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Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

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By Beve
Ahhh, the green fish, green trout, bucketmouth, etc...

So much is vested in these fish nationwide (and statewide). They are big money for some folks in PB and shirts plastered with ads. I'll try not to let my personal predjudice not get in the way of thes noble fish (pound-for-pound I'll take a smallie, spottie, or guad any day :wink: ), but here is this weeks ode to the LMB.

Don't get me wrong, these fish are great fighters. They can provide some great aerial displays. Plus, they can hit such a variety of arties, that's part of the fun just talking lures.

For this discussion, I'd like to hear comparisons of lake LMB vs. river LMB.

Also some may can tell us the differences between our native LMB and the Florida strain so many of us know.

Also what live baits have folks caught these on?? I have on nightcrawlers, minnows, crawdads, waterdogs, and perch.

This guy on one of my faves, jointed rapala, baby-bass.

Discuss. :wink: :D
By RealBigReel
I like the Riverine LMB.
This one was right in amongst the White Bass and Spotted Bass.
Caught this one from the kayak on a Curly tail Minnow. CPR

Caught this 21"er on a Bomber 16J XRT while fishing for stripers. CPR
Last edited by RealBigReel on Thu Nov 27, 2008 2:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
By barditch
:evil: Well, to be the cranky ol' poot...the LMB hasn't been born that performs as well in the pan or on the plate as a really nice pound and a half crappie! JMHO!
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By Flat Top
barditch wrote::evil: Well, to be the cranky ol' poot...the LMB hasn't been born that performs as well in the pan or on the plate as a really nice pound and a half crappie! JMHO!

LMB ain't for the table, that's for sure. I can't remember the last time I kept one. Freshwater eating is for crappie and catfish.

As for the original question, river largemouth's, especially swifter waters like the Trinity fight harder. That being said, I take any I can get ahold of.
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By Beve
Kuzz wrote:
barditch wrote::evil: Well, to be the cranky ol' poot...the LMB hasn't been born that performs as well in the pan or on the plate as a really nice pound and a half crappie! JMHO!

LMB ain't for the table, that's for sure. I can't remember the last time I kept one. Freshwater eating is for crappie and catfish.

As for the original question, river largemouth's, especially swifter waters like the Trinity fight harder. That being said, I take any I can get ahold of.

An occasional LMB IMO for the table is quite tasty. I'm sure that'll get a rise out of some :roll: :roll: , but bass meat is firm and good fried/baked. In fact it wouldn't hurt to keep a few slots out of select lakes that are trying to beef up the bigguns.

Now I too agree about the river bass-they fight harder. :wink:
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By bowgarguide
The river lmb fight the hardest in my opinion but the lake bass get bigger. I have caught them on just about any kind of live bait, my favorite lure are 1/4 ounce and 3/8 ounce spinner baits,a pocket full of plastic worms, A bill dance craw for flipping and a super frog for the grass
can't think of the brand right now. Those will just about cover any water , I am not a big crank bait user.
There is no comparison between the Native Texas Black and the Florida bass , only good thing about the Florida is they get bigger, the native will hit top water a lot better are more aggressive and lb for lb a whole lot harder fighter and with way more aerials , I still have two private lakes I fish that have native blacks and I tell no one about them.
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By Beve
Good info, Ron. Thanks. :)

What differences physically can you tell between the two? Is there much variance?
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By bowgarguide
Floridas are short chunky and thick , the natives are slender and long
The Texas record for years was 7 lbs some odd ounces.
A little example how it changed the bass fishing, in a lake I fish locally spinner baits and lunker lure were the baits for years, they introduced the Floridas and within two years you had to slow way down on your presentation and we had to go to plastics,the Floridas don't chase lures
like the natives.
By YaknYota
I am no authority on lake LMB.

However, I'll be glad to post photos of Cpr'd LMB from the Upper/Middle Brazos River this year.

This is likely, the largest Texas Native Riverine Bass you will ever see a photo of.

A 26" Brazos Behemoth Native LMB :shock:


Must of been a Fluke :shock: A white one, to be exact :lol: :lol: :lol:

And the Beat Goes On -















All caught and CPR'd on Cranks, Plastics, Spinners, Plugs, Jigs, livebait and My Experience.

Feel free to PM for more info 8) .
By pdt818
I primarily fish for LMB with swimbaits now. The bigger and more natural looking the better. Depending on the water body, i'll match the color pattern of the bait to the largest forage species that bass target. With this technique you may not catch excessive numbers but your quality is going to go way up! I am in no means an expert on river LMB. shoot i have never even fished a river! But i do know a lot about lake LMB. Typical patterns can be observed through out the year:

Spring- This is the time almost all the trophies are caught because of the spawn cycle. Its typically triggered early in the spring by a full moon and usually the first wave or spawners will be found in the northern coves and stretches of a lake. Later on the fish in the southern parts of the water body will move in. But eve before spawn you will find some activity. Usually before spawn the buck bass will roam the shorelines in search of possible bedding locations. These fish are typically easy to pick off with quicker moving baits such as spinner baits, super flukes moved fast, or even some topwaters. The larger females will be staging in deeper holes or creek channels adjacent to spawning flats. These fish can be picked off with medium to deep diving cranks, texas rigged worms, and medium sized rattle traps. Once on the beds these fish become super aggressive and this is where you can cash in your chance to record a whopper catch. In this situation use magnum lizards, 12" power worms, bluegill and white colored tubes, or even bluegill style swimbaits. The bluegill and water dog are natural enemies of spawing bass and you can get some incredible hits on these style baits.

Summer- When the spawn is over we are usually just getting into the beginning of summer. Not so hot days with cool mornings. The bass will be in binge feeding mode since they do not eat while on the bed. During this time in early summer bass can be spread out over a water body and a little harder to find but when found they will eat almost anything. A lot of moving around is needed during this early summer time period. When the heat of summer settles in bass will transition from shallow water early to deep water late to avoid the heat. Early on in the day they can be had with a variety of baits with most anglers choosing topwaters or spinner baits. As the day progresses and the move to deeper water try to locate off shore structure. Work humps, ridges, drop offs, deep water gravel beds, or deep water timber for the best results. Lures of choice range from carolina rigged plastics to heavy 1 oz jigs to deep diving cran baits. Also early on in the day you can run across schooling activity off main and secondary lake points or even over a mid lake flat.

Fall- This is a time of year where the heat starts to dwindle and bass become more active. They will feed extremely heavy this time of the year to get ready for winter. Look for increased schooling activity around main and secondary points. Some will still hold to deeper structure but most will be in staging areas like drop offs or creek channel ledges in large schools feeding at any chance they get. Fast moving baits are a great lure choice as well as plastics worked quicker than normal. I have found tha a full moon at this time of year can be very lucrative.

Winter- A serious lull for fisherman is when winter sets in. Most anglers give their rods a rest during these months but those that do decide to set out can have good results even with the colder temperatures. Bass will hold very deep to try to escape as much of the cold as possible. Their metabolism drops as well making them sluggish and more unwilling to chase down a bait. Typical baits used during winter conditions are large black texas rigged worms, large jigs, and large carolina rigged plastics moved extremely slow. A good rule of thumb is that if you feel you are moving your bait slow, move it slower than that. These fish will want the bait to basically be placed right in front of them. Also if youfind yourself on a power plant lake during this time of year, locate the plants hot water discharge and fish it religiously. Here the water will be near or even match summer time water temperatures triggering the bass in this area to be more aggressive.
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By Beve
As always Yota, beautiful, good close-ups of fish. Thanks for sharing to the thread.

PDT818--that's a great assessment of lake habits, and as a river dude, I appreciate it. Very informative :) Thanks :wink:
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By bowgarguide
Those are some nice lmb . But unless those pics were taken in the 80's I doubt that that is a native lmb . All the major lakes and watersheds in Texas were stocked with floridas in the 70 and 80 .
The only places I know that still have them are remote areas with no water shed feeds are exits.
By pdt818
Beve wrote:As always Yota, beautiful, good close-ups of fish. Thanks for sharing to the thread.

PDT818--that's a great assessment of lake habits, and as a river dude, I appreciate it. Very informative :) Thanks :wink:

No prob Beve. Figured I might as well chime in on a species I know quite well. Have fished for them competitively and leisurly for the last 15 years and I still learn new things about em each outing I make. Feel free to ask anything that comes to mind about lake LMB and i'll help in any way i can. Yall river boys are the real freshwater authority if you ask me though. My hats off to yall!
By yakin ag
That's unfortunate bowgarguide. Just a bastardization of a native fish :) TPWD should've left well enough alone, but the quest to grow a bigger bass continues to corrupt our native strains. On a different note, I love fried and baked LMB, and I seem to get them to bite when other species won't play nice. My favorite lure for them is the Bomber Long A Jointed and the perch pattern Rattle Trap.
By YaknYota
Beve wrote: PDT818--that's a great assessment of lake habits, and as a river dude, I appreciate it. Very informative :) Thanks :wink:

Ditto, PDT818.

Some great perspective on the LMB.

I enjoyed the post.
By pdt818
There is a whole lot more to go into but i tried to cover the basics. Coulda gone into water clarity, lure color selection, etc etc...but hopefully i gave someone who is looking at taking a lake trip some good info to make their trip a successful one.

On second thought, later tonight i will go into the previously mentioned subjects in a second post. Stay tuned 8)
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By Beve
Hmm thought this would be a busy FOW... :?

I'll pose another question.
Night fishing for LMB. What tactics do ya'll like?

I have only targeted them a few times at night with only a few being caught. I used purple and black senkos. Next time i think I may use a black madtom...anywho have heard dark colors are better at night because it gives a better shadow and how tat relates to the bass's vision.
By pdt818
black 12 inch worms, black spinnerbaits with a large black colorado blade, a dark colored devils horse, a black super spook, or a black buzzbait.

key thing is to keep your color dark and simple. dont have too much variation in your color or it will diminish the profile of your bait. the more solid the color = a much stronger profile against whatever lighting you may have. full moon is the obvious best time for night fishing but they can be had at any moon phase. bass will roam at night in search of prey and if you find yourself in the right place at the right time you will catch more fish than you could imagine. an added bonus is night time schooling. just listen for the water frothing and cast out adark colored plug and hold on.
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By mike
I don't river fish much at all so can't compare lake or reservoir LMB to river LMB.

As far as lures, I have really scaled down my arsenal. I used to carry a ton of them (back in my PB days) but now, whether fishing out of a jon boat or kayak, I carry very few. For pleasure fishing, I basically use jigs, brush hogs, senko worms, or flukes and I don't carry a huge variety of colors (like I once did). I don't like to crank and wind spinnerbaits or crankbaits but will if fishing a tournament and have been catching them in practice. On occasion, I will toss a topwater late in the evening just for grins.

I only use artificials and don't soak bait in freshwater or saltwater.

I enjoy LMB fishing above every other type of fishing but prefer other fish on the table. Regardless of what type of fish I keep, I never put them on a stringer or in a donut (when the weather is warm) to bake in the upper layer of water as I fish. They go on ice as soon as the hook is removed and that improves the taste I think.
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By Beve
Here's a live bait LMB tale....

I was on the Colorado when my friend wanted to take his yak on its maiden voyage. We paddled to a spot where a local sandpit operation had a very small "stream" that was emptying into the river. Basically one of their pits overfilled and created a small creek that made it way to the water.

We noticed some feeding activity and chunked some roostertails, we caught some whites here and there, then caught a guad, a spottie, and then two small LMBs.

Then the bite stopped. For us. :? The activity continued. :!: :idea: I got out my cast net and netted some fat river minnows. We cast them out with a some split shot and nothing else directly into the current where it met the other current. We must have been in a school. We had immediate hits for each minnow (7 or 8) until we ran out. None of the bass were over 14 inches, but it was fun getting into the school.

So I'll pose another question--what size/age do ya'll know or guesstimate LMB stop schooling and become more of a lone ranger?? :?:
By Strider
I am the sorriest LMB fisherman on this board. You can bet I am only listening, and not contributing :oops: Keep 'em coming!

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By Hambone911
I dont know much about river LMB. I use the same tactics as lakes, maybe mixing it up a little with some Mepps spinners and smaller cranks hoping to find some sandies as well.

At night I like black spinnerbaits with colorado blades. I will also use a buzz bait depending on moonlight and water clarity. I like a black and orange rattle trap worked across grass and shallower points away from the shore. My favorite rig at night when I have found fish is a black or purple flake trick worm about 8" to 12" worked weightless. I have had some big hits on it. Even the little bass under a pound think they are a tarpon when they hit it.

PDT818 made some great seasonal observations. I have an additional question: I grew up fishing a lot of ponds and old gravel pits that are 1 to 20 acres. Reservoir and lake bass differ a little but not too much, usually more shy. They both relate to structure, but on a different scale. The bigger pond bass always seem to be on the most prime structure (a solitary brush pile, biggest drop off, or deepest point). They both hit plastics, reactionary or injured baits at different times depending on conditions. The main difference I saw in fishing lots of old gravel pits and several 1 to 5 acre farm ponds is that the bass seem to take a topwater in just about ANY conditions. What differences have you guys with experience on large waters, small waters and moving waters seen in patterns.
By pdt818
OK here is part two to my FOW: Largemouth bass post contribution.

The biggest challenges an angler has when confronting a water body is lure selection, lure color, and where the holy h-e-double toothpicks do i start??!!!??!!

Hopefully this post will help the beginner angler confront this daunting task and enjoy the water and catch some fish.

First lets start with your tackle box. There are some basics that i feel that every aspiring bass angler should have in their tackle box.
1. 1/4 oz. White spinner bait with willow leaf blades (the long narrow pointed blades)
2. 1/4 oz. White chartreuse spinner bait with 1 colorado blade and 1 willow leaf blade.
3. Rattle trap in the chrome blue back pattern.
4. 3/0, 4/0, and 5/0 EWG worm hooks (gamakatsu and owner are my favs)
5. Lead bullet weights in 1/16, 1/8, and 1/4 oz
6. Any type of senko style stick bait
7. Rebel pop-r
8. Weedless frog for fishing the slop
9. 1/2 oz. jig
10. Fluke style jerk baits
11. Medium diving crank bait

These baits represent the essentials that you should start out with. With this wide selection you can fish any where in the water column to locate where the fish are hiding.

Always get a map of wheer you are fishing if it is a major water body. You should be able to find major lake point, secondary lake points, drop offs, creek channels, flats, and submerged vegetation.

My first areas that i always fish on a water body are lake points. These formations offer a great habitat for bass to ambush prey and sun themselves. As the point runs out the water will increase in depth and typically run to drop offs or creek channels. Bass will school up in these areas waiting for bait fish to move into the area. The second area i always fish as well is submerged vegetation. this is SUPREME bass habitat and a fisherman should work this structure thoroughly. the widest lure assortment can be used in these areas and all facets should be tryed. flats are always a great place to fish cuz there are always fish hanging out on these formations. The backs of coves are another favorite target of mine. Any type of laydowns on the water or exposed structure are serious points of interest as well. Here is a little secret of mine too. NEVER pass up on throwing at isolated pieces of structure like a twig sticking up out of the water or a lonely lilly pad. I have caught some of my biggest fish on one tiny irregularity in the water. also look for transitions from sand to rock or sand to mud on the bank. i dont know why but these little deviations in the bank attract fish. When working creek channels, try positioning yourself outside a bend and cast into the deeper water and bring it up the drop off or vice versa. its also good to cast across the entire channel if possible and bring it down the drop off and then back up the other edge.

As for water color. This can be a major obstacle and change the way you attack the water. Bass are very spooky in extremely clear water. In this scenario you want your baits to look as realistic as possible and in color patterns that closely resemble the forage. it is also important to match the size of the natural bait in the water. with stained water you can get away with what you throw a little bit more. natural colors will work as well as a little more flamboyant colors such as fire-tiger can help you catch em. spinner baits with an indiana blade are a favorite of mine in these situations. with the diminished water clarity, baits that have a little ruckus to them can go a long way. Now for the most dasterdly of water conditions, muddy water. No one like these conditons but sometimes you have to make do with what presents itself. Lots of noise and lots of vibration are the ticket here. and not necessarily both at the same time. since the bass cannot see what ther going after they have to feel it or hear it. jigs with rattles banging off the bottom, crank baits, buzz baits and rattle traps can be very good choices in this situation. Big colorado blade spinner baits arent a bad choice either. Dark colored baits will help attract more attention in these conditions. use blacks, blues, purples, and dark brown in water such as this.

For people fishing in texas, especially east texas and south east texas the best colors when regarding plastics can be:
watermelon red
pumpkin seed
pumpkin seed chartreuse
june bug
tequila sunrise
chartreuse pepper
and just plain back

Go out and try some of these techniques in your local waters and try to enjoy the outdoors. thats the most important part. dont be like me and get pissed when you dont catch something :x :wink: . hopefully this info will help someone catch a whopper!
By pdt818
anyone got some info on river LMB? i am curious since i have never caught one on a river

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