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White Bass Fishing in Central Texas

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Seasonal Fishing Patterns

Spring (March-May)

White bass will be in the rivers or major creek tributaries. A variety of artificial lures will work, but this is a good time for small jig fishing. Small, medium-running crank baits also work well. Trolling the river or creek channel with small crank baits is a good technique. Fishing early in the spring can be inconsistent, but if the bite is on you can have the day of a lifetime. Many old timers say “when the redbuds (or dogwoods) are blooming the white bass are running.” This old saying usually holds true. April and May can be the most consistent months as many white bass have finished spawning and are hungry as they migrate back to the reservoir. Spring is also a good time to try night fishing using lights. Floating or submersible crappie lights, which attract baitfish, work well for this. Flats at the mouths of major creeks, main-lake flats, and floating breakwaters near lighted marinas are consistent producers of white bass at this time.

Summer (May-September)

May to early June is characterized by good schooling action for white bass. The mouths of major creeks and main-lake points are good areas to try. Look for birds chasing baitfish. The whites and stripers won’t be far behind. Topwater lures, lipless crank baits, and small twister tail jigs cast into schools are good bets. Anglers might also try night fishing as described for spring, although this pattern often weakens as the water warms throughout May. As the water heats up, anglers should concentrate on main lake structure near deep water, or look for schooling fish at dawn or on cloudy days. In the heat of summer good marine electronics for finding the fish in deep water are vital to consistent success.

Fall (September-November)

Early-fall fishing is much like summer. Keep looking for the schools with your electronics. As the water cools, white bass will begin feeding at the surface in earnest. Cloudy days with a little wind are the best. Concentrate on creek mouths and major points. October and November can be good for surface schooling. Look for stripers mixed in with whites.

Winter (November-February)

The water is coldest this time of year. Two patterns are noteworthy. One is to locate schools in deep water on major structural elements such as river channel ledges, humps, and tips of points. Vertically jigging spoons and tail spinners in these areas will produce some of the most consistent action of the year, if you can locate the fish. In January and February structure in the upper end of reservoirs near major tributaries is a good choice. A secondary pattern is night fishing around lighted boat docks and marinas in the main lake. Fishing from lighted dock to lighted dock casting a small twister tail jig into the light will produce consistent action, if you can stand the cold. Don’t be surprised if you catch some nice stripers as well. January and February are two good months to try this pattern.

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The authors wish to thank TPWD Inland Fisheries employees Floyd Teat and Mark Webb for contributing to this report.

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