Texas’ White Bass Run

January 17, 2024

Every spring, anglers in Texas eagerly anticipate the white bass run in the Colorado River watershed. As the white bass, or sandies, as they are affectionately called, transition from the deeper waters of lakes and reservoirs, they make their way into the river and creek channels to kickstart the spawning process.

Throughout the spawning period, these bass exhibit a voracious appetite acting aggressively, creating a prime fishing opportunity for Texas anglers. In this guide, we’ll explore the best locations to fish the white bass run and share valuable tips to help you make the most of this exciting angling season.

When do the white bass run in Texas:

White bass typically run from January through May. Many old-timers say when the Redbuds are blooming, the white bass are running.

Where’s the Best Place to Catch the White Bass Run:

The Texas Colorado River watershed spans a vast and diverse landscape, offering prime fishing opportunities for white bass enthusiasts. Some of the best white bass fishing in the spring can be done from the bank or while wading in the river.

Key locations to explore during the run include:

Inks Lake State Park: Known for its rippling waters, Inks Lake is a popular spot for white bass fishing. The river’s twists and turns create ideal habitats for white bass to congregate during their spawning run. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, starting in February, white bass begin congregating in the upper end of the reservoir as the urge to spawn motivates their movements.

Lake Buchanan: As one of the largest reservoirs in Texas, Lake Buchanan provides expansive fishing grounds for white bass. Focus on areas near the river’s inflows, where the current is stronger and white bass tend to gather. During the Lake Buchanan spring run, the white bass are migrating up the Colorado River. Concentrate your efforts near the mouth of the Colorado River by Beaver (Silver) Creek to near Tow for late spring action.

Colorado Bend State Park: This park offers a unique blend of natural beauty and excellent fishing opportunities. The riverbanks, riffles, and deep pools within the park attract white bass during their annual migration. A favorite for fly anglers, the Colorado within Colorado Bend SP is known for providing shallow areas that are perfect for wading with plenty of room to back cast without snagging trees or brush.

Tips for a Successful White Bass Run:

Timing is Everything: The white bass run typically peaks in late winter to early spring when water temperatures range between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep an eye on local fishing reports, water levels, and river flows, before you head out to your favorite fishing spot, and plan your trip accordingly.

Use the Right Gear: White bass are known for their aggressive feeding habits, so be prepared with medium to light spinning tackle. A 6-7 foot rod paired with a reel spooled with a 6-10 pound test line is ideal for casting and retrieving lures. For fly anglers, we recommend fishing with five weight rod or above paired with an 8 pound test leader or higher.

Lure Selection: White bass are partial to flashy lures that mimic the appearance of their prey. Consider using jigs, spinners, and crankbaits in colors such as white, chartreuse, or silver. Experiment with different retrieves until you find the most effective presentation. It’s worth noting that minnow patterns prove highly effective during this time. You can’t go wrong with a clouser minnow, a sinking fly that resembles a small baitfish, or bead-headed white woolly bugger.

Target Transitional Areas: Focus on areas where the river transitions from deep to shallow water, such as sandbars, points, and the mouths of tributaries. White bass often gather in these locations during their migration.

Stay Mobile: The white bass run can be unpredictable, so be ready to move around until you locate a school. Pay attention to bird activity, as diving birds can indicate the presence of feeding white bass below the surface.

The white bass run in the Texas Colorado River watershed is a thrilling spectacle for anglers, offering not only the chance to catch these spirited fish but also an opportunity to enjoy the varied landscapes that can be found within this region. By choosing the right locations, utilizing the correct gear, and employing effective techniques, you can make the most of this annual migration and create unforgettable fishing memories. So, gear up, hit the water, and experience the excitement of the white bass run in one of Texas’ most picturesque river systems.