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Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


By Zech6767
#2253141
When does the run start? Ive caught them in the San Jacinto east fork before (probably 6 years ago) I just don’t remember the exact month. All I remember is that it was cold. Is January too early??


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By Cuervo Jones
#2253171
It’s never a bad idea to check and see if the fish are running early.


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By hipshot
#2253179
I've seen waves as early as December, but the main run generally peaks around early to mid March. I have had some stellar days in February on Spring Creek in years past. It's contingent on the length of the days, water temperature, current, water clarity, and probably a dozen other minor factors. A heavy rain with rising, muddy water will shut them down.
By Yakety_Yak
#2253347
Depending on what part of Texas you live in and where you fish will determine things (weather/conditions pending of course). Usually the further south you go, the run will start earlier. As you progress up the state, the run starts a little bit later. Typically though white bass usually start in February ish.
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By Ron Mc
#2254993
Best thing with white bass fishing is get out early and find where the little males are forming pods.
Then when the run is going strong, go back the hour before sunrise and fish in the dark - I've caught a limit on consecutive casts that way.

Also don't feel bad about meat-fishing white bass. They are fedund, impossible to eradicate even if you wanted to.
The females lay up to 500,000 eggs. Most of the fish only live 3 years.
This is a stringer of 2-y-o males, 12-14" - I released everything else (let my friends fillet from here, too, and filled out the other 3 for my limit while they were doing just that).
Image

Image
I can share the pdf of this talk with anyone who wants it - send me a pm with your e-mail - while it's aimed at hill country, most of the advice applies.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
By killjug
#2255005
Check water temps when they get around 56 or more and stay there the bass start moving up. Any cold snap will push them back down. But when the water warms up they are back on.
By Whack&Stack
#2255179
Caught a good number of White bass today on a creek near the house. They are definitely moving up!
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By Ron Mc
#2255416
probably time to get going - try pinch points - smooth water below rapids
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By Chubs
#2255424
Hey Ron, I got your PDF thanks.

Just a few questions.

Do you target the bass at the upstream part of the lakes?

Like for Canyon Lake - you'd go up the Guadalupe river to the 1st few rapids?

What was the Strategy about using River flow, river gage height, and Lake height for? To tell if you are in a drought year or not?

Can white bass fishing be done also with casting/spinning gear? I don't have a fly rod. What sort of tackle might be appropriate?

Thanks!
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By Centexfisherman
#2255429
Caught 17 a week and half ago on the Middle Bosque River west of Waco. It was a little slower this past Sunday. Caught a total of 10, 5 Whites and 5 LM, guiding a friend. It should start picking up from here as the weather gets warmer.
Mike H. with White Bass Feb 2018.JPG
By pontoonman
#2255492
Guad at boat ramp 11 and the main river bend was slow on sunny warm Sunday afternoon over the 2 hours of trolling with small cranks, only got 2 whites about 12 inches. The river above the motor boat rapids is so low that the run from the lake can't go above that point at present flow. One motor boat reported some small males at the rapids, but no run.

PM
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By Ron Mc
#2255496
Chubs wrote:Hey Ron, I got your PDF thanks.

Just a few questions.

Do you target the bass at the upstream part of the lakes?

Like for Canyon Lake - you'd go up the Guadalupe river to the 1st few rapids?

What was the Strategy about using River flow, river gage height, and Lake height for? To tell if you are in a drought year or not?

Can white bass fishing be done also with casting/spinning gear? I don't have a fly rod. What sort of tackle might be appropriate?

Thanks!

The early part of the run - staging - is the time to fish a kayak in the top end of the still water.
Rebecca's Creek boat ramp is a great place to launch for the top of Canyon.
Once the run is established, we go the other way hike/wade to fish the rapids that will pinch fish on their way up.
We've caught them as far up as Mueller falls. In high flows they can get around Mueller falls and keep going up.
During the drought, a summer monsoon rain kicked a false run, and stripers and whites were trapped in the pool below Mueller falls - we caught them all summer.

TPWD stocked white bass in Flat Rock Dam (Kerrville) 5 or 6 years ago. They're all over the upper Guadalupe now, and in that cooler water, the run lasts into June. This is a June white caught down from Center Point Lion's Park
Of course right below Flat Rock Dam is also great wade-fishing water, and you'll find them below Ingram Dam, too.
Image
A Thanksgiving freeze, btw, will also kick a false run in the fall (all males) - tore them up one day at Tejas camp, and stepped through ice at the very edge of the river - caught (and released) over 100 fish.

Using the links - some of this is getting to know your water, but lake height will often tell you how far they can go.
For instance, if Medina is low, they can't get over a waterfall about a mile above Pop's. When that shelf is under the lake, they can go all the way to Bandera.
Runoff from rain trips the run - they taste the water coming into the lake and know when high flows will let them get farther upriver - that's when they run.
Use the gauges and weather links to look for those rising flow events in the river.
http://waterdata.usgs.gov/tx/nwis/curre ... y=basin_cd
check this every time you go anywhere, and learn your water - so you'll know what flow readings mean.
But on the 2-week display, look for those rising and falling flow events to trip the run and load fish in pools.
Can't beat being there 24-48 hours after a good warm rain. Nexrad and 24-hour historic rainfall is your friend.

With good timing and a good pinch - the "sunken" bridge at the top of Lake Georgetown, I caught 50 white bass on consecutive casts one day - yes, best day ever. The lake level was down so the sunken bridge was exposed, and the entire run had to climb a skinny gravel bar riffle where I was standing. They were spawning on the gravel bar all around my feet - their backs were out of the water. I had 17 2-y-o males on my stringer that afternoon - I filleted into the night.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
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By Chubs
#2255500
Great info thanks. Can't wait to go try this out to expand my fishing areas!

I had done a little digging to on this forum and found this old thread to about catching them. Goes over tackle for those of us without fly rods.

viewtopic.php?t=154696

I would like to learn a fly rod at some point when I have more time on my hands though. It seems like river fishing would be a great place to use one.
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By Ron Mc
#2255501
Roadrunner, marabou and bucktail jigs, small plastic jigs, spinners, spec rigs (may get a double)
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By Chubs
#2255573
My dad and I are going to give this a shot next week at canyon lake.

Hopefully we get something to make up for last week's trip :)

Would y'all recommend going in kayaks or a boat right now? Dad has a boat up there. Plus I could take my 4 year old on the boat possibly...
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By Ron Mc
#2255581
have made the run in a power boat from Crane's Mill.
Right now, the best fishing is still probably in 15-20' water, and at Rebecca's Creek there are good gravel bars to beach the boat, and flagstone shelves to fish from.
Trolling up the river arm is a good idea.
By pontoonman
#2255825
The motorboat rapids limit of travel is one place where the whites pile up during the run, especially if the whites can't go any further due to low water at upper Guad. When the whites are in their daily or hourly surge pattern just about anything works, they can almost be snagged with a safety pin, ha! Not much fun during peak motorboat hours though, as hundreds of boats crowd the quarter mile section.

PM
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By Ron Mc
#2255828
yes, try to make white bass fishing a weekday event - also, overnight can be really good
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By Chubs
#2255835
Ron Mc wrote:
We've caught them as far up as Mueller falls. In high flows they can get around Mueller falls and keep going up.
During the drought, a summer monsoon rain kicked a false run, and stripers and whites were trapped in the pool below Mueller falls - we caught them all summer.


I've got to ask - where is Mueller falls? Google maps couldn't find it.

Our plan right now is to go via power boat Friday evening, Sat morning and/or evening, and Sunday morning. Probably not going to do all of that but that's the plan!

I suppose if it's wall to wall boats there on our 1st go we'll swap to kayaks for the next day.

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