There was a pretty good reason why so few catches were reported at Belton Lake on Saturday.
There weren’t that many fishermen trying.
“When it’s really windy, people just don’t want to go fishing,” said Donnie Mathes, a 28-year game warden at Fort Hood.
It was a sunny Saturday on Belton Lake but there was a strong wind in the morning and early part of the afternoon.
“The interesting thing is the fish actually bite better on a day with a little wind,” Mathes said. “The bait will move more than on a calm day which will attract more fish.”
James Milsap, a bass tournament fisherman and Harker Heights resident, concurs.
“The wind is a definite help,” he said. “It pushes the bait up and the fish will come up. Most bass fishermen like the wind to be around 10 to 15 mph — that’s perfect. You can still fish comfortably and the fish will bite best. But if the winds get up to 20 to 25 mph, it makes fishing more uncomfortable.”
One weather service reported the wind was blowing at 22 mph at Belton Lake on Saturday morning.
“I’m like any other fisherman,” Mathes said. “I don’t like fishing on days when it’s too windy, especially if you’re on a boat. The water is rough, it’s hard to move around. The wind makes it hard to keep your boat in position.
“When it does get windy, the best thing to do is get to the side of the lake where the wind is blowing into you. The bait will blow towards the windy side of the shore. Due to a heavy wind, you may be more uncomfortable while fishing, but you would have more fish around.”
Dan Holman, an employee at Frank’s Marina on Belton Lake, said, “For a Saturday, today was surprisingly slow. There wasn’t much caught today.”
The wind wasn’t as strong by late-afternoon and, by then, the lake had a few more visitors.
“But, honestly, nothing changed,” Holman said. “The fishing wasn’t that good today.”
The forecast for today is for the wind at Belton Lake to get up to 16 mph.
“That’s perfect for me,” Milsap said. “I’ll be fishing the lake on Sunday.”