LARGEMOUTH BASS, channel catfish and crappie dominate freshwater fishing in Texas.
Those are by far the most popular and abundant species on reservoirs, streams, creeks and rivers across the state but there is more. Did you know that Texas has good quality smallmouth bass and walleye fishing in numerous water bodies?
Here is an in-depth look at both species in Texas and where you can catch them.
Viable fisheries exist at Texoma, Amistad, Whitney, Canyon, Belton, Grapevine, the Devil’s River, Meredith, Stillhouse Hollow and portions of the Guadalupe River.
Much of the fishery suffered with golden alga blooms. Looking at the top 10 smallmouths in Texas you will see all of them were caught in the 1990s with Lake Whitney at that point, being the strongest fishery by far.
Now anglers are reporting great catches on Texoma, Stillhouse Hollow and Canyon. Although it’s not clear whether Texas will see a smallmouth renaissance, there is no question the fishery seems to be on an upswing.
Compare this to 128,061 stocked in 1995 among Belton, Cisco, Georgetown and Whitney, and you can see overall stocking has declined greatly.
|Rank||Water Body||Weight (lb.)||Length (in.)||Date||Angler||State Record||Water Record|
|12||Brazos River||7||22.5||5/7/97||Chris Shafer||X|
|22||Possum Kingdom||6.8||24||1/28/99||Bob Borg||X|
|23||Stillhouse Hollow Lake||6.75||22||1/31/93||Arnold Bragewitz||X|
|25||Stillhouse Hollow Lake||6.65||22.63||11/28/92||Chris Hadash|
According to Texas Park & Wildlife Department officials, high summer water temperatures restrict walleye growth and survival in much of Texas.
“However, in the north Texas lakes, such as Lake Meredith, the species does very well,” TWPD said. “Six-to-eight pound specimens are common at times. The state record comes from Lake Meredith and stands at 11.88 pounds. Walleye is considered an excellent food fish from Texas to the northern states.”
Walleye are present in Wheeler Branch, O.C. Fisher, Moss Creek, White River, Meredith, Mackenzie, Buffalo and Palo Duro Reservoir.
Texas anglers do not have to travel great distances to catch the great northern fish they have read about in national fishing publications. They can do it right here, and in some cases do it quite big—Texas style.
—story by MATT WILLIAMS