Excellent.

It’s been quite a while since any area expert has used that word to describe fishing conditions.

“My experience lately is that the fishing has been excellent around here,” said Bob Maindelle, owner of Holding The Line Guide Service. “In my last four trips, we’ve caught between 65 and 106 fish. And this is with novice anglers.”

Water temperature has been the key.

“Our water temperature is only a degree or two lower than it was at the beginning of September,” Maindelle said. “The water temperature was 80.4 on Wednesday at Belton Lake. That is unseasonably warm.”

The fish are hungry, Maindelle said.

“The higher the water temperature, the higher the fish metabolism stays,” he said. “Plus, you haven’t seen rain or grey clouds in a long time. The weather has been stable.

“And when you get stable weather, the fishing is stable as well.”

Fishing has been good in shallow water as well as deep water, Maindelle said.

“There are still plenty of sunfish in the shallow waters which are very readily caught on live bait fishing from the shore.”

Naturally, timing can be critical.

“Mornings and evenings, within 60 minutes of sunrise and sunset is best,” Maindelle said. “There is still an excellent topwater bite taking place on Belton Lake.”

The Fort Hood ponds may prove fruitful.

“They are well stocked,” Maindelle said. “But the smaller the body of the water, the more quickly it is impacted by weather change, even minor weather change.”

Contact Allan Mandell at amandell@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7566 and read his column at KDHPressbox.com

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