Lake Belton is a popular lake for hybrid striped bass, and can also be a good largemouth bass lake at certain times of the year. There is a floating fishing dock with room for 50 fishermen on the side deck and 100 fishermen on the outside deck. It is open year round and heated during winter months.
Most of Lake Belton's shoreline is very steep, rocky habitat. Majestic tall bluffs and long rocky points are most common, although sand and mud flats can be found up the Leon River and Cowhouse arms. The lake has little or no aquatic vegetation. Timber is also limited.
FISHING TIPS AND TACTICS
Largemouth bass fishing is at its best from late February through April. As the water temperature begins to rise, bass become more active and prepare for the upcoming spawn. The backs of creeks and coves, protected from the north wind, provide the warmest water on the lake. Good creeks to target are Cedar, Bear, Owl, Stampede, and Cowhouse. Spinnerbaits, plastic lizards, jerkbaits, and jig and pork combinations are the preferred baits. From May through September look for bass on main-lake points and flats next to creek channels. Stickbaits, chuggers, buzzbaits, crankbaits, and plastic worms can all be productive under the right conditions. From October through December, bass can be caught from the same areas as during the spawn. Smallmouth bass are generally caught from the dam to the Cedar Creek area at mid-lake. Early spring and late fall, when the water temperature ranges from 55 to 65 degrees, is the prime time to target smallmouth. Spawning occurs in rocky coves protected from the north wind. During summer and fall, long, gently sloping rocky points are good areas to fish. Deep diving crawfish-colored crankbaits, stickbaits, chuggers, buzzbaits, grubs, and small jigs are usually the most productive.
Hybrid striped bass were first introduced to Lake Belton in 1977. Since that time they have become a very popular sportfish in the reservoir. Hybrid stripers tend to travel in schools throughout the main lake. They can be caught using a variety of methods, including bottom fishing with live bait as well as trolling jigs and crankbaits, with or without the aid of downriggers. White bass fishing is best from March through May when they migrate up the lake into the Leon River to spawn. Bank or boat fishing from the Highway 36 bridge north to Mother Neff State Park using small jigs or spinners can be very productive. During summer and fall, white bass sometimes school on the surface. White crappie fishing is best between late February and the middle of May. At this time, crappie move into shallow water in the backs of creeks and protected main-lake coves. Spawning crappie are fairly easy to catch on live minnows or small jigs fished around stumps and submerged cover in 2 to 5 feet of water. In summer, fall, and winter, crappie can be caught around large isolated trees and submerged brush in water depths of 5 to 20 feet. Catfish are best in the spring and summer. Channel cats spawn from May to June, during which time they move into water 2 to 5 feet deep in the backs of creeks or along flats just off the river channel. Shad, shrimp, blood bait, and stink bait all work just fine. Blue catfish were recently stocked into the lake, but only time will tell whether a fishery will develop.
Admission: Day Use Fees: $1.00 per person up to a maximum of $4.00 per vehicle. Children 12 and under are free.
Most Parks require permits.
Address: 3 mi N of Belton on TX 317, 2 mi W on FM 439, 1 mi N on FM 2271
Our Email: CESWF-OD-BN/SH@swf.usace.army.mil
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