Fish Texas - Spring 2016

White bass run, spring events, volunteer opportunities, your chance to provide input on proposed regulation changes, and more!

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White-Hot White Bass Run Has Begun

White bass run video Freshwater anglers all across the state look forward to the annual spring run of white bass, a spectacular sport fish. Usually a river or lake dweller, these fish run upstream to spawn in the shallows during February-March. Water levels are still up from last year’s rains and conditions are right for a world-class white bass run – don't miss it! 

You can catch white bass all around the state and with any number of methods: wade fishing, casting from the bank or from a boat, canoe or kayak. Since we expect these fish to be plentiful, try casting your hook in different parts of the state; so many areas of Texas are beautiful in early spring. One favored spot is Colorado Bend State Park. Here, for the first time in 5 years, the river’s high enough for a boat to make it all the way there from Lake Buchanan. For more locations and fishing tips, check our website.

White bass are a blast to catch and such good eating that many anglers will camp at their favorite hot spot to take full advantage of the daily bag limit, which is 25 per day (the possession limit is 50). As the fisherman enjoying some fresh bass says in this video, “If you haven’t discovered white bass, you’re missing out on some mighty good eating and even better fishing.” This is not the year to sit out the white bass run! We’ll see you there.

Toyota Texas Bass Classic

Got the Fishing Itch? Scratch It with Our Activities

Fishing event
  • Fly Fish Texas  A nicely tied fly combined with the beauty of a perfect cast make fly fishing the art form of angling. This event will help you gain the skills to achieve perfect-cast bliss. Join us on Saturday, March 12 at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens as fly fishing clubs and anglers share their tips and techniques on how to tie a fly, cast it and catch a fish. Keep an eye on the calendar for more fly fishing events.
  • Go Fish! Learn-to-Fish Events – If you or a child want to learn the basics of fishing, we’d love to teach you! Come on out to one of these state park events. Fishing is a healthy way to get kids away from their screens and it builds self-confidence.
  • Neighborhood Fishin' – This program offers fishing for Texans in urban areas. So if you’d like to get in some outdoor activity, we stock small lakes with fish just for your enjoyment! It’s your last call for trout because stocking for the season is about to end, but catfish won’t be far behind.
Join TPWF Neighborhood Fishin' is just one of the programs made possible by supporters of Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, our Nonprofit Partner.

Life’s Better Fishing…with a new YETI Cooler!

Yeti cooler

With spring around the corner, it’s time to think about getting out on the water and casting a line. That means it’s time to dream about new equipment you can’t live without.  

If you join Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF) before March 1, you’ll be automatically entered in a TPWF drawing to win this special-edition YETI cooler!* 

As a member, you’ll receive exclusive benefits like insider information, invitations to special events and other members-only perks. And, your gift will be an investment in conserving our state’s rivers, streams and coastal waters.

TPWF, the nonprofit funding partner of the Department, supports efforts to make fishing better. From stocking 40 million fish in public waters to visitor centers like the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center and Sea Center Texas, TPWF is ensuring fishing for future generations to enjoy. You can keep Texas wild by becoming a member today.

*The price of membership pays for TPWF membership only and not for the chance to win the YETI cooler drawing. Members who join between February 17 and March 1 are automatically entered in the drawing.


Your Input Requested on Regulation Changes

Texas Parks and Wildlife is considering changes to a number of fresh and saltwater fishing regulations. Some of the proposed changes include: decreasing the minimum length limit for largemouth bass taken in a few counties in southeast Texas and changing the length and bag limits for blue and channel catfish taken on Lake Tawakoni. We’re also seeking to clarify some things, such as the prohibition on snagging or foul-hooking any fish using pole-and-line in fresh or saltwater, and the length limits for black drum and amberjack.

Your comments on proposed changes to fishing regulations are encouraged. To comment, check here for specific email and phone contact information. Comments may also be submitted online. Public hearings about the proposed changes, including one online, will be held: 

  • Tuesday, March 1 at 7 p.m. in Emory at the Emory City Center 
  • Wednesday, March 2 at 7 p.m. in Beaumont at the Jefferson County Courthouse
  • Thursday, March 3 at 7 p.m., online public hearing, held live via webinar 

We will vote to adopt, modify or reject the proposals at a public meeting on March 24 in Austin. Any adopted changes will go into effect on September 1, 2016.


Fishing for Volunteers - Crab Trap Removal & More

Crab trap removal video Ghost fishing is when an apparatus, like a crab trap, keeps fishing even though it’s not maintained. A marine animal can get in the trap and die, attracting more marine life, which can also get caught and die. So every February, volunteers gather to do a crab trap cleanup. In the past 15 years, over 31,000 abandoned crab traps have been collected!

If you’d like to help us remove crab traps, we’ll be at it through February 28. We need help unloading traps from vessels up and down the coast. To participate, go to your local Coastal Fisheries office where you’ll get free cleanup gear. Watch this short video to see removal in action.

If crab traps don’t float your boat, there are other volunteer opportunities that support the sport of fishing. You can sit or be active, work with kids or adults, learn something new or teach something you know. Volunteering is a great way to meet people and create a sense of well-being. So come on out, join in and support Texas.


Calling All Kids! State-Fish Art Contest

Fish Art Contest Previous Winner

If you know a student that likes to draw, or one that just needs a little encouragement to be a future Picasso, ask them to enter the annual Texas State-Fish Art Contest by March 31. It’s open to all students in grades K-12. The entry must be a drawing or painting of a state fish - not necessarily Texas’ state fish, any state fish will work, so check this list of fishy options

There are handsome scholarship prizes for the Texas winners. The Texas State-Fish Art Contest is part of Wildlife Forever’s State-Fish Art Contest. Texas first-place winners and their families are given a travel allowance to attend the national awards ceremony. Check out the recent winners and get the kids started on their entries. And tell them we said, “Good luck!”


Freshwater Fishing Guide Now in Your App

Freshwater Fishing Guide

Millions of anglers, whether they’re lifelong enthusiasts or wetting a line for the first time, will find invaluable information in the newly updated Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine app. The Freshwater Fishing Guide is now available for free in the app, making it easy for you to get right to information you need. 

Species by species, this year’s guide gives you the lowdown on where freshwater fish hang out and how to catch them — saltwater species will be next! Download the magazine app NOW in the Apple App Store and coming soon for Android.

If you’re looking for more of Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine’s informative fishing stories, head to their main fishing page online. There you’ll find dozens of angling articles. Take a look, you’ll find everything from skillbuilders to recipes – always good.


Facebook Fave: Best Day of Her Life

Facebook Fave Her dad said: "I really didn't want to mess with fishing this weekend because I had a lot to do. After I explained that it was probably too cold and rainy, she insisted. Five minutes after we got out of the truck, she landed this fish all by herself. I heard her say later to nobody in particular that this was the best day of her life." Teach a child to fish  everyone needs a best day of their life.

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