Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine   



Fish & Game

Big Year Fishing Challenge

Start planning now to maximize your 2023 state park fishing list. 

How many days a year can you fish Texas waters? 365.  

Whether you’re chasing redfish in the bays around Goose Island or Guadalupe bass at Blanco, our state parks are fishing destinations in every season. With so many diverse fishing opportunities, you can catch an amazing variety of species.

The first Rio Grande cichlid I ever caught was at South Llano River State Park on a family vacation. The thrill of holding and releasing that tropical native fish made me want to catch every species. Through the years, I spent my free time traveling and camping in Texas state parks (I’m now Palmetto State Park's assistant superintendent), targeting the array of fish that call our state waters home.

Adding each one to my list was truly satisfying.

I also love birding. When I participated in a birding Big Year (a personal challenge to see as many bird species as possible in one year), I found inspiration. Why can’t we do that for fishing?

That was the genesis of the Texas State Parks Fishing Challenge. So simple and fun, just catch as many different species as you can from any Texas state park in one year.

How to participate:

• Catch a fish.

• Take a picture (please follow safe fish handling procedures).

• Post on social media with #TXStateParksFishingChallenge.

The first Big Year for fish will start Jan. 1, so start planning your 2023 camping trips to Texas state parks. For new parks to fish and new species to target, visit tpwd.texas.gov/wheretofish to find available species and a current fishing report.

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