Beve wrote:18.25 inch, 2.25# Colorado Sandie
There is no way that pig is only 2.25#. I would have guessed over 3.
Sandbass (as they are called in the DFW area) are my favorite fish to catch. I will take a day of spawning sandbass over most any other fish. They are not as challenging as many other species, but they are consistent, feisty, and fun. The last few years I have not enjoyed the spawn due to the shoulder to shoulder, inconsiderate, messy crowds that have become prevalent in the Metroplex. This year I was determined to enjoy some days fishing the spawn but I was constantly foiled. There is no respite during the week, and some locals have even stated that poachers are emptying some streams of fish. There were multiple reports of gill netters around DFW. I fished about 15 days in creeks and rivers this spring and only had two productive days.
I plan on using the yak to find some less accessible places for next years spawn. This year I spent alot of my time out in deep water in the yak chasing moving schools and having a blast. The addition of a speedy Hobie Mirage has made that even easier. I can almost keep up with a school moving along a channel for a mile. But, if they get crazy I cant keep up even in the Hobie. Sandbass can be caught most of the year on the lower (deep) end of reservoirs and it is a blast in the yak. I have had more than a few yakkers ask me about rough water and recreational boaters. The recreational boaters have been less of a problem to me here than when I am bass fishing. Wind and waves can get nasty in the big part of a lake, but not much different than BTB. Knowledge of the forecast and a close eye on the weather is a must.
As far as lures go the only conspicuous absence is Humdingers (or other tailspinner). They are the gold standard with sandbass guides for a reason. They are also great to troll for multiple species when moving from hole to hole. Slabs are almost always productive, too. Methods of presentation are limited only by creativity. I like to deadstick a slab at a strategic depth while working a swimbait. I usually get a fish or two that way.
I love swim baits and prefer them for most situations. I moved to using them when I was out of jig heads one day and never put them down after a successful day. The Storm Wild Eye Swim Shad is my favorite for deep water. It is heavy enough to stay deep when trolling, and has good movement. I usually start with them and try to determine how the fish are acting. I have caught small sandies on a 4" and 5" while targeting hybrids. In the creeks and rivers the swimbaits are a little heavy to present to finicky or spooked fish. I have not had good success with the suspending swimbaits, so I like to use a weightless sassy shad or similar product. I am less sold on brand than style: I like paddle tails rather than flukes and I am often surprised by the color that catches fish. I sometimes use a small splitshot a foot or two up the line to aid in casting and keep it in the right part of the water column.
I prefer artificial unless I am fishing for dinner, but shad are also effective bait. Fresh dead shad are good baits when trying to figure out school patterns and learning how they relate to structure. I have failed to find catfish a time or two and ended up whacking sandbass for an hour with fresh dead shad. Every time I caught sandbass on shad, even when targeting catfish, I have also caught yellow bass (YUM!!!) . Of course I reported all were caught on arties.
Lake Tawakoni 18" sandy. Personal best from yak.