• September 25, 2016

Outdoor Sports

The Latest News

BOB MAINDELLE: Fishing for Freedom event is a way to say ‘thank you’

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.

BOB MAINDELLE: Belton Lake yielding hybrids early, catfish late

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of fishing on Belton Lake with two longtime Killeen residents, Payton Duncan and Bob Word.

BOB MAINDELLE: Killeen boy sets junior record at Belton Lake

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.

BOB MAINDELLE: Weather decides whether anglers are successful

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.

BOB MAINDELLE: White bass fishing takes a tern for the better

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.

BOB MAINDELLE: A variety of fish are biting right now at Belton Lake

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?”

Nally, Hiltabidel win TNT

Mike Nally and Micheal Hiltabidel won the Tuesday Night Tournament at Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir with a three-fish bag weighing 12.54 pounds. The duo won $840.00.

KISD students can take fishing classes

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.

BOB MAINDELLE: April strikes it big during August fishing trip

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 educator in the Killeen Independent School District, where he remains employed to this day.

BOB MAINDELLE: SKIFF, other military programs, help family grieve

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.

BOB MAINDELLE: Jozy Ramirez — Killeen’s newest angler — catches 35 fish

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.

BOB MAINDELLE: Escape the ‘spot fisherman’s’ mentality and catch more fish

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.

BOB MAINDELLE: Preparation is the key to fishing success in summer

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.

BOB MAINDELLE: Despite flooding, Belton Lake producing record catches

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 per second, whereas Belton’s release this past week has fallen about 2,000 cubic feet per second shy of that, thus resulting in a net gain of water on Belton.

Area fishing conditions ‘still terrible’

Area anglers are still in a tough bind.

Summer fishing essential: understanding the thermocline

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.

BOB MAINDELLE: Nearby alternatives to flooded Belton, Stillhouse exist

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.

BOB MAINDELLE: Corps of Engineers official discusses area lake conditions

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.

Summer fishing by boat ‘at risk’

According to an area outdoors expert, fishing by boat at Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir and Belton Lake this summer may not be possible.

FISHING: Killeen couple win Tuesday Night tourney that was moved to Belton Lake

Jeff Vernon and Cheril Connell, both of Killeen, won the Tuesday Night Tournament with a two-fish bag weighing 12.16 pounds. 

BOB MAINDELLE: Fort Hood SKIES program angler earns First Fish Award

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.

BOB MAINDELLE: Salado, Belton student share $2,500 tourney scholarship prize

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 other prizes.

BOB MAINDELLE: Belton Lake stocked with more than 1.2M hybrid striped bass fry

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.

FISHING: Vickers-Hirschman team wins growing Tuesday Night Tournament

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.