Are you looking for the best catfish fishing locations in Texas? If so, you’ve come to the right place! From the coastal waters of Galveston Bay to Lake Texoma, there is an unbelievable variety of thrilling places for serious anglers and weekend fishermen alike. Whether your goal is to catch a trophy-sized blues or channel catfish, this article will provide all the information you need on where and how to get started with some of the best catfishing spots throughout Texas.
So grab your tackle box and get ready – it’s time to discover why Texas offers some of America’s premier destinations for catching these fierce yet tasty freshwater fighters.
Top Catfish Fishing Locations in Texas
Texas is well-known for its excellent catfish fishing opportunities, with numerous lakes and rivers throughout the state that are home to channel, blue, and flathead catfish. Here are some of the best catfish fishing locations in Texas, complete with details on each location to help you plan your next catfishing trip.
Lake Conroe is a 21,000-acre reservoir located approximately 40 miles north of Houston. The lake was created in 1973 with the completion of the Lake Conroe Dam along the West Fork of the San Jacinto River. Lake Conroe is known for its abundant populations of blue and channel catfish, making it a popular destination for catfish anglers. Some prime catfishing spots on the lake include the areas around Lewis Creek, Little Lake Creek, and the waters near the dam.
Lake Tawakoni is a 37,879-acre reservoir situated approximately 50 miles east of Dallas. The lake was created in 1960 with the completion of the Iron Bridge Dam along the Sabine River. With over 200 miles of shoreline, Lake Tawakoni offers plenty of opportunities for catfish anglers. The lake is home to large blue, channel, and flathead catfish populations. Top fishing spots include the Caddo Creek, East Fork Sabine River, and the area around the Iron Bridge Dam.
Lake Texoma is a massive 89,000-acre reservoir located on the border between Texas and Oklahoma. The lake was formed in 1944 with the completion of the Denison Dam along the Red River. Lake Texoma is renowned for its thriving blue, channel, and flathead catfish populations. Some of the best catfishing locations on Lake Texoma include the Washita River, Little Mineral Arm, and the area near the Denison Dam.
Lake Fork is a 27,690-acre reservoir located about 90 miles east of Dallas. The lake was created in 1980 with the completion of the Lake Fork Dam along the Sabine River. Known for its trophy-sized catfish, Lake Fork attracts both novice and experienced catfish anglers. Prime fishing spots on Lake Fork include the Big Caney Creek, Little Caney Creek, and the waters surrounding the Lake Fork Dam.
Choke Canyon Reservoir
Choke Canyon Reservoir is a 25,670-acre reservoir situated approximately 85 miles south of San Antonio. The lake was formed in 1982 with the completion of the Choke Canyon Dam along the Frio River. The reservoir is known for its healthy populations of blue and channel catfish. Some of the best catfishing locations on Choke Canyon Reservoir include the Calliham Arm, the Frio River, and the area around the Choke Canyon Dam.
Lake Livingston is a 90,000-acre reservoir located approximately 80 miles north of Houston. The lake was created in 1969 with the completion of the Lake Livingston Dam along the Trinity River. With over 450 miles of shoreline, Lake Livingston offers ample opportunities for catfish anglers. The lake is home to populations of blue, channel, and flathead catfish. Top fishing spots on Lake Livingston include the Kickapoo Creek, White Rock Creek, and the area near the Lake Livingston Dam.
Richland-Chambers Reservoir is a 41,356-acre reservoir situated about 80 miles south of Dallas. The lake was formed in 1987 with the completion of the Richland-Chambers Dam along the Richland and Chambers Creeks. Known for its abundant catfish populations, Richland-Chambers Reservoir attracts catfish anglers of all skill levels. Prime fishing spots on the reservoir include the Richland Creek, Chambers Creek, and the waters surrounding the Richland-Chambers Dam.
Lake Palestine is a 25,560-acre reservoir located about 100 miles southeast of Dallas. The lake was created in 1962 with the completion of the Blackburn Crossing Dam along the Neches River. Lake Palestine is home to large populations of blue, channel, and flathead catfish, making it a popular destination for catfish anglers. Some of the best catfishing locations on Lake Palestine include the Kickapoo Creek, Flat Creek, and the area near the Blackburn Crossing Dam.
Lake O’ the Pines
Lake O’ the Pines is a 16,919-acre reservoir situated approximately 30 miles northeast of Longview. The lake was formed in 1959 with the completion of the Ferrell’s Bridge Dam along the Big Cypress Bayou. Known for its scenic beauty and excellent catfishing opportunities, Lake O’ the Pines attracts anglers looking for blue, channel, and flathead catfish. Prime fishing spots on the lake include the Big Cypress Bayou, Alley Creek, and the waters near the Ferrell’s Bridge Dam.
Braunig Lake is a 1,350-acre reservoir located about 17 miles southeast of San Antonio. The lake was created in 1962 as a cooling pond for a power plant and provides warm water that creates an ideal habitat for catfish. Although smaller than many other Texas catfish fishing locations, Braunig Lake offers excellent opportunities for catching blue and channel catfish. Some of the top catfishing spots on Braunig Lake include the areas around the dam, the power plant discharge, and the various coves along the shoreline.
These fishing locations in Texas offer diverse environments and opportunities for anglers. Each location has its unique history and features, making them worth exploring as you continue your catfishing adventures in the Lone Star State.
Best Temperatures for Catfish Fishing in Texas
Fishing for catfish in Texas can be a rewarding experience, as these fish are known for their unique flavor and impressive size. To maximize your chances of catching catfish, it’s essential to understand the optimal water temperatures that these fish prefer.
In general, catfish are most active and likely to bite when water temperatures are between 70°F and 85°F. However, different species of catfish in Texas may have slightly different temperature preferences.
Channel catfish are the most common species found in Texas and are known for their adaptability to various water conditions. They prefer water temperatures between 75°F and 85°F, making late spring and early summer the best time for targeting channel catfish. During this period, they become more active in search of food and suitable spawning locations.
Blue catfish, the largest catfish species in Texas, are often found in deeper water and prefer slightly cooler temperatures compared to channel catfish. The ideal water temperature for blue catfish is between 70°F and 80°F. Late fall and early winter are great times to target blue catfish, as they tend to move to shallower waters in search of food during this time.
Flathead catfish are more particular about their water temperature preferences. They thrive in water temperatures ranging from 75°F to 80°F. As a result, the best time to fish for flathead catfish is during the summer months when water temperatures are consistently within this range.
It’s important to remember that water temperature is just one factor that affects catfish behavior. Other factors such as water depth, available food sources, and weather conditions can also impact their activity levels. To increase your chances of success, consider using a combination of live bait, lures, and scent attractants and fishing near underwater structures like logs, rocks, and drop-offs where catfish are likely to hide.
The best temperatures for catfish fishing in Texas typically range from 70°F to 85°F. By understanding the specific temperature preferences of each species, you can plan your fishing trips accordingly and increase your chances of landing a trophy catfish.
Q: What are the fishing license requirements in Texas?
A: Both residents and non-residents are required to obtain a valid fishing license to fish in public waters in Texas. Different types of licenses are available, including annual, one-day, and year-from-purchase licenses. Seniors, disabled veterans, and active military personnel are eligible for discounted licenses. Children under 17 years of age do not need a license.
Q: Can I fish in Texas state parks without a license?
A: Yes, you can fish in Texas state parks without a fishing license. However, you must follow all other fishing regulations, such as size and bag limits, gear restrictions, and specific area rules.
Q: What are the common size and bag limits for fish in Texas?
A: Size and bag limits vary depending on the species and location. For example, the daily bag limit for largemouth bass is generally five fish per day, with a minimum length of 14 inches. The daily bag limit for catfish is typically 25 fish per day, with no minimum length requirement. It’s essential to check the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website for the most up-to-date information on size and bag limits for specific species and locations.
Q: What are some good places for fishing in Texas?
A: Texas offers a wide range of fishing opportunities, including lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. Some popular fishing destinations include Lake Fork, Sam Rayburn Reservoir, Toledo Bend Reservoir, Lake Texoma, the Guadalupe River, and the Gulf Coast for saltwater fishing.
Q: Are there any invasive fish species in Texas?
A: Yes, Texas has several invasive fish species, such as zebra mussels, silver carp, and grass carp. Anglers are encouraged to report sightings of invasive species to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and follow local guidelines to help prevent their spread.