BOB MAINDELLE: Striped bass fishing an hour away | Outdoor sports


The striped bass is one of the many fish in the family of temperate bass, along with white bass, yellow bass, perch and various crosses (hybrids) of these species.

The striped bass, native to saltwater, is an anadromous fish, which means that it lives mainly in salt water, but enters freshwater to spawn.

At the time of the construction of dams in our country’s history, fisheries managers observed the explosion of shad populations on the newly formed reservoirs. This was especially true in the southeast and southwest of the country, where the warmer climate limited fish mortality thanks to warmer winter temperatures.

Eventually the shad would grow so numerous that it would exceed their food supply and the population would collapse, negatively impacting the hunting fish populations that depended on the shad as a food source.

Poor fishing has led to an economic decline in lake economies. This put fishery managers into action on the hunt for a predatory fish to help stabilize shad populations by eating enough shad to control their numbers.

Given the striped bass’s ability to survive in freshwater, experimental striped bass stocking was attempted as a potential solution to the boom-bust cycle that shad presented.

The striped bass was indeed successful in gorging on shad, and they helped solve the boom-bust problem.

The colder the waters they were stored in, the better the striped bass. However, in waters in the far south (like those of Texas), striped bass do not fare as well.

The striped bass is not a heat tolerant fish, so when the southern reservoirs stratify during the summer months, the striped bass would be squeezed into narrow horizontal bands of the reservoirs where they crowd together and survive in remaining in or just above the thermocline.

The water below the thermocline is generally low in oxygen, and the water above the thermocline is generally warm (but still suitable for other species like bass, white bass, catfish, carp, gar, buffalo, crappie, etc.). So the heat-sensitive striped bass had no choice but to remain sandwiched between these two layers.

The fisheries biologist realized that striped bass would only be suitable in larger tanks that had larger volumes of water and therefore more thermocline for the striped to survive during this summer thermal compression.

Anyway, once they were stocked and reached a catch size, the striped bass drew a following among anglers as it offered variety and a game fish. can exceed 30 pounds. Demand for these saltwater transplants was sufficient to cause many states, including Texas, to continue stocking striped bass both as a shad control measure and as a desirable sport fish.

A number of large Texas tanks are filled with striped bass. Perhaps the most remarkable is Lake Texoma.

Many don’t realize that we have quality striped bass populations in two reservoirs much closer to us than Lake Texoma. Central Texans can get to Whitney Lake northwest of Waco, or Buchanan Lake, west of Burnet, in just over an hour for either.

For those new to striped bass hunting I would definitely suggest going with a fishing guide early on to help reduce your learning curve and quickly become familiar with the unique tactics and equipment used for these fish, as well as the parts of a tank these fish tend to frequent.

Those who are used to hunting white bass using sonar will have a certain advantage over those more used to fishing cover loving species like bass and crappie. Indeed, like the white bass, the striped bass is a pelagic fish.

Pelagics are a constant wanderer, constantly patrolling the open water in search of baitfish.

Many white bass anglers encounter bonus striped bass and hybrid striped bass as they focus on white bass fishing, simply because the species’ preferred habitats often overlap.

This was the case for junior fisherman Micah Garrett of Kerrville. While fishing last week with his family on Lake Buchanan, the 16-year-old netted a trophy striped bass that fell just half an inch from the lake’s catch and release record. Junior Angler’s water.

Micah said, “For the past few weeks my family and I have been fishing at Buchanan Lake. We mainly fished for white bass vertically with LiveScope. Other family members would catch bonus fish such as blue catfish, hybrids, and stripers. However, I never seemed to catch the bonus fish. It became a joke in our family that I was cursed.

He continued, “Everything changed last Tuesday morning. We got to the lake a bit late due to the fog. At around 9:30 am, I caught a fish which immediately started running. After a short fight, I landed a 12 pound blue catfish. Then at 10:30 am I caught another fish that fought much harder than a white bass.

“Turned out to be a nice sized hybrid. Finally at 11:30 am I hooked up what we suspected to be another blue catfish. The fish ran and it took almost five minutes to get it to the boat. To our surprise, the fish was a 34 inch striper. The curse has been broken!

When asked how he prepared for his white bass which led to the capture of this oversized striper, Micah replied, “All of my fish were caught with light spinning equipment. B ‘n’ M rod, Piscifun spinning reel and MAL Heavy lure with silver blade and chartreuse tail.

As always, do your homework before posting a deposit for a guided fishing trip if you decide to take this route. To prevent you from reinventing the wheel, I have listed a number of questions that I suggest you ask of any guide you might consider on the FAQ segment of my website under the “About” tab at www.FishCenTex.com.


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