Monday, September 5, 2016

Stream Fishing In Texas - Using Crayfish As Bait For Hybrid Bass and Channel Catfish, and The Importance Of Having A Net

Live Bait - Crayfish

Late Winter and Early Spring Stream Fishing In Texas

It's that time of the year again when stream fishing in Texas is just the thing to do for sportsmen and folks that are otherwise just interested in getting out of corporate America, their homes, or whatever they're wanting a break from, and bonding instead with mother nature.
For the record, today is February the twenty fifth. Fish don't care about dates though, and of this you can be certain. Fish are into water temperature, and that you can believe with absolute certainty too. As a rule of thumb though, late February to early March is the kickoff of stream fishing time in Texas. Of course a freeze could happen here at any time, and is even likely. That will, in fact, prolong the fun for us should it happen, as I saw today there are already a multitude of sport fish in the water.
The stream fishing season in Texas is mostly associated with sand bass and hybrid bass as those are the two major sport fish that anglers love to catch. The reason for this is simple: Fisherman love to catch bass because bass put up a serious fight before you can get them out of the water. Most especially the hybrid bass, which tend to be much larger than the sand bass, - those hybrids put up one hell of a fight, and it's one heck of an adrenaline rush to fight one for a few minutes and get that monster out of the water.
What I'm going to do here is provide a little bit in the way of tips concerning some techniques and equipment that I've personally used with great success for catching sand bass and hybrid bass. These techniques, however, will also catch you other kinds of fish that you may or may not want to keep, but will surely enjoy the time honoured tradition and thrill that we fisherman go fishing for in the first place - the adrenaline rush of catching a big fish.

That Would Be ME With a Hybrid Bass Caught As Described.

Texas Sand Bass - good eatin'!
Texas Sand Bass - good eatin'!

Using Crayfish For Stream Fishing.

What works really well for persons going for the biggest of the hybrid bass is quite possibly the use of common crayfish. Please be advised, however, that especially with the use of crayfish as a live bait - that many other fish are also attracted to this bait.
Today I caught channel catfish using my crayfish method, and my fishing partner also caught some channel catfish and one large drum. The catfish and the drum, of course, are both edible fish, but so far as the drum is concerned - that fish is probably a bit too much trouble to clean for anyone to want to keep. The one my partner caught today was probably about five pounds, but drum do grow much larger than that, and will be present in streams in Texas this time of the year. The drum in question here was thrown back.
I did see a very large hybrid bass today, but it was another fisherman's catch, and do you know what happened? It got away. The huge and powerful hybrid bass in Texas are often too large and too feisty to bring in out of the water without a fishing net, and had this fisherman that I saw today losing a hybrid bass had a fishing net, then he'd have had that fish to photograph, stuff, eat, or whatever.
Truly, the shorter handle nets aren't half so effective here in my area of North East Texas as are longer handle nets. You want a net with a couple feet of handle as often the water line is directly down from the closest area in which you can stand. You don't want to fall into the creek, and in late stream fishing season there will certainly be water moccasins about, and they can bite you in the water as easily as out of the water. Take care, and bring a net!!
I can't stress this enough, really, last year during this season me and my fishing buds lost more hybrid bass than we did bring in for want of a net. Oh we reeled them to shore and inevitably someone tried to grab the monster hybrid bass by the mouth and bring it out of the water, and inevitably, the strong and large fish would give a mighty freedom bringing flop that few would be able to maintain their grip on the fish for. Fishing nets are an absolute must for hybrid bass fishing during stream fishing excursions here in Texas, and certainly the same thing is true everywhere.
...back to the crayfish...
After purchasing some live crawdads and getting to your creek of choice, you want to use a simple bass fishing hook and weight, insert the hook through the soft underside of the crayfish's tail until it protrudes slightly off the top, and then peel off a section of the "armour" from the crawdad's tail so that the thing smells nice and scrumptious to the fish, throw it in the water and wait. You know what to do! It's not important if you use a bobber or not, that's up to you. Just watch the line and wait. You'll always know when you have a hybrid bass on the line because it will just hit the thing and take off in a dead swim causing the tip of your fishing poll to tip over nicely. Catfish don't do that, they tend to nibble and flirt for a bit before making it obvious that they've got your crayfish bait in their mouths and intend to eat it.
I do not have to hope that this tip will work for you - I literally know that it will. The only consideration here is that fish are smarter than you think that they are, and after a few have been caught in a spot, the spot will dry up, and the fisherman only needs then to move on down to the next good looking fishing hole, and repeat the program with the crayfish as described above. Also, one needs take care to not make too much noise, it's perfectly fine to talk at lowered tones, but speaking loudly or shouting are definitely not advisable manners of communication for a hungry person or a fisherman seeking to catch fish.


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