AUSTIN – Anglers across the state look forward to hitting the water each spring for the annual white bass spawning run upstream from reservoirs into rivers and creeks. Whether it be fishing on the bank, ++motorized boat, or paddle craft, the white bass run can provide an exciting day on the water for new and seasoned anglers alike.
“The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has received reports that some anglers have started catching white bass since the beginning of February, but the main spawning run does not really get going until water temperatures and flows are just right,” said John Botros, TPWD’s Inland Fisheries River Access Coordinator. “Some good rains this spring would trigger abundant white bass spawning runs. Anglers should make plans to target this species in rivers and creeks upstream of many of our reservoirs from now until early May.”
White bass, also known as sand bass, are a popular freshwater species preferred by Texas anglers both for sport fishing and for the dinner table. While most riverside property is privately owned, public access to high-quality white bass runs can be found at many Texas State Parks, Texas Paddling Trails, leased River Access and Conservation Area (RACA) sites and highway and bridge crossings.
Here are a few locations to get started:
San Gabriel River: Upstream of Granger Lake, anglers can find white bass fishing at a public access point called Dickerson’s Bottom, a.k.a. “The Steps” in the Granger Wildlife Management Area. This location can be found three-quarters of a mile east of SH 95 on County Road 347 in Williamson County.
Neches River: Above Lake Palestine, anglers can find public access at Chandler River Park. This RACA site – also supported by the East Texas Woods and Waters Foundation – offers nearly 6,000 feet of river frontage for bank fishing and includes a boat ramp and kayak launch.
Llano River: Access to the river is provided through the Kingsland Slab RV Camp with 750 feet of river frontage along the Llano River. This River Access and Conservation Area (RACA) site offers free public fishing access and is located at 7300 River Oaks Drive in Kingsland.
Sabine River: Above Toledo Bend Reservoir, anglers can find public access for white bass fishing at the Grand Bluff Boat Ramp, which offers 275 feet of river frontage and a single trailer boat ramp. This RACA site offers free public fishing access.
Frio River: Above Choke Canyon Reservoir, public access points for white bass fishing can be found at county road and highway crossings, including the Highway 99 bridge crossing and boat ramp in McMullen County.
White bass action and public access points can also be found on the Guadalupe River above Canyon Lake; the San Gabriel River above Lake Georgetown; the Navasota River above Lake Limestone; the Colorado River above Lake Lyndon B. Johnson; Yegua Creek above Lake Somerville; the Colorado and Pedernales rivers above Lake Travis; the Bosque River above Lake Waco; and the Brazos River above Lake Whitney.
A variety of artificial lures will work for anglers targeting white bass including small jigs and crank baits. Night fishing using lights or around lighted docks can also be effective. White bass are excellent table-fare and anglers should pack a cooler if the fish are biting. The daily bag limit for white bass is 25 with a 10-inch minimum length limit. More information on fishing regulations can be found in the TPWD Outdoor Annual.
For more information about white bass identification, fishing patterns, life history, biology, and access to public sites visit the White Bass Fishing in Central Texas website.