Best Fishing Lakes in Texas

Whether you're a seasoned pro, a beginner, or a curious casual angler, the Lone Star State offers some of the best lakes to catch a wide range of fish species.

Our team of writers conduct thorough research, testing, and comparisons to provide recommendations for top-rated products. As a reader-supported platform, we may earn commissions from purchases made through our affiliate links.

Home to thousands of lakes, choosing the best fishing lakes in Texas to drop your line can be overwhelming. But whether you're a seasoned pro, a beginner, or a curious casual angler, the Lone Star State offers some of the very best lakes to catch a wide range of fish species.

Have you ever wondered why both seasoned pros and casual anglers from across Texas and beyond prefer to explore the great lakes of Texas? Well, as the second-biggest state in the country, the Lone Star State is home to some of the very best fishing lakes in the world! Whether you're looking for quantity or quality, it's impossible to find another state that rivals Texas as far as what the state offers anglers is concerned. Each of the states more than 1,100 lakes has unique features and is an ideal habitat for a wide range of fish species. But which are the best fishing lakes in Texas?

It doesn't matter whether you're targeting largemouth bass, crappie, redfish, or catfish, Texas offers a nearly limitless number of lakes that will have your rods in serious action within minutes of arrival. From Lake Conroe, Lake Fork, Lake Buchanan, Lake Sam Rayburn Reservoir to Falcon Lake, and many more, Texas is a sure haven for anglers looking for the best fishing lakes in the entire country.

In addition to offering the best fishing spots, these lakes feature some of the best natural beauty that can be found in the nation. So whether you're a seasoned pro, a casual angler, or a budding photographer looking for some of the best shots, you've come to the right place.

In this article, we'll take a look at some of the best fishing lakes in Texas. As an avid angler, do yourself a favor and explore these lakes. From a plethora of fish species to breathtaking views, you'll certainly be in for a real treat.

Table of Contents

Lake Conroe

Widely referred to as Houston's aquatic playground, Lake Conroe was created as a water reservoir in 1973 but soon became a recreation hub for both pro and novice anglers. Located just 40 miles from Houston, this 20,118-acre lake is one of the most beautiful fishing spots in Texas. The lake is easily accessible at several points along the shoreline including docks, piers, bank access areas, and boat launch sites.

Besides the unique fishing opportunities that the lake offers, its shorelines are lined with many gorgeous homes, which in itself offer a unique fishing experience. This lake has a great reputation as home to some of the best fish species. Although catfish remains king in this lake, this freshwater lake is home to many other species including largemouth bass, blue channel, smallmouth buffalo, crappie, and many more. The lake's surrounding ecosystem is also diverse, so you shouldn't be surprised if you run into seagulls, deer, alligators, and other wildlife.

This lake is a great place not just for seasoned pros but also for families who want to spend some quality time while fishing in Texas. Located less than an hour from Downtown Houston, this is a fantastic place. Whether you want to spend your day fishing or come for a weekend fishing trip, Lake Conroe should be one of your top choices. And even if you aren't so much into fishing, there are numerous water activities such as boating, swimming, and jet skiing that will make you feel awesome.

Lake Buchanan

Located northwest of Austin in Burnet and Llano Counties, Lake Buchanan is a magnificent 22,000-acre lake that's widely revered for the excellent bass fishing opportunities that it offers throughout the year. This lake is known far and wide for its underwater structures such as rocky banks, cliffs, trees, mounds, and many more, all of which provide a superb habitat for various bass species to spawn while tearing up your line.

This lake is popular among bass anglers looking for white and striped bass, as well as largemouth bass, Guadalupe bass, blue, flathead, and channel catfish. Although you can visit throughout the year, the best time to go fishing on Lake Buchanan is during Spring and Fall. You can use a wide variety of lures and fishing techniques depending on your targeted fish. We, however, must note that bow fishing can be worth a try as long as you adhere to its special regulations.

The fact that this lake is so large gives you a perfect opportunity to find a great spot to throw your line without necessarily having to worry about interfering with a fellow angler's line. Besides fishing, the lake offers a plethora of other superb activities that can be great should you need a break from your fishing escapade. There's an RV park that's great for camping near the lake, as well as a large lighthouse at the end of the lake that can be excellent for sightseeing, especially if you're with your family.

This is, without a doubt, one of the best places to go fishing. It doesn't matter whether you're alone, with friends, or family, Lake Buchanan is certainly worth it. 

Lake Fork

Located almost 90 miles east of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolis, Lake Fork Reservoir is no longer a secret for serious anglers in Texas. This 27,690-acre impoundment was only created in 1980 but remains one of the premier largemouth bass fisheries not just in Texas but in the entire country. With a depth of just about 70 feet, the numbers may not give you the real picture but you'll have to trust us when we tell you that you'll neither be the first nor the last angler to travel the road to Lake Fork. This lake is visited by several serious anglers throughout the year as it is home to several fishing competitions.

Whether you're looking to fish from a bank, on a boat, or from a pier, you'll never be short of bites on your line. You can target a wide range of fish species including largemouth bass, channel catfish, sunfish, white bass, black crappie white crappie, and many more. Well, we're talking about a lake that has produced nearly 65% of the largest bass in Texas!

Lake Fork has gained a huge reputation amongst serious anglers as one of the best fishing competition arenas in the United States. So if you're a seasoned pro looking to test your skills against the best, this may be the perfect spot for you. Just remember that there are specific regulations that might affect the bag size and limit, and you don't want to be on the wrong side of the law so you'll have to follow them.

Lake Texoma

Situated on the Texas-Oklahoma border at the confluence of the Red and Washita Rivers, Lake Texoma is one of the largest man-made lakes in the United States and its waters are seriously filled with some great fish species like the state-record blue catfish that tipped the scales at 121.5 pounds. Sitting on a massive 89,000-acre reservoir, Lake Texoma has an abundance of fish that will never make your fishing trip a dull moment.

While the most common fish species at the lake is striped bass, there are a host of other fish species including blue catfish, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, bluegill, spotted bass, white bass, channel catfish, white crappie, black crappie, and many more. Even though striped bass is native to ocean waters, they were introduced to the lake in the 1960s and the lake has since become arguably the hottest striped bass spot in the southwest.

The fact that this lake is located on the border gives you a lot of options when it comes to casting. There are various departure points throughout both Oklahoma and Texas, which makes it more flexible when choosing your fishing destination. The best time to visit Lake Texoma is during fall when striped bass tends to move to shallow waters and can be found around main lake points, humps, and creek arms.      

Besides that, one of the lake's most unparalleled features is the fact that it's made up of brackish waters as a result of the saltwater Red River that pours into the lake. This is one of the main reasons why striped bass has prospered in this habitat. If anything, it's one of only seven inland lakes in the United States where striped bass reproduce naturally.

In addition to angling, Lake Texoma is home to some of the best water-accessible islands, wildlife refuges, parks, and a host of recreational activities. As such, you can combine your fishing escapade with a family-friendly trip into the wild southwest. You can relax in the lake's many beaches, go swimming, or indulge in water skiing.

Falcon Lake

When the Falcon Dam was constructed in the 1950s on the Rio Grande River, this was the beginning of what would become Falcon Lake. Located 40 miles east of Loredo, Falcon Lake is one of the best fishing destinations in south Texas thanks to a wide variety of fish species in the lake. Having long been regarded as one of the best largemouth bass lakes in Texas, this lake is also home to flathead catfish, channel, and many more. This 83,650-acre straddles the US-Mexico border and is prone to rapid water level fluctuations that make it a great place for bass populations to flourish thanks to the abundance of brush and other vegetation that sprouts on the lake when there's low water.

Given that Falcon Lake is in the farthest south of the border, water temperatures will rarely go below 50 degrees so most fish will spawn in January and February. As such, the best time to go fishing in Falcon Lake is during springtime in March and April especially if you're targeting post-spawners. As an angler, keep in mind that Falcon Lake is no place for inferior tackle, so make sure that you use braided lines and heavy-action rods.

Choke Canyon Reservoir

Situated in the Frio River watershed in Live Oak and McMullen and 4 miles west of Three Rivers, Choke Canyon Reservoir is a 25,670-acre lake that has been home to many fishing tournaments. Great for catching bass and just an hour away from Downtown San Antonio, this is a must-visit fishing destination in Texas. Whether you're targeting blue catfish, largemouth bass, white bass, channel, crappie, and flathead, this area has an abundance of fish species.

You can target areas along the Frio River channel during cooler months and the northern shoreline during summer. This incredible reservoir has a wide range of habitat including flooded timber, steep rocky banks, creek channels, shallow brushy flats, and steep rocky banks. Needless to say, these features make it a great place for largemouth bass to thrive and can be a great destination if you're after this elusive species. Believe it or not, this is probably the biggest bass fishing secret not just in Texas but in the whole country.

Besides being an excellent fishing destination, the area is surrounded by other wildlife, so don't be surprised if you come across hogs, turkeys, alligators, and many more. This makes Choke Canyon Reservoir a superb place for an angling trip, as well as a family adventure. Just don't forget to enjoy what the surrounding habitat has on offer.

Lake Amistad

If you've been looking for a great fishing lake that also offers a great destination for camping, rock art viewing, hiking, and cultural history, Lake Amistad is your perfect destination. Widely referred to as the "boater's paradise," Lake Amistad offers one of the best views in Texas.

Located 12 miles north of Del Rio, Lake Amistad offers a wide range of species including largemouth bass, black bass, white bass, striped bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, bluegills, carp, sunfish, and many more. This lake is dominated by steep rocky drop-offs, rock ledges, shorelines, and rocky points, as well as flooded timber.

For many years, Lake Amistad has been considered one of the best topwater lakes in Texas, especially in the spring and fall. You, however, have to keep in mind that other times of the year may be overwhelming due to high winds, so you should arm yourself with some of the heaviest tackles in the fishing game. Another great thing about Lake Amistad is its diverse ecosystem, so there are a lot of other things and wildlife that will make your fishing trip great.

To this end, there are a lot of lakes that can make your fishing trip to Texas one of the best. Whether you are an avid angler, a casual angler, or a beginner, you'll be spoiled for choice when it comes to the best fishing lakes in Texas. Just explore them and you might find your most favorite spot in the Lone Star State.


Scott Kimball

Scott Kimball

From a young age I was introduced to fishing, hiking, camping, snowboarding and more through family, friends, and scouting. After 20 years of learning and participating in these outdoor activities, I share what i've learned (and continue learning) with you.

Read more about Scott Kimball