Fish Texas - February 2017

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In This Issue:

White Bass on the Run

White bass video

It’s time to catch some white bass! In February and March of each year, they make it easy by running up river shallows to spawn. So easy, that there are more white bass caught per hour of fishing than any other fish in Texas. So expect to catch your limit: 25 per day with a 10” minimum length. 

White bass are available all over the state. But some areas, like Lake Somerville, are at their white bass best in spring. Check this list of fishing tips and locations to find a spot or two near you. Don't forget leased river access points. We recently added spots on the Llano and Neches rivers, both known for their excellent white bass runs.

“When the redbuds are blooming, the white bass are running,” is an old saying that still holds true. Don’t miss this annual angler tradition! 

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From Small Fry to Full Size

Hybrid bass stocking video

Texas has over 1,000 man-made lakes. How do fish get into all these reservoirs? By stocking – each year we put about 15 million fish into Texas waters. They can include bluegill, bass, catfish, rainbow trout and even red drum and flounder on the coast.

We have 8 fish hatcheries producing fingerlings and ready-to-catch fish. They're all open for public tours. Some, like the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, which just celebrated its 20th anniversary, have exhibits and events. 

It can take up to 4 years for fingerlings to reach legal size. Check our fish stocking reports by year and species to determine where stocked fish should now be big enough to keep. For instance, this video from 2013 is about stocking 6.3 million hybrid bass fry and fingerlings in 25 lakes. Since they were stocked in 2013, they should be legal size. So watch the video to get the list of lakes, then go out and get some hybrid stripers! 

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Be That Dad - Take Your Child Fishing

Release the Kraken! Texas’ Newest Artificial Reef

Kraken above water

The Artificial Reef Program started 2017 with a bang when it sank the 371-foot Kraken to create a new reef. You can watch the sinking here

Located 67 miles off Galveston near the Flower Gardens Marine Sanctuary, the Kraken lies 140’ underwater. Over time it will attract an assortment of sea life, including saltwater game fish. The day after it was sunk, divers inspecting the Kraken found a big red snapper had already moved in. Grouper, mackerel, shark and other species are expected to follow.

The Artificial Reef Program maintains more than 4,000 acres of reef structures – take a look at their interactive map. You can stay abreast of their work by following the program on Facebook.

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NEW - Saltwater Fishing Guide

Fishing Guide in app

Last year our fishing experts brought you the mobile Freshwater Fishing Guide. This year, we introduce the mobile Saltwater Fishing Guide. It includes descriptions and illustrations of the most popular saltwater fishes in Texas, as well as where to find each kind, and angling tips.  

You’ll find both these exclusive, free guides in the the Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine mobile app. Download the app today for your Android and Apple devices.

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Outdoor annual

The Art of Attraction

Fish Attractor video

Valentine’s Day may be over, but we’re still working on our attraction skills – for fish, that is. We now have fish attractors placed in more than 30 lakes. To find these angling hotspots, check out the list of lakes. It includes GPS coordinates for the attractors so you’ll know just where to drop your hook. 

We install fish attractors because most Texas lakes just don’t have places where fish can hang out. We study what sort of habitat different fish like, then use natural and man-made materials to recreate that habitat and attract them en masse. 

Attractors help build and maintain fish populations of bass, catfish, crappie and smaller fish. They also offer perfect places for you to cast a line.

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

Yeti cooler

There’s no better way to enjoy springtime in Texas than getting out on the water and casting a line. And what better way to enjoy a fishing trip than with a new YETI cooler to keep your catch on ice. If you join Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF) before March 15, you’ll be automatically entered in a TPWF drawing to win a 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 membership is an investment in conserving Texas waterways.

TPWF is the nonprofit funding partner of TPWD and supports efforts to make fishing better. From stocking millions of fish to supporting facilities like the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center and Sea Center Texas, TPWF is ensuring fishing for future generations. 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 Feb. 15 and March 15 are automatically entered in the drawing.

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Bass license plate link

Proposed Changes in Fishing Regulations

Regulation changes have been proposed for freshwater fishing and saltwater fishing. You can comment on these proposals online and at pubic hearings. Your input will be considered before any action is taken by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at its March 23 public hearing.

Each year we consider changes in fishing regulations in order to maximize recreational fishing in a way that’s consistent with good management. Your license fees help pay for this management, which keeps Texas one of the best places in the world to fish. Thank you.

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