It was telling that a 5.64-pound bag took first place honors in the Tuesday Night Tournament.

“That’s not very much weight,” said Donnie Mathes, a 29-year game warden on Fort Hood.

Mathes and his angling partner Tim Rake, of Gatesville, finished runner-up with a 5.23-pound bag.

The Mathes-Rake team have won the Tuesday Night Tournament five times this season.

“Fishing conditions right now, overall, are very bad,” Mathes said. “In our area, as best I can tell, there just aren’t that many people out there fishing. The heat has been getting to people.”

Mathes said water temperatures in area lakes have stayed pretty steady, in the 80s.

“We really need some cold fronts to help cool things off before fishing can improve,” he said. “Or if we can get some rain where we have some runoff and some fresh water in that lake, that would help a bunch. But, in the state of Texas, it would take a hurricane to help improve fishing and nobody wants that.”

Mathes said he’s glad the calender is flipping pages.

“It’s good that September is so close because September and October will bring some periodic cold fronts,” Mathes said. “Plus, the number of hours of daylight will change and that will make the fishing patterns better.”

Mathes said fishing is slightly better at Belton Lake compared to Stillhouse.

“Hybrids and white fish are better on Belton,” he said. “But black bass fishing isn’t any better at Belton than Stillhouse.

“The Fort Hood ponds are really low, so there isn’t good fishing there, either.”

Contact Allan Mandell at or 254-501-7566 and read his column at

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.