Fish Texas – Spring 2020

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In This Issue:

White Bass Fun Run Begins

angler with stringer of white bass, play button

On your mark, get set, it’s time to fish the white bass run! From Jan. through April, large numbers run up tributaries to spawn. So many, 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 very popular due to their willingness to bite artificial lures, schooling behavior and superb quality on the table. They're available all over the state, and are so plentiful in Central Texas we've made a list of Central Texas hotspots for white bass. We lease many of these river access areas for you to fish, including spots on the Llano and Neches rivers, both known for their excellent white bass runs. We'll see you out there!

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5 Hot Lakes for Lunkers

woman holds ShareLunker bass, play button

Our popular Toyota ShareLunker program has partnered with anglers to promote and enhance bass fishing in Texas since 1986. The lunker in the photo was the first of 2020, caught by Brittany Newman of Longview at Gilmer Reservoir

The top 5 ShareLunker producing lakes in 2019 were:

  1. Lake Fork near Quitman 
  2. Lake Conroe near Houston 
  3. Lake Athens in Athens 
  4. Sam Rayburn Reservoir near Jasper 
  5. O.H. Ivie Lake near San Angelo

Take a look back at the 2019 season in the Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine blog post, ShareLunker 2020 Season Open.

Anglers who catch a largemouth bass of at least 8 lbs. or 24" can use the free ShareLunker App to enter the details and get a "Catch Kit" and a chance to win a $5,000 shopping spree – Ryan Waguespack of McQueeney won in 2019.

Your Lunkers can be submitted to our breeding program from Jan.-March, which continues the growth of bigger, better bass populations across the state.

The Toyota ShareLunker Program is made possible by the generous sponsorship of Toyota. Prize sponsors Bass Pro Shops, Lake Fork Taxidermy, American Fishing Tackle Co. and Stanley Jigs provide additional support for this program.

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Show Off Your Bass!

Try Your Hand at Saltwater Fly Fishing

man on saltwater holding fly fishing rod

This year, step up to saltwater fly fishing. You'll build you skills, have fun and likely score a tasty catch. A gently presented streamer can be just the enticement a skittish spotted seatrout, redfish or tarpon needs, resulting in an exciting catch!

Flies are varied, so refer to this helpful list of the 7 best saltwater flies. When you get a strike, set the hook with a firm line tug, not a swoosh or lift of the rod. Flies are retrieved via “stripping” the line by hand, not cranking a reel.

For more tips, including how to choose the right line and strategies for coastal casting, read the Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine blog post, Saltwater Fishing on the Fly.

Try saltwater fly fishing from shore, while wading, or from a kayak or other boat. If you're just getting started, we offer fly fishing classes. Or join a fly fishing club, they welcome beginners and are a great way to meet and learn from others. Try it, you might like it!

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Catch More Rainbows at Neighborhood Fishin’ Lakes

biologist holding trout fishing gear, video playbutton

Rainbow trout stocking is winding down, but you still have time to get out there and reel in some rainbows! In our Tips for Catching Trout video, biologist Evan Cartabiano shares his 6 strategies:

  1. Use the right size hook
  2. Use light line
  3. Use a 3-way rig
  4. Use prepared baits
  5. Make use of fish feeders
  6. Use a light action rod and ultralight reel

Find a Neighborhood Fishin' Lake near you and test out his tips on the trout!

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Weigh in on Proposed Regulation Changes

We will be taking public comment on proposed changes to 2020-2021 fishing regulations, including those for flounder harvest. 

TPWD staff will present the proposed changes and answer questions in a Facebook Live webinar on Feb. 28 at 12 noon, on our Facebook page.

The public is encouraged to provide comment on the proposed regulation changes, and your input will be considered before action is taken by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at its March 26 public meeting. Comment online beginning Feb. 21 until March 25 at 7 a.m.    

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Game Wardens Bite Down on Shark Finning

shark fins

Your Texas game wardens recently exposed 10 restaurants and markets trading in illegal shark fins, including those of protected species.

Shark fins are typically cut off live sharks which are then thrown back. Trade of all shark fins is prohibited in Texas. You'll find a list of protected sharks and catch-and-release techniques in shark regulations.

Houston-area game wardens are wrapping up another investigation resulting in charges against multiple fish dealers. Find out what else your game wardens have been up to in the latest Game Warden Field Notes.

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Did You Know?

We've put together a list of fishing terms and their meanings, like riparian: located or relating to the banks of a stream, river, or other body of water.

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