Photo by David J. Sams
Story by Craig Nyhus, Lone Star Outdoor News
David Sikes, the outdoor columnist for the Corpus Christi Caller Times, caught and released a water body record, 2.5-pound white bass on the Nueces River. His record lasted six days.
On February 1, the previous record holder, George Moff landed a sandie weighing 2 pounds, 9 ounces to regain the record.
Sikes, fishing with John Findeisen, said the pair caught 40 fish, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department electroshocking boat was nearby conducting a survey.
“They were bringing up 120 fish per hour,” Sikes said. “I would say the run is on.”
The water is high on the river, though, limiting bank-fishing opportunities but allowing for boats to make the run upstream to find the fish. The white bass have moved up, and the numbers and the size of the fish are impressive.
“A couple other friends caught 20 apiece,” Sikes said.
While the run on the Nueces tends to peak around Valentine’s Day, fishermen in other parts of the state watch their calendars, not to see when they should be buying chocolates, but to remind them to check for signs of the run that often begins around the holiday.
The Live Oak County Airport near George West, a parking area for Nueces River anglers, has been full to the brim. Areas near the Highway 159 Bridge over the river also are packed.
“I’ve never seen that many cars at the airport,” said one angler of his Saturday outing. “It’s crowded but there are still places to fish.”
Places like Colorado Bend State Park, Marshall Creek in Denton County, the Neches River up from Highway 31 and the branches of the Brazos River up from Lake Waco are well-known white bass spots, and many fishermen simply look to the parking areas to see if the fishing has improved.
The Nueces isn’t the only river where the fish are running. The Sabine River, up from Toledo Bend Reservoir, is known as a white bass hotspot, and this year is no exception.
Jane Gallenbach and her husband, Tom, run River Ridge Campground and Guide Service, and told the Houston Chronicle that the run is on and they are catching 100 fish per outing. Camcopelin on 2coolfishing.com reported excellent fishing on the Sabine near Center.
Guide Bill Fondren thinks this year’s run could be one for the record books.
“I think the run of whites on the Sabine will be one of the best we’ve had in a number of years,” Fondren said. “We’ve got a lot of water and plenty of current.”
The limit for white bass is 25 fish per day, with a 10-inch minimum.
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