Fish Texas – May 2023

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Your Catfish Dinner Is Waiting

Catfish on girl's line, video link

Got your pole? Got some stinky bait? Got a Neighborhood Fishin' pond nearby? Then get out there and catch yourself a catfish dinner, because we've started stocking cats across the state!

Neighborhood Fishin’ ponds are a fun way to introduce children to fishing. Channel catfish are stocked regularly from May-July and Sept.-Oct., so chances are good the kids will reel in a few. 

Catfish go for strong smells like hot dogs, and it's easy to make your own catfish bait. Check out the stocking schedule for dates and locations, then go catch some cats – the daily limit is 25. Check the Outdoor Annual for all size and bag limits. See you out there!

Federal Snapper Season Opening Soon

Woman weighing red snapper, video link

Red snapper season opens June 1 in federal waters – your daily limit is 2 fish per person, 16" minimum. Red snapper season is open year-round in state waters – with a daily limit of 4 fish per person, 15" minimum. 

The DESCEND Act of 2022 requires anyone fishing for red snapper or other reef fish in the Gulf must possess a venting tool or a rigged descending device on their boat. Properly releasing reef fish reduces their mortality.

Find out more in our press release Federal Red Snapper Season Opens June 1. For more on what you'll find along the coast, see the Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine story Saltwater Sampling

Release Your Inner Chef: Fish Piccata

Fish Piccata, with video link

Simple and lemony, this Fish Piccata (video) recipe works for any white fish with a delicate, mild flavor, including red snapper, trout, flounder and red drum. 

The magic is in a tangy sauce of lemon juice, low-salt chicken or fish broth and capers. Try it for an easy weekday dinner! Pro tip: This recipe cooks up quickly, so have your sides ready before the fish hits the pan. 

Best Bass Lakes + Legacy Lunker Recap

Mechelda Criswell ShareLunker14.08 lbs

There were 18 Legacy Class Sharelunkers donated in 2023, but Sharelunker season never closes – and there are plenty more big bass ready to be reeled in across the state. 

The recent Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine story Best Lakes for Bass explores trends in lake productivity during bass tournaments. It reveals the top 15 Texas lakes where teams weighed in a 5-fish bag over 15 pounds. These are the top 5: 

  1. Choke Canyon – South Central 
  2. Toledo Bend – East 
  3. Falcon Lake – South 
  4. Sam Rayburn – Southeast 
  5. O.H. Ivie – West

I.D. your catch using the Outdoor Annual's Bass Comparison and Identification. Bass must be at least 14" long, and daily bag is 5 for any combination.  

Bass Conservation License Plate, with link

Flounder Fishing Reminder

Don't forget to report your nighttime flounder catch in Texas bays using the free My Texas Hunt Harvest app. We need your input to help improve flounder fishing.

June 3 – Good Day to Teach Someone to Fish

Free Fishing Day June 3, with link

Never Dump Your Tank

Fish in a bag, video link

Never dump anything out of an aquarium – fish, animals or plants – into a Texas waterbody. Your aquarium residents are probably not native Texas species and can harm native wildlife or introduce disease. 

Don't flush them down the toilet, either. Find out how to responsibly dispose of aquarium life and watch our short video Never Dump Your Tank for tips. 

Field Notes – Catfish, Ducks and an Eagle

Field Notes, 3 wardens in a boat, with link

A message from our non-profit partner Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation:

A Century of Fishing Memories

100 Years of State parks logo and angler, with link

For 100 years, Texas State Parks have provided a place to fish for anglers young and old. Many catch their first fish here, a priceless memory.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation is raising $2 million to fund much-needed projects for all state parks across Texas.

From courtesy docks to fish cleaning stations and so much more, these projects will allow our parks to continue delighting visitors for generations to come.

We’re not the only ones excited about this effort: A group of Centennial Champions are matching all gifts dollar-for-dollar!

Learn more and give back to the park closest to your heart.

Wear Your Life Jacket

Family fishing from dock, video link

If you fish from a kayak or other boat, always wear a life jacket. Even if you're not on a watercraft, jetties are slippery, docks are slippery, rocks are slippery and waves can knock you over – just wear a life jacket whenever you fish so you can get home safely with your catch. 

If children are around water they should know how to swim and also wear a life jacket. For tips on how to safely get your child into one, watch our short video How to Put a Life Jacket on a Kid

Messages from Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine advertisers:

Fish in Baytown, with link

Visit S Padre Island, with link

Grady-White Boats ad, with link

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