People who are unfamiliar with Texas (a.k.a The Lone Star State) think that it’s pretty dry. For some, the name Texas is tantamount to rocky mountains, dusty dirt bike trails, dunes, and dry flatlands filled with cactus. However, this description only fits the western end of Texas. Exclude the west and explore the remaining parts. You’ll be surprised that Texas is actually damp.
Texas has at least 7,000 thousand lakes ( don’t faint!). Furthermore, these lakes are blessed with healthy flora and fauna because of the Lone Star State’s mildly temperate climate. It’s common to find various kinds of fishes on Texas’s lake waters. If you’re planning a good angling escapade, don’t forget to put Texas on your wish list.
This article will be a useful guide for anglers who are planning to visit the Lone Star State. Stay here if you’re one of them. I’ll show its top 8 best lakes that anglers shouldn’t miss. I’ll also talk about the best time to fish, the best type of bait to use, and the best fishes that you can catch at each lake.
Top 8 Best Lakes In The Lone Star State
Lake Texoma – Texomaland
Lake Texoma is one of the largest lakes in the U.S. and it sits on the Red River that separates The Lone Star State and Oklahoma. It has a total area of 360 square kilometers. When the conditions are right, the shoreline of Lake Texoma spans for 550 miles. Due to its sheer size, locals also call this lake Texomaland. Probably because lots of activities can be done here. Lake Texoma’s visitors are simply astounding! Year after year at least 9 million people come to fish, ride their boats, kayak, etc.
Lake Texoma contains naturally occurring mineral salts. These mineral salts make Lake Texoma’s waters favorable for striped bass. This is why Lake Texoma prides itself as the Striper Capital of the World. Striped bass living in Lake Texoma reaches humongous sizes. They weigh 15-20 pounds and may grow more than 3 feet!
Wherever spot you go, there are striped bass swimming underneath. So if you’re into striped bass fishing, you shouldn’t hesitate to come here.
Lake Texoma’s surface significantly heats up during the summer. The fish swim deeper to avoid the heat. As a result, you might not have a good catch if you decide to fish in lake Texoma during the hot months. We don’t recommend you to go here during March, April, May, June, July, and August. However, if you insist to fish at Lake Texoma during these months, you should be fishing during the late afternoon or nighttime.
Fall is the best time to fish in Lake Texoma. The mild chill of the waters invites the fishes to swim on the lake’s surface. Striped bass is the most common catch during the fall. For catching striped bass, we recommend you to fish during mid-September and early December.
For fishing in Lake Texoma, most anglers use surface lures. heavy jigs, slabs, plastic shad, and live gizzard shad. These are useful if you’re aiming to catch striped bass. Use normal baits if you’re aiming to catch other fish species.
You can access Lake Fork by visiting Wood, Rains, and Hopkins counties in Texas. Lake Fork has a total area of 112.1 square kilometers. It’s shoreline spans for 315 miles. It features lush vegetation. As a result, lake fork has scenic greeneries that people love. Visitors gather here to sail, boat, and picnic. If you’re looking for a fishing location that connects you with mother nature, Lake Fork is the place to go.
Lake Fork’s water is lightly stained and it’s water levels don’t change very much. This means that Lake Fork has favorable conditions for catfish to thrive. Catfish species that you can catch here are channel catfish and flathead catfish. You can catch flathead catfish weighing 22 pounds or more here. Aside from catfish, largemouth bass and white mouth bass are also found in Lake Fork.
Spring and summer months are the best time for catching excellent catfish in Lake Fork. Colder months are the best time for fishing largemouth and white mouth bass.
For catfish fishing, live baits such as crappie jigs and minnows are the best. For fishing bass, using small plastic lures, tube baits, jerk baits, and 3-6 inch worm baits is already enough. This is because bass species in Lake Fork doesn’t get too big.
Lake Athens is located 5 miles from the east side of Athens. It’s not very expansive and only spans for 7.28 square kilometers. Lake Athens capitalizes on its small surface area. Fishers love to go here because they can do their thing without getting disturbed by kayakers, boaters, sailors, and other visitors.
The depth of Lake Athen’s measures at a maximum of 50 feet. It’s not very deep compared to the previous lake that I mentioned. As a result, the fishes that live here don’t become large. Still, this is the best place for you to learn the basics of bass fishing. The largemouth and white mouth bass in Lake Athen’s aren’t that difficult to catch.
We recommend plastic baits and live baits for fishing in Lake Athens. Specifically, plastic worm baits will be very useful here. On the other hand, live baits like grubs, worms, and crappies are equally effective as plastic baits.
You can fish for bass in Lake Athens in summer. Just do it during the morning or in the afternoon when the water temperatures are down. This is the reason why beginning bass fishers prefer to go here because they don’t have to depend on the seasons to get a good catch.
Lake Tawakoni is located 50 miles east of Dallas, Texas. Its total area is 148.5 square kilometers. Trees and hairy grasses surround Lake Tawakoni. Its waters are clear and smooth to the skin. Lake Tawakoni has the vibe of an environment-friendly resort that’s available for all. This trait makes it very popular among tourists and locals alike.
The mild waters of Lake Tawakoni make it a favorable breeding ground of white mouth bass. It is possible for you to catch decent white mouth bass here. However, the chances of catching one might be 60/100. Still, it’s not impossible for you to catch one if you persevere. If you’re lucky, palmetto bass and sunshine bass might find themselves on the fishing hook.
Fall is the best time to fish here. We don’t recommend you to fish in Lake Tawakoni during the summer for two reasons: First, catching fish is harder during hot seasons. Second, there are powerboat riders and kayakers that will scare the fishes away. For the best catch, visit Lake Tawakoni during the months of September and October.
You should use baits for bass fishing since all that you will be catching most of the time in Lake Tawanoki are the different species of bass. Don’t forget to bring your finest worm, crankbait, jerk bait, and swimbait.
Sam Rayburn Reservoir
Sam Rayburn is a man-made lake that’s located 70 miles from the north side of Beaumont. Authorities built it for flood control and for supplying water to nearby locations. Sam Rayburn is very expansive. It spans for a total of 463.4 square kilometers. Just like Lake Tawakoni, it’s surrounded by lush vegetation that provides a scenic backdrop.
The largemouth bass is the most popular fish in Sam Rayburn. Sam Rayburn’s large area provides various spots where largemouth bass shelter. As a result, they can grow and breed freely in this lake. Other fish species that you can catch here are catfish, white mouth bass, crappie, and sunfish.
You can fish in Sam Rayburn all-year-round. However, winter and spring months give you higher chances of achieving the best catch. This is because all the fishes are highly active and swim in shallow waters.
All types of artificial lures will do if you’re pursuing largemouth bass. Grubs, crappies, nightcrawlers, and other kinds of live baits will work for fishing other types of fish.
Alvarado Park Lake
Alvarado Lake is a man-made reservoir at the heart of Alvarado Park which is located 2 miles from the southwestern end of Alvarado. It might be the smallest lake on this list. Alvarado Park Lake has a total area of 1.77 square kilometers. It’s not very big, but it’s the place that you want if you are for fishing quietly.
Fishing here will give you catfish, largemouth bass, and white mouth bass most of the time. It’s possible to catch sunfish. However, chances are very nil. Because it’s area isn’t expansive, a fishing kayak will do in Alvarado Park Lake.
The best time to fish in Alvarado Lake is the months of July, August, and September. Anglers, professional and beginners alike, visit Alvarado Park Lake during these months. Coming here in the months of July, August and September will allow you to encounter good competition.
Spinnerballs, worms, jigs, and tail spinners will help you fish for largemouth bass and white mouth bass in Alvarado Park Lake. However, don’t expect to get very decent catches because the fishes don’t grow big in its waters.
Lake Holbrook is located 3 miles Northwest of Mineola. Specifically, it sits on Lankford Creek. Since it’s only a part of a creek, Lake Holbrook’s area isn’t large. It only spans for 2.64 square kilometers. Trees with thick foliage grow on its banks. They provide excellent shade and keeps the water cool all year round.
The cool waters of Lake Holkbrook make it a favorable habitat for largemouth bass. Anglers describe largemouth bass fishing here as excellent. Though they require a bit of skill to be caught, largemouth bass in Lake Holkbrook have decent size and won’t disappoint your efforts.
Summer is the best time to go fishing in Lake Holbrook. Fishing here during the summertime will make it possible for you to catch numerous largemouth bass. The best periods of the day to fish are the morning and evening hours.
Crankbaits and spinnerbaits are the most effective baits for fishing in Holbrook Lake. Largemouth bass on Holbrook loves these baits in particular. You may opt to use other baits but they won’t give the same results as spinnerbaits and crankbaits.
Lake Nacogdoches is located at Loco Bayou and has a total area of 8.95 square kilometers. People living in the nearby town of Nacogdoches call also call it “Lake Loco”. The waters of Lake Nacogdoches is moderately clear. Though it’s not very big, many people love to visit here because it’s very scenic at dusk. As evening arrives, the sun becomes a backdrop for Lake Nacogdoches and shines its light upon the lake waters’ surface.
Sunfish and largemouth bass are the most dominant fishes in Lake Nacogdoches. Intermediate anglers should go here because catching them isn’t easy nor difficult. The fishing difficulty here is just enough for you to hone your skills. By the way, largemouth bass here may weigh up to 13 pounds.
The fall, winter, and spring months are the best time to go largemouth bass fishing in Lake Nacogdoches. Decent sunfish may be caught in the months of March, June , July, and August. If you’re planning to fish for largemouth bass and sunfish at the same time, the month of September is the ideal time to go.
Crankbait, spinnerbaits, topwater baits, plastic worms, and jigs are ideal for largemouth bass fishing in Lake Nacogdoches. In contrast, small jigs and spinners are effective for catching sunfish.
Pictured below is my own father-in-law taking in some morning fishing on Lake Tyler. This is yet another great place for catching the big one!
My young cousin caught this big boy right outside his backdoor in their pond. A pond is great for youngins` just beginning to learn the art of fishing.
No sir, there is still nothing like taking your kid fishing. It is just the same magic as it was 50 years ago. Find the time to take your young tikes fishing. They will cherish it for a lifetime!
Conclusion: Which of These Lakes Is The Best Fishing Location?
All lakes that we showed in this discussion are equally good. Large lakes like Texomaland and Sam Rayburn Reservoir are ideal if you’re an experienced angler who doesn’t mind fishing on locations where people are around. Likewise, we recommend you to go to smaller places if you’re new to fishing. Small locations don’t have a lot of visitors and the absence of people makes it easier to catch fish.
Prepare your fishing poles, get your hooks and baits ready, then head to the top 8 best lakes for fishing in Texas that we featured here!