The annual white bass run is heating up and anglers across Texas are preparing for exciting days on the water. Each spring, white bass run upstream from reservoirs into rivers and creeks to spawn, creating prime fishing opportunities for new and seasoned anglers. White bass can be targeted from the bank, motorized boat or paddle craft in multiple publicly accessible locations throughout the state.
White bass, also known as sand bass, are a popular freshwater species preferred by Texas anglers both for sport fishing and for the dinner table. While most riverside property is privately owned, public access to high-quality white bass runs can be found at many Texas State Parks, Texas Paddling Trails, leased River Access and Conservation Area (RACA) sites and highway and bridge crossings.
Due to the dry summer, some rivers and reservoirs in Texas are currently experiencing low water levels and low flows which could impact the timing of the white bass run. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) recommends that anglers check the water levels and river flows before heading to their favorite location.
Here are a few locations to get started:
San Gabriel River: Upstream of Granger Lake, anglers can find white bass fishing at a public access point called Dickerson’s Bottom, aka “The Steps,” in the Granger Wildlife Management Area. This location can be found three-quarters of a mile east of SH 95 on County Road 347 in Williamson County.
Neches River: Above Lake Palestine, anglers can find public access at Chandler River Park. This RACA site offers nearly 6,000 feet of river frontage for bank fishing and includes a boat ramp and kayak launch.
Llano River: Access to the river is provided through the Kingsland Slab RV Camp with 750 feet of river frontage along the Llano River. This River Access and Conservation Area (RACA) site offers free public fishing access and is located at 7300 River Oaks Dr. in Kingsland.
Sabine River: Above Toledo Bend Reservoir in Panola County, anglers can find public access for white bass fishing at the Grand Bluff Boat Ramp, which offers 275 feet of river frontage and a single trailer boat ramp. This RACA site offers free public access to the Black Shoals fishing hole located about 3 miles upstream.
Frio River: Above Choke Canyon Reservoir, public access points for white bass fishing can be found at county road and highway crossings, including the Highway 99 bridge crossing and boat ramp in McMullen County.
White bass action and public access points can also be found on the Guadalupe River above Canyon Lake, the San Gabriel River above Lake Georgetown, the Navasota River above Lake Limestone, the Colorado River above Lake Lyndon B. Johnson, Yegua Creek above Lake Somerville, the Colorado and Pedernales rivers above Lake Travis, the Bosque River above Lake Waco and the Brazos River above Lake Whitney.
A variety of artificial lures will work for anglers targeting white bass, including small jigs and crank baits. Night fishing using lights or around lighted docks can also be effective. White bass are excellent table-fare — anglers should pack a cooler if the fish are biting. The daily bag limit for white bass is 25 with a 10-inch minimum length. More information on fishing regulations can be found in the TPWD Outdoor Annual.
For more information about white bass identification, fishing patterns, life history, biology and access to public sites visit the White Bass Fishing in Central Texas website.