Bass fishing in Texas can be challenging, but it can reward you with the biggest bass of your life.
Professional anglers love to throw around the phrase “A bass is a bass no matter where you are in the country.”
While that may be true, there are still small differences that must be learned as you move from one state or fishery to another.
Texas is no exception, and here are a few of the things you need to know about bass fishing in Texas.
Everything is bigger in Texas (Especially the bass)
The Texas state record largemouth weighed over 18 pounds, and of the top 50 largemouth caught in Texas, all were over 15 pounds.
Texas is also home to the Toyota Sharelunker Program. This unique program has one goal, and that is to grow trophy largemouth. Any person who catches a bass over 13 pounds can donate it to the Sharelunker Program for research and breeding.
This selective breeding process ensures that trophy bass will be caught in Texas lakes for many years to come.
You can find any type of water you want
Being as big as it is, Texas offers bass anglers the opportunity to fish a wide variety of waters. Like deep, clear, rocky reservoirs? Check out Lake Texoma. Looking for a clear, grassy lake? Try Lake Austin in Central Texas. How about a shallow, tidal river system? Yep, Texas has that too, the Sabine River in Southeast Texas.
I could go on and on but you get the point, Texas has every kind of water you could think of for bass fishing. In addition to the variety, Texas also has some world renowned bass fishing destinations such as Lake Fork, Toledo Bend Reservoir, Falcon Lake, and Lake Amistad.
The water is low
One of my favorite days of bass fishing was flipping bushes at Kentucky Lake when the water was 15 feet high. Do not expect to fish high water when coming to Texas. The past several years have brought extremely hot temperatures coupled with very little rainfall, leaving many lakes starving for water.
Hearing that boat ramps are unusable because they are no longer in the water is pretty normal, and there are currently several Texas lakes that are at record low levels. Many have not been full since 2007.
The Texas Sun does not mess around. High temperatures reach into the 80s in May, and stay from 80-110 degrees all the way through October.
In 2011, there were 70 days where the temperature reached over 100. Along with this, the water temperatures can reach into the 90s, which has led to fish kills in the past. If you plan to fish in the summer in Texas, sunscreen and lots of water are a necessity.
The spawn is early
Being that Texas has a warmer climate than most of the United States, obviously the bass spawn comes earlier than most of the United States.
Bass spawn when the water temperature reaches about 60 degrees. Here in Texas this could be as early as February, but usually the spawn starts in March and goes through April. As with any place, this varies from lake to lake and even different parts of a lake.
Learn to fish offshore
In large part due to the warm weather and low water levels, shoreline cover is sparse at most Texas lakes. If you want to be successful fishing in Texas, you’ll have to learn to fish offshore structure such as rockpiles, humps, and deep brush piles. In 2012, Phil Marks used a Strike King 10XD to win an FLW Tour event, fishing deep offshore structure at Sam Rayburn Reservoir.
The Texas Rig is not the most popular rig
Logic would have you believe that the Texas Rig is the most popular thing to fish in Texas. You’d be surprised to learn that the Carolina Rig is more of a go to bait than the Texas rig is.
The Carolina Rig is an effective method for targeting deeper offshore structure, which could be why it is so popular.
Texas fisherman are as nice as they come
All it takes to connect with other bass fisherman is a quick Google search of bass clubs in your area and a phone call. The fisherman in Texas are happy to welcome other anglers into the state and will help you if you ask.
The Texas Fishing Forum also gives anglers a great place to connect, get fishing reports, and find new places to fish.