Welcome to the "Annual Sandbass & Hybrid Striper Run" @ Rowlett Creek @ Lake Ray Hubbard & Hickory Creek @ Lake Lewisville and many more!
I'm Carey Thorn. Licensed Professional Fishing Guide. Full Time, Year Round, FULLY INSURED FOR YOUR SAFTEY & MINE. Bass Pro Shop Sponsored and Guiding for over 10 Years at Rowlett Creek and all around the Dallas Metroplex Bank or Boat. My clients and I have landed over 100,00 fish from just one little creek, Rowlett Creek. I will show you how to land these hard fighting fish all on your own. If you just don't get the hang of it, I'll take you out and teach you how to do this on your own with out me, the very next day, for only $100.00 each. Think how much time, gas, lures, and bait you use every trip? $40 on average seem about right? Skip 2-3 days of wasting money on an empty stringer and come on out with us! We will show you how, when, where, and teach you how to do this on your very own. The next day after the trip, you will be catching fish on your own and filling your stringer, and finally posting Hero Pics of your own! And, make sure you text me where your catching them!
White Bass/ Sand Bass: Are freshwater fish that are migratory in nature, like Salmon. They spend most of their lives in the open-water portions of lakes and reservoirs or river pools. But when water temperatures rise above 55-60 degrees F, its usually the peak time to catch them in the creeks and rivers. Between February and May, White Bass migrate up rivers and streams seeking gravel or rocky bottom areas to begin spawning activity. With the end of March being the "Peak Time", in Central Texas bodies of water.
Males arrive at the spawning grounds about one month ahead of females and we call them "Scouts" (5-9 inchers). Rather than build nests, white bass spawn in mid-water. As the males and the female move toward the surface of the water, the female releases 62,000 to 1,000,000 eggs that are rapidly fertilized. During this, you will see a pod of fish come to the surface and boil during spawning. About 10 fish or so will be in this pod of boiling fish, with one female in between the ruckus. A lot of people will cast to the boiling fish, but usually don't respond to their bait, due to they have one thing on their minds at the moment. After the female lays all her eggs, she leaves and goes right back to the lake. The male stay and just wait for more females to arrive, as they come in droves. Sometimes by the 1000's. When they come in thick like that, usually you have less than 2 weeks to catch crazy numbers of them. Sometimes going over 300 landed sand bass in three hours or less. Most are Females that come up by the 1000's, and they will only be there to lay eggs and get out. So again, you will see just great crazy days, then slow to regular for a couple.... then back to crazy. Rain always helps the females push up the creek systems.
These adhesive, fertilized eggs, sink to the bottom and stick to gravel, boulders, or vegetation. The eggs hatch in two to three days, but because the adult white bass do not protect the eggs, few survive. Those that do, however, grow rapidly to 4 or 5 inches in length by the end of the summer and migrate back to open water to join the adults in the main lake. So when you catch a 5-9 inch Sand Bass, 99% of the time, it was born in the very same creek or river the previous season.
( Fly Fishing is deadly on Sand Bass. A lot of times out fishing live bait )
White bass can be easily confused with striped bass, hybrid striped bass, yellow bass. You might want to study how to tell the difference between a Sand bass and a Hybrid Striper. If you don't figure this topic out, the game wardens will help you out after giving you a big fine and possibly taking you gear and impounding your vehicle. Make sure you don't miscount and go over your limit and make sure the fish are 10 inches or over (Sand Bass). I try not to keep anything unless its 11 inches and over. The little fish, 10-11 inches, just are not worth the time and effort to clean. But, the ball is in your court, keep what you want within the law.
The typical weight of a white bass is between one-half and 2 pounds, though they can grow to 3 or 4 pounds. The world record white bass is 6 pounds, 13 ounces. Most grow to a length of between 10 and 12 inches, though they can reach 17 inches or more. Their life span can be as long as 10 years, however, few survive more than four years. Like many fish, females generally grow larger, faster, and live longer than males.
White bass are attracted to small, live bait, such as shad, shiners, crawdads, bugs, and minnows. They are also more than willing to bite an artificial lure, another reason they are popular with anglers. Such lures as small jigs and crank baits, as well as top water lures, have proven successful. Its not uncommon to catch over 50 to 100 fish per outing, Sometimes over 300 on a good day. If you have the right gear and you might get your limit of 25 fish within 30 mins!
Hybrids have only one true way to ID them. Two tongue patches. Very Obvious!
If I am targeting these only, I will bump up the line poundage. For the Sandies, I use mainly 4 lb to 6 lb, but with the hybrids, I'll use anywhere from 6-12 lb depending on how much debris and snags are around. If they are in a deep pool, I'll use light line. If they are in the deep pockets with snags I'll bump all the way to 12 lb.
-Even Kids Can Do This!!!
Soccer Cleats are very important in the creeks of DFW. They are surrounded my high clay banks and when wet, they are slick as ice. Soccer cleats can be bought cheap 10-20 bucks at Walmart or Academy. Whatever is on clearance. They dig into the clay banks and will save your rear end from slipping down a cliff into the water. Do not stand on limestone or you will fall right over. Cleats and limestone don't mix very well.
Waders- Help you navigate the banks when there are none! Some spots require you to wade to get to a pocket or just to cross the creek. Stocking foot breathable waders are the must have. They have a neoprene bootie that you can use any shoe or boot on. The "Duck Boot' waders are heavy and have no traction on the big boot. Try and get the ones with the most pockets. $100-$150 with the occasional $80 ones.
- 4-6 Pound Fluorocarbon or Mono Fishing Line. I hate braid. Cant stand it unless saltwater fishing or pier fishing. The sandbass are 2 lbs or less on average, so there is absolutely no reason to go over 6 lb fishing line. I prefer 4 lb line and I just double the size of the fish I am targeting. Most of yall are having trouble catching due to your using to heavy on line. Drop down to 4 lb and I promise your catch ratio will go up, -if your fishing where there are fish.
-Back pack to carry everything in.
- Polarized Glasses. $20 pair works just as good as the $500 pair. Don't fish without them! Ever! Its just plain silly!!!!!!!So, why are polarized lenses so awesome? Polarized lenses are coated with a special chemical film that helps reduce glare. Glare is caused when light from the sun is reflected off of water or a solid surface. By neutralizing glare, polarized lenses help you see objects more clearly, and also help reduce the harmful effects of UV light. So that means, you can see the fish! Or, where there are no fish. It helps tremendously with seeing snags under water too!
- 6-7 Foot Medium Action Rod the list goes on and on what rod to use. $20-30 for a Cherrywood rod at Academy or their Classic Addition rods. Great cheap creek rods that hold up nicely. Note: when walking down the trails point the rod behind you. This will prevent hangups and jabbing the rod in a bush and breaking your tip off.
- Spinning Reel to match
- A Cooler With Ice, to Transport Fish. Many places in Texas now, require you to take your fish to your home residence, RV, or campground to process the fish. Some game wardens enforce, this and some don't. I have been warned many times, so we no longer clean your catch. You must bring a cooler to transport the fish home in. Get the ice after the trip. Pay attention!!!!----> don't show up with a small Styrofoam cooler. You have to have a cooler big enough to transport 25 fish that are 12-15 inches long and weigh 2 pounds. Then you have the hybrids that get on average 18-24 inches long and 5-10 lbs each. You can take 5 of those a day plus 25 sandies. Sometimes it happens so be prepared. Id get the ice on the way out at a Sonic if possible, they have crushed ice.
- Stringer 10 ft. preferred nylon not cotton. The cotton will catch on their gills and make it hard to get them off. I poke the stringer through their bottom lip and out through their mouth so they live longer and lay nicer on the stringer. If you go though their gills you will damage them and the fish will die way faster.
( PlanoKeith above having an absolute blast. He told me he had been at the creek flyfishing for a week or so with not one sandie. I finally had some time when he was at the creek, and I called him and we met in the woods and I took him to a spot loaded with fish in 1-2 ft of water. The rest is history )
- Fishing License- Must be on you at all times w/ I.D.
-Small Size 6-10 Split shots
-Size 6 & 8 Eagle Claw bait hooks bronze or nickel. Shiny stainless Steele are best but expensive. Sometimes you can just throw out a stainless hook and catch a limit. (sometimes)
-Small 2 inch Comel bobbers peggable ( Walmart and Academy)
-Glue- super glue (Quick Lock) your jig head to the soft plastic and prevent short strikes or wear and tear on the plastic, making it fall off or slip off the shaft of the hook.
-Soft Plastic Baits: Zoom Tiny Flukes or Fin-S-Shad in pearl, black or red (night time), white, pink, neon green, albino, silver, smoking shad colors w/ 1/32 oz & 1/16 Jig Head ( for deep water and faster current I will bump up to a 1/8th oz jig head ) Color sometimes matters and helps. In stained water, chartreuse & pink are great colors jig head wise. Then white is always a good medium to start with. Also a great jig body is a Funky Monkey Thump Buddy by http://constantpursuitoutfitters.com/hom...p;product_id=70 Those jig bodies are made out of a beach ball like material and if you glue that to your hook, it will not wear out. You will loose it before that happens.
-Medium Minnows: are a true 2.5-3 inches long. Make sure you get what you pay for.
-Extra Large Minnows need to be minimum 5 inches long. Bigger the better! Make sure you look at them before you spend the money.
- Shad 3-5 inches long are the ultimate baits.
-Also try a live crawdad or just the tail on the bottom for hybrids. Sandies will pick up a crawdad tail too. Get them at Fiesta in the seafood section!
***** When hooking a minnow, hook them through the bottom lip and out through a nostril. This will prevent them from dying so fast. If you hook them through the tail, every time you retrieve the bait, it comes back spinning and the water drag rips their gills and kills them. Hooking through the bottom of their jaw keeps them alive almost all day if nothing bites it. Sometimes you will get bite and the minnow comes back with no eye balls or guts. Those are bluegills eating the minnows soft parts. Move locations due to there probably are no big game fish around that spot.
***** If you get a hold of threadfin or gizzard shad, hook them sideways through their jelly nose. This will keep them alive longest. Once they die, re-bait! Sandies and hybrids don't normally hit dead bait. But sometimes they do, but live frisky bait gets a reaction strike faster then a non moving bait. Hold the bait under the water while on the hook, 2 inches under water. If its moving its good. You can really only tell if its alive when in the water. Sometimes if you hold them out of the water they wont move and you will think its dead.
Carolina Rig the shad and minnows. If your not familiar with this, Google it or youtube.
Cast Net/ Throw Net- can not be over 7 ft. long in the state of Texas. Catching your own bait will save you $100's of dollars a season. Shad, baby blue gills, red tail shiners, creek chubs, and people bait they threw out, will all be in the creek systems.
Now, How to Catch White Bass or Sand Bass in Creeks and Rivers:
White Bass/ Sand Bass start showing up in the creeks and rivers sometime in February on most years. Sometimes a month early or late. When I first start scouting the creeks, I look for them in eddies along the banks. These are spots like little run-ins; bank cave-ins, debris piles, riprap. I look for places where some type of structure deflects the current and forms a small eddy behind (downstream from) it. The fish do not want to exert to much energy so they will hide in the current breaks. Early in the year the white bass school up in these deep holes, waiting to push further and further up the creek systems and river systems. Every time it floods, the fish migrate further and further upstream. I have seen them get on their side in 2 inches of water and flutter up the shallow rapids by the 100's. Truly amazing site to see.
I catch 90% of my fish near bottom. So most of the time I throw my jig right into the hole, then let it fall until my line goes slack meaning its on the bottom, or even sometimes a fish will grab it before hitting the bottom. Once the jig is on the bottom I start reeling it back in, sort of jigging it to maintain bottom contact at the slightest level. You don't want to drag it on the bottom. If you feel a tap on the line, set the hook!
If the pockets are 6 ft. or shallower, I love throwing the Jig & Bobber set up. When the bait lands in the water make sure the bobber is standing straight up. If it lays on its side, your fishing to shallow. Just pull the bobber down 6 inches at a time till it stops hitting bottom. Then with your rod tip, twitch the bobber 1/4 inch at a time trying to keep it in the strike zone as long as possible. Using your rod tip, twitch it making the bobber scoot 1/4 of an inch. 1-2-3, pause. 1,2,3, pause......etc. You need to give the jig time to fall back down of you twitch it. The bobber usually doesn't go under! Remember your already on the bottom. Most of the time you will just see the bobber suddenly twitch or stop. SET IT!!!! Anything you didn't do to the bobber, set the freaking hook before the fish poops out the bait.
Rooster tails and road runner baits also will tear into some sandies. These are cast and retrieve lures. Reel as fast as you thin a small minnow can swim. That's plain and simple. Colors are usually white, chrome, silver, and chartreuse.
Same thing for the jerk baits or small Rapala's that look like a minnow. The problem with small crank baits, you loose one- its probably 5-7 dollars. They work great but costly to loose.
Finessing a Tiny Fluke. Take a size 8 bait hook or octopus hook, and hook the fluke like it has eyes. This is deadly with 4 lb line. Cast it out and start reeling the slack while twitching the rod a 1/4 of an inch maintaining a tight line. This will make the fluke dart around and the sandies cant stand it. They will come from 5 feet away to smash the fluke. See video below.
When a white bass bites your jig or minnow, it'll almost every time SLAM it. When you catch a White Bass from a pocket or spot your casting at, I'll stay there and cast 20 more times. If not bite, Ill leave to another spot. When I walk back, by the spots I got bites or landed a fish previously, I will cast to those exact spots everyday. It's "very rare" to catch just one sandy in a spot. Usually there are 20-100 in the same small pocket. When one fish moves upstream or downstream, the whole pocket/school of fish follow. So don't be tromping around in the pockets that are knee deep. If your Knee Deep, your probably standing of fish! The females start showing up in the creeks and rivers a 2 weeks to a month after the males arrive. The females and more males come up in huge schools mainly at night or during high water after a flood. The peak of the run when most females and males are in the same spots is usually sometime in April. The peak of the run lasts a week or two, to where you can catch 300 sandies no problem in 2-3 hours. To a point you just go home out of boredom catching so many every cast, or your arms hurt! At peak spawn, the females are huge! Usually 15 inches to 17 inches on average if the healthy previous spawns were good.
One of the most
Some days, the fish just wont bite. You can see them, but they just wont bite bait or a lure. The day before a rain, sometimes they get geared up to make a run upstream with the rising water coming and everything is correct with the weather pattern but they just get a bit of lock jaw. Cold Fronts are your worst enemy. The day after a cold front is a beautiful blue bird day usually and the air pressure is probably going to sky rocket. A biologist told me one day, that the Barometric Air Pressure drastically changing, affects their air bladders making them uncomfortable ceasing their hunger while the pressure fluctuates. This is not set in stone. Sometimes they will bite in very high and very low air pressure systems, but not often, even in the peak of the run they will shut down to a complete hault. See this link for that topic and how to read the weather and why the fish might not be biting. ----> http://texasfishingforum.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/9768923/Re:_Barometric_Air_Pressure:_M
Rain systems: If its raining out there, the sandies don't like it. They will hide under laydowns, under-water shelves, under timber piles, under bridges, etc. The don't want to get wet.
The early morning bite and the late afternoon bite is always the best. These fish have come from their winter homes in 30-50 ft of water and they have not seen the sun in 3-4 months. So now they are in 2-10 foot of water. So when the sun hits the water, they freak and find a deep pocket to ride the afternoon out in, find the deepest pockets possible. And most important fish the shaded pockets first. The fish will follow the shade. Fishing from 10 am till 4 pm is usually the slowest time of day to catch them. There will be a certain time of day you will notice they will slow down. Then you will know when you need to be fishing certain spots. Sometimes for three miles of the creek, nothing is happening. But, lower downstream or up might be kicking. You have to move to be successful, or just know where the hot pockets of fish are. Time on water and exploring in the winter months when the water is clear, is imperative. I will know within 10 minutes if the fish are biting when getting to the waters edge. They are either biting or they are not. But then again, I might not be using what they want. Sometimes free lining a minnow with no weight might be the ticket. You just have to play around with the different baits and lures till you find out what they really want that day. The pattern is usually the same throughout the season, once you find out the lure they want. Try and figure out what they are eating in the creek. Minnows, shad, crawdads. Match the hatch, color, and size and things start to fall into place.
Once you get good at catching them, you will actually get a bored at times. Mix it up a bit and give yourself a handicap.
Fishing Regulations and Size Limits:
White bass: 25 per person/ 10 inches minimum
Yellow Bass: NO LIMIT OR SIZE LIMIT
Hybrid Striper: 5 per person/ 18 inches minimum
Crappie: 25 per person/ 10 inches minimum
Black Bass: 5 per person/ 14 inch minimum
Channel and Blue catfish: 25 per person/ 12 inch minimum
Flathead Catfish: 5 per person/ 18 inch minimum
Game Warden Numbers:
Poison Ivy and Oak
Copper Head Snake's
Thorny Vines that poke holes in your waders
Steep cliffs with slippery clay banks
Gun Range- bullets and bird shot ricochets
Loose boulders and rocks
With all this, if you just don't get it, we are here to help. I have told yall how I do it. You just need to go get them now. If you just cant get it down to a science, I will make your life easy and simple with full stringers everyday you go to the creek. Spend 4 hours with me, and I will have you catching fish within 10 mins of getting there. Make the wife happy with something to show for all the time you were gone. And, take your kids fishing!
Guide Bank and Wade Fishing Trips:
2 People / $200
$75 each additional persons up to 5 people max
-All gear provided except waders and cleats.
If your a single person and need a buddy, please contact me. Texting is fastest.