Winter not a problem for these kind of fish

October 26, 2013

Big largemouth bass are more typically caught in the winter, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Share-a-Lunker program is set up for this interval. Many of the big fish are caught in the first few months of the year.

Striped bass and their cousin the hybrid striped bass have some differences and similarities. The biggest difference is the fact that the hybrid striped bass is more tolerant of the Texas heat.

Striped bass in freshwater in Texas do not generally grow to the massive sizes like they do on the East Coast, Arkansas and where there is deep cool water. According to biologists, the heat is more stressful to the larger fish.

The really big fish in Texas have historically been caught in the tailraces below dams where relatively cool oxygenated water can be found year-round. These tailraces typically have plenty of food available for the stripers.

In my experience more numbers of bigger stripers can be caught after the first freeze in the upper tributaries or creeks feeding most impoundments. Typically, this pattern starts around early December.

The water in the upper ends of the reservoir is typically shallower and tends to warm quicker than the main lake in the winter, which eventually congregates the baitfish. The predators are not far behind.

Striped bass prefer the cooler water and will gorge themselves. These winter fish will be extremely healthy and obese. The big females will also have developing egg sacks.

Fall and spring are also great times to catch big stripers. These fish will push baitfish up in the shallows. These fish are definitely more active and this shallow water/top water action is an exciting time.

Winter fishing is by far my most favorite time. The fish are more apt to hit artificial baits. In fact I specialize in winter artificial fishing for stripers and hybrids using large soft plastics.

Big hybrid stripers are also catchable in the winter on artificials. However, my experience over the years tells me that this species generally prefers to feed during warm parts of the day.

When the full-blooded striped bass is stressed due to the heat and the action is slower on area lakes, the hybrid striped action can be tremendous. Hybrids can be stressed by the heat as well, but not like the striper.

The trick to catching big hybrids in the summer is to locate deep main lake humps and points. These big boys will be positioned throughout the summer in these same locations.

When they do start to feed, a large gizzard shad (8 to 10 inches) will be easily wolfed down.

Stripers and hybrids are great fighting fish. They get relatively big and are a blast to catch.


The sand bass fishing continues to be good to excellent on Granbury. Black bass continues to be good as well. I also hear of good crappie catches.

Squaw Creek Tilapia craze is ongoing. Numerous fish are being caught on worms under bobbers. Black bass to 6 pounds are good on the upper ends.

Benbrook is nearly 10 foot low and Mustang Park is open after the government shutdown. Proctor is open as well.

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Category: Sports Archived