Texas isn’t exactly short on fish. From vast reservoirs to high seas, the Lone Star State is home to dozens of top game fish. It’s especially famous for Bass fishing, but we’re not here to talk about Largemouth. No, the Texas state fish is Guadalupe Bass. You may never have heard of “Guads.” What are they? Where do they live, and what makes them special? Here’s an intro to the state’s signature species.
We’re going to come out and say it: Guadalupe Bass are the runt of the family. The average catch is around 12 inches long and weighs roughly a pound. The state record is larger, weighing 3 pounds, 11 ounces and measuring 17.25 inches long. Even that could be mistaken for an average-size Spotted Bass.
However, what Guads lack in size they more than make up for in spunk. These are hard-fighting little devils that use current and cover to their advantage. Because of this, they’ve developed a loyal following in Texas. They’re particularly popular among fly fishers.
When and Where
Here’s the real reason why Guadalupe Bass is the state fish of Texas: They’re endemic to the Lone Star State. Guads pretty much only live in the Edwards Plateau. They’re found in the San Antonio, Colorado, and Guadalupe Rivers (hence the name). They also occasionally show up in the lower Colorado River, and have recently been introduced in the Nueces River.
As we mentioned above, Guadalupe Bass like to use the current to their advantage. They hang out in deep pools or around rocks near fast-flowing water and even hold near rapids. Their top tactic is to ambush insects and small fish that flow their way. You can catch Guadalupe Bass all year round, although they tend to be more active when the water’s warmer.
Guadalupe Bass: A Pint-Sized Predator
It’s easy to underestimate Guadalupe Bass, especially if you’re used to Texas’s lunker Largemouth. However, the second you hook one, you’ll understand why people love them so much. What’s more, they’re beautiful, with strong dark bands that almost look like tiger stripes. Throw in the fact that you can’t catch them anywhere else, and it’s a no-brainer that they’re the state fish.
Have you ever caught a Guadalupe Bass? Got any tips on great fishing spots or tackle choices? Drop us a line in the comments below – we’d love to hear from you!