When you think of bass fishing, what comes to mind? Summertime with friends and family? Maybe a beautiful lake? Early mornings with your kids? Perhaps getting a cold one with your dad?
Along with all that, you should be thinking of the great state of Texas! Texas has some of the best bass fishing anywhere. It's also where the majority of bass tournament professionals call home!
Keep reading for some great tips on how to be successful when you decide to come to Texas to fish. We'll give some tips from the pros and then let you know the best places to go in Texas for bass!
Tips For Great Bass Fishing
Whether you've been bass fishing before or not, here are some tips from experts on how to make your next fishing outing a success.
Early Angler Gets the Bass
Just like the early bird, the early fisherman finds the most success. Bass, like many fish, are more active in the cooler water, and so it's best to try to catch them before the Texas sun heats up the water too much!
Bass actually do quite well in warm water, which is why they are so big in Texas. But, even the Texas bass slows down a bit in the noon sun, so the cooler morning is the best time to fish.
Of course, there are likely fewer people around the earlier you go, so there is less chance of louder lake-goers scaring off your fish.
Alternately, late in the evening is also a good time to fish for bass since it is getting cool again.
Look Shallow... and Deep
The last several years have fairly chaotic as far as flooding goes. While that is mostly a bad thing for all kinds of reasons, it can be good for catching bass.
Bass love shallow, flooded areas that have lots of minnows to eat and natural cover to hide. This is also where they lay their eggs in the spring, making that a very good time to fish in the shallow areas.
So, if a wooded area all of a sudden is underwater, that provides a great environment for bass to hide out and get their fill of all the small minnows that are also drawn to these areas. You can typically see the bass in a shallow area, which is a clear advantage for you!
Don't forget about trying your luck around boat docks. The shallow water here is just as good as those far off spots.
Flooded areas also offer a quick escape to deeper water, which bass also like. Shallow areas area great, especially in spring, but don't forget the bass also like retreating to the deeper water.
Often bass that are in deeper water are hanging out with larger schools of fish, which can you give you multiple chances to get one.
'Injure' Your Lures
Bass like to attack wounded prey. Sure they do--it's easier! So some fisherman will purposefully shred up their plastic worms a bit to make it look like they are injured.
Or, just use them normally, and as they get worn from use, don't throw them out. They could even be better once worn out, and this way they'll last longer. In any case, don't think that a shredded plastic worm is useless--it's actually perfect. This works particularly well in the shallow water.
Another long-held belief about injured bait is that bass are fooled by red lures into thinking their bait is injured and bloody, and therefore easier to catch. This may just be a fishing tall tale. The jury is still out.
We do know that bass can indeed see red quite easily. Scientists don't necessarily think this means they go for red lures. Longtime fishermen certainly think so, though. So we say, follow their lead! Why not use red just in case?
The best bass lures may be your least pretty ones.
Just like any good gardener, bass will eat seasonally to a certain extent. What does this mean for you? Well, try to match your lures and bait to what they're naturally eating at that point in the year.
In the winter and early spring, this generally means crawdads. Go with colors and patterns that approximate a crawdad. Later in the year, it's shad, which is a small silvery fish. Try a chrome or silver lure.
Another pro tip related to bait is to actually check what the bass are eating by what they will spit up. If you have a fish or two in the livewell, study what you find there. Bass quite often will spit up their recent meals. Try to match your bait to what you see.
It might be a little gross, but it can yield great results!
Generally speaking, the best season to catch bass is May through July.
Maintain Your Equipment
This might be the most boring and practical tip on catching fish. But it's an important one. You need to have your equipment working in proper order to really enjoy your fishing outing.
This means keeping your hooks sharp. You can do this very quickly with a file. It's a small detail that will help you not miss out on a great catch.
Use rod covers to store your rods between fishing trips and while traveling to your next spot.
Use fresh water to rinse your rods after you're done for the day. Use soap and water to clean them occasionally, too!
To care for your lures, use a small bit of oil for the moving parts. This will keep them usable for longer.
You should also check your line and reel each time you plan to use it. Make sure they are working smoothly before you start fishing.
If you have a bit of experience already, it can be fun to try to skip your cast over the water a little bit in the right circumstances.
As mentioned above, boat docks can be great places to fish for bass, and skipping your bait over the surface of the water is a way to position it under a dock or other structure.
To do this, you just need to stop your cast abruptly instead of following through. The bait should hit the water and skip above the surface a bit before going under.
Some fishermen only fish the end of the dock, but if you can learn to skip the bait, it opens up a lot more options for getting to places others can't.
Another casting tip is to cast into the wind. This may seem counterintuitive since you won't be able to cast quite as far. The advantage is that the bass will be much more likely to see the bait before they see you or your boat. This is because they always swim with the wind.
Best Places For Bass in Texas
Once you've studied up on the above tips and techniques, sharpened your hooks, and got everything ready to go, start planning your trip. But, where are the best places to go in Texas for catching bass?
Texas is full of lakes that are great for catching big, beautiful bass. It routinely produces the best, trophy-winning bass. There are countless good fishing spots in the state, but the following are particularly good. (Even if you can't make it to one of these five spots, just head to the nearest lake, and you'll very likely be able to score some great bass.)
This lake's claim to fame is that a full 65% of Texas's largest bass were caught here. Largemouth bass are the top option in this lake.
The fish population here is well-maintained due to fairly restrictive regulations about keeping fish, as well as excellent habitat for several kinds of fish to flourish.
It's only a few hours from Dallas, so it is within reach for a large city population to get to for a weekend. But actually, given its reputation as a top bass location, there are visitors from all over the country and world that come to Lake Fork.
Even with its popularity and heavy traffic, the lake continues to produce award-winning bass each year.
This reservoir is just south of San Antonio. After you've stopped at The Alamo and walked around the riverwalk shopping area, head south for some great bass fishing.
The lake is in a state park, and like all state parks in Texas, it isn't necessary to get a fishing permit if you stick to fishing from the shore. This large reservoir is the result of damming up the Frio River and other nearby streams.
The lake and the park are a bit secluded, but that's probably to your benefit if you're fishing! The park always offers lots of other outdoor activities.
Lake Sam Rayburn
This lake in deep east Texas is another favorite of professional anglers. It's actually the largest lake that's entirely within Texas's borders. The large lake is inside the Piney Woods, making it both a great place to catch fish and a beautiful location to spend the weekend.
Its great reputation for bass fishing has resulted in at least 300 tournaments being held there each year.
It's not far from Jasper, Texas. But it's worth taking a long trip to get there from wherever you're at in Texas or the country.
Lake Amistad (Spanish for "friendship") is right on the Rio Grande River, which separates the United States from Mexico.
The lake is partly in the U.S. and partly in Mexico, and you'll need to pay close attention since there are different permits required depending on which part of the lake you're in! You'll need a Mexican fishing license if you end up in that part of the lake.
Besides the obvious bass fishing, the lake is also great for scuba diving. It has exceptionally clear water.
Everything is bigger in Texas...including this huge reservoir along the Texas and Lousiana border. It's the largest manmade body of water in Texas and covers 185,000 acres.
The lake has tons of recreational opportunities in both Texas and Lousiana. It has many bass fishing tournaments, and Bassmaster Magazine has named it the top fishery location in the United States.
Along with fishing and outdoor fun, it also serves as a huge power generation source.
It also has alligators. Don't worry, they keep to themselves, but if you're scared of them, it's something to at least be aware of!
Get Stocked and Go!
If you still have questions about bass fishing in Texas, connect with us on the social media of your choice or send an email.
Texas has some of the greatest bass fishing in the world. Take advantage of it with our great equipment and local knowledge of the best places to visit.
We have all the crankbait, hard bait, jigs, worms, lures, fishing line, and rods and reels you'll ever need for the best experience catching bass.
In addition to our selection of fishing equipment, we have a great online community of fellow anglers to connect with and talk about strategy. Join our Facebook group and get even more tips.
We highly recommend checking out our online store, getting stocked up, and then heading out to one of the above places (or wherever you'd like to go) and experience the joy of bass fishing.
Check back here for more great tips!