TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

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By Beve
White Bass or as some of us call them, sand bass, or sandies, are a true bass, and a fun and tasty fish.

I enjoy catching them during the spring spawn and yes, they are fairly easy to catch upriver of lakes during that period. But these guys can be caught year round and that merits discussion 8)

You can catch them on roostertails, rattletraps, spinnerbaits, minnows, really all kinds of arties. I've had the bite stop in chartruese, then switch to silver and then started catching again...whatever.

Whites do like the channel at various depths but I've caught them in eddies before.

The favorite thing I like about white bass is that they will dive and run. Somtimes put up a decent fight.

I catch whites in the river all times of year and am surprised at their location. I've found them spawn in the Colorado using small feeder creeks and sandpit lakes to spawn.

Some bigguns from the Colordao, all over 15 inches

February Sandie

18.25 inch, 2.25# Colorado Sandie

I've also seen some areas fished pretty hard. :roll:

So let's talk tactics and I'm interested in hearing about whites in other times of the year.

Discuss. :wink:
By greyloon
In most lakes, white bass from a kayak are mainly a spawning time catch. In warm weather, they seem to patrol deeper open waters, schooling a lot. In the spring, I catch one every once and a while on shad or small bream. I don't target white bass, though they are fine fighters for their size. But, they're not my favorite fish to eat.
By Northsider
bclarkmsu wrote:What are good arti's for these fish?
I fish for whites almost exclusively and I've learned a lot about this species of fish through trial and error. The most common misconception is that you can only pick them up when they're schooling and that's just not true, you need to have a large assortment of different types of lures and colors to fit the the different types of patterns they may be in. If they're in fact schooling I prefer to use and in-line spinner bait like a Rooster tail or my favorite the Cocktail (a knock off) at half the price of the Rooster. If you have some Pet-spoons they work tied at about 24" to 30" tied under a small popping cork but you have to cast past the school and pop the cork through the middle of the school for some good action. Maribou jigs tied tandem also work in a cast and retrieve method or you can vertically jig them up and down or use them with a popping cork combo as well. Soft plastics are a affordable way to fish for them I use mostly a grubs from 1.5" to 3.5" range it just depends on what they want and colors selection also vary so I tend to carry a lot of different ones for fine tuning they're needs. Road Runners jig heads by Blakemore are my favorite jigs for fishing grubs, man these jigs produce an awesome bite. Now my 2nd favorite lure is the Rattle trap, man let me tell you I've hauled in many of whites on this lure. I lean more towards the smaller ones like the Mini trap or the Tiny trap but I've had them hit the original also,once again it just depends on what they want and that the part you have to figure out. Sometimes I'll fish the Mini and have no luck and then I'll down size to the Tiny trap and they'll tear it up like crazy. If the fish are scattered and no cooperating at the pace you want or need them to, you have to figure out where they're at and what they want, that's the fun part cause I've tied a many different lures trying to get the bite I'm looking for. If the fish are deep I'll tie take a crank bait on for some deep water action and I've been known to add a Pet-spoon to it about 24" behind it for some added flash and have had many double hook ups in the past with this combo. I figured if I can troll with a crank bait or Hell bender with a Pet-spoon, why can't I down size the combo for casting purposes? You have to see some of the looks I get when I fish this peculiar combo, I've had people laugh at me when they see what I'm throwing but I almost always get the last laugh if you know what I mean. :wink: I've collected a large assortment of lures in different shapes colors and sizes for my white bass fishing and some work and some don't but these are some lures that have been very productive for me. As far as colors go I have a bunch to choose from but I usually end up going back and using the same ones over and over again. So here goes some of my favorite colors for all my lures black,white,blue,chartruese,yellow,chrome,and red. For my Rattle traps I use mostly blk/chrome,blu/chrome,a pearl white shad pattern and chartruese. For grubs I use wht, pearl wht, chart, blk/chart,red/chart and yellow.In the Cocktails I carry pearl wht, gray, chrome/wht, chrome/yel,chart/gold and fire tiger which is almost orange. Maribou jigs I carry white, chart, pink,red,yellow and they also come come in dual colors. I have a many other different lures that have caught fish for me but not as consistent as the one I've mentioned above so I won't bother naming them just to save you some time and money. Now that's not to say you wont have other suggestions for lures that are different than mine and what works for me might not work for someone else or vice versa. I'll give you an example my buddy swears by his swim baits and he gets his share of whites but they just won't work for me at the level that my favorites lures do and I do have a bunch of swims baits that I keep around but only because they were too cheap pass up. Most all these baits have also caught a bunch of crappie for me and I also have a large assortment of tube jigs for crappies that I've have caught white bass on. I'm just a pan fisherman at heart, I love to white bass and crappie fish more than anyone I personally know. Oh and I almost forgot my trusty Beetle Spin in white with a red dot or Black and yellow dot. I fish for white bass all year long on the San Jacinto river, anyway I hope this helps......tight lines.
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By Night Wing
Those are some nice white bass. That last photo almost reminded me of a small hybrid.
By ShotMagnet
to catch these little guys I use 2 small jigs (and I mean small) on a slip cork. This gives you the small food they like plus some weight to cover alot of ground. The 2 jigs give ALOT of random action as they fall through the water. And the slip corks allow alot small movements (or big movements) at a certain depth.

I hope this helps.
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By CityByTheSeaCitizen
when you see daffodils, they will be spawning. Fish the first few miles of the feeding rivers. It must have depth. Shiners will work great also.

I like small rattle traps. my dad likes rooster tails.

When you clean them, trim off the blood lines after filleting.

I can troll and catch them like crazy in a boat. Not so much in my yak.
By yakin ag
I primarily fish for these guys in the Trinity River system upstream of Livingston during the spawn. My favorite lures for them are Roadrunners (color depends on the day), Roostertails (or a knock off), and silver spoons. I like to let the lure sink all the way to the bottom, then retrieve it as slow as possible and still have the spinner engage. My favorite spots are usually in feeder creeks where the creek opens up, or in the deep channels near bends. Another tried and true method are spec rigs. I've had a lot of luck with these at the Lock'n'dam near Hwy 7. I normally fish Boggy and Bedias Creeks, and anytime the creeks are backed up due to a rise in the River, the fish can be hard to locate. I have had great success trolling silver 1/2 oz rattle traps behind my yak. My favorite time to fish for these guys is when the creeks are up b/c of the the River getting a rise from upstream (Dallas) rain. The river gets muddy, the creeks are clear, and the whites seek out this clearer water to spawn in. My absolute favorite place is the shoals on Bedias. Catch it right, and you can't get faster paced fishing. Outstanding FOTW Beve :D
Fish 002.jpg
Some whites my dad, bro, and I caught trolling Boggy
By BaitGuru
I am surprised at how far they will travel to spawn. They keep going, until they can't go no more.

Hickory creek, Oklahoma, runs down below lake Murray, but not into it, and down until it enters the red river (west of where the river forms lake Texoma) is the place that I have caught 100's of them in only a few throws of a castnet (just playing around), although in Oklahoma you could (maybe you still can) legally havest the "State Fish" with a castnet. These magnums (normally females) were in ankle deep water, and you couldn't see them until they turned sideways and started reflecting light and looking all silvery (I was actually throwing for gizzards shad that were spawning at the same time.

Those familiar with White Rock Lake in Dallas. Lots of sandbass are caught there in the spring. I have heard of "fisherman gangs" that are very territorial about their fishing spots (stupid).

The "White Rock Creek", the main tributary that they dammed to form the small lake, runs all the way into Plano (maybe 15 to 16 miles) and as long as there is running water sandbass will attempt to transverse all the way up the creek until they reach a barrier. I have heard of people catching them just south of EDS in Plano, Texas (where they are prevented from going any further by several man made 'EDS' dams).

I have fished for them, on the bank, below many of the man made dams in North Texas. Including, but not limited to, Lake Lewisville, and Lake Lavon. This year, I am thinking about using a kayak, easier to transport and fish on the water (I want to feel the tug of their hybrid brothers).

I mainly target their striped bass cousins, and don't like the meat on the sandbass (although many people do). They are really slimey when I cleaned them, and I do keep them on ice. I know that you can spray the fillets with a garden hose sprayer, in a bucket where the slime will foam up like soap. Empty the bucket of water and repeat until there is no more foam, then the fillets are good.

This also applies to the hybrids.. I won't eat them either (too many stripers that don't have this problem).

I prefer to use live bait (and will spend many hours throwing a castnet just for the fun of it). I have found that larger live bait, always catches the bigger fish. However, in the past couple of years, I have started using slabs for catching both striper, sandbass, and hybrids in deeper water.

I have found that TNT-180 slabs work great 1 oz or less, as do some 1/2 oz that some friends make for me. I like a little green, red, and black on the slabs. It also doesn't hurt to have a buck tail hook.

In the spring, When they are running in shallow creeks, just about anything will work. A small sassy shad, rooster tail, and even a Carolina rigged lizzard (light rootbear color). Great way to spend a few hours fishing.
By Strider
In my pre-kayak days I caught hundreds if not thousands of whites fishing Lake Waco almost exclusively. We won't talk about that since this is a kayakfishing site :wink: After I started kayakfishing a spawning white bass was the first fish I caught from my new kayak.

I don't chase whites on open water like I used to, but I do fish the spawn every spring. A kayak was made to hunt down and catch spawning whites. You can hit those holes the powerboats can't get to (but the fish can). I love to drag the boat upriver to some shallow, clear, isolated pool and chunk a 1/8 oz or smaller white on white Worden's Roostertail to them. I have caught every single fish out of a school of spawners using this bait.

In murkier waters I like to use native minnows. They don't have to be alive, or even recently alive. They just need to stay on the hook :) Native minnows are deadly at night when cast to spawning whites. Let the crowds go home, and stay for the real action :D

Here are a coupla pics


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By Milkjug
I used to fish the "sandbass" run up in N. TX when I went to school there.

I fished from the bank of White Rock Creek. Yes the bank anglers there can be territorial but most are friendly.

I caught some really nice ones on that tiny sinking rapala crankbait.

The best numbers were on small river minnows I netted from right there. This is a very small creek with clear water and the fish can be picky. I remember there was a group of folks fishing with store-bought shiners. I would cast upstream and let my float drift down the creek as I walked with it. Cork went down right next to one of their floats and I hooked a nice one. They didn't look too happy :lol:
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. :evil:

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. :wink:

Lake Tawakoni 18" sandy. Personal best from yak.
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By Beve
Hambone that bass very well could be 3#. The only "scale" I had at the time was one of those crappy little spring scales that can fit into a small tackle box. I found out how grossly inaccurate it was later when fishing with a friend and I weighed a catfish I caught and it said 3-3.5#. My friend laughed and said "does it look or feel like that?" Of course I said no, it felt closer to 4-5# and it was 4.5# on his digital scale. :lol:
By kayakbassTX
Great post everyone. Thanks for the helpful information. I am looking forward to spring time and try to catch a few of these. I've always fished for large mouth but since getting back into fishing here in Houston there are some many different kinds of fish to go after. Both freshwater and salt. Thanks again for the information.
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By bignate523
sorry i didnt have time to read through the whole post dont know if these were listed but i have caught a lot of white bass throwing a tandem spec rig just the little cheep ones that are under a 1$
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By YakAttak
What flies would be good?
By Hook'em
YakAttak wrote:What flies would be good?

I do all of my white bass fishing with a fly rod. I generally use small clousers (grey/white, red/white, blue, white and chart) or cypert minnows (white/silver, chart, blue). I always use sinking line and stick to bead chain eyes as opposed to heavier weighted eyes.
By elcoyote
I too, am a white bass degenerate. I took the pb out the other day on Lake Dunlap looking for LMB's, but instead, found whites blowing up schools of shad. My trolling motor battery was almost dead by that time, so I couldn't keep up with the school movement. So the next day, I tried chasing them in the yak, but still had difficulty in getting close enough to them. I threw everything I had at them, with the exception of roostertails. I was only able to hook up with one of them. They seem to be chasing smallish schools of shad right now, aqnd the action is not very concentrated. Correct me if I am wrong, but shouldn't the action get better in the next few weeks as we approach colder weather patterns?
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By Beve
Trophy Size: What is your trophy size for this specie? :?:

To qualify for TPWD Big Fish Award: 15"

For me 16-17"
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Any white bass is a trophy for me. Never really targeted them in the kayak. Got lucky a few weeks back though.
I've already posted this one, but I'll show it again.
Almost 17" Caught on a Beatle Spin on 8# test
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By horns
try a husky jerk rapala in the spring run. deadly :wink:
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By Beve
Anybody have any good white bass recipies? Have yet to try YaknYota's sashimi white bass recipie.
By RealBigReel
I have caught lots of white bass. Up to 75 keeper size in about 2 hours.
The next day I caugth 60. Gave myself Carpal Tunnel.
Have caught 20 in one hour, almost a fish on every cast, several times on the Brazos.
The one on top is 15" but there is one down below at 16"


The record on the Brazos was set March 8, 2008 at 2.16# and 16". I have caught a couple that big and lots that would have broken the previous record.
Chart Rooster Tail would be the go to lure.
However the 5" Black Darting Shad (hollographic curly tail) works great.
Caught one on the fly rod on a Chart Clouser.
Last edited by RealBigReel on Sat Nov 29, 2008 2:03 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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By thinH20
My favorite bait for schools on top is a shad color tiny torpedo, there is nothing more fun than watching the bait getting knocked a foot out of the water by two or three fish before one pulls the line tight. My fishing buddy likes using a rat-l-trap and this works out great, when the fish dive he'll hook up and bring three or four chasers up to the top again then I can catch one of them. We have done this on Lake Waco and Belton. In the spring run you can't beat ghost minnows, I have been standing within twenty feet from somebody using them (and pulling fish out one after another) and not catch one using everthing I had. Very flustrating to have hundreds of dollars of equipment and being out fished by someone with a minnow bucket and a zebco.
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By 1-moore
At at a TKF meeting a couple of months back, there was talk about a trip to Choke Canyon for the white bass run. Is this still on, if so what are the plans?

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