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Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir Review and Rating

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Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir
Belton, TX
Website
Texas Outside Rating: 6.8

Acres Of Water & Miles Of Shoreline
6 acres and 58 miles of shoreline

Links

Brief Overview:
Stillhouse Hollow Lake is a very clear and deep lake (107' maximum depth) with a shoreline that is undeveloped except for some Corps of Engineer Parks. The Lake is an impoundment of the Lampasas River and is about 15 minutes from Belton and Salado. The main lake area is dominated by steep rocky shoreline with limited amounts of standing timber.

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A Typical Texas Outsider Day
We come to Stillhouse Hollow for some good lake camping at Dana Peak or Union Grove Park, to enjoy the clear calm water, and to hike some of the trails around the lake. We also enjoy heading into Salado for an afternoon of golf or shopping some of the quaint antique shops. Check here to find some things to see and do in Salado.

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What To Do If No Boat:
If you don't have a boat and like to fish, then call Bob at Holding the Line Guide Services and let him take you to where you should catch a good dinner and possibly a trophy for you den. Bob knows the lake and is the holder of 6 State Fishing records. Plus he is offering Texas Outside visitors a $20 savings - you need to give him this coupon to save $20.

You can also rent a pontoon boat, ski deck, or jon boat at C & D Watercraft rentals - 254 223-1056. If you like to dive the clear waters of Stillhouse Hollow or would like to rent a kayak, canoe, pedal boat, or jon boat, then visit Scuba Divers Paradise.

Nearby Activities:
Salado and Belton are 15 to 20 minutes from the lake if you feel like exploring either city. Dana Peak has some excellent hiking, biking, and equestrian trails that can be challening and rewarding with awesome views of the surrounding territory. Click here to learn more about the trails and see some pictures. There is also an easy trail for the entire family in Chalk Ridge Falls Park which is at the south end of the dam. The trail has lush scenery as it winds along the creek, up and down hills, by some waterfalls, and over bridges including a suspension bridge.

Restaurants, Bars, & Music:
You are out of luck here - head further south to Lake Travis or Lake Austin.

Wake Boarding & Skiing:
There is not much boat traffic on Stillhouse Hollow so you should be able to find some calm water for skiing and boarding if the wind's not howling.

Fishing:
If you want to land a big one, then you need to call Bob at Holding the Line Guide Services. He's been fishing the lake for years so he knows the spots where dinner and sport is waiting. If you are camping, he'll pick you up at your campsite - how cool is that. Plus he is offering Texas Outside visitors a $20 savings - you need to give him this coupon to save $20.

According to Texas Parks & Wildlife, largemouth bass are the most abundant sportfish in the reservoir, although there is also a good population of smallmouth bass. Fair to good populations of channel catfish are also available.

Fishing Cover/Structure. Stillhouse Hollow is an extremely clear and deep reservoir. The main lake area is dominated by steep rocky shoreline with limited amounts of standing timber. There are also numerous beds of hydrilla in the lower lake. The upper lake and river areas are slightly stained with numerous laydowns, brushpiles, and standing timber.

Tips & Tactics. Largemouth bass fishing is best during spring and fall when water temperatures range from the mid-50s to the mid-70s. At first light, topwater baits fished on rocky points or over hydrilla beds can be good. Later in the day, drop a heavy jig or large worm into matted hydrilla in 5'-15' of water. Smallmouth bass can be good year round. Topwaters and crankbaits fished around rocky points and riprap can be very productive. Channel catfish can be caught throughout the year. Drift fishing with shad across the flats is usually good. Trotlining is best in the upper lake. Flathead catfish are most often caught by trotliners using live sunfish on the upper lake. Crappie are caught most often in cedar bushes and other submerged brushpiles. White bass fishing is best in early spring during the spawn which occurs upriver from the lake, usually in March.

Species Poor Fair Good Excellent
Largemouth Bass
Catfish
Crappie
White Bass
Smallmouth bass

*Courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife

Camping, Waterfront Lodging, and Day Use Parks

The only alternative for lodging on the lake is Dana Peak Park and Union Grove Park, both of which have a limited number of tent and RV sites with water and electricity. Union Grove also has screened shelters. Salado is only 15 minutes from the lake and they have a plenty of outstanding B&Bs in historic homes.

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Ramps & Marinas
All of the parks, except Bluff Park, have boat ramps. Stillhouse Park is home to the only marina and gas dock.

Texas Outside Rating of Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir
Beauty: 
Water Clarity: 
Water Conditions: 
Skiing & Board Conditions: 
Beaches: 
Cruising & Touring: 
Restaurants & Bars: 
Safety Level: 
Lake Lodging & Camping: 
Fishing: 

More Pictures

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Texas Outside Lakes Rating Scale

Texas Outside rates lakes on a 1 to 10 scale based on:

  • Beauty: high scores are given for lots of trees, hills, or pretty houses
  • Water Clarity: if you’re standing in two feet of water and can’t see your toes or the water has a deep brown color, we’re talking a 1
  • Water Conditions:  rough water with waves over a foot (good for PWCs or surfing) due to consistent wind or boat wakes don’t rate high on our scale
  • Skiing & Board Conditions:  on the weekends if you can typically find a good cove or part of the lake with glass, we’re talking a 10
  • Beaches:  don’t you hate those beaches when you step into the water you sink in mud up to your knees and loose your flip-flops or it’s all slime and weeds or small rocks – if so, that’s a 1
  • Fun Scale: lakes scoring a 10 have fun restaurants and bars, great coves for raft ups or swimming, and fun rental toys
  • Cruising & Touring:  if you can cruise the lake and look at beautiful houses, nice marinas, pretty coves, or anything similar it will score high
  • Restaurants & Bars:  nothing better than cruising over and having some good food and listening to some great music on the deck of a fun restaurant – the ride back with smooth water and a fun moon is also pretty cool – we’re talking a 10
  • Safety Level: lakes with lots of wild and crazy jet skiers or fast cigarette boats will score low
  • Camping:  we’re looking for beautiful spacious sites right on the water with a nice sandy beach to swim and park the boat
  • Fishing:  the bigger the better and they have to be easy to hook

 

*Fishing information was provided with permission of the Texas Parks and Wildlife (www.tpwd.state.tx.us) in 2006. Texas Parks and Wildlife does not endorse Texas Outside or information presented on texasoutside.com. ©Copyright Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.