FISH CATCHING TRAVEL
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This morning I am meeting Jeffish, his son Korbin, and their friend Steven at Coleto for a little white bass trolling. Reminds me of guiding in the old days, taking a bunch out for white bass. So the goal is to sack enough for a couple of fish fries, and just having a good time with friends. It has the potential to be a pretty good day and I am looking forward to it. The only problem – When it goes well they don’t clean themselves. But if that is the only problem we have today it will be a great day.
Then tomorrow it is off to Houston to pick up the new trailer. Excited about that, but not excited about having to drive back and get the old trailer. Guess I will convince the Boss we can double up, spend a night or 2 in Houston for entertainment, then pick up the trailer on the way home. The coffee is done and the boat is loaded so out the door I go.
71/41 Cloudy then clearing later in the day. Wind N 10 – 15mph. 0% chance of rain.
Best 7:25 am to 9:25 am (Perfect, though I am not sure it really is relevant to white bass fishing, They are there or not.)
Today 96.82 msl 3 days ago 96.81 msl (Up a tick, keeping fairly stable.)
I said in my last blog that it should be a white bass killin’ this morning, and it was. It was a little cool and the wind was blowing about 15mph out of the north as we headed up lake. There were a few folks out, but no one up lake where I have been catching them.
Of course Jeffish and Korbin have caught them with me before, but Steven I don’t think had ever caught one. Before the morning was over he was having a hard time believing what just happened. My plan was not to fish, just drive and take fish off, and that was a good thing considering it would have been a real hassle at times, like the multiple times we tripled up.
Jeffish, Korbin, and Steven. The said they wanted some fish, so here you go.
I got everyone with a crankbait that ran about 5 -6ft deep, spread them out, kept it at 3.2mph and off we went. It might have taken 2 minutes, maybe, and from then on it was consistent for the next 4 hours. Lots of doubles and triples, everyone was having some serious fun. They were not big, but of the hundred, and I mean the over a hundred we boated, all but a few did not measure. Many times they would nip the bait, miss it and when the boys got the hang of tricking them by pulling or jerking and then stopping it, everyone was laughing and having a great time. And occasionally Korbin would be messing around and sit his rod down, lucky it did not launch several times. It was just mayhem.
And the occasional largemouth jumped on, we caught 10 or so to boot, and 3 made the cooler. 2 are for the Boss when she gets home, she loves eating bass. We made no attempt to keep count, just measured and in the cooler. We finally started throwing them back if they were not obvious keepers, and it was time to think about calling it a day. My plan was to stop fishing when the cooler was full, and the timing was perfect.
A real cooler full.
Everyone caught a bunch today and at noon it was time to at least get a fair count and get them cleaned. So Korbin held the net and we started counting, when we had 40 in the net there were still an easy 20+ it was definitely time to call it a morning. A short trip to the ramp, a half hour of cleaning, and a successful day was complete.
I have always loved taking folks when the white bass are going like that, and I especially enjoyed watching Steven catching fish. Trolling takes care of anyone who is not that great at casting, it gives everyone an equal chance. In this case a 6 year old boy and a Gulf War vet, both not that experienced, were able to catch a ton, making it a great day to be one the water. And I never boated a fish. Perfect.
I realized after reading yesterday’s post nothing was said about how to find early spring white bass no matter where you are. After catching them in different states and on different types of water, there is one thing you can take away from that – Put your boat in at the furthest ramp “up the lake” on just about any lake in the country when the water temp hits 50+ degrees. From that point head up the river or a big major creek and drive until you have to idle because it is to shallow to run. Start there and fish your way back down. Pay special attention to any shoals, especially if they have 5 feet of water, and watch for sandy banks with the sun beating down on them. I am assuming, correct me if I am wrong, they are actually spawning there.
As far as baits a simple jig on light line is great for the really shallow areas. Small tubes on 1/16th heads or a 1/8 or 1/16 simple marabou jig, nothing fancy. They like a hop and drop method and almost always hit it on the fall. . If you are more of a lure guy shallow running shad imitations and small jerk baits also work well. One thing about the jerk bait bite is it definitely catches the bigger whites and they smack it. And if you find them in 5 feet or more trolling is the easy way to load the boat. If you troll keep it from 2 – 3 1/2mph until you find the speed, depth, and bait they want.
The advantage of starting as far up the river as you can get is sooner or later you will find some. And if you keep after it a time or two a big day is usually possible. A perfect example was my trip to the Nueces last year. As soon as they were going good over here I drove there, totally clueless, in fact I had to look it up on the map. Then I practiced what I preach and absolutely clobbered them. Catching white bass is not rocket science, it is a timing thing, and now is the time. And speaking of the Nueces I got this timely question from Dan.
Dan actually took the words right out of my mouth. I had just looked up the Nueces right before I opened his comment.
read your stuff almost every day. I find it really interesting and helpful.
do you have any word on white bass fishing on the Nueces river
Not a clue. But guess what, right after I posted about the whites on Coleto, I did the one thing that the blog is perfect for, I looked up my last trip there. And then I opened the comments next and saw your question and I have an answer, sort of. It was absolutely an epic white bass trip there February 9, 2017.
A big one from the Nueces last year, should wet your appetite, does mine.
There is a search box on the right side of the front page and you can look stuff up by month for the last 6+ years. I always look back at the beginning of each month to see what I did in the same month for years. Trust me that is a great research tool and looking back on things gives me the ability to save a little time.
So while I do not have any new info, trust me, I will be headed that way in the next week or two. (Since I wrote this a couple of 2Cool reports both had slow fishing. But that was last week and trust me, they are there or will be any minute.) Give it a couple of days of sunshine and look out. So get em’ while they are hot, I plan to. Good to hear from you.
Fishing the last 4 out of 5 days has been a good time. The bass while slow continue to give you a chance at a big fish every day, and that should not change. Those “other” bass are hard at it, and today I about got that out of my system, though there will be one more day on the Nueces within the week. Glad that will be a simple catch and release trip, those suckers over there are big. Hard not to get them while the getting is good. Then I am going to try to start splitting time between the bay and the lake. Don’t want to miss out on big trout time. IT IS FISHING TIME! So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.
Good Luck and Tight Lines