Complete Trip Guide to Bass and Trout Fishing in Texas

Fishing is one of many hobbies that is easily overlooked by new hobby seekers, or young ones that has no clue what to do in their spare time, once they go out fishing for the first time, it might seem boring at first, but once they have a bite and they manage their first catch, thats where everything will change for them, they will be hooked and they will return to try and match or beat their own records, whether its on competitors field or simply as a hobby, there is no better way to spend time then next to the waters catching fish.

Texas, if you haven’t been fishing here, then I am afraid you haven’t been living, fishing in Texas is extremely fun and not only that there are plenty of fish to catch in these waters, not only that but there are also plenty of wildlife to see.

In this guide to Bass and Trout fishing in Texas, we will be focusing on the best fishing locations, lakes and rivers including all the activities you can do, if they are worth it, it will be here.

Besides from Bass and Trout fishing in Texas, there are plenty of other species at these fishing spots, so make sure you try and explore all your options here, doing so and we guarantee a few catches, we will be talking a little about them as well, this way you can prepare beforehand, besides if you like catching all types of fish then this is perfect, start packing for all of them.

The Best Spots For Activities and All Your Fishing Demands.

Caddo Lake

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This one is a beauty and its truly worth the trip, fishing here for the weekend or simply the evening will be an adventure worth telling, better bring the family, there are a ton of fun things to do here besides from catching the big one, or Bigfoot? Nah just kidding, I don’t believe in this tale, but you can feel free to go see what the eye can see, there has been plenty of alleged Bigfoot sightings here.

There are plenty of fish to catch like Smallmouth bass including Largemouth bass, wait,  that’s not all, there are plenty of Crappie and Sunfish here.

Also present is Flathead, Channel, and Blue catfish, the catfish is present and you might land one if you are fishing for these, however, the most common you will catch is Largemouth bass, Crappie, Sunfish and Smallmouth bass pretty much in that order, all this will depend on how you fish and where you fish there are plenty of spots to pick and choose from.

When you are done fishing there are also plenty of tours you can take, especially if you are new to the area, it is touring worth taking, Caddo Lake is a very mysterious place, a very beautiful place to experience the wildlife Caddo Lake has to offer.

Caddo Lake State Park Activities besides from fishing.

  • Hiking, biking, and horseback riding on roads and trails
  • Boating
  • Primitive overnight camping
  • Wildlife viewing and photography
  • Birdwatching
  • Huntingpicnicking
  • Canoe and Jon boat rentals are available

Wildlife includes Alligators, Turtles, Raccoons, Frogs, Minks, Beavers, Snakes, Nutria, Squirrels, White-tailed deer, and Armadillos. Don’t worry about the Gators, if you stay clear of them they won’t bother you, (absolutely no feeding them) rather be cautious to where you walk for snakes, it’s not a problem but you can stumble upon a few dangerous species. Again, fishing at known fishing spots and you won’t have a problem, there are plenty of guides out there worth picking up.

The Best Tours on Offer When Visiting Caddo Lake.

  • Captain Ron’s Swamp Tours
  • Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge
  • Johnson’s Ranch Marina

These were the tours we enjoyed, even though there are plenty more to go on, most of the tours here will take you through the river, no matter which ones you pick we are sure you will be amazed and have a ton of fun.

Choke Canyon Reservoir

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If you are looking for a peaceful fishing trip then this is where you should go, its a quiet and a relaxing place to fish, sure every now and then there will be other fishermen in the are or a few hiking past you but that’s pretty much it, even if there are a few activities to do around Choke Canyon Reservoir, the best fun to have here is to fish and not so much anything else.

Choke Canyon has a wide range of fish to catch like Largemouth bass, White bass, bluegill, Smallmouth Buffalo, Common Carp, Blue Catfish, Channel Catfish, Flathead Catfish, Black Crappie, White Crappie, Freshwater Drum, Alligator Gar, Longnose Gar and Blue Tilapia.

Though this article isn’t really about that and we will focus more on the Largemouth Bass, besides that’s why few come here, Choke Canyon isn’t known for fishing, simply because no one is really talking about it, don’t let this fool you, there are plenty of Largemouth Bass to catch here anywhere between small and 10 pounds.

In mild weather conditions fish will hit the surface plugs more often, use frogs, buzz baits, and poppers, in extreme weather conditions the fish will move deeper and if this is the case use punch jigs, Rigged Lizards, and deep diving Crankbaits. In other words, if its summer, fish around the edges of grass beds and in winter, closer to standing timber or old tank dams.

Make note the Choke Canyon as a whole is treated as two separate units, the Calliham Unit lies in McMullen County, while the South Shore Unit is in Live Oak County.

The Calliham Unit is fitted with campsites and screened shelters for those that wish to stay on the lake itself, while Live Oak County or the south shore is one day use only, meaning you cant stay on this side or camp here overnight, both of them are excelent for a few activities, yes we did say this is pretty much just a fishing destination, and its true, simply because the activities here (besides from bird watching trails and the wildlife education centre) anything else here you can pretty much do anywhere else, these activities was simply just not worth the walk, the same goes for bird sight seeing it will only be worth it, if you are interested in bird seeing.

Other then that, we highly recommend you stick with the Calliham unit, its a ton of fun just to relax and to camp a few nights and if you like to boat fish then it is perfect, there are 4 boat ramps to use, we would actually recommend boat fishing, to us it was way more fun.

Lake Texoma

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If you are looking for Striped bass then come here as this is one of the most popular species, don’t worry you can also catch any of the following.

Bass

  • Striped Bass
  • Hybrid Striped Bass
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Spotted Bass
  • White Bass

The Rest

Bluegill,Bigmouth Buffalo,Smallmouth Buffalo,Black Buffalo,Common Carp,Grass Carp, Blue Catfish, Channel Catfish, Flathead Catfish, Black and White Crappie, Freshwater Drum, Aligator Gar, Longnose Gar, Spotted Gar, Goldeye, Red-Bellied Pacu, Gizzard Shad, Green Sunfish, Hybrid Green Sunfish, Redear Sunfish and Warmouth.

You have to admit that’s a pretty impressive list of fish to catch, there are plenty of campsites, some close to activities others not so much, you can actually rent a boat and take it out on the water within the park.

Things to do at Lake Texoma

  • Fastrac Boat Charters and Cruises
  • Lighthouse Marina Boat Rentals
  • Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge
  • Island View Park
  • Museum of Southern Oklahoma

Hungry? No problem visit any of the surrounding restaurants.

  • Loose Wheels Texas
  • Old Iron Post
  • Pelican’s Landing Waterfront Restaurant

Lake Texoma isn’t just one of the best fishing spots but also a family getaway or mindless fun on the water, its a must go whether you simply want to fish or take the kids and wifey to Island View Park, pure enjoyment for whoever tags along on your fishing trip.

Lake Amistad

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Another family gem, this location was a ton of fun and we actually ended up doing more activities on arrival only on the second day we did some fishing, the activities were fun but so was the fishing.

We only targeted Stripped Bass and Largemouth Bass, while we got a few good sized Largemouth Bass, but we couldn’t land any decent size Striped Bass for the day, we did, however, pull out a Flathead catfish and a lot of White Bass. Don’t let this discourage you from coming here, we weren’t in the full fishing mood, it was a warm and lazy day for us.

Fish Species in Lake Amistad

Black Bass, White Bass, Striped Bass and Channel Catfish, while the most popular catches and most abundant is the Largemouth Bass, Channel are also present in good numbers, with maybe a Flathead if you are lucky. If you want to catch a lot of fish your targets should be Largemouth Bass,  White Bass, and Channel Catfish.

Things to do at Lake Amistad

  • Viewing Native American Rock Art
  • Swimming
  • Picnic By the Lake
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Birdwatching
  • Nature Photography
  • SCUBA Diving
  • Hunting

Camping was fun, though we only got a spot here out of pure luck, simply because someone canceled their spot and left for emergency reasons, note that you should get a spot reserved as its given on a first come first served basis.

We also enjoyed the Native American Rock Art and swimming a lot of swimming and chilling, we did do a short hike, but it was warm and felt tedious so we head back to camp to swim some more.

The most fun thing to do here has to be the scuba diving, unfortunately, we don’t own any Scuba or hunting gear, if for any means the fish don’t bite, take part in any of these activities, if you are new to these waters like we were, you can always hire a guide, they range from $300-$700, for 4hours – 12 hours plus, on the pricey side but they will take you to all the good biting spots on boat including some sightseeing.

Lake Fork

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If you like boat fishing or ever wanted to try your new boat fishing for bass then this is the go-to place, its a little bit different from the rest of the list and some areas here can have a different type of challenge due to all the remaining timber, that said this is also where we found some of the largest Bass, sure there are plenty of spots to fish on the shote, but we recommend going out on the water.

Our targets were only Largemouth Bass and Yellow Bass, using only silver, silver and blue, silver and red and gold Kastmaster, with the gold color being the most effective.

No worries you can use any of your Bass baits, mix and match, there the following fish to catch, like, Sand Bass, Yellow Bass, White and Black Crappie, sunfish, Gar, Bowfin, Bluegill and Catfish.

There are always some activities to partake in but they are normally in the distance from all the good fishing spots and if you are only here for fishing, then that’s great otherwise you will have to plan out your trip including a few drives, besides it is no fun to boat fish for such a short period of time and thus we recommend checking this article at TripAdvisor Things to Do near Seth’s Lake Fork Creek.

Lake O’ The Pines

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Another fishing trip we pretty much wasted in Jefferson, Texas, there were a lot of things to do and see, of course we did fish for a total of two days, we reeled in plenty of fish, while we were focused on Largemouth Bass, Spotted Bass, and White Bass, we still ended up catching plenty of Crappie, Sunfish, Chain Pickerel and a few flathead catfish.

With plenty of fish caught, we ultimately decided to chill for the remaining two days, 2 hours into the next day and we found plenty of things we had to see and do.

Things to do at Lake O’ The Pines

  • Jefferson Historical Museum
  • The Grove, Jefferson, Texas
  • Jefferson Ordnance Magazine
  • Freeman Plantation
  • Museum of Measurement and Time
  • Historic Jefferson Railway, Jefferson, Texas
  • Historic Jefferson Ghost Walk   (We loved this)
  • Turning Basin Riverboat Tours
  • Lone Star Carriage Tours
  • Jefferson Fudge Company, Jefferson, TX

All of them was worth the time and effort, the only one we didn’t do was the Carriage Tours, do not forget to buy some fudge at the Fudge Company they are the best fudge I have had in years, fudge you buy at the local stores isn’t nearly as good, believe it.

Cedar Creek Lake

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If you are looking for a wide range of fish to catch then there is no better place to be than at Cedar Creek Lake, predominate fish species found here are Channel catfish, Blue catfish, Largemouth Bass, White Bass, Hybrid Striped bass including crappie.

Largemouth bass can easily be hooked in the southern side of the lake, where the water is clear, best spots to fish for Largemouth bass is near the large coves and inlets, the main success here for baits are Texas Rig worms, although, you can use a variety of spinners and crankbaits with success as well.

Hybrid Striped Bass

The hybrid striped bass, also known as Whiterock Bass or as a Wiper, this is a hybrid between White bass and Striped bass, you can easily tell Hybrid Striped bass from normal striped bass, instead if solid/ completer horizontal lines, the hybrid will have broken lines.

I hardly use any artificial baits and lures to catch hybrids, you can if you really wanted to but they bite way more frequently on any live bait like, anchovies, bloodworms, shad, nightcrawlers, mackerel and sandworms, my biggest catches is because of using live bait, but they aren’t always easily available in that case if you don’t have, use artificial baits and lures.

Crappie

Catching crappie is a ton of fun here, that’s if you know how, while I don’t normally aim for these, I don’t mind catching them either, especially if I cant get the Largemouth or Hybrid Bass to bite, I will take a break, fishing for Crappie instead. Here are a few tips that helped me and plenty of others.

Artificial Baits for Crappie: The best artificial baits to use are the small ones, 1.8onces works the best, we recommend these minnow and spinner baits.

Use The Right Knot: If you are fishing for crappie the best knot to use is a loop knot, doing a loop knot will allow the jig to move more freely when casting, it also provides crappie with a subtle movement that is very enticing when done vertically to the fish.

The Right Depth at the Right Time: 3-6 feet of water, unless its peak summer, crappie will move to the deeper side, but they are easy to catch as they will resurface at dawn and dusk to feed, if its peak summer you will want to fish for them at dawn and dusk, any other time fish for them close to shore in 3 – 6 feet water or roughly the depth of 1.8meters.

Line Has To Be Tight: You can catch them either way but to have a better catch rate keep your line tight, Crappie has a soft lip, meaning that they can tear and shake your hook easily, luckily crappie can put up a good fight so this shouldn’t be too hard.

Falcon Lake

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If its Largemouth bass you are looking for, then this is the place you want to visit, its highly know for its Largemouth Bass, I would highly recommend you come here and get familiar on what works and what doesn’t, Falcon lake have seen many tournaments, big and small, for young and old, taking part in these and you better land 5-6 pound fish as an average.

Water fluctuation and wind makes the trip a little more challenging, sometimes the wind can be tedious throughout the day, but there are plenty of times where its a good relaxing destination especially for fishing, Largemouth Bass isn’t the only fish in these waters.

You can expect to catch any of the following besides the Largemouth bass, plenty of catfish and occasionally blue or flathead catfish, you can also find White bass and crappie.

Largemouth Bass

Best tactics to use here for Largemouth bass is to come in spring, falls and in the winter months, make sure to bring a lot of warm clothing it gets rather chilly at times especially if the wind comes up, the most popular baits include, spinner, crankbaits and Texas and Carolina rigged worms, use these baits and lures anywhere around flooded brush.

The largemouth bass isn’t hard to find using the above baits and lures, I have found no specific preference as of yet, however, if you know of any then leave it in the comments and we will explore them.

Catfish

Catfish can be caught all year round, though coming here in the summer is tedious as well due to the South Texas heat, catfish can easily be hooked by using stinkbait and natural baits such as shad, shrimp or sunfish, you can catch catfish anywhere in this lake, there are no preferred spots here.

Danny King Catfish punch and Cjs catfish shad punch bait work great here, just be warned there are a lot of weird things in the Danny King Catfish Punch, original mix even used pig skin, new mixtures can even include animal hairs… It’s disturbing, and believe you me, this stinks on an epic level, for both of these products you are recommended to use spiral hooks, you can simply dip your hooks in these mixtures using a stick, I always try and get some on the line as well.

When I want my bait to be extra attractive I will get my hands dirty (only sometimes) I will use cut up cork, you can dip these and let them soak, add them first to the line, only if its quality cork, then add your hook, if its poor quality they will soften up fast and break free from the line, I have also used this on the hook itself, it absorbs much more stink and from mixtures then any other method.

Guadalupe River

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Stocked with freshwater fish all year round, its the perfect spot for both bass and trout, the real star here is the Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout, which you can easily find every fall and winter,  but you can also catch White bass, Striped bass, Smallmouth bass, Largemouth bass, RioGrandee Cichlid and the more common Guadalupe bass.

The best spot you should try first for trout is Canyon Tailrace, just a few miles below Canyon Lake, you can only admire the beauty of the forestry hills and valleys of this Texas Hill Country.

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout can be picky eaters and sometimes you will have to mix and match on your own terms until you found what they are looking for, if you have the following in the 1″ – 3″ size range, spoons, plugs, jigs and spinners, you cant go wrong with these especially if you have a large color variety.

If there is one pick for trout I will always go with a small silver and blue Kastmaster spoon, or silver and red and even silver and yellow, you can also try a solid silver or solid gold color, if they are picky for the day and they don’t want to bite on any of these, then you can start experimenting,I tend to have way more luck with green and yellow than any other combination when it comes to rainbow trout that’s if they don’t want to go with the silver combinations.

You will also have a lot more luck, if your lure represents a bug, Rainbow trout are often seen coming up to grab insects, in this case, if there are plenty of live food, especially insects, they will always prefer the live insects over your lures unless you have some good ones representing insects, Panther Rainbow Trout with fly is especially good in this condition.

If you want to catch brown and rainbow trout, try these.

 

Also, make note that the gold Kastmaster is also very good pretty much anywhere, we highly recommend getting Kastmaster in a variety of colors and combinations.

Colorado Bend State Park

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There is no such thing as boredom at Colorado Bend State Park, there is plenty to do if you are an outdoor enthusiast, camping, hiking, swimming, cave exploring, biking trails and of course fishing.

White bass is in abundance here in April and it has to be one of your targets, you can still find them at the deeper holes, with plenty of carp, catfish, Gaspergou, and Gar.

The White Bass here love red and green spinners with many fishermen that will agree, there are also plenty of other artificial baits that work here all year around.

If you are planning on going around April it is important to book a reservation, as the park will be full so better be prepared, actually its better to book a reservation because at any given time, if the park is full there is an entrance wait period up-to four hours. In April there will be a lot of anglers for white bass, though there has always been plenty of spots to fish, you might as well only target white bass, it’s easy to catch and a ton of fun.

For the rest of the year you can target carp and catfish and maybe some perch, these I will target no matter the month or even if its the white bass run, simply because I like catching these.

As mentioned earlier there is plenty to do for the outdoor person, and if you have family we would highly recommend you take them with, you can always fish while they enjoy the rest of the activities, or plan it nicely and get a little fishing done while exploring everything Colorado Bend State Park has to offer.

Recommended products to use here or similar for bass and trout fishing.

While these are only a few of the fishing spots you can visit there are plenty more to choose from, though we focused on these for they are famous fishing destinations, and there is always something to catch or something to do.

 

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