Through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Angler Recognition Program, both resident and non-resident anglers of any age may earn a TPWD First Fish Award by documenting the capture of the first fish of their lifetime and then sending in an appropriate application to the TPWD’s Austin office.
The hybrid striped bass bite on Belton Lake has begun nearly three weeks ahead of schedule and gets better with each passing day. The most tried and true presentation for these fish is the use of freshly caught, well-maintained shad.
On Feb. 25, 27 couples gathered before sunrise at Union Grove Park on Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir to compete for the heaviest five-fish limit of black bass each team could muster from the warming waters of that lake.
Nearly a month ahead of schedule, Belton Lake is poised to begin producing quantities of quality hybrid striped bass thanks to a very mild winter followed by an early spring.
With the season’s first catches of white bass now taking place at and beyond the logjam area on the Leon River above Belton Lake, and above the Gravel Crossing area on the Lampasas River on Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir, there is no doubt we are experiencing an early spring and an earlier than…
Jaime Gonzales, an avid reader of this column from Harker Heights, phoned me recently. He explained how he and his two friends, Ruben Cavazos and Jose Chapa, routinely fished on Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir but did not enjoy the kind of success I regularly report my clients enjoying while fis…
Thanks to a winter that has been quite mild thus far, it currently appears that the much-anticipated annual white bass spawning run will start a bit earlier than usual this season.
After competing in four tournaments to earn their way to the championship event held Jan. 21-22, 61 teams made the cut and went head to head in the final of the 17th annual TuffMan championship two-day, two-lake tournament. The first day was spent on Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir and the secon…
Thirteen-year-old Charley Elgin had only a little prior fishing experience before stepping aboard my boat Monday. Elgin had fished with his grandfather in northern California using spinning gear, tossing out bobbers with worms suspended beneath in hopes of catching bass.
There is more to a boat show these days than just boats. This year’s 41st annual Central Texas Boat Show next weekend at the Bell County Expo Center is a case in point.
As the winds shifted from the southwest to northwest Tuesday, the season’s second significant arctic cold front moved into Central Texas, dropping lows into the 20s and allowing highs only in the 40s. This will push the water temperature on our local reservoirs down 2-3 more degrees from the…
It is New Year’s Day. No doubt you are already eating well, exercising regularly and have long ago sworn off all your bad habits. So why not focus on fishing when it comes to making a few New Year’s resolutions?
Wednesday afternoon’s guided fishing trip on Belton Lake played out just as the majority of the fishing trips I will conduct on both Belton and Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir will between now and mid-March.
If you are like many Americans, you will likely have a few vacation days to invest above and beyond your normal days off this month. By observing wind direction and speed you can better gauge which days to be on the lake and which days would be better spent whittling down your honey-do list.
It happens every year around the end of November and into December — our water temperatures begin to drop and fish go on a feeding spree as temperatures fall into their preferred temperature range.
There is no doubt that this autumn has been slow in coming. Balmy weather, infrequent cold fronts, a lack of frost and water temperatures still in the low 70’s this week all point to an extended fishing season this winter.
When South Dakota’s Garvon Golden caught the lake-record white bass aboard my boat on Oct. 25, it replaced the catch-and- release category record that had stood since 2009. Golden’s moment of fame would be just that ... momentary.
When Sgt. 1st Class Dan Brown, a U.S. Army infantryman with 19 years in the service, lost several of his “battle buddies” to suicide, and saw others struggling to get helpful care through Veterans Affairs as they tried to cope with stress, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress, he began to brai…
While out on Belton Lake fishing with a father-daughter pair two Mondays ago, my cellphone rang. Phil Moore, a Killeen resident for over 30 years, a Vietnam war veteran, and recently retired from his long-time position as the maintenance and facilities manager at Memorial Baptist Church, cal…
Can you remember when you were a kid and had something so exciting taking place the next day that you had trouble sleeping the night before? Well, at age 47 I had one of those nights earlier this month, all thanks to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
The cold front that blew into Central Texas two weeks ago left cool, clear, post-frontal conditions in its wake and triggered the first fish movements of the fall season this week.
Early on Sept. 18, 41 two-person teams from across Central Texas set out on Belton Lake by boat, with each pair of youths accompanied by an adult boat captain.
It is the most well-attended fishing event in Central Texas each year. It is the annual Fishing for Freedom bass tournament, and it will be taking place Oct. 7-8.
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of fishing on Belton Lake with two longtime Killeen residents, Payton Duncan and Bob Word.
About two weeks ago, U.S. Army Maj. Marion “Liz” Williams, of Killeen, contacted me with a bit of a dilemma. Her twin 9-year-old boys, Caleb and Tyler Williams, wanted to go fishing, but, as a single mom with limited fishing experience, Liz was not sure if she was up to the challenge.
Since 1992, I’ve kept a detailed log of every fishing trip I’ve taken on Belton Lake and Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir. From this log, clear trends emerge from the data.
I consider it an early Christmas present. Three Friday afternoons ago, a cold front blew into Central Texas. In an instant, the skies clouded up, the wind changed directions and the ambient temperature dropped nearly 20 degrees into the high 80s.
Like many local anglers, Steve Niemeier, of Temple, had some reservations about fishing on Belton Lake given recent reports of flooding, closed facilities, turbid water and more. Niemeier sent me a text message on Aug.7 simply asking, “How’s the fishing?”
As the Aug. 22 start of public school within the Killeen Independent School District (KISD) fast approaches, academics aren’t the only classes available to students this year.
A resident of Killeen for over 20 years, Robert Williamson first came to Killeen while on active duty as a sergeant first class in the U.S. Army in 1995. Shortly thereafter, Williamson transitioned into civilian life, putting his college degree to work for him and gaining a position as an ed…
In March 2001, Army Pvt. Donald Wilson and his fiancée, Nancy Phimmasone, were married here in Bell County. By 2012, Wilson had risen to the rank of sergeant first class when he died while on active duty, where he served as a fire direction chief in a mortar platoon.
On July 12, I received an email from Fort Hood SKIES Unlimited program manager Brenda Brown informing me that a Fort Hood family had signed up for a “Fishing 101” guided fishing trip.
When it comes right down to it, fish are really not all that difficult to catch. The average freshwater fish’s brain is smaller than a pea, and despite what many may think, they are not capable of plotting against the angler.
The long, hot, sunny days we are now experiencing cause algae to bloom at the lake’s surface. These very small plants serve as the main food source for threadfin shad, so these forage fish are also found at or near the surface dining on algae during daylight hours.
As I write this, Belton Lake stands at 23.47 feet above normal elevation and is still rising by 0.2 to 0.4 feet per day thanks to a heavy, ongoing release of water from Lake Proctor further upstream on the Leon River. Lake Proctor’s release this past week has remained around 7,700 cubic feet…
As rain-free skies finally cleared sufficiently to let the sun shine for more than two or three days in a row this month, our average air temperatures have increased, and our local lakes’ surface temperatures have likewise increased.
According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Fort Worth District website, as of June 3, Belton Lake was 21.91 feet above full pool and still rising. Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir stood at 18.58 feet above full pool and was slowly dropping.
This week I interviewed Ronnie Bruggman, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Lake Manager of Belton Lake and Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir, concerning the flooding which has forced the closure of boat ramps on both lakes.
Jeff Vernon and Cheril Connell, both of Killeen, won the Tuesday Night Tournament with a two-fish bag weighing 12.16 pounds.
In late April, I received an email from Brenda Brown, manager of the Fort Hood SKIES Unlimited program, letting me know that Jennifer Katz, of Killeen, had signed up her daughter, Cayli Katz, for a “Fishing 101” trip with me on May 21.
Last Sunday, the capping event of the Central Texas High School Tournament Trail took place on Lake Belton. After fishing multiple events over the course of this school year, 22 qualifying two-person teams took to the water to compete for the grand prize of $2,500 in scholarship money and ot…
John Tibbs is the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Inland Fisheries District 2B Supervisor and, lucky for we anglers here in Central Texas, he is also an avid fisherman and a longtime proponent of the implementation and improvement of the hybrid striped bass stocking program.
There were 56 teams competing in the Tuesday Night Tournament this week at Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir and the winning team was Willie Vickers-Billy Hirschman.
There comes a time each spring when lengthening days, rising water temperature and increasing fish metabolism all translate into incredibly productive and consistent fishing for both quality fish and high quantities of fish on Lake Belton.
The weather was brutal on Tuesday night at Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir. But that didn’t stop 35 teams from entering the weekly Tuesday Night Tournament.