As a licensed professional fishing guide, Michael Acosta shows you how to find them. Residing in Granbury for over 35 years, he has spent his entire life hunting and has been a licensed guide since 1998.
Many Texas lakes stock hybrid striped bass because they can grow quite large – and they can and will control shad populations in our Texas waters. In fact, over the years, the hybrid, which is more tolerant of the Texas heat, has replaced the striped bass in many of our tanks. Pound for pound Hybrid bass is one of the toughest freshwater fish to resist and is great table fare.
The hybrid striped bass (technical name “palmito bass”) is produced by artificially spawning a white male bass with a female striped bass, which is what you typically see in Texas. “Sunshine Bass” is made of female white bass and male striped bass. Hybrid striped bass can usually be distinguished from striped bass by its broken sidelines along the lower sides of the body (generally continuous on striped bass) and a shorter, thicker, deeper body shape.
The hybrid striped bass and the striped bass can be distinguished from the white bass by the two tooth spots on the tongue rather than just a single tooth patch on the white bass. As they get older, hybrid bass get thicker and deeper, giving them a short, stocky appearance. In addition, the white dress usually has only one side line that extends to the tail. A striped or striped mixed bass usually has 3 side streaks that run all the way to the tail.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Rules and Regulations Handbook contains diagrams to help you tell the difference between these species. The legal size limit for hybrid or striped bass is 18 inches and allows up to five fish per person per day in most Texas lakes. Lake Texuma has different boundaries. Be sure to consult your annual TPWD for details.
Some of our area lakes with striped hybrid bass include Bridgeport, Proctor, Bainbrook, Louisville, Ray Hubbard, Graham and Pelton. Lake Granbury has some hybrids that may have drifted from Graham Lake through Lake Possum or escaped from a hatchery below Possum. The lakes of the Brazos River, the kingdom of Possum, Granberry and Whitney, are filled with full-blooded striped bass.
In Texas, hybrids typically reach seven to 10 pounds or larger. The current world record is over 27 pounds, caught in Arkansas.
During most of the year, hybrids can be found near the main lake point or near the structure. Live bait (shad or live bream) during most of the year is a good choice. In the winter, soft plastics such as jerk baits and swim lures are very effective.
Late spring or early summer is a great time to look for these fish that push baitfish to the surface. The work can be enormous. As I mentioned earlier, the hybrid pound will outperform the striped bass. A large hybrid will bend the rod in half and cut a line from the reel like any other freshwater fish. This is the main reason why most hunters look for this species.
Lake Granbury water temperatures into the mid-70s and above are rising rapidly with the recent heat wave. White bass fishing has improved on the main lake as the fish return to their positions after spawning. White bass is good on boards caught near humps and flats from The Shores to DeCordova. Striped bass action is slow if catching direct shadows on the lower ends. Blue and yellow catfish still do well in cut shads in many areas of the lake. Crappie is still good to excellent on the small minnows caught under the piers above the deep water. Black bass reports as good as seven pounds in shallow waters early and late on soft plastic and a spinning aftertaste.
Planned bus numbers continue to pick up on Lake Whitney in Chad Hay. Striped bass will likely reach 18lbs down from the middle of the lake to the lower ends.
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