White bass are one of Texas’ most sought after game fish, especially when they make their annual spring spawning migration into rivers above reservoirs. Now that those fish are on the move, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) River Access and Conservation Area program has opened free public access sites for anglers at three of the best white bass runs in the state.
The leased access sites are now open at the Chandler River Park on the Neches River above Lake Palestine, the Grand Bluff Boat Ramp on the Sabine River downstream from Black Shoals, and the Kingsland Slab RV Camp on the Llano River above Lake LBJ.
“All three rivers are known for their excellent white bass runs,” said Stephan Magnelia, TPWD River Studies Program Director. “And March through early May is the prime time to target this species.”
The Neches River access site at Chandler River Park is located 20 minutes outside Tyler in East Texas, and features a boat ramp, kayak launch and a half-mile of river bank for anglers looking to target white bass from the shore.
“It’s the unique combination of access and biology that makes these locations really stand out,” said Richard Ott, a TPWD Inland Fisheries biologist in Tyler. “The Neches is the main river that runs into Lake Palestine, and in spring when we have the right water conditions it attracts the white bass and concentrates fish to anglers near this site. We have had some substantial rain falls recently, and that flow is the final trigger to get those bass to run.”
The Sabine River access site just outside Carthage is a day trip for many Texans at just over 2.5 hours from Dallas-Fort Worth and three hours from Houston. The site offers 275 feet of river frontage for shoreline anglers and a single trailer boat ramp for those looking to get on the water.
“The Sabine River is up after all the rain we have had recently, and the white bass are running upstream from Black Shoals right now,” said Jacob Green, a TPWD Inland Fisheries technician in Marshall. “Anglers have been catching a lot of small males for the last few weeks, but we are starting to see more of the big females running out there right now.”
For Central Texas white bass anglers, the Llano River access site is just over an hour from Austin and under two hours from San Antonio. The site offers substantial shoreline and bank access, and shallow areas for anglers looking to wade in the water. A local park also offers a spot for kayak launching and take out.
The leases were made possible with funding provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation. The Chandler River Park was also made possible by the East Texas Woods and Waters Foundation.
For additional information and directions to these leased fishing access areas and others throughout the state, including site specific hours and restrictions, visit us online.Fishing tips and tactics for targeting white bass during the spring spawning run, as well as information on other popular white bass fishing locations in Central Texas can also be found online.