Front Loaded Fishing- 75 fish at Lake Belton

Belton Lake - Belton, Texas

Mike Pearson and his 13-year-old grandson, Caden Fawver, landed 75 white bass during their 4-hour morning trip using MAL Lures early for topwater action, then downrigging Pet Spoons thereafter.

by Bob Maindelle

WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Monday, August 14th, I fished with Mr. Michael Pearson and his 13-year-old grandson, Caden Fawver, both of Georgetown, Texas.

Although Caden had prior fishing experience, he had never fished for white bass before.  After our morning was through, I believe it is fair to say he had become quite a fan of this member of the temperate bass family. Here is how the fishing went…

Here’s an up-to-date calendar so you can check availability:

Next available dates are August 21 – 24 (AM)


WHEN WE FISHED:  Monday, 14 August 2023


Things were pleasantly quiet this morning on Lake Belton as all of our local school districts went back into session, leaving just a handful of well-mannered retirees out fishing today.

At exactly 6:38, the very first topwater action began and ran until around 7:30 when the first direct rays of the sun drove a majority of the fish down for good. This morning’s topwater feed was more widespread and more aggressive than any day last week, but, it was also quite frontloaded. After this wild, first hour, things died down quickly, leaving a fraction of the mid-morning topwater “popcorn“ action to sight-cast for versus what we saw last week.

As we first got into this top water frenzy, I had Mike and Caden throwing MAL Mini Rigs, which consist of an MAL Mini behind a 3/4-ounce weight separated by a roughly 24-inch fluorocarbon leader. This allows greater casting distance and a faster sink rate then when the MAL Mini is used alone, while still keeping the bait downsized to match the young of the year shad which the majority of the white bass were feeding on this morning.

The two landed 13 fish very quickly, but, as it got brighter and the fish both pushed down deeper and could see these lures better, our results fell off, so, I retooled, and we set twin downriggers out — one equipped with a three-armed umbrella rig with #12 Pet Spoons and the other with a three-armed umbrella rig trailing #13 Pet Spoons.

We took our tally up to 41 fish before the sustained topwater action ended and the sparse popcorn schooling began. It was now 8:04 AM. It would take another 2 1/2 hours of effort to put an additional 34 fish in the boat, all via downrigging, as this front-loaded bite died fairly quickly.

We wrapped up at 10:30 with exactly 75 fish landed, 100% of which were white bass, and four of which were short.

TALLY: 75 fish caught and released.

See a tutorial on the Smoking Method here:

Here is a tutorial on the Sawtooth Method:

Find the entire family of MAL Lures  here:

OBSERVATIONS: The first realistic chance of some rain materializes later today as a weak cold front moves into Central Texas.  Forecast time of arrival is 4-8P with 20-30% chance of rain.



Start Time: 6:30A

End Time: 10:30A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 81F

Elevation: 16.17 feet low, 56 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp: 86.4F on the surface.

Wind Speed & Direction:  S6 at trip’s start, slowly shifting and building to SW12-13 by trip’s end

Sky Condition: <10% cloud cover on a slightly hazy blue sky.

Moon Phase: Waning crescent moon at 3% illumination.

GT = 55


Area 1171 – most aggressive and productive topwater action lending itself to sight-casting

Area vic 1937 – combination of sight-casting with MAL Minis, then transitioning to downrigging as it got brighter.

Area 307 thru 845 – downrigging

Area vic 686 – downrigging



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)





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