Texas Fishing Guide
Get to know your favorite freshwater fish species. Experts have provided a special, free look into Texas’ most popular fish - including species descriptions (with top quality color illustrations), where to fish and how to catch them in this exclusive feature in the Texas Parks & Wildlife app!
▶For a unique interactive experience, download our free app. Apple iOS available now. Android to follow very soon.
When you are looking for great fishing stories from TP&W magazine, you can start here. Fishing articles are organized into four groups. General fishing information will be found on this page, but species-specific articles can be found in Freshwater (white bass, stripers, hybrids, panfish, etc.); Bass (largemouth, spotted, Guadalupe and smallmouth); Saltwater; and Fly-fishing. Use the links on the left to go to the sections you want.
General Fishing Articles
Nice Catch: Angling the Dog Days
Late summer brings fishing for redfish, stripers and largemouth bass.
Nice Catch: Summer Breeze
Too hot for fishing in Texas? Never!
Nice Catch: Saltwater Sampling
Redfish, snapper and snook abound on the Texas coast.
Nice Catch: Warm Water Bonanza
Catch lots of bass or head to the coast for tarpon.
Nice Catch: Fish on the Fly
April brings bass, walleye and catfish for Texas anglers.
Making a Splash
Amateur anglers compete for $1 million in prizes in Sam Rayburn big bass derby.
Nice Catch: Spring Spawn Success
Warming weather means big fish in shallower waters.
Nice Catch: Dead-Sticking Season
Winter brings opportunities for stripers on Lake Texoma.
There's no feeling like hooking your first fish. read more
Restoring the Guadalupe Bass
The 'state' of Texas' state fish has improved from dire to hopeful. read more
Crappie Day on Caddo
Of fish, ghosts and trees with knees. read more
At Issue by Carter Smith: Dads and Fishing
TPWD works to support family fishing. read more
Hooked in High School
Competitive fishing helps students excel and builds strong family bonds. read more
Take Me to the River
TPWD helps anglers get access to fish’s favorite stomping grounds. read more
Legend, Lore & Legacy: Creme of the Crop
A transplanted Texan changed bass fishing forever with one plastic worm. read more
Skill Builder: The Perfect Cast
Practice makes perfect when you’re in pursuit of fish. read more
A Stamp for Fish
Fund has raised $60 million in 10 years for hatcheries and stocking. read more
Skill Builder: Kayak Fishing Kickstart
Quietly stalk the best spots from the comfort of a kayak. read more
Skill Builder: To the Bone
There’s more than one way to fillet a fish. read more
Hot on Fishing
‘Electric’ lakes generate warm water for great cold-weather outings. read more
The Cat's Meow
With abundant supply and new research, Texas may become a top destination for catfishing. read more
Family fishing vacations offer an elusive reward — time to just hang out together.
Family togetherness and an opportunity to fish — two prime ingredients for a memorable spring or summer vacation. Success depends on recognizing your family’s preferences and planning to suit them. Some families like a leisurely jaunt to distant locations, while others want to get there quickly. Likewise, some prefer isolated spots with rugged conditions, while others feel they can’t leave modern conveniences behind. Luckily, a state as large as Texas offers something for everyone. Here’s a look at some of the top family-friendly freshwater fishing destinations in the Lone Star State.
Angler Inspires Texans With Fish-a-Day Quest
On April Fool’s Day 2011, Keith Miller set out on what some might call a fool’s errand. He proposed to catch a fish every day for a year.
Miller figured he had a fighting chance. He’d done it once before, without fanfare, as a purely personal challenge. This time, he chose to tell the world and invite the public to share the adventure. The idea was to generate some buzz around his favorite sport and encourage others — especially children — to give it a try.
Skill Builder: The Real Deal about Reels
Because of the demands of daily life, many of us can go fishing only a few times a year, so our equipment sits for long periods of time. Sometimes we forget the “end of trip” maintenance that will keep our equipment going long and strong.
With the spring season approaching, take a few minutes to make sure your gear is in good working order. Here are some essential tips.
Skill Builder: Angling Etiquette
Although no one likes fishing in a crowd, having company on the water is just a fact of fishing life. However, there are steps every angler should take to make sure everyone has a safe, productive and enjoyable day on the water. Whether you’re fishing a lake, bay or river, basic angling etiquette is the best way to avoid problems and ensure a pleasant angling outing.
Fishing Hot Spots in State Parks
It’s fun, it’s free, and you don’t need a fishing license.
If Texas state parks don’t rank high on your list of favorite fishing spots, think again.
No matter what species of freshwater fish you seek, state parks offer some of the best fishing in Texas. And, you don’t even need a license to fish within the boundaries of a state park.
More than 70 state parks participate in the Family Fishing Celebration. See The Free Fishing in State Parks website for details, including information on which parks loan fishing tackle or host special fishing events.
The next best thing to a good fishing hole is inside information on how to fish it. TPWD park managers and freshwater fisheries biologists gave their top picks for state park fishing and shared some tips for success. I’ll profile some hotspots and give brief information on others. For more detailed information, including fishing tips, visit Recreational Fishing on the TPWD website.
It's not a record fish until a certified scale says so.
The bend in your rod makes it clear you've hooked a big fish. Once you've landed it, your handheld scale confirms what you suspect: It's a potential new state record. After the obligatory high-fives and photos, you release the fish to be caught again another day.
As the fish disappears into the depths, you get a sinking feeling. Only you and your fishing partner know what the scale read - and it's never been certified as accurate. Did you just blow your chance at getting your name in the record book?
Frequent stockings keep fishing hot in urban areas.
Don’t you wish there were well-stocked ponds close to your home where your family could go fishing — and catch fish? For seven urban areas in Texas, there are, and if TPWD biologists are successful in expanding the current program, anyone living in a major city in Texas can have this wish granted.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department stocks channel catfish and, in winter months, rainbow trout, into eight urban lakes in order to provide close-to-home, family-friendly fishing for nearby residents.
Giant Salvinia Threatens East Texas Reservoirs
One of the world’s most noxious aquatic weeds has invaded one of Texas’ foremost largemouth bass fisheries and is poised to attack another.
Even the name of the plant is sinister: Salvinia molesta, commonly known as giant salvinia. Under optimum conditions this floating fern, a native of South America, can double in size weekly. Its growth on Toledo Bend Reservoir gives a clue to its aggressiveness. In 2003 it covered 124 acres on the lake; in 2004 it spread over 3,070 acres despite ongoing herbicide treatments by both Texas and Louisiana. Sam Rayburn Reservoir may be the next target.
Golden Mystery: A Killer Lurks in Texas Waters
Skill Builder: Freeing Snagged Lures
Skill Builder: Tackle Box Basics
Skill Builder: Rigging a Fishing Kayak
Skill Builder: Ready, Set, Hookk
Skill Builder: Green Around the Gills
Skill Builder: Think Like a Fish
Skill Builder: What’s in a Name?