Texas Parks & Wildlife stocking programs have kept the population of hybrid bass growing each year, stocking 132,429 fingerling in 2006 and 201,367 fingerling in 2005. This ongoing stocking has made it possible for anglers to enjoy the sport of catching big fish.
Methods For Catching Hybrid Bass
Methods for catching the fish vary greatly among fishermen. Some prefer to troll a pet-spoon or Johnson spoon 25 to 30 inches behind a deep diving crankbait, a modified Hellbender or some sort of JetDiver. This method has proven to be successful for many fishermen.
Many fishermen will cruise the Lake looking for feeding seagulls. These birds can be observed feeding on the surface in large numbers and this usually means they are picking up the scraps that the schooling hybrids are leaving. When the fish are feeding on top-water shad, many will catch their fish by using a rattletrap or other shad colored crankbait that they can retrieve fast and recast into the schooling fish.
Trolling With Leadcore Line
Frank Lorch, a native of New York, that moved to Texas a few years ago introduced a method of catching hybrid/striped bass on Lake Conroe that has proven to be a very productive way to troll for the larger fish. He used this method fishing in the deep lakes in New York.
He uses an 18 lb lead-core line with a 30 to 40 inch 10 to 12 lb leader trolling a Rapala Countdown in blue or black. The lead core-line along with the Rapala Countdown allows the bait to be let down to the depth that the fish are being marked on your electronics and at the same time be able to troll slow enough that the fish can easily see the bait and strike. Using a deep-diviing crankbait requires a much faster trolling speed when the fish are deep.
Another big advantage of the method is that you do not have the deep diving crankbait or JetDiver interfering with your fight with your fish after you get hooked up with a nice big one. It allows the fish to give you a much bigger fight that will also last longer before tiring the fish.
This method seems to consistantly catch bigger fish. The lead-core line is a little more difficult to deal with than standard line; but, it is well worth the effort.