• October 23, 2014

Warmer weather improves fishing conditions on area lakes

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Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014 12:15 am

A five-day streak of high-quality fishing in area lakes was broken Wednesday.

“Fishing conditions on Wednesday were terrible,” said Dean Thompson, owner of Tightlines Premium Fishing Tackle in Killeen. “It was just too windy for people to fish.”

At Belton Lake, the wind eclipsed 30 mph.

“It is virtually impossible to catch anything when the winds exceed 30 mph,” said Bob Maindelle, owner of Holding the Line Guide Service.

On Saturday, the water temperature was 52 degrees on Stillhouse Hollow Lake and Henry Niemiec, owner of Surestride Guide Service, spent about two hours on the water.

“I found fish 12 to 18 feet deep and they were hitting on a shaky

head,” he said. “I was catching largemouth bass and probably had 20 hits and caught 15 of them. They were all in the 2-to-3 pound range.

“Right now, the largemouth are staging for the spawn. When the water gets up to the 60- to 63-degree mark, the females will move out of their winter holding areas and into their spawning areas. Right now, it’s hit or miss with them because the fish are concentrating on the spawn not the feeding. You’re making them mad by dropping food — and that’s what makes a hit.”

Area experts reported that fishing was good Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

“They were good, normal days,” Thompson said. “Fishermen were catching what they were looking for — we saw a lot of black bass and smallmouth bass. White bass were really good, too, they’re plentiful right now.”

“On Tuesday morning we brought in 30 fish off Stillhouse Lake,” Maindelle said. “In the afternoon, on Belton Lake, we caught 38 fish.”

Area weather reports predict temperatures will exceed 70 degrees for five of the next nine days.

“This warming has me very optimistic for fishing,” Niemiec said. “As long as there are no major cold fronts in the next few weeks, we’ll get to that 63-degree mark for the water temperatures.

“This is mating season for the bass. Once the water gets to 63 degrees, they’ll be on their beds, they’ll be spawning and you’ll want to catch them on the bed and you’ll drop something like a lizard or a senko and that will make the fishing better. That’s when you can catch your bigger fish of the year.”

Maindelle is optimistic about fishing this weekend.

“The water temperatures won’t rapidly increase or decrease and that will make for good fishing. We’re using two techniques. We’re trolling with crankbaits and we’re jigging with slabs.”

“The warmer weather is coming,” Thompson said. “And that will be a huge help to everyone fishing.”

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