East Texas white bass run sputtering to life on Sabine, Angelina rivers

Give it another couple of weeks, and the famous white bass run on the Sabine and

I’ve been getting quite a few calls lately regarding the white bass run on the Sabine and Angelina rivers. Here’s the bottom line: It’s sputtering to life, and within a couple more weeks it should be prime-time fishing, providing the rivers don’t rise to flood stage.

Guide Bill Fondren says he made a run up the Angelina River a few days ago and caught about 15 white bass in three hours.

“They are just starting to move up the river,” says Fondren. “The other day we caught them on jigs and Road Runners. It’s definitely not a fast bite, but it’s starting to perk up each day.”

Guides on the Sabine River report that they are catching 15 to 20 whites per trip. That’s a good start but not anything like what we will see in a couple of weeks. When it all comes together, I’ll have a complete report on where to go and how to catch them.

The crappie bite that’s been going pretty good for the past week or so has slowed quite a bit for fishermen working the Angelina River on the upper end of Sam Rayburn. Fondren says they are way on up the river and tough to pin down. However, he reports that the Chicken Coop area on Toledo Bend is pumping out some pretty good numbers of crappie. The best pattern is to fish live minnows anywhere from 15 to 25 feet deep. Fondren says the best place to put in is at Hollywood Park.

Big speckled trout, fish in the 8 to 10 pound class, are being caught in Baffin Bay by fishermen willing to grind it out. Guide Dwayne Lowrey caught them up to 10-pounds-plus last week. He’s using Super Spooks and slow fished mullet imitation plugs in 3 to 4 feet of water. He reports that it’s some of the best trophy trout fishing he’s seen in a while. For details on booking a trip, call at (713) 410-1338.

Sabine Lake crab trap cleanup

The Coastal Conservation Association is inviting everyone out for the 2015 CCA Texas and CCA Louisiana joint Sabine Lake Crab Trap Cleanup on Saturday, Feb. 21. Meet at the Walter Umphrey State Park at 8 a.m. with your boat and friends. That’s where tarps and gloves will be given to all the participants. There will be dumpsters at the park and Pleasure Island Marina boat ramp for you to dispose of your collected traps.

Local CCA chapters will also be providing complimentary food and beverages for all the participating volunteers at the state park from noon till 2 p.m. Plan now to help clean the Texas and Louisiana side of Sabine Lake of derelict crab traps. If you have any questions regarding the event, contact Jerry Mambretti with TPWD at (409) 983-1104 (ex. 222) or Jerry [dot] Mambretti [at] tpwd [dot] state [dot] tx [dot] us.

Senate upholds protections for America’s backcountry lands

The U.S. Senate has voted to reject an amendment to the Keystone XL pipeline bill that would have removed protections from 15 million acres of backcountry lands in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refuges and Bureau of Land Management wilderness study areas. The Senate’s rejection of the amendment affirms the value that Americans — especially hunters and anglers — place on wild, backcountry lands.

“America’s wild, unroaded backcountry is perhaps our greatest natural asset,” said Steve Kandell, director of Trout Unlimited’s Sportsmen’s Conservation Project. “These lands have been valued by sportsmen and women for generations as a lasting American frontier where fish and wildlife can thrive, and hunters, anglers and other adventurous souls can experience the outdoors in a wild, natural state.”

Kandell also noted that public lands serve as the foundation for a burgeoning outdoor recreation economy, which is valued at $646 billion in annual economic activity and supports 6.1 million jobs.

“The amendment would have given Congress one year to provide protections for 12.76 million acres of wilderness study areas managed by the BLM and 2.36 million acres of wilderness study areas managed by the USFWS in wildlife refuges, after which the existing protections would be removed,” says Keith Curley with Trout Unlimited.

“When people get together and discuss the future of wild backcountry lands, they tend to agree that they should stay the way they are: natural, scenic and great places to fish and hunt,” says Kandell.


Robert Sloan can be reached by e-mail at sloan288 [at] aol [dot] com.