TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The largemouth bass is the most popular freshwater sport fish in Texas, and many East Texas lakes contain trophy-size bass.
Largemouth bass are subjected to a minimum length of 14 inches in Texas, and combined daily bag limit of five fish with many Texas reservoirs having their own special length and bag limits.
According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, these lakes in East Texas have been rated “excellent” for largemouth bass fishing:
Largemouth bass fishing in Caddo Lake is good throughout the year, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife, with over eight pound bass available.
However, it is recommended angling is recommended for trophy fish in the spring.
More than 65% of Texas Top 50 largest bass were caught in Lake Fork, including the current state record.
Officials said it is one of the country’s premier trophy bass lakes, and areas containing hydrilla, boat houses, docks and lake points historically provide some of the best fishing for the bass.
“Fish will also congregate around bridge pilings and artificial brush piles,” Texas Parks and Wildlife said.
Lake Gilmer’s bass population is described by officials as in good condition with good growth characteristics.
However, abundance of legal-size largemouth bass is low but Texas Parks and Wildlife say there a good numbers of fish available for catch and release.
Largemouth bass fishing in Lake Holbrook is most successful in the spring, fall and winter months but schooling largemouth can be caught in the summertime.
Officials said stockings of Florida largemouth bass in 2007 and 2008 have been conducted to influence genetics of the population.
There is an abundant largemouth bass population Kurth Reservoir, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife with a relatively high number of fish over four pounds.
Due to relatively high hydrilla, officials said anglers are successful catching largemouth bass year round.
Lake O’ the Pines
The largemouth bass population in Lake O’ the Pines is abundant with many legal-size fish available for harvest.
According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, white bass are native to the Cypress River Basin and abundant population there contains many legal-size fish.
One of the most popular largemouth bass fisheries in Texas is Lake Monticello.
In 1998, the slot length limit was extended to increase trophy fishing opportunities and protect larger fish, according to officials. The limit was changed from 14 to 21 inches to 14 to 24 inches.
Lake Nacogdoches is known for producing trophy-sized bass, and numbers of bass are relatively high.
Officials said largemouth bass is the most popular fish game in the lake, has a maximum length limit of 16 inches and has produced three fish exceeding 13 pounds.
Fish stocking in Lake Naconiche began in 2009, and largemouth bass is the most popular sport fish in the lake.
“Bass 15 to 20 inches in length are very abundant, some exceed 6 pounds, and an excellent fishery exists,” officials said. “Growth rates of largemouth bass are fast, so the population will continue to improve and abundance of fish over 6 pounds will increase over the next few years.”
Texas Parks and Wildlife said during the fall, winter and spring the bass are active for longer periods of the days and can typically be found in shallow water.
Numbers of bass are relatively high in Lake Pinkston and the Texas Parks and Wildlife said an excellent fishery exists.
The lake record is 16.9 pounds, and due to cooler water temperatures fish are active for longer periods and are typically found in shallow water.
Sam Rayburn Reservoir
According to officials “excellent year-round fishery exists” in Sam Rayburn with the most popular game fish there being the largemouth bass.
“A variety of baits and techniques will work during these times, but crankbaits and spinnerbaits are usually the preferred choices,” officials said.
The Timpson Reservoir produces a good number of trophy-sized bass due to the 14 to 21 inch slot limit and officials said numbers of bass are relatively high.
Officials said when the fish are active, crankbaits and spinnerbaits will catch bass. Most bass can be found concentrated around boat docks and deep creek channel ledges as the sun rises.
Toledo Bend Reservoir
The most popular game fish in Toledo Bend is the bass, and officials said excellent fishery can be found year-round.
Officials said in the fall, winter and spring months, anglers are more successful at catching the largemouth bass.
Lake Tyler is popular with tournament and hosts frequent night tournaments in the summer. Officials said most fish are in the two to eight pound class with few over 10 pounds.
A canal connects Lake Tyler East with Lake Tyler West, and both have a great reputation for consistent largemouth bass fishing, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife.
Officials said fishing in both lakes can be good all year.
Largemouth bass fishing opportunities in Lake Welsh is classified as excellent by the Texas Parks and Wildlife, but officials said it is also characterized as low density.
Low numbers of legal-size fish are available to anglers.