Fish Texas – February 2018

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fishing pole and green grass - Fish Texas header

In This Issue:

White Bass: When, Where and Wow

Woman holding large white bass, link to video

The white bass run is a spring highlight, but don't be surprised if it starts in earnest a little later than usual this year. Water temperatures near 60° play a part in triggering the run, and any lingering cold weather could keep inland waters chilly. This is a good year to test that old Central Texas saying, "When the redbuds are blooming, the white bass are running."

In  most places, your limit is 25 per day with a 10" minimum length. If you get out there and find the bass are sluggish due to cold, try using the drop shot rig, as explained in our magazine. 

Surveys indicate enthusiastic males are already on the run in some areas. So start planning your angling adventure with this list of places to go and our pro tips

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Bigger Better ShareLunker

man holding large bass, link to video of first catch of the year

ShareLunker season is now year-round, and for the first time, anglers who reel in any largemouth bass at least 8 lbs. or 24" can participate! Just enter your catch information using the new mobile app, or enter online at Toyota ShareLunker

There are four weight classes with corresponding giveaways for all confirmed ShareLunker participants. Everyone who enters is also included in a grand prize drawing.

Those of you who catch a 13+ lbs. largemouth bass before April 1 are encouraged to loan it to ShareLunker for spawning. Call (903) 681-0550 as soon as you make one of these remarkable catches. 

Check out the video of the very first ShareLunker catch of 2018, then download the app for your Apple or Android device and prepare for your next lunker quest. Join us in making Texas bass fishing bigger and better!

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Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest link May 16-20

Spring Fever – Crappie Style

crappie cooking video link

February and March kick off angling for crappie, a fish both fun to catch and one of the best to eat. 

There are 2 types of crappie in Texas, white and black (PDF), and minnows are a favored bait for both. Read this article for more tips on catching crappie, including timing and finding good locations. Then check the current bag and length limits, grab your license and go find the cure for crappie fever.

Once you've netted your tasty harvest, watch this video to learn easy ways to cook your crappie

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Top 5 Reasons to Buy a License This Spring

man holding grouper
  1. Fishing is something you can do with your entire family
  2. Fishing is something you can do without your entire family
  3. 100% of your purchase goes to protect and maintain Texas waters
  4. It's less expensive to buy a license than to pay a fine of up to $500  
  5. Life's better outside

There are a variety of fishing packages and licenses starting at $11 for 1-day all-water. Purchase your choice online, by calling (800) 895-4248, or from a retailer. If you already have your license, thank you!

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Weekly Fishing Reports link

Proposed Freshwater Regulation Changes

Simplified largemouth bass regulations at 12 public lakes highlight this year's list of proposed freshwater fishing regulation changes. Get more information or comment online through March 22, 2018 at 7 a.m.  

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Conservation = Better Gulf Fishing for Everyone

Pier on Gulf, link to Lavaca Bay cleanup video

Achieving conservation goals requires effort by all of us, from individuals to government agencies. 

At times, combined forces are called for, as in the mercury clean-up of Lavaca Bay, seen in this video. The ongoing effort to keep the Gulf stocked with game fish relies on strong partnerships, too. It also took a group effort to bring about Gulf restoration to compensate for effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill; see the project tracker for updates. 

Individual anglers like you also play an important part. Your license fees support conservation, as does your compliance with regulations. Your vigilance is also necessary. If you see a fish or wildlife kill or suspect a pollution event, immediately report the location by calling (512) 389-4848 or (281) 842-8100, 24 hours a day. 

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Outdoor Annual link

Bass Baits That Beg For a Bite

man holding crankbait, link to video about bait

Crankbaits are excellent lures for bass because they mimic bait fish. If you're angling in clear water, choose a crankbait in a natural color. If not, go for a bright one. Learn more crankbait tips in this video. 

Bass also go for prey at the surface, so be sure you've got a selection of  topwater lures in your tackle box like stick baits, propeller baits, poppers and chuggers. 

Plastic worms are another good bass bait. There are hundreds of worms on the market, but did you ever wonder who came up with the first one? A transplanted Texan was the inventor of the plastic worm lure

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Game Warden Field Notes

Link to Game Warden Field Notes, two GW's in a boat

A father and son found more than fish on a recent angling excursion – read about this and more in the latest Game Warden Field Notes

You can help supply the specialty equipment your game wardens need to ensure the highest level of service by making a donation to Gear Up for Game Wardens, a program of Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, our nonprofit partner. 

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link to purchase bass conservation license plate