Try These Top Texas Winter Catfish Lakes

Catching Crappie Limits On Toledo Bend
December 19, 2023
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The tasty channel cat is the most plentiful and most sought after of the catfish swimming in Texas waters.

Winter in Texas is a unique time for anglers. While many may hang up their rods and wait for the warmer months, those in the know understand the state has great catfish opportunities.

Here’s a look at five lakes where catching catfish is close to a guarantee.

Lake Livingston: Lake Livingston is the second largest lake found entirely within Texas. The lake has great ppoulations of blue, channel and flathead catfish. If you’re looking for a trophy catfish, Livingston is a great lake to try. Fish submerged brushpiles which are often baited with local sportsmen and look for transition zones between deep channels and shallow flats on warm winter days.

The tasty channel cat is the most plentiful and most sought after of the catfish swimming in Texas waters.

Lake Conroe: Just an hour north of Houston, this lake offers an excellent opportunity for winter catfishing in Texas.

The lake is home to blue catfish, channel catfish, and occasional flathead catfish, offering variety to anglers. Common baits for winter catfishing on Lake Conroe include cut bait, shad, and stink bait.

Deep manmade brushpiles which are placed all over the lake are great places to find the lake’s catfish especially the super abundant channel cats.

Lake Fork: Known for its legendary largemouth bass, Lake Fork is also a prime location for winter catfishing in Texas. During winter, target the deeper waters, especially around submerged timber and creek channels. Channel catfish action here can be tremendous. Look for cormorant roosts as a key spot because they produce natural chum (poop).

Lake Texoma: Bordering Texas and Oklahoma, Lake Texoma is a year-round hotspot for catfish enthusiasts. During the winter, its status as one of the top winter catfishing destinations in Texas is widely regarded. In fact, during winter is when Cody Mullenix caught the world record blue catfish “Splash” on Texoma.

The key to successful catfishing in Lake Texoma during the winter is finding the right depth. Start by targeting depths of 15 to 25 feet, and adjust your strategy as you go. While many anglers prefer using cut bait or stink bait, some have success with live bait such as shad or minnows.

Toledo Bend:  Located on the Texas-Louisiana border, Toledo Bend Reservoir is famous for its bass fishing, but it’s also a hidden gem for winter catfishing. The lake’s deep waters provide great opportunities to catch big catfish when temperatures are running colder than normal.

Toledo Bend has a lot of baited docks that are loaded with brushpiles. These are often put out to attract crappie but they are catfish havens as well.

While Toledo Bend is primarily known for its blue catfish and channel catfish, it’s also home to some impressive flathead catfish. Experienced anglers recommend using large live bait, such as a bream or bullhead (mud cat), to target the trophy-sized flatheads.



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