Texas. The lone star state, where everything is bigger, including the bass. As the largest state in the continental U.S, it comes as no surprise that the estimated number of lakes and reservoirs in Texas is upwards of 7,000.
Overwhelming, yes, but it’s worth taking a look, considering there’s a strong possibility of landing a record-breaking bass. Texas is home to some of the biggest bass in the country, and there are lots of them.
So where do you start? That’s why we’re here, to help break down some of the best bass fishing lakes in the state. Whether you’re trophy hunting, looking for numbers of quality fish, or just out for a great day on the water, here are our picks for the best bass fishing lakes in Texas.
Table of Contents (clickable)
- 1 Best Bass Fishing Lakes in Texas
- 2 Tips for Fishing a New Lake
- 3 Final Thoughts
Best Bass Fishing Lakes in Texas
Surface Area: 27,264 acres
Maximum Depth: 70 feet
Lake Record: 18.18 pounds (Texas State record)
The most popular bass fishing lake in Texas, there is a good reason why it’s often a busy spot, especially in the spring. Lake Fork produces lots of big bass; it’s that simple. Of the ten largest bass caught in the state, seven of them have been pulled out of Lake Fork, including the state record, and more than half of the 50 largest bass come from this lake. If you’re looking for trophy-quality fish, this is a good place to start.
Surface Area: 114,500 acres
Maximum Depth: 80 feet
Lake Record: 16.80 pounds
Sam Rayburn is another very popular bass fishing destination and is home to over 300 tournaments a year. That many tournaments a year may seem to some as the downfall of a lake, but those tournaments exist because of the potential this reservoir has for producing lots of big fish. If you’re looking for a personal best bass and the potential for numerous big fish, then Sam Rayburn Reservoir should be high on your list.
Surface Area: 83,654 acres
Maximum Depth: 110 feet
Lake Record: 15.63 pounds
Sharing the Texas/Mexico border, Falcon Lake is the result of damming the Rio Grande in 1954. Despite the fact that Falcon Lake is 110 feet deep at the dam, it’s relatively shallow, with slow sloped banks throughout. Acting as an irrigation reservoir for Mexican crops, this lake can see incredible fluctuations in water levels, and fishing is at its best when the water is high, the flooded brush and timber providing cover. While average bass size may be 6-7 pounds, it’s not unheard of for Falcon Lake to produce lots of fish pushing or exceeding double digits.
Surface Area: 25,670
Maximum Depth: 95.5 feet
Lake Record: 15.45 pounds
Constructed in the early 1980’s on the Frio River, Choke Canyon is the water source for the popular tourist town of Corpus Christi, and as such can see fluctuations in water levels. Surprisingly enough, bass aren’t on the radar for many people fishing Choke Canyon as the lake boasts strong populations of panfish, gar, and catfish (one of Texas’ most popular sport fish). The lake can be busy, but the bass aren’t as pressured because of the populations of other sport fish. Springtime is one of the best times to fish Choke Canyon, and bass over 10 pounds are always a strong possibility.
Surface Area: 64,900 acres
Maximum Depth: 217 feet
Lake Record: 15.68
Another man-made reservoir made from damming the Rio Grande, the Amistad Reservoir is one of the few lakes in Texas that has a decent population of smallmouth bass as well as largemouth, although the smallmouth aren’t as prevalent and don’t grow as big. On the Texas/Mexico border, this reservoir is more remote than others on this list, meaning that it doesn’t see nearly the fishing pressure that a lot of the more popular lakes do. If you’re looking for some more remote bass fishing while still having the chance at the bass of a lifetime, Amistad Reservoir is a must-visit.
Surface Area: 2,880 acres
Maximum Depth: 100 feet
Lake Record: 15 pounds
So maybe not everything is bigger in Texas, but don't let this lake’s small stature fool you because it’s home to big bass. Deep and clear, this canyon lake has plenty of forage and flooded timber for cover to not only maintain a substantial bass population but also a population that thrives. Relatively low in fishing pressure in comparison to other popular lakes on this list, Lake Allen Henry could be considered a hidden treasure for those unfamiliar with it.
Surface Area: 181,600 acres
Maximum Depth: 110 feet
Lake Record: 15.81 pounds
Straddling the Texas/Louisiana state line, Toledo Bend has more than 1,200 miles of shoreline. Full of standing timber, and fed by hundreds of small creek tributaries, there are plenty of areas to find big bass. While the reservoir is also home to white bass and striped bass, largemouth bass are the more prominent and more popular of the three, and it’s not unheard of to be able to pull out multiple big fish in a single outing. Fair warning to those new to the reservoir: stay within the marked boat lines as the standing timber can be quick to ruin a good day. Better yet, hire a reputable guide that knows their way around.
Surface Area: 74,868 acres
Maximum Depth: 100 feet
Lake Record: 35.12 (Striped Bass)
We can’t talk about bass lakes in Texas without mentioning Lake Texoma. While the other lakes and reservoirs on this list are known for producing trophy bass, Lake Texoma is better known for the numbers and species of bass it puts out. This is a lake that you should fish when you’re looking for quantity over quality. With largemouth bass, striped bass, white bass, and even smallmouth bass, Lake Texoma has it all. While largemouth are just as prominent as the other lakes on this list, the major draw for fishermen here are the striped bass. Lake Texoma is a popular lake and does get a lot of traffic each year, but its size and diversity mean even on the busiest of days it doesn’t seem that busy. Whether you’re just looking for a great day on the water or hoping to cross one of the many bass species off your bucket list, Lake Texoma is the place to be.
Tips for Fishing a New Lake
Fishing a new body of water can seem overwhelming at times, especially when you consider the sheer size of some of the lakes that Texas has. Here are some tips to help take some of the stress out of fishing a new lake.
Do Your Research
The more you know about the lake you plan on fishing, the better your days are going to be. The internet puts everything at your fingertips. Fishing reports, tournament results, lake history, what other anglers may be saying, are all available with a few simple keystrokes. Reading up on a lake can not only help with narrowing down the perfect window, but also point you in the right direction for accommodations, boat launches and even shore fishing opportunities.
Make Use of a Quality Map
Whether you’ve got the latest and greatest in electronics on your boat, or you’re planning on doing some shore fishing, getting your hands on a good map of the lake beforehand is a crucial step that many anglers these days overlook. A good map helps you not only navigate the water but also understand where the fish might be, all from the comfort of your home.
Prepare for Anything
Anything can happen when on the water, and nothing ruins a day quicker than being unprepared. A lot of these big Texas lakes can be unpredictable, and sudden changes in weather not only ruin a day but potentially put you and anyone fishing with you in danger. Expect the best, but always prepare for the worst.
Hire a Reputable Guide
It’s never a bad idea to hire a good guide, even if only for the first trip out. These guides fish the lakes day in and day out and know them intimately. Not only will they help you understand where the fish are - and get you on some - but they can also help navigate new waters safely.
Texas is home to some of the best bass fishing in the country. If you’re in search of a trophy fish, Texas has a lot to offer.
With a state as big as this one, it’s never easy trying to nail down which lake to fish next, but we hope we were able to help point you in the right direction. Leave a comment and let us know if we did!