• Bob Maindelle | For the Herald
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As the summer solstice came and went this week, bringing with it the longest period of daylight of any day of the year, summer officially began.

A record 62 teams arrived ready to fish Tuesday at Stillhouse Park on Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir in the 16th consecutive Tuesday night 3x9 Series bass tournament held since the series kicked off in March.

On Monday morning, Rick Hill of Temple and his 13-year-old son, Colton, went fishing together on Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir.

Fifteen of the 30 scheduled Tuesday 3x9 Series tournaments are now in the record books with what many consider the tougher half of the season to come.

As the surface temperature on our local reservoirs touched 80 degrees for the first time this season, large schools of small blue catfish have begun to show up on deep, main basin areas on Belton Lake.

Topwater time is here. The young-of-the-year shad which were spawned toward the beginning of the roughly 10-week long threadfin shad spawn have already grown out to nearly an inch in length. These small fish have moved to open water where they now feed upon algae blooming near the surface.

Thanks to milder weather this past Tuesday, 57 teams turned out for the thirteenth weekly 3X9 Series bass fishing tournament on Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir.  A total of 30 such weekly tournaments are slated for the 2017 season.

On the  afternoon of May 20, Michelle Oster and her three children were treated to a free, four-hour fishing trip on Belton Lake during which the kids, 15-year-old Alicia Wegmann, 9-year-old Jayden Lamay, and 8-year-old Giovanni Lamay, landed 95 fish, including mainly hybrid striped bass and…

Scarcely a week has gone by when the Barnes brothers, Adrian and Daniel, have not been mentioned somewhere in the top several berths of the weekly Tuesday 3X9 Series bass tournaments taking place on Stillhouse Hollow, and this week was no exception.

If this summer’s weather trends as it normally does, our last days of May and the first half of June will see temperatures climb into the 90s or more, with humid conditions and warm overnight temperatures.

Despite damp, southerly winds gusting over 23 miles per hour, 45 two-angler teams showed up ready to compete at  Tuesday’s 11th 3X9 Series bass tournament of the 2017 season held on Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir.

In our busy culture, spending quality time with children can be challenging.

On Saturday morning, May 6th, Jereme Hosch and Garret Hennig set out on Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir to scout out productive areas in hopes of returning to fish those areas on the following Tuesday’s 3X9 Series tournament.

On Wednesday morning, Jonathan and Sarah Manning of Copperas Cove and their children, Emily and Jacob, took a guided fishing trip with me on Belton Lake based on the recommendation of Kirk Bateman, a friend of theirs from Eastside Baptist Church. This trip was an early gift to Sarah for Moth…

As the Tightlines Premium Fishing Tackle Tuesday night 3X9 Series tournament trail entered its ninth week, a host of outsized largemouth were brought to the scales this week.

Hampton Haines contacted me by email on April 13, hoping to book a fishing trip in celebration of his 28th wedding anniversary with his wife, Stacy. Haines, who lives in Georgetown, was given my name and number by a co-worker, Ricky Guenat, who had recently fished with me.

With eight of the planned 30 bass tournament events now completed, the top three two-angler teams are as follows: In first place are brothers Adrian and Daniel Barnes, in second place is the team of James Millsap and Jody Berger, and in third place is the team of Floyd and Vickie Lesiker.

Big fish eat little fish. This week alone, even with Belton Lake’s fishery still somewhat negatively impacted by the recent flooding and ongoing heavy release of water from the dam, clients of mine landed over 520 fish, with many of the largest fish — hybrid striped bass — taken on live shad.

Fifty-eight two-angler teams competed this past Tuesday, April 18th, on Stillhouse Lake in the Tuesday Night 3x9 Series, the seventh in a series of 30 Tuesday night events, each held on Stillhouse from March through September.

Thanks to heavy, area-wide rainfall ranging from 2 to over 8 inches in Central Texas on Monday night and Tuesday morning, Belton and Stillhouse lakes are on the rise and are off-color.

On Tuesday, 56 two-angler teams took to the rain-swollen waters of Stillhouse Hollow Lake for the Tuesday Night 3x9 Series, the sixth in a series of 30 Tuesday night events, each held on Stillhouse from March through September.

On April 1, 221 two-angler teams launched out on Belton Lake competing for a first-place purse that totaled over $32,000 for the team bringing in the heaviest five-fish limit of bass in only the second Texas Teams Trail Tournament event to visit Belton Lake since the organization was founded.

This past Tuesday evening, April 4th, 59 two-angler teams launched their boats as part of the Tuesday Night 3x9 Series, the fifth in a series of 30 Tuesday night events, each held on Stillhouse Hollow from March through September.

On Friday, I was joined by Raymond and Anna Pagel for a half-day of hybrid striped bass and white bass fishing on Belton Lake. The Pagels are well-traveled anglers, having fished in bluewater for big gamefish, in Mexico for bass, and in Alaska for trout, salmon and halibut.

On Tuesday evening, 53 two-angler teams launched out of Stillhouse Hollow Park, each in pursuit of the heaviest three-fish limit they could muster.

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.

Like most Fort Hood families, Sean Webber and his wife, Ashley, are far removed from extended family.

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.

Last week saw the sharpest fall in water surface temperature thus far this autumn.

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.

The fish are back.

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.

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