Bell County outdoors

Doug Holleman took these photos of a bald eagle this week south of Temple.

Lake Belton fishing

GOOD. Water lightly stained; 60 degrees; 13.41 feet low.

  • The white hot white bass fishing is past its peak thanks to a steady decline in the water temperature after the strong Veterans’ Day cold front moved through. The morning bite has been longer and stronger than the afternoon, fishing is best mid-morning from 8:30-10:15 A.M. Clouds and wind always enhance the bite, while fog and calm are detrimental. Enough gulls are now present to lead the way to fish most mornings. The most productive bait is still the MAL Original with white tail worked vertically, but bring the slabbing rods just in case. A fair number of largemouth bass are beginning to show up as by catch, with another ten-percent of the bycatch consisting of undersized hybrid striped bass. Report by Bob Maindelle, Holding the Line Guide Service
  • Crappie are fair on brush piles and timber in 20-30 feet of water using minnows and jigs. Report by Zach Minnix, JigNJerk Guide Service
  • Blue catfish are steady dragging fresh cut shad on midlake flats. Yellow catfish are slow to bite and become more dormant in the cold water temperature. Report by Jason “Spud” Barton, Cattin’ Around Adventures.

Stillhouse fishing

GOOD. Water lightly stained; 60 degrees; 11.21 feet low.

  • White bass fishing at Stillhouse has moderated and will likely stay “just okay” between now and mid-late-December, then pick up once again when the water drops to around 58 degrees, birds arrive, fish begin to consolidate into large schools, and the fish begin to relate to near-channel topography. Days with winds from a southerly component and pre-frontal weather days are excellent. Calm, clear, cold post-frontal conditions are to be avoided. No helpful bird activity has yet materialized. The upper third of the lake nearest the Lampasas River has now cleared up after being muddied by the Veterans’ Day storm. Hydrilla has begun its winter die-back cycle but the deeper, more dense, more green hydrilla is still holding largemouth bass. Report by Bob Maindelle, Holding the Line Guide Service.


Bell County bird watching

Greater white-fronted geese (18), American coot (32), ring-billed gulls (70), sandhill cranes (66) and white-throated sparrows (10) were among the birds seen in the past week in Bell County. Visit https://ebird.org/region/US-TX-027 for a list of all birds spotted in Bell County and recorded on eBird.


Central Texas ag report

The area experienced below-normal temperatures along with rainfall over several days. Soil moisture levels were adequate. Stock tanks caught substantial amounts of water to bring levels back to comfortable levels. Fieldwork was limited due to widespread rains. Early planted oats and wheat were off to a poor start but looked very good following the rain. Wheat planted in the last three weeks was slow to germinate and emerge due to cold soil conditions. Livestock pastures looked very good with the green emergence of the cool-season annuals, but producers were still supplementing animal diets. Livestock were in fair condition.


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