Fishing catches

Dr. Scott Isdale and his grandsons, Dylan, left, and Drake Degenhardt fished with guide Bob Maindelle on Stillhouse this past week and boated 42 fish on downriggers and slabs.

Courtesy photo, Holding the Line Guide Service

The best news for area anglers is that August only has 10 more days to go.

“Fishing has been so tough lately,” said Rodney Thompson, co-owner of Tightlines Premium Fishing Tackle. “These are the dog days of summer.”

“The fishing will get better in September and October,” said Donnie Mathes, a 29-year game warden at Fort Hood. “We’re just a few short weeks away when the weather will cool and the fishing will improve quite a bit.”

The forecast on Belton Lake on Thursday is a high temperature of 102. On Friday, the forecast calls for a high of 104.

“If we can get a day or two next week with a little bit of cooler temperatures, it may help fishing conditions a bit,” Thompson said.

Thompson and Mathes are both successful tournament anglers.

For those looking to enjoy fishing on area lakes in a noncompetitive atmosphere, both recommend an early-morning or evening-fishing timeframe.

“Fishing before 10 a.m. is a good idea for right now,” Thompson said. “And then, if you want to come back after 6 p.m., you may have some luck. By then, the water cools down a few degrees and puts the fish into a feeding mode. You can use your plastics, swim jigs and square bill crankbaits.

“But if the water temperature stays in the mid-to-high 80s, fishing will usually remain difficult.”

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

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