Fishing in Texas

Everything’s bigger in Texas… and that includes the fish!
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About Texas

The Lone Star State is almost as famous for its great fishing as it is for its warm Southern hospitality. Some 150 public reservoirs scattered across this huge state hold Largemouth Bass of legendary size, drawing professional bass anglers to the state on a regular basis. You can also catch Striped Bass, Smallmouth, White, and Guadalupe Bass, as well as Catfish and Crappies. But there’s a lot more to Texas than freshwater lakes. With 360 miles of coastline, Texas boasts amazing saltwater fishing, including inshore, nearshore, offshore, flats, and reef fishing. Legendary destinations like Galveston Bay, Aransas Pass, and South Padre Island are loaded with Redfish, Snook, and Flounder, while offshore charters can take anglers out into the Gulf of Mexico for Tuna, King Mackerel, and Billfish.

Fishing Types

Any time of year is a good time to fish in Texas, with its wide array of species and mild winters. Certain seasons stand out for certain species: The biggest bass are usually caught in March and April, although bass fishing continues to be good through the summer. In Lake Texoma, one of the few places in the world where Striped Bass spawn in freshwater, late spring and early summer are your best bets to catch a big striper. Along the coast, the famous Redfish run in the fall is something no angler should miss.

Targeted Fish Species

The “big three” freshwater fish in Texas are Largemouth Bass, Catfish, and Crappies. But Texas lakes also hold Smallmouth, White, Spotted, and Guadalupe Bass. Lake Texoma, on the Oklahoma border, is one of the few freshwater lakes in the world with a naturally reproducing population of Striped Bass, and several other lakes also hold stripers as well as hybrid striped bass. For something completely different (and very Texas), try landing a huge Alligator Gar—a prehistoric-looking fish that can weigh well over 100 pounds. Once you hit the Texas coast, you can explore the flats and reefs for Redfish, Spotted Sea Trout, Flounder, Snook, Black Drum, and Speckled Trout. Offshore, anglers can target Red Snapper, Cobia, Tuna, King Mackerel, and several types of Billfish.

Fishing Techniques

A variety of techniques work on Texas’s freshwater lakes, from drift fishing and bottom fishing for stripers and catfish, to spinning, jigging, and trolling for Bass. In the salt, trolling, jigging, and bottom fishing with bait are the most common methods. If fly fishing is your game, head to South Padre Island and the surrounding flats to experience the legendary Snook fishing.