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Max Online: 36273 @ 01/23/13 02:34 PM
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#12633242 - 02/17/18 04:42 PM Wow! White Bass; Thanks Dennis Christian!
Brad R Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/09/15
Posts: 1937
Loc: Texas
I had one of those days; it may continue as I might go back down a third time late this afternoon.

Today around lunchtime, it began to just slightly rain out here on Lake Athens, told Louise I wanted to make a few casts. Cabin fever. I had my 5'6" St. Croix, MF, Stradic Ci4+, 10 lbs. Sufix 832, to an a 8lbs. Invizx leader. I had used it yesterday over on the Neches River.

And, I had a #2 Mepps Plain Aglia tied on, one of the sizes Dennis Christian recommends at times for certain circumstances.

First cast from my boat house, 60 or so feet out, 4.5 to 5 ft. of water . . . BOOM! Something big took off and I thought, heck, a large catfish has me as this has happened to me before. The fish plays out a bit, I bring her in, see as it approaches the dock that it is a very large white bass. I am by myself, no camera. It looked close to 20" long, chock full of eggs, just a giant. It had to weigh a solid 3 lbs. but I don't know much gauging white bass. But, it was a giant! It'd be the longest and heaviest I'd catch (so far) over what would be two 30 minute fishing sessions.

Another cast, another white bass. I ended up catching one on about every other cast. They all looked like twins, all appeared to be in the 2 to 2.5 pound range. My boot is 13" and these whites were all about 4 or 5" longer. The first one was several inches longer with a bigger girth. Again, wow!

I should add that I also caught a solid 4 to 4.5 Lbs. LMB that I guess followed these whites back into our cove. A few days ago, it was almost sterile back here, not a fish in sight, no bait fish. What a difference a few days make. And, I snagged and lost a second LMB but it jumped and flung off the tiny Mepps. It looked larger than the one I landed. Wow! LMBs are moving up to spawn it appears.

I ended up with 6 white bass before we had to leave and head to a late lunch.

So, after we got back, I took Louise down with me with her phone camera, made a cast, BOOM! A big white, then another, then another, no LMBs in this second session, but one really healthy nice sized crappie. The photo doesn't do it justice. It likely was in the 1.75 lbs. range. The photo shows it but it curled up as we took the shot of it.

Anyway, I thank Dennis for putting me on to the Mepps. Now, when I read his work, I know he fishes white bass a lot out in deeper water. These I was catching are coming up to spawn. So, since I was in shallow water, I modified the Christian approach as follows: I made nice easy casts, 50 to 60 feet out, let the Mepps drop to the bottom, then lifted and reeled slowly, stopped, let it drop, and lifted and reeled again. They seemed to be hitting it either on the pull up or at the apex of the pull or slightly as it headed back down. I don't recall any biting on the initial drop or picking it up off the bottom.

In my afternoon "session," I fished for about 30 minutes and caught 7 more . . . everyone was in that 16" to 18" class give or take a few inches. They looked like identical twins. I never caught a single small white bass.

They are very strong fighters, bent my medium weight rod like a pretzel. They don't jump, or at least not a one did for me. LMBs? They are more acrobatic, for sure, but pound-for-pound, I think the whites are stronger. They have those giant tails that really create some horsepower!

All in all, about 12 or 13 white bass, one big LMB, one big crappie, one missed really big LMB. Total fishing time? About one hour. Oh, for the occasional day like today!

I hate treble hooks and am always nervous about leaning down and grabbing a bass, especially one with a relatively small mouth and lipping it, so I used my fish grips to pull them out of the water, pliers to dislodge the treble, took time to take photos. This all takes a bit of time, else, I suppose I likely would have made many more casts and caught a fish about every second or third cast. I could have caught 30 big whites if I stayed at it longer.

I'm stocking up on more Mepps Plain Aglia lures, that is for sure!

Again, thanks, Dennis!

Brad (Lake Athens)

Crappie


White Bass


A big one!



13" boot





Edited by Brad R (02/17/18 04:46 PM)

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#12633297 - 02/17/18 05:37 PM Re: Wow! White Bass; Thanks Dennis Christian! [Re: Brad R]
Harleyrockstar Offline
Angler

Registered: 01/30/15
Posts: 313
Loc: Leander
Those magnum white bass are fun! Great report.

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#12633300 - 02/17/18 05:39 PM Re: Wow! White Bass; Thanks Dennis Christian! [Re: Brad R]
redace1 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/01/11
Posts: 28
Loc: Hood County, TX
What a great way to spend some time!

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#12633305 - 02/17/18 05:42 PM Re: Wow! White Bass; Thanks Dennis Christian! [Re: Brad R]
Ledeez Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/01/15
Posts: 1278
Loc: Lake lavon
Nice! thumb
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#12633313 - 02/17/18 05:50 PM Re: Wow! White Bass; Thanks Dennis Christian! [Re: Brad R]
northdallasfisherman Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 1341
Loc: north texas
do athens fish have teeth...lol
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LAKE FORK 11.57lbs 6/21/2013

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#12633321 - 02/17/18 05:57 PM Re: Wow! White Bass; Thanks Dennis Christian! [Re: Brad R]
CHAMPION FISH Online   happy
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 09/14/04
Posts: 7508
Loc: SACHSE, TEXAS
Nice looking fish. That second picture looks like a Hybrid but still a nice fish. Congratulations and I am surprised they were that shallow. Do you know what the water temp is?
_________________________

" Success is a ladder you can not climb with your hands in your pockets."

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#12633337 - 02/17/18 06:12 PM Re: Wow! White Bass; Thanks Dennis Christian! [Re: CHAMPION FISH]
Brad R Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/09/15
Posts: 1937
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: CHAMPION FISH
Nice looking fish. That second picture looks like a Hybrid but still a nice fish. Congratulations and I am surprised they were that shallow. Do you know what the water temp is?


I thought the same thing regarding the appearance, but Lake Athens has no history of hybrids, no records, no stockings. However, I hold to the "Jurassic Park" theory of "if there's a way, nature will figure it out." That sort of logic. Too, for all I know, Athens Fish & Game, when its dam broke in 2015, it might have them.

Whatever that one is, they were all the same, almost identical twins.

Not certain what the temps are now. I'll ask my neighbor if he knows.

In addition to the normal signs of LMBs migrating up to spawn, white bass, too, I made a mental note that be on the look out for henbit in yards beginning to bloom. It is the little sort of clover-like low growing weed that has the bluish/purple bloom and blankets yards before grass greens up. I noticed it for the first time a day or so ago.

What a day!

Brad

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#12633347 - 02/17/18 06:25 PM Re: Wow! White Bass; Thanks Dennis Christian! [Re: Brad R]
Smurfs Online   content
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 01/31/14
Posts: 3728
Loc: Fort Worth
Great Catch! I like boat houses. banana
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"Goats are for Muslim barbeque.
Is there some ethnic or religious that eats Llama?"

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#12633415 - 02/17/18 07:27 PM Re: Wow! White Bass; Thanks Dennis Christian! [Re: Brad R]
Brad R Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/09/15
Posts: 1937
Loc: Texas
An observation or two (or more) about Lake Athens.

It is largely spring fed, not a particularly large watershed, good annual rains compared to D/FW, about 10" more per year. Even with a light drought, it was 6" high just the other day. But, it isn't fed from a large river system, just a couple of creeks, if that. My cove is below Athens Fish & Game Lake, but no water ever seems to be released from AF&G, no current. Well, except when its dam broke in 2015.

So, the white bass don't have any rivers/creeks/tributaries to run up into to spawn. In contrast, they can run for miles and miles up the Sabine River from Toledo Bend, miles and miles up the Neches from Lake Palestine and the same on many other lakes. So, when there aren't these sorts of opportunities, white bass will try to find shallower water with at least some wind-blown water, some of the sorts of bottoms they prefer. My cove seems to meet the requirements this year. My neighbors told me they used to run up here so hard you could actually see them, that they looked almost like salmon running up river.

*** Last year, a nice guy floated by in a bass boat, we exchanged hellos and info. I told him what I had caught, mentioned that I had caught a nice white bass on the ultralight tackle I had in my hand. He said, "Hmm! I have been fishing Lake Athens for well over 30 years and I have never heard of anyone catching one, didn't know they existed. In essence, he must have thought I misidentified it. No arguments, of course, and he floated down to the very next boathouse, pulled in a fish. He held it up so I could see it: a white bass.

You live and you learn.

Two old dudes at their boat in the parking lot after fishing, another day, and I asked them as I walked by how they did. Just fine, they said. Bass? No, they said, white bass and some crappie. I told them the story about the guy claiming they weren't in this lake, then catching one minutes later. They laughed and told me it was one of the best kept secrets on the lake.

Anyway, Athens is a super clean and healthy lake system. Tons of the things all fish seem to like: structure and cover and lots of bait fish to feed on. And, Texas Freshwater Fisheries dumps lots of fish in Athens, too.

If I could change one thing this year, it'd be to dial down my LMB fishing to something more like:

50% whites and crappie, 25% other panfish, and only targeting LMBs about 25% of the time.

LMBs seem almost boring compared to targeting and catching the others. They have their seasons, too, for sure.

*** Just placed an order for 5 #2s, 5 #3s, 5 #4s of the Plain Aglia, silver blades. I need to review Dennis Christian's primer on white bass fishing. He recommends #2s at some times, #4s as I recall at others. I can't recall the logic behind it but I think he uses #2s when fishing is slow. They'll bite a #2 and pass most of the time on #4s. Something like that.

Brad

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#12633417 - 02/17/18 07:28 PM Re: Wow! White Bass; Thanks Dennis Christian! [Re: Smurfs]
basscaster46 Online   content
Pro Angler

Registered: 03/03/06
Posts: 963
Loc: Red Oak, TX
Those are hybrids

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#12633581 - 02/17/18 09:48 PM Re: Wow! White Bass; Thanks Dennis Christian! [Re: Brad R]
Finaddict Offline
Angler

Registered: 10/02/16
Posts: 330
Loc: Cedar Creek lake, Tx
#2 when shad are spawning and LOTS of new small shad to feed on. Split shot 18 inches above lure to help get it down.
_________________________
You know you are a fishaholic if you have more rods than your wife has shoes!

www.g-rods.com/collections/crappie-spinning
www.sscrapiejigs.com
www.constantpursuitoutfitters.com
www.chriswebbsfishing.com
www.fishingftworth.com

Survived Vietnam TET offensive 1968, 100% disabled compliments of Agent Orange.
NO regrets.....

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#12633661 - 02/18/18 04:45 AM Re: Wow! White Bass; Thanks Dennis Christian! [Re: Finaddict]
Brad R Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/09/15
Posts: 1937
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: Finaddict
#2 when shad are spawning and LOTS of new small shad to feed on. Split shot 18 inches above lure to help get it down.


Yes! Thanks! I believe that was the "logic" behind when they want a smaller Mepps, a #2, that you use them when they are focused in on the smaller shad at times, not the larger ones.

Sort of odd . . . most of us focus on whatever is new and hot in terms of lures, then we tie on something as old and plain looking as can be like an in-line spinner, and boom. Any season, anywhere I have tossed these things over this past year, I have had something biting on them.

Brad

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#12633745 - 02/18/18 07:53 AM Re: Wow! White Bass; Thanks Dennis Christian! [Re: Brad R]
Jimbo Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 01/18/03
Posts: 16120
Loc: South Texas
Go down and buy a few single hook curly tailed Roadrunners, any color as long as it's white.....They will catch anything that swims, and no treble hooks to have to deal with.
_________________________
Just one more cast!


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#12633796 - 02/18/18 08:34 AM Re: Wow! White Bass; Thanks Dennis Christian! [Re: Brad R]
gdr_11 Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 04/19/17
Posts: 7
If I was dropped off in any wilderness and had only one lure to survive on it would be a #2 mepps in either gold or silver. I have caught at least a dozen species on them


Edited by gdr_11 (02/18/18 08:34 AM)

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#12633806 - 02/18/18 08:42 AM Re: Wow! White Bass; Thanks Dennis Christian! [Re: Brad R]
Finaddict Offline
Angler

Registered: 10/02/16
Posts: 330
Loc: Cedar Creek lake, Tx
Get single hook mepps on thier web site. Silver and white blades.
_________________________
You know you are a fishaholic if you have more rods than your wife has shoes!

www.g-rods.com/collections/crappie-spinning
www.sscrapiejigs.com
www.constantpursuitoutfitters.com
www.chriswebbsfishing.com
www.fishingftworth.com

Survived Vietnam TET offensive 1968, 100% disabled compliments of Agent Orange.
NO regrets.....

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