White Bass: When, Where and Wow

The white bass run is a spring highlight, but don’t be surprised if it starts in earnest a little later than usual this year. Water temperatures near 60° play a part in triggering the run, and any lingering cold weather could keep inland waters chilly. This is a good year to test that old Central Texas saying, “When the redbuds are blooming, the white bass are running.”

In most places, your limit is 25 per day with a 10″ minimum length. If you get out there and find the bass are sluggish due to cold, try using the drop shot rig, as explained in our magazine. 

Surveys indicate enthusiastic males are already on the run in some areas.


Bigger Better ShareLunker

ShareLunker season is now year-round, and for the first time, anglers who reel in any largemouth bass at least 8 lbs. or 24″ can participate! Just enter your catch information using the new mobile app, or enter online at Toyota ShareLunker. 

There are four weight classes with corresponding giveaways for all confirmed ShareLunker participants. Everyone who enters is also included in a grand prize drawing.

Those of you who catch a 13+ lbs. largemouth bass before April 1 is encouraged to loan it to ShareLunker for spawning. Call (903) 681-0550 as soon as you make one of these remarkable catches. 

Check out the video of the very first ShareLunker catch of 2018, then download the app for your Apple or Android device and prepare for your next lunker quest. Join us in making Texas bass fishing bigger and better!


Spring Fever – Crappie Style

February and March kick-off angling for crappie, a fish both fun to catch and one of the best to eat. 

There are 2 types of crappie in Texas, white and black (PDF), and minnows are a favored bait for both. Read this article for more tips on catching crappie, including timing and finding good locations. Then check the current bag and length limits, grab your license and go find the cure for crappie fever.

Once you’ve netted your tasty harvest, watch this video to learn easy ways to cook your crappie. 



Top 5 Reasons to Buy a License This Spring

  1. Fishing is something you can do with your entire family
  2. Fishing is something you can do without your entire family
  3. 100% of your purchase goes to protect and maintain Texas waters
  4. It’s less expensive to buy a license than to pay a fine of up to $500  
  5. Life’s better outside

There are a variety of fishing packages and licenses starting at $11 for 1-day all-water. Purchase your choice online, by calling (800) 895-4248, or from a retailer.


Proposed Freshwater Regulation Changes

Simplified largemouth bass regulations at 12 public lakes highlight this year’s list of proposed freshwater fishing regulation changes. 

AUSTIN – Simplifying largemouth bass regulations at 12 public lakes highlight this year’s list of proposed freshwater fishing regulation changes.

The potential changes are intended to increase recreational opportunity, make regulations less complex, promote enforcement, and provide for the sound biological management of fisheries resources. Twelve of the 20 lakes affected by the potential changes would revert to the statewide 14-inch minimum length limit, which governs nearly 80 percent of water bodies in the state. The other eight lakes would see changes to more appropriate special regulations.

TPWD will be taking public comment on the following proposed changes to the 2018-19 Statewide Recreational Fishing Proclamation, with input to be considered before any action by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at its March 22 public hearing:

  • Change from 16-inch minimum length limit to a 14-inch minimum length limit. The daily bag would remain at five fish at Lake Granbury (Hood County), Possum Kingdom Reservoir (Palo Pinto County) and Lake Ratcliff (Houston County). 
  • Change from 18-inch minimum length limit to a 14-inch minimum length limit. The daily bag would remain at five fish at Lake Bryan (Brazos County), Cooper Lake (Delta County) and Old Mount Pleasant City Lake (Titus County). 
  • Change from 14- to 18-inch slot length limit to a 14-inch minimum length limit. The daily bag would remain at five fish at Lake Bridgeport (Jack and Wise County), Burke-Crenshaw Lake (Harris County), Lake Georgetown (Williamson County), Lake Madisonville (Madison County), San Augustine City Lake (San Augustine County) and Sweetwater Reservoir (Nolan County). 
  • Change from 14- to 18-inch slot length limit and five fish daily bag limit to no minimum length limit and a bag limit of five fish (only two may be less than 18 inches) at Grapevine Lake (Tarrant County).
  • Change from 14- to 24-inch slot length limit to a 16- to 24-inch slot length limit. The daily bag would remain at five fish (limit of only one bass 24 inches or larger) at Fayette County Reservoir (Fayette County), Gibbons Creek Reservoir (Grimes County) and Lake Monticello (Titus County). 
  • Change from catch and release with an exception allowing for possession and weighing of bass 24 inches or greater for possible submission to the Toyota ShareLunker program to a 16-inch maximum length limit and five fish daily bag with the Toyota ShareLunker weighing and possession exception for bass 24 inches or greater at Purtis Creek State Park Lake (Henderson County) and Lake Raven (Walker County). 
  • Change from an 18-inch minimum length limit and five fish daily bag for largemouth bass to a 16-inch maximum length limit and five fish daily bag with an exception allowing for possession and weighing of bass 24 inches or greater for possible submission to the Toyota ShareLunker program at Lake Bellwood (Smith County). 
  • Change from 14- to 18-inch slot length limit and fish daily bag limit for largemouth bass to a 16-inch maximum length limit and five fish daily bag with an exception allowing for possession and weighing of bass 24 inches or greater for possible submission to the Toyota ShareLunker program at Davy Crockett Lake (Fannin County). 

Additional details on these proposals including a narrated presentation on the proposals and the opportunity to provide online comments can be found here.

Comments on the proposals for freshwater fishing also may be submitted to Ken Kurzawski at (512) 389-4591, email: ken.kurzawski@tpwd.texas.gov, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744. The complete text of the proposed changes can be found in the Texas Register.

A live online public hearing via webinar will also be held at 12 p.m. March 6. Details and instructions for participation in the online public hearing webinar will be made available on the TPWD website.


Bass Baits That Beg For a Bite

Crankbaits are excellent lures for bass because they mimic bait fish. If you’re angling in clear water, choose a crankbait in a natural color. If not, go for a bright one. Learn more crankbait tips in this video. 

Bass also go for prey at the surface, so be sure you’ve got a selection of topwater lures in your tackle box like stick baits, propeller baits, poppers and chuggers. 

Plastic worms are another good bass bait. There are hundreds of worms on the market, but did you ever wonder who came up with the first one? A transplanted Texan was the inventor of the plastic worm lure.