Fish Texas – May 2022

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Essential Texas Fishing: Guadalupe Bass

angler in kayak holding Guadalupe bass, with video link

If you're looking for a classic Texas experience, fish for Guadalupe bass in the Hill Country. It's our official state fish, and the only bass found exclusively in Texas.

The Guadalupe bass was once on the brink of disappearing. But restoration efforts that began in 1991 continue to pay off, and today you'll find them in 7 rivers – all of which have plenty of public access due to our river access program.

Small versions of largemouth lures work on Guadalupe bass, like in-line spinners, crayfish imitation crankbaits or Ned rig. They also go for insects, so test your fly fishing skills on these little fighters. Look for them at the edge of currents and under rock ledges. You can catch up to 5 per day, with no size limit

Our fish and wildlife will have a better future if the Recovering America's Wildlife Act passes – and you can help. Watch a video message from TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith to find out more.

NEW Regulation: Depressurize Reef Fish

redfish with barotrauma, video link

New federal regulations require anyone fishing for reef fish in the Gulf must possess a venting tool or a rigged descending device on their boat.

These tools are for depressurizing fish before release. Research shows that depressurizing and properly releasing reef fish, including red snapper, reduces their mortality.

Take a look at our simple instructions for depressurizing a saltwater fish

Red snapper season opens June 1 in federal waters – your daily limit  in federal waters is 2 fish per person, 16" minimum. Red snapper season is open year-round in state waters – your daily limit in state waters is 4 fish per person, 15" minimum. Refer to the Outdoor Annual website or app for all your up-to-date fishing regulations. 

Catfish on the Prowl

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Summer is rolling in, which means the catfish are rolling out. Try these bait suggestions to help set your hook:

  • Channel catfish are what we stock in Neighborhood Fishin' lakes across the state – perfect places to teach kids to fish. These cats go for a variety of bait like shrimp, hotdogs, corn and cheese.
  • Flatheads can be found in the shallows at night, where they feed exclusively on live fish. 
  • Blue catfish are jungle-sized cats – the record is a 121.5 lbs. caught in Lake Texoma. Blues go for dough balls, cut bait, jigs and minnows.

Check the Outdoor Annual for size and bag limits, and visit any of these 3 lakes for some serious cat fishing: 

  1. Lake Conroe – N of Houston
  2. Lake Waco – N of Austin
  3. Lake Texoma – N of DFW

Need more inspiration? Watch our video Fishing for Cats

Rivers license plate, with link

Try This Recipe: Blackened Catfish Tacos

catfish tacos, video link

Catfish are so tasty, restaurants are named after them and recipes revolve around their firmness and flavor – rich and just a touch sweet. 

Be sure to keep any catfish 14"-17" long – they're considered the best eating. Try our easy video recipe for Blackened Catfish Tacos – kids love them!

3 Tips for Summer Saltwater Fishing

woman next to kayak in surf, holding silver fish

Planning a getaway to the Gulf coast this summer? Don't forget your fishing gear! Try wade fishing or take out a kayak – surf fishing is a great way for the family to fish together.

The summer heat affects fish as well as people, so keep these 3 inshore fishing tips in mind:

  1. Fish in early morning or right before sunset, avoid the heat of the day. 
  2. Fish during an incoming or outgoing tide.
  3. Move your bait through the water more slowly than usual – fish get lazy in summer.

Check out more inshore saltwater fishing tips, and don't forget your saltwater or all-water fishing license.

Clean, drain, dry with link

Act Today for Better Fishing Tomorrow

fish released underwater, video link

The Recovering America's Wildlife Act (RAWA) is a bill that will provide Texas with funds to preserve our fish and wildlife, as well as the clean water they need to survive. The passage of this bill would also cause an increase in outdoor recreational areas and outdoor-related jobs. Watch the short video Recovering America's Wildlife Act Is a Game-Changer for Texas Wildlife to find out more.

Speak up for our wild things. Contact your federal representative and senators, and tell them you expect their support of RAWA. You can make a difference. 

Teach Your Children to Swim

Ensuring the Future of Texas Fishing

Woman fishing in sunset

Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, TPWD’s official nonprofit partner, is committed to ensuring the future of fishing in Texas.

Now a new partnership with H-E-B will have a significant impact on TPWF’s ability to fund projects that benefit anglers and all Texans who care about the wild things and wild places of our state.

The new Field & Future by H-E-B™ product brand will support conservation projects across the state as part of H-E-B’s commitment to environmental sustainability. 

This partnership builds on TPWF’s success raising funds for projects ranging from the acquisition of Powderhorn Ranch on the Texas coast, to critical improvements at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens. TPWF and its generous donors are making fishing opportunities better in our state – find out more.

Did You Know?

The Weekly Fishing Reports webpage also has helpful information like up-to-date regional reports, tides information and much more. Keep all this info literally at your fingertips – bookmark it!

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Messages from Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine advertisers:

Grady White boats with link

Blue Water RV Park with link

The Fish Texas newsletter is made possible in part
by the generous support of Toyota.