Spring’s Freshwater Fishin’ Bonanza

Spring’s Freshwater Fishin’ Bonanza

The time is at hand for some of the year’s very best fishing for a variety of popular species on public waters.

Story and photography by Matt Williams

“Springtime in Texas.”  Those are hallowed words with lots of folks in these parts, especially for the nearly 900,000 people across the state who call themselves freshwater anglers.

There is no such thing as a bad time to dabble hook in the hundreds of public reservoirs, lakes, rivers and streams across the state, but some are certainly better than others. In my book, spring ranks at the top of the list.

Spring hasn’t sprung just yet. The seasons don’t officially shift until March 20, but it has been my experience that fish don’t pay much attention to the calendar when it comes time to chomp. They do it when they are ready. Likewise, some of the year’s very best fishing for a variety of popular species like largemouth bass, white bass and crappie may already be in full swing or getting real close to it on public waters near you. Here’s the deal:

Largemouth Bass

Spring is synonymous with big bass. Each year some of the heaviest Texas bass of the year are always caught between February and the end of April.

Mature female bass typically weigh more leading up to this time period than at any other time of the year. That’s because they will be full of eggs and getting ready for the upcoming spawn.

Fisheries scientists have told me that egg-swollen ovaries may cause a big bass to weigh 10 percent more in the spring than it will weigh at any other time of year.

Do the math. A 10 pounder will weigh nearly 11 and a 12 pounder could easily weigh upwards of 13, possibly even more if it happens to get caught soon after a feeding binge.

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