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11 Best FISHING Lakes In Texas That You CANNOT Miss 🎣

Texans like to fish.

And luckily Texas has lots of good fishing spots.

But which are the best lakes for fishing?

Well, in this post we’re revealing some of the best in the state that you just HAVE to try out for yourself.

Is your favorite fishing lake on this list?

fishing lakes texas google map graphic (1)
Google Maps

The list is not in order of best to worst.

It’s just numbered to match the map graphic above to make it easier to find a specific lake in the region that interests you.

Numbers 2 and 9 are probably the best on the list for trophy-sized largemouth bass.

1. Lake Texoma

Location: On the border between Texas and Oklahoma, near the towns of Denison and Gainesville in Texas.

Lake Texoma Shoreline

Imagine yourself fishing at Lake Texoma, one of the largest reservoirs in the United States, straddling the border between Texas and Oklahoma. 

This lake is renowned for its striped bass—or “striper”—fishing, offering some of the best opportunities to catch these vigorous fighters. 

The best months to fish here are from April to May during the spawning season, and again in the fall, when the stripers chase shad to the surface, creating thrilling fishing action.

But stripers aren’t the only catch here; Lake Texoma is also home to largemouth and smallmouth bass, catfish, and crappie. 

The variety of fish makes it a fantastic spot for anglers of all skill levels. 

The lake’s unique ecosystem, fed by the Red and Washita Rivers, contributes to the rich biodiversity that supports healthy fish populations.

Facilities at Lake Texoma are excellent, with numerous access points, marinas, bait shops, and fishing guides available.

Notable catches:

A blue catfish weighing a whopping 121.5 pounds was caught here in 2004.

A striped bass caught here in 1984 weighed in at 35.12 pounds and currently takes position 30 on the list of Texas Top 50 Striped Bass.

More information: 

2. Lake Fork

Location: Primarily in Wood County, with portions extending into Rains and Hopkins Counties.

The nearest towns are Alba, Emory, Yantis and Quitman.

Lake Fork is a top destination for anglers seeking a thrilling fishing experience in Texas. 

Known especially for its bass fishing, this lake has a reputation for producing record-sized largemouth bass. 

In fact, at the time of writing 25 of the Texas Top 50 largest bass (including the current state record) were caught at Lake Fork!

AND it takes all top 6 places on the list of the Texas Top 50 Largemouth Bass.

The best times to cast your line here are in the spring and fall when the water temperatures are just right for bass to be active.

Not only is Lake Fork famous for its bass, but you can also find crappies and catfish thriving in its waters. 

The lake’s structure, filled with submerged timber, hydrilla, and brush piles, provides perfect habitats for fish, making it a fishing paradise.

There are ample boat ramps, marinas, and bait shops to ensure you have everything you need for a successful day on the water. 

Plus, guided fishing tours are available, which can be especially helpful if you’re new to the lake or want to learn the best fishing spots from local experts.

Notable catch: Known for bass fishing, the largest recorded largemouth bass catch here was in 1992 at 18.18 lbs. This same catch is also number 1 on the list of Texas Top 50 Largemouth Bass.

More information: 

3. Lake Palestine

Location: Near Tyler, in Anderson, Cherokee, Henderson, and Smith counties, Texas.

Head over to Lake Palestine for an unforgettable fishing trip right in the heart of Northeast Texas.

Catfish and White & Hybrid Striped Bass are particularly abundant.

This beautiful lake offers year-round fishing opportunities.

Hybrid Stripers and white bass are particularly active during the winter months and into spring.

Lake Palestine holds a variety of bass species, including largemouth, spotted, and hybrid striped bass. 

The lake has hosted numerous fishing tournaments due to its abundant bass population and the challenging fishing it provides. 

Additionally, you can try your luck fishing for catfish and bream, which can be found in the lake.

The lake’s facilities are well-suited for anglers of all types, featuring multiple boat ramps, fishing piers, and local bait shops.

Notable catch: A flathead catfish weighing 98.50 lbs was caught here back in 1998.

More information: 

4. Caddo Lake

Location: On the border between Texas and Louisiana, near the town of Uncertain, Texas.

It spans Harrison and Marion counties.

Step into the mystical waters of Caddo Lake, a natural wonder straddling the border between Texas and Louisiana. 

This lake is not just famous for its scenic beauty and cypress trees draped with Spanish moss, but also for its vibrant fishing scene. 

caddo lake bird

The best time to fish here is during the spring and specifically in March.

Caddo Lake is teeming with a diverse array of fish including largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, and chain pickerel. 

It’s also known for its excellent crappie fishing, which can provide a fun challenge for anglers of all skill levels. 

The lake features ample fishing facilities, including boat rentals, guided tours, and public piers, making it accessible to everyone.

caddo lake

Notable catch: The biggest largemouth bass caught at Caddo Lake was in 2010 weighing it at 16.17 pounds (ranking 20 on Texas Top 50 Largemouth Bass).

More information: 

5. Toledo Bend Reservoir

Location: On the border between Texas and Louisiana, near Hemphill in Sabine County, Texas.

Toledo Bend Reservoir is a true fishing hotspot that you shouldn’t miss! 

Stretching along the Texas-Louisiana border, it’s one of the largest man-made lakes in the United States and a hotspot for anglers seeking a memorable fishing experience.

A prime time to fish here is in the early spring, particularly March and April, when bass begin their spawning season. 

Fall also offers excellent fishing as the temperatures cool and fish are actively feeding.

This massive reservoir is famed for its bass fishing, especially largemouth and white bass.

It’s also got a reputation for large sunfish which are best caught during late spring or the summer months. 

It consistently ranks as one of the top bass fishing destinations in the country. 

Toledo Bend has even made headlines for multiple bass fishing records taking 3 positions in the list of Texas Top 50 Striped Bass.

The lake is equipped with superb fishing facilities, including well-maintained boat ramps, numerous marinas, and plenty of rental cabins and campsites.

Notable catch: The record for striped bass here is 33.22 lbs which takes position 45 on the list of Texas Top 50 Striped Bass.

More information: 

6. Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Location: Near Jasper, in Jasper County, Texas.

Get ready to cast your line at Sam Rayburn Reservoir, a gem in the heart of East Texas and the largest lake wholly within the state. 

If you’re aiming for the best fishing experience, plan your visit in the spring or fall but the fisheries are generally good year-round.

These seasons are ideal as the bass and crappie are more active, improving your chances of a great catch.

The best fisheries here are for largemouth bass, catfish and crappie. 

With its extensive facilities, including numerous boat ramps, fish cleaning stations, and plenty of marinas and resorts, Sam Rayburn Reservoir caters to both casual anglers and professional fishermen.

Notable catch: The reservoir boasts a largemouth bass catch of 16.80 pounds as its record which was set in 1997 (ranking #11 on the Texas Top 50).

More information: 

7. Lake Conroe

Location: Near the city of Conroe in Montgomery County, Texas.

Discover the joys of fishing at Lake Conroe, located just north of Houston. 

This lake is a favorite among both novice and experienced anglers. 

The best times to visit for fishing are in the spring and fall when the temperatures are moderate and the fish are highly active, especially the bass.

Lake Conroe is renowned for its black bass fishing, including largemouth bass, which often draws anglers from all over the state. 

It has excellent levels of largemouth bass, catfish, hybrid striped bass and bluegill.

It also has a good level of crappie.

Lake Conroe has even been the site for professional fishing tournaments, highlighting its reputation as a top fishing destination.

The lake is well-equipped for anglers, featuring multiple public boat launches, fishing guides, and marinas that offer boat rentals. 

With nearby accommodations and restaurants, Lake Conroe makes for a perfect fishing getaway where you can spend a few hours or a whole weekend enjoying the great outdoors.

Notable catch: The record flathead catfish here was caught in 1990 weighing in at 86 pounds.

The record largemouth bass here is 15.93 pounds caught in 2009 (ranking #35 in the Texas Top 50).

More information: 

8. Lake Buchanan

Location: West of Burnet in Burnet County, Texas.

Pack your fishing gear and head to Lake Buchanan, one of the largest of the Highland Lakes in Central Texas. 

lake buchanan texas

If you’re looking for the best fishing times, aim for early spring or late fall. 

These seasons are prime for catching a variety of fish due to the cooler water temperatures that bring them closer to the surface.

Lake Buchanan is renowned for its striped bass and white bass fishing as well as catfish.

Largemouth bass is also in good supply with crappie and sunfish a bit less abundant here.

The lake has a reputation for good-sized catches and even holds some local fishing records.

Facilities around Lake Buchanan are excellent, with numerous boat ramps, fishing docks, and local guides available to help you find the best spots. 

Notable catch: A striped bass weighing 27.80 pounds is the biggest catch of this type recorded here.

More information: 

9. O.H. Ivie Lake

Location: East of San Angelo, covering parts of Concho, Coleman, and Runnels counties, Texas.

Grab your fishing pole and venture out to O.H. Ivie Lake, a hidden treasure located in the heart of Texas. 

This lake is a fantastic spot for fishing enthusiasts, especially during the early spring when the water warms up and fish are actively spawning. 

Fall also offers great fishing as the cooler temperatures bring fish to feed closer to the surface.

O.H. Ivie Lake is famous for its bass fishing, particularly for largemouth and white bass.

It has gained attention for producing some of the largest bass in Texas, including numerous catches weighing over 13 pounds! 

Lake O.H. Ivie actually takes up 7 spots in the Texas Top 50 for Largemouth Bass, only beaten by Lake Fork which takes up 25 places. 

The lake also supports a healthy population of catfish and crappie, making it a versatile fishing destination.

With well-maintained boat ramps, ample parking, and nearby camping facilities, O.H. Ivie Lake provides everything you need for a day or weekend of fishing. 

Notable catch: Known for producing big bass, the record for largemouth bass weighs in at 17.06 pounds here.

This same catch happens to be number 7 on the list of the Texas Top 50 Largemouth Bass.

More information:

10. Lake Amistad

Location: Near Del Rio in Val Verde County, Texas, on the border with Mexico.

Set your sights on Lake Amistad, an expansive reservoir on the Rio Grande, marking the border between Texas and Mexico. 

If you’re planning a fishing trip, the ideal times to visit are in the winter, spring and fall.

During these seasons, the weather is just right for largemouth bass.

Lake Amistad is celebrated for its clear blue waters and robust fish populations, particularly largemouth bass. 

It currently takes up 2 spots on the Texas Top 50 for largemouth bass (position 41 and position 50).

The lake has earned a reputation for high-quality bass fishing and even hosts tournaments throughout the year. 

Besides bass, anglers can also find catfish and striped bass, adding variety to every fishing outing.

With its stunning natural beauty and abundant fish, Lake Amistad offers not just a fishing trip, but an adventure in one of Texas’s most scenic spots.

Notable catch: The record largemouth bass here weighed in at 15.68 pounds (rank #41 on the Texas Top 50 Largemouth Bass.)

The biggest striped bass caught here was in 1990 weighing in at 45 pounds (this is ranked #7 on the list of Texas Top 50 Striped Bass).

More information: 

11. Falcon Lake (Falcon International Reservoir)

Location: Near Zapata, in Zapata County, Texas, also on the border with Mexico.

Falcon Lake invites you to experience some of the best fishing Texas has to offer, especially if you’re after trophy largemouth bass. 

Located on the Rio Grande, bordering Mexico, the optimal times for fishing for largemouth bass are during the spring, fall and winter months.

Falcon Lake is known for its outstanding largemouth bass fishing, with many fish caught here weighing in double digits. 

It’s not uncommon for anglers to achieve personal bests in this lake, thanks to its healthy and sizeable bass population. 

In addition to bass, you can also catch catfish is also in good supply.

The lake features ample facilities for anglers, including boat ramps, tackle shops, and guided fishing trips. 

With its wide expanse and variety of fish, Falcon Lake is a destination that promises excitement and the potential for catching the fish of a lifetime.

Notable catch: A largemouth bass weighing 15.63 pounds is the biggest recorded largemouth bass from this lake. It’s ranked #46 on the Texas Top 50.

More information: 

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Tom Jackson

Tom was born in San Antonio but spent most of his childhood in Dallas, he has lived in several cities across Texas and joined the team in 2024 to create travel guides on Texas.

Learn more about the Traveller's Elixir Team.

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