Belton Lake

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While the water was calm at Belton Lake on Thursday, the fishing was slow. Dean Thompson, owner of Tightlines Premium Fishing Tackle said the continuing shift in the weather “from cold to warm to cold” is causing the slowness. Thompson, of Harker Heights, and teammate Ronnie Reinhardt, of Youngsport, will compete in the Bass Champs Fishing Tournament in Austin on Saturday.

The Bass Champs Fishing Tournament at Lake LBJ in Austin is Saturday. The first-place prize is $17,000.

Two good friends of Harker Heights resident Dean Thompson will be competing as a team: Jody Berger, of Belton, and James Millsap, of Harker Heights.

“But I won’t be rooting for Jody and James at all,” said Thompson with a chuckle. “I’m rooting for myself. I’ll be entering that tournament, too.”

Thompson, owner of Killeen’s Tightline Premium Fishing Tackle, will team up with Ronnie Reinhardt, of Youngsport.

The Thompson-Reinhardt team will compete out of a 20-foot Skeeter bass boat.

“There’s an advantage to a big boat like that,” Thompson said. “First, you have more deck space to fish. Also, it helps you fight through the waves on a windy day. Smaller boats get knocked around.”

Wind hasn’t been a major problem this week at Belton or Stillhouse Hollow lakes. On Thursday, the wind at Belton Lake was just 5 mph. But fishing, overall, has been slow this week.

“It’s the continuing shift in the weather from cold to warm to cold that is causing this slowness,” Thompson said. “Stillhouse is a little low on water, too.”

Reinhardt decided not fish at all this week but that decision had nothing to do with weather.

“We’ll be chasing black bass at the LBJ tourney,” Reinhardt said. “A competitor only messes with the species that you’re after when it comes close to tournament time. And at Belton Lake, it’s only the hybrids and white bass that are doing any good.”

Reinhardt and Thompson fished LBJ several weeks ago.

“We really didn’t do that well,” Reinhardt said. “LBJ had a lot of ice. But, no matter what, the more time you spend on the water you’re competing on, the better chances you’ll have when the competition starts.

“We’re excited about this event. Dean and I feel we’re good enough to win it. If not, we wouldn’t be there.”

The entry fee is $200.

“It’s a 200-boat tournament with some very good competition,” Thompson said. “For us, we’d like it to be a low-wind day with a little overcast. The bottom line is this: We’re hoping for one very good day of fishing on LBJ.”

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

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