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BRIAN JOHNSON ON OUTDOORS — Texas bass fishing is on fire, check out the best spots

The recent freezing weather across the Lone Star State decimated some of our coastal fisheries.

Some areas are seeing record fish kills and other areas seem to be less affected, but no one seemed to get off without some loss.

With proper management and time, these areas will bounce back and the fish count will eventually be back to normal. It will, however, take time and diligence.

While salt water has taken a hit, our state’s freshwater bass fisheries are absolutely on fire! I cannot remember ever hearing about so many giant bass being caught in such a short period of time.

Big Sam Rayburn is kicking out stringers of bass averaging over 7 lbs each on a regular basis, with two over 13 lbs already this year.

O.H. Ivie Lake in the dead center of the state has produced 5 bass over 13 lbs and 3 giant small mouth in the last few weeks alone.

This doesn’t even count the dozens over 12 lbs that have been caught at that lake. The once vacant boat ramp parking lots are now overflowing, and you better get there early if you want a spot.

Here is a breakdown of the recent catches at Ivie:

Feb. 19, largemouth – 16.4 lbs;

Feb. 20, smallmouth – 6.25 lbs;

Feb. 21, largemouth – 13.2 lbs;

Feb. 22, smallmouth 6.6 lbs;

Feb. 23, largemouth 14.4 lbs;

Feb. 24, smallmouth 6.8 lbs;

Feb. 25, largemouth – 14.4 lbs and largemouth 14.2 lbs.

On Feb. 27, Texas high school angler Pake South from Harmony High School set the THSBA Big bass record by catching a 12.8 lb largemouth at lake Bob Sandlin

I have recent reports of a 14.25 toad coming from Lake Conroe during the Big Bass Tour this past weekend as well.

As I said, Texas is on fire and giant bass seem to be on the prowl and hungrier than ever!

With all of this in mind, now is a great time to give the redfish and specs a break and head out to some of our freshwater lakes to catch a monster bass of your own.

If you have any fishing, hunting or outdoor stories of your own that you want to share with others, please feel free to send them along with supporting photos to and I’ll see if we can get them in print.

God bless you my friends and thanks for reading.

Brian Johnson, originally of Port Neches, is pastor of First Baptist Church of Winnie, owner of and an outdoors writer for Port Arthur Newsmedia.


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