Monday, February 7, 2011


There are not a lot of hunting and fishing columnists left in the daily papers, it seems, but one of my favorites is Mike Leggett of the Austin American Statesman. Since Joe Doggett of the Houston Chronicle has retired (and is still writing, just saw a feature by Doggett on Texas wade fishing in a CCA magazine about a year ago), Leggett has become my go to writer to see what's going on in Texas sporting news.

Recently, he ran two good columns. The first on a new lake record from Lake Austin, a 16.02 largemouth CAUGHT FROM A DOCK with a crankbait. I know, it's easy to overlook Lake Austin as a lunker lair but the proof is here.

Last week Leggett wrote an article about how white bass fishing is already moving in South Texas and will soon be happening in Central Texas and the Hill Country. Leggett mentioned my favorite place for the last 40 years to fish for white bass, and that's in the Colorado Bend State Park area near Bend, Texas. The Colorado gets shallow there, making fly fishing for white bass a great locale.

Leggett didn't mention my other childhood white bass fishing locale. Under the dam on the Trinity River below Lake Livingston. Many a time we went fishing there from the old Dam Site Marina. We'd watch locals using jetty and pier rods to make the LONG casts out to the deepest part of the river channel, using live crawfish *crawdads* as bait on a typical double drop saltwater bottom fishing leader. It's not unusual to pull in two fish at a time. The locals called the white bass "gaspergou".

I haven't been back to the Dam below Livingston fishing in many years, but I have no doubt the white bass fishing is still excellent. I know that crawfish are an excellent bait for these fish, but they are much more fun to catch on a 6 wt. fly rod or ultralight spinning rig than on a heavy saltwater coastal rod. But I take 'em any way I can catch them, because they are good eating.

Where is your favorite Texas white bass hotspot when the run begins?


  1. Never been bass fishing in Texas. Go fly fishing and lake fishing in Wyoming, however!

  2. Have you seen Jim Hardy's new Hardytack craw?

    The craw was designed to mimic a real crawfish. They wanted the crawfish pinchers to raise up when the bait stopped, and they wanted the tails to fold underneath the bait when rigged on a jighead. This way it would look like a real crawfish as you moved it along the bottom. The other nice aspect is you can tear legs off and make it a punching bait or tear claws off and make it a Carolina-rigging bait. It's got a lot of versatility in one package. I just ordered one the other day. Gonna try it out! :)