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An integral part of the Texas culture, the state is home to 36 rivers and 6,736 lakes and reservoirs for fishing enthusiasts to explore. With 377 miles of coast along the Gulf of Mexico, there is no shortage of fishing opportunities in the Lone Star State. From crappie to largemouth bass, white bass and catfish, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a curious collector, you’ll find countless places to enjoy a day out on the water. Combining scenic views of lakes, rivers, streams and creeks with outdoor adventures, here are some of the best places to go fishing in Texas.
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A tranquil environment and the only “natural lake” in Texas, Caddo Lake boasts a variety of fish. From largemouth bass to crappie, largemouth and white bass and sunfish, fishing enthusiasts won’t have trouble reeling in their next catch. The lake has a maximum depth of only 20 feet with a 60 percent coverage dominated by aquatic vegetation, whose capacity was increased to 26,800 acres by the construction of a dam on Cypress Creek. Soak in your natural surroundings, as the maze of cypress trees, Spanish moss, and lily pads set the perfect ambiance for a peaceful day of fishing.
Located on the Frio River, Choke Canyon Reservoir is a popular spot for Texans to go fishing and is where various fishing tournaments take place. Just an hour outside of San Antonio, you’ll feel like a world away with the diverse collection of wildlife, including alligators, hogs, and turkeys. With lush vegetation of water star grass and American pondweed, largemouth bass anglers find the most success here during the spring, fall and winter months. While the summer heat can make it more challenging, it is often a great place to come throughout the year with plenty of catfish, including blue channel catfish and flathead catfish as well as crappies.
Sitting on a massive 89,000-acre reservoir, Lake Texoma is one of the four great border reservoirs and is known for its abundance of bass fishing. You’ll also find great smallmouth bass action, found primarily around the bluffs at Eisenhower State Park, along the Denison Dam, and near the Washita River arm. The lake here doesn’t have the big hydrilla flats, flooded timber, moss-lined shorelines or other familiar covers that other lakes have, so your best bet is to head to the rocky banks to find some great bass action. Small crank baits, curly tail grubs and finesse worms are recommended as bait when fishing here.
Home to a 64,900-surface-acre reservoir fed by the Rio Grand River, Lake Amistad is located around 12 miles northwest of Del Rio on the northwestern tip of the South Texas Plains. Considered an excellent topwater lake in the spring and fall, other times of year make it more challenging due to the high winds. A multi-tiered bass fishery that has seen some of the most impressive weigh-in totals in Bassmaster competitions, even when you factor in the rugged structure of rock ledges and shoreline, it’s still a top bass fishing lake and a great place to try out all types of fishing.
Known by many as the best lake in Texas for big bass, Lake Fork is a 27,690-acre reservoir located 65 miles east of Dallas. Originally designed as a premier bass fishing lake, holding some of the most impressive records for largemouth bass caught in Texas, you’ll find plenty of fishing enthusiasts here trying to catch a record-breaking catch. Big Florida brood bass were placed in small lakes and ponds before the dam was closed, creating one of the best places to catch bass in Texas. Only a couple hours’ drive east of big-city attractions in Dallas, it draws anglers from throughout the nation.
Boasting a diverse fish community with a variety of angling opportunities, Lake O’ The Pines has some great bass fishing not only for largemouth bass but also smallmouth bass. Located in northeast Texas, here you’ll find ample vegetation and a good chance to catch quality fish, especially in the spring and fall, as the combination of shallow water and its various covered areas set the grounds for bass and baitfish. Shallow-water spring and summer anglers will find this area ideal for reeling in their catch. Crappie and sunfish are quite abundant, while channel, blue and flathead catfish are also present.
A summertime favorite, Cedar Creek Lake offers a great place to go fishing for bass. Not far from the Fort Worth-Dallas Metroplex, this bass fishery is ideal for those who want to stay nearby and not travel too far distances to reach great bass fishing. It’s here that anglers have found some of the best spots are found near its waterfront properties. The largemouth bass fishing is typically better at the lower end of the lake where the water is clear, while you can navigate the narrow channels to find shallow-water bass action. If you’d rather stay near the groups of people, it is recommended to stay near the Clear, Caney and Twin Creeks further down the lake, where schools of white bass and hybrids are found.
Having long been regarded as one of the best largemouth bass lakes in Texas, Falcon Lake is also home to channel and flathead catfish. This area is so impressive that to win a bass tournament here, you’d have to pull in at least a 5-6 pound average fish for your stringer. With its 78,300-surface-acre space, this area tends to be more reserved due to its secluded location. While water fluctuation and wind can make a trip here more challenging at times, the journey here is often worth it, as its a great spot for quality 2-3 pound fish.
Stocked with freshwater trout year-round by Texas Parks and Wildlife, Guadalupe River is just a short drive from Austin. Also seeing rainbow and brown trout every fall and winter, these fish are found just below the Canyon Lake Dam. Home to native Rio Grande perch and Guadalupe bass, the river bottom here is a combination of limestone and cobble, suitable for wading. Rainbow trout is the real highlight here, and the best place on the river to go trout fishing is on the Canyon Tailrace just a few miles below Canyon Lake. Fishing enthusiasts can easily spend a day exploring the area, as the forested hills and valleys of this Texas Hill Country area is a beautiful destination in itself.
One of the most popular attractions in the area, Colorado Bend State Park provides ample opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. From camping to hiking, biking, caving, and swimming, you’d be hard-pressed to be bored here. This area of the river is slow-moving, where beautiful canyonlands highlight the Colorado River. Boasting six miles of river space, here anglers can cast a line for a day of peaceful nature. With some of the best bass fishing in Central Texas, you can sit back and relax and simply enjoy your surroundings. When the weather heats up, you can take a dip, go on a leisurely kayak trip, and hike to Spicewood Springs or the picturesque Gorman Falls.
Fed by numerous clear springs, Devils River is an amazing turquoise blue. While the area can be challenging to navigate, it is an ideal place to go kayak fishing, as this wild river snakes its way through the area. Anglers will be delighted to find a healthy amount of largemouth and smallmouth bass, in addition to catfish. One of the most ecologically intact rivers in Texas, the sight and sound of the tumbling waters and scenic viewpoints make this location appealing. With grassy banks, rugged ridges, and canyons, this 37,000-acre state natural area is also perfect for a day of hiking, camping and nature viewing.
The perfect destination for an outdoor adventure, Blanco State Park is where families go to have a picnic, go for an afternoon swim, and prepare for a weekend of fishing. Just an hour outside of Austin and San Antonio, anglers come here for largemouth and Guadalupe bass, channel catfish, sunfish and rainbow trout. A small park that is nestled on a one-mile stretch of the Blanco River, camp out on the banks of this spring-fed gem and spend the day in nature and solitude. After you’ve caught your treasures for the day, the park offers opportunities to hike, kayak, spot wildlife and go boating with the family.