Fish Texas - May 2016

A Memorial Day fishing challenge | New river fishing access | A Texas-sized catfish | Kayak fishing | Become an angler ed instructor | More!

View as a Webpage
Fish Texas freshwater boat, dad, 2 childen

In This Issue:

Fishing for the Red, White and Blue

Anglers in a boat #fishredwhiteblue

Memorial Day is when we remember the men and women who gave their lives to protect our freedoms, so that their sacrifice is never forgotten. If you’re planning to fish over Memorial Day weekend, we challenge you to honor these heroes by completing a red, white and blue slam. 

To carry out this slam, you have to catch fish that have the words red, white or blue in their name - at least one fish for each color. Post a photo of your red, white and blue slam on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages with the hashtag #fishredwhiteblue

Suggested freshwater species: redear sunfish, redbreast sunfish, red drum; white bass, white crappie; bluegill, blue catfish 

Suggested saltwater species: red snapper, red drum, red grouper, white marlin, white mullet, whiting, blue marlin, blue runner, bluefish

Don’t forget to check your freshwater and saltwater fish bag and length limits and to carry your fishing license. Active Texas military and disabled veterans always fish for free with their designated licenses. And everyone fishes for free in Texas state parks.

Many fallen servicemembers loved the sport of angling. While you’re fishing this Memorial Day weekend, take a moment to remember the sacrifice they made to provide freedom for us all.

Back to Top

More River Access for Texans

Man river fishing with kayak nearby

Texas has many scenic rivers with fine fishing, but much of the land adjacent to these rivers is private property. So TPWD is working with landowners to lease their riverfront property in order to provide more public access to rivers

These leases are intended to offer a serene wilderness experience and a high-quality fishing opportunity on our rivers. Anglers and paddlers, you can use these leased access areas for fishing and launching non-motorized boats from 30 minutes before daylight until 30 minutes after dusk. Be sure you always respect any private land you cross. 

We currently have 10 leased access sites around the state, plus 4 seasonal sites available during trout season. There are 3 more leases on the Colorado, Nueces and Sabine rivers set to open up this summer! Click on the link to a specific access site and you’ll get more information, like whether there is a boat ramp or public restrooms, if there’s a fee or if reservations are required. The leases do eventually expire, so get out there now to fish, paddle and enjoy your new river access.

Back to Top

What a Party - Toyota Texas Fest and Bass Classic

Toyota Texas Bass Classic

Do concerts by major country artists, fantastic food, a Kid’s Zone and serious fishing appeal to you? Then come out to Toyota Texas Fest May 20-22 at the Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. 

The heart of the fest is the Toyota Texas Bass Classic, the championship of professional bass fishing. The top 38 anglers in the world compete for the trophy at nearby Ray Roberts Lake State Park. They'll even bring a few of the biggest bass to the stadium for you to see, before they're released back into the lake.

The TPWD Outdoor Adventure Area will feature games and activities including archery, casting and rock climbing, along with a host of outdoor-themed educational and interactive exhibits. We’ll have fun for all ages, so come on by and say hello. 

Buy your tickets now. They start at $10/day or $20/all 3 days, kids under 16 and military and their families get in free. Proceeds benefit TPWD's youth fishing and urban outreach programs, which have received $2.25 million since the Bass Classic began 10 years ago. It’s big fun for a good cause - we’ll see you there!

Back to Top

ADV iSnapper reporting app

Advantages of Kayak Fishing

Heroes on the water video Texas has a beautiful coastline filled with marine life, including a myriad of sport fish living close to shore. One of the best ways to angle for these beauties is with a kayak, because it will get you farther out into the Gulf for wade fishing, or you can float and fish from the boat. A kayak will also help you stalk redfish (which is fishing fun turned up to 10) and get you into the nooks and crannies of marshes - typically a treasure trove of fish and crabs.

Sea Rim State Park has a maze of marshes for you to discover, along with 3 different paddling trails. Since they’re part of the Texas Paddling Trails, there are maps and trail markers posted to help you get around. Check out other Coastal Paddling Trails for spots to test your angling skills, including one at Galveston Island State Park, which was voted one of the top family fishing spots in the nation last year. 

If you’ve never paddled a kayak, it’s not hard. Check out this article for some tips. Remember to always wear a life jacket and stay safe. We’ve got a list of places to rent kayaks near state parks (where you don't need a license to fish) if you want to build up your skills. Get a taste of how enjoyable kayak fishing can be in this Heroes on the Water video. Then take out a kayak on your next fishing trip and explore its angling advantages.

Back to Top

When Invasives Attack, Fight Back

Giant salvinia PSA Texas boaters are the first line of defense in the war against destructive aquatic invasive species like zebra mussels and giant salvinia, and you need to clean drain and dry your boat every time you leave a lake. But even if you’re fishing from the shoreline, be careful because invasive species can hide out in any gear that holds water – like bait buckets. Clean drain and dry them, too! And never take live bait or live fish from one lake to another. 

Zebra mussels will quickly put a damper on your fishing experience by cutting your hands, feet and fishing line. Giant salvinia will make it hard to even get a line in the water. It grows amazingly quickly and will eventually block any sunlight from entering the water, seriously impacting your sport fishing. All invasive species also attack the aquatic ecosystem, which can’t successfully fight back on its own, it needs your help. Don’t give shelter to the enemy – clean drain and dry every time. Protect the lakes you love.

Back to Top

Pass on Your Fishing Skills – Teach!

Angler education

Discover the thrill of helping someone learn to fish - volunteer as an instructor in our Angler Education Program. The program helps new anglers learn the skills they need to be successful at fishing, as well as safe and ethical. Learning to fish is also a wonderful way to help children and adults alike re-connect with nature. 

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer angler instructor, you’ll start with a free skills workshop. We’ll give you training, curriculum, supplies and support so you can bring fishing activities and events to your community. Extend a hand and pass on your appreciation of the sport of fishing. You know that old saying: “Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” 

Back to Top

Bass Plate

Changes to Fishing Regulations

There are recent changes to a few fishing regulations that go into effect on September 1. They affect bass and catfish in specific waters and clarify saltwater length limits on black drum and amberjack. There are also new rules prohibiting snagging of fish with pole-and-line. 

Keep up on regulation information no matter where you are with the Outdoor Annual App. Get it for your Apple or Android device, it’s free. You can also find the Outdoor Annual online (also in Spanish) and in print wherever licenses are sold. Pack it with your tackle!

Back to Top

Facebook Find: Texas-sized Catfish

Texas-sized catfish “Large” is an understatement for this 52” blue catfish, caught and released by researchers in Lake Conroe. They estimated its weight at 75+ pounds but didn’t have a scale on board, so it’s not in the history books - yet. She’s still out there. And you’re going to be the one to catch her!

Check out the comments on the Facebook post for some other recent catches at Lake Conroe, where fishing is thriving. And keep up with the freshest fish stories by following us on Facebook.

Back to Top

A message from a Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine advertiser:

Port Aransas

Free Mobile Fishing Guide

2016 Mobile Texas Fishing Guide

Get to know your favorite freshwater fish species. Experts have provided a special look into Texas’ most popular fish— including species descriptions, illustrations, insights into where to fish and how to catch them. Find this exclusive guide in the Texas Fishing Guide section of the Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine mobile app. 

Download the app for your Apple or Android devices! 

Back to Top

Did you know…

Free Fishing Day is Saturday, June 4th. A fishing license is not required to fish on this day, but bag and length limits still apply. This is the perfect day to introduce someone you know to your love of fishing. 

Be that dad! Teach your kids to fish