By Sarah Naron

Messenger Reporter

AUSTIN – While the recent heavy rainfall may be a bummer for many residents of the Lone Star State, those who are employed by Texas fisheries and angling enthusiasts are undoubtedly excited by the plentiful precipitation.

As explained in a recent press release from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), “heavy rainfall early in the year signals a very exciting event – the annual white bass spring spawning run upstream from reservoirs into rivers and creeks.”

Given the ample amount of moisture blanketing much of the state, schools of the fish could possibly be found in the very near future in fishing holes throughout Texas.

“We know anglers have been catching some male white bass since the beginning of February, but the spawn was delayed this year because the temperature and the water flows weren’t ideal,” said TPWD Inland Fisheries District Supervisor for Tyler South Richard Ott. “What we’ve been waiting for is a good, warm Gulf rain to come up here and entice female white bass to make their way upstream. The rain we had this week is going to turn things for sure.”

Also called sand bass, white bass are among the top freshwater species sought after by Texas anglers for both consumption and sport.

According to the TPWD, this species should be targeted by anglers in creeks and rivers located above most of the state’s reservoirs through the early part of May.

Among the locations recommended by the TPWD for white bass fishing is Colorado Bend State Park, located in Bend approximately two hours northwest of Austin. Anglers are permitted to fish for white bass without possessing a fishing license and may enjoy bank access, wade fishing or utilize the park’s boat ramp.

Upstream of Granger Lake exists a public access point along the San Gabriel River called Dickerson’s Bottom, also commonly referred to as The Steps. This location is an ideal spot for white bass fishing and may be found on CR 347 approximately 3/4 mile east of State Hwy. 95 in Granger.

Chandler River Park – a River Access and Conservation Area (RACA) site located approximately one mile east of Chandler at the Hwy. 31 bridge crossing – provides leased fishing access to the Neches River above Lake Palestine. Here, anglers can take advantage of roughly 6,000 feet of bank fishing space, a kayak launch and a boat ramp.

Above the Toledo Bend Reservoir, anglers can try their hand at white bass fishing at the Grand Bluff Boat Ramp, a leased fishing access point near Carthage offering 275 feet of Sabine River frontage. The RACA site will be open to the public through Friday, Aug. 31.

Along the Frio River, above the Choke Canyon Reservoir, numerous public access points are available to anglers fishing for white bass at various highway and county road crossings. Among them is the Hwy. 99 bridge.

In most locations, white bass must be at least 10 inches in length to be kept once caught. Anglers are restricted to a limit of 25 white bass per day.

For more information, please visit www.tpwd.texas.gov.

Sarah Naron may be reached via email at snaron@messenger-news.com.