATIONS: No helpful bird activity. No fish dripping eggs or milt from the 51 whites we landed. No bycatch of other than white bass today.

WEATHER DATA:

Start Time: 7:45A

End Time: 11:00A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 59F

Elevation: 13.84 feet low, 24 CFS flow.

Water Surface Temp: 52.3F on the surface

Wind Speed & Direction: SSW winds all morning starting at 10, building to 16

Sky Condition: 100% light white cloud coverage all morning. Cloud ceiling was high.

Moon Phase: New moon at 0% illumination.

GT = 45

Wx SNAPSHOT:

[Linked Image]




AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

Area 2059 – 33 fish

Area B0165G – 6 fish

Area B0005C- 3 fish

Area 1482 – 3 fish

Area vic B0160G – 6 fish



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
Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com
Stillhouse & Belton
Ask About Trips for Kids


Re: Warm Air, Cold Fish -- 51 Fish, 20 Feb. 2023 [Re: Holding The Line] #14637036 02/21/23 03:32 AM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 76,665
banker-always fishing Offline
Pumpkin Head
Offline
Pumpkin Head
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 76,665
As always. Solid post and fish. Good job. thumb


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IGFA World Record Rio Grande Cichlid. Lake Dunlap.

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