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Houston fishing enthusiasts really have it good. Spanning 9 different counties, Houston’s wealth of fishing spots would take ages to properly explore. To keep things easily within reach, we’ll focus on the best fishing locales within 100 miles from town.
Why, you ask? The Bayou City has got plenty of incredible angling holes of its own, and today, we’re exploring the best of the best.
These places offer everything from record-breaking freshwater critters, to serene secluded spots, to offshore big game hunting grounds. Without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Just over half an hour from downtown Houston, Lake Conroe is one of Texas’ favorite outdoor getaways. This place offers activities and amenities for all tastes. From lakeside dining to campsites and barbecues, there’s something for everyone around here. The lake covers 32 square miles, so you’ll have plenty of space to practice social distancing.
The southern side of the lake is a lot more urbanized, so if you’re looking to completely get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, head up north. Nature lovers come here to enjoy the picturesque scenery and see birds like the majestic bald eagle.
Fishing-wise, Lake Conroe packs a mighty punch. Largemouth Bass are the signature species, reaching monster sizes on a regular basis. The largest Largemouth caught on Lake Conroe weighed a whopping 15.93 pounds!
But that’s not all. Channel Catfish are the most abundant fish on the lake, and they can get decently large, too. There are also good numbers of Crappie and Sunfish, as well as Hybrid Striped Bass. Lake Conroe has its own bag and size regulations, so be sure to check them out before you go. And before you wet the line, make sure you have a valid fishing license.
Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge
In terms of versatility, nothing beats the fishing action in Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. Boasting the best of what Texan inshore and freshwater angling has to offer, this place is a perfect getaway for the avid angler. Best of all, this peaceful fishing haven is just over half an hour away from Houston.
Providing access to the fish-filled waters of East Bay, the Anahuac refuge will put you on the famous inshore trio of Flounder, Trout, and Redfish. If you prefer freshwater fishing, you’ll have your hands full with Largemouth, Catfish, and Crappie.
Fishing in the Anahuac refuge is incredibly popular among kayak fishermen. It doesn’t offer much in terms of creature comforts, but in terms of sheer fishing quality, this place is top notch. Since this is a wildlife sanctuary, we recommend that you register at the Visitor Information Station. Here, you can learn about local rules and regulations, but also get some useful tips on where to cast your line.
One of the largest lakes in Texas, Lake Livingston offers a wealth of opportunities for outdoors enthusiasts. From fishing, swimming, boating, and bird-watching to hiking and cycling, there are tons of activities to enjoy here.
For Houston fishing addicts, Lake Livingston is one of the premier Bass fishing locales around. There are Largemouths and Stripers in good numbers, but White Bass are what sets the lake apart. These guys are regularly caught along the springs and creeks that feed into the lake.
But Bass are not the only fish swimming in these waters. Lake Livingston boasts a healthy variety of Catfish species, as well as Crappie and Sunfish.
The lake is home to the Lake Livingston State Park, a pine wood forest of breathtaking beauty. Here, you’ll find boat ramps, fish cleaning stations, a fishing pier, and everything else you need for a perfect day of angling. Before your visit, make sure to check the park’s social distancing guidelines and make an online reservation.
An hour’s drive from downtown Houston, Freeport is one of the best fishing spots in the entire Gulf. With superb fishing both inshore and offshore, the town is worthy of any angler’s bucket list. Right off the coast, you can enjoy some of Freeport’s most productive hotspots like San Luis Pass, Chocolate Bay, and Christmas Bay.
These waters hold mind-boggling numbers of all the Texan inshore all stars. From Redfish and Speckled Trout to Flounder, Black Drum, and Sheepshead, anglers will have their work cut out for them.
Head further out, and the fish just get bigger. From Kingfish to Cobia to Sharks, there’s no telling what you’ll run into. But it’s offshore that Freeport’s true fishing treasures lie. Giant Mahi Mahi, huge Tuna, and hard fighting Billfish are all in the cards here. Not bad for a single-day excursion.
Clear Lake Park
Nestled between Seabrook and Clear Lake City, Clear Lake Park is a great place to experience inshore fishing. Ideal if you’re short on time, this lakeside fishing spot is less than half an hour away from Midtown. The park features a public boat ramp and a fishing pier, as well as a large parking space.
The north side of the park has recreational facilities, as well as an open-air pavilion.
If you’re fishing off the pier, you’ll have a nice variety of Panfish to catch. But what most anglers come here for is Flounder. This is actually one of the best spots to catch the tasty Flatfish in the bay.
The pier has plenty of room for social distancing, but if you really want some peace and quiet, hop on a kayak. Heading out to the deeper reaches of the lake will get to experience an action-packed Trout and Redfish bite. Of course, if you’d like the benefit of deeper waters, but aren’t too crazy about kayaking, you can always rent a boat or hire a local fishing guide.
For the Weekend: Sam Rayburn
All the fishing spots we mentioned so far are up to an hour away from Houston. But if you have more than a day to spend, we absolutely recommend checking out Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Heck, we’d be tempted to head out for the whole week – this place is that good!
Sam Rayburn is a legendary Largemouth Bass fishery, traditionally bringing in anglers from all over the country. Combining impressive size with sheer abundance, lake anglers see trophy-grade Largemouths throughout the year.
But Sam Rayburn isn’t a one-trick pony. The lake offers equally impressive numbers of Catfish, as well as the kids’ favorite, Crappie. The best part is, you can catch these critters during the entire year.
And when you’re not fishing, Sam Rayburn offers everything from lakeside dining, to golfing, to wakeboarding and hiking.
A Treasure Within Your Grasp
Houston is close to so many beautiful fishing spots, it would take a book to do them justice. As noble as this writing would be, we’ll tell you what’s even better. Visiting these places and experiencing them in full glory.
Do this, and you’ll get to enjoy the outdoors, stay active and healthy, and have a blast fishing some of the best grounds in the state. And best of all, it’ll just take you a short drive from home to make it happen.
We know you’re probably yearning to get out on the water again – who wouldn’t be? Before you visit any of the places we mentioned, a word of friendly advice. Check the local safety recommendations, because they can actually save your life. Also, make sure that the local facilities are still in operation – things are changing every day, after all. And last but not least, avoid large groups of people as much as you can. Tight lines!
So there you have it. What are your favorite fishing spots around Houston? Where will you go fishing next? Let us know in the comments below.
Start by going online and check out fishing forums in the area, local fishing associations, city and town tourism guides, or other resources on fishing hot spots. Once you identify some ideal fishing spots, be sure to follow local regulations in effect, for example, for licenses, permits, catch rates, and more.Can you fish at Hermann Park? ›
Fishing is permitted at Bob's Fishing Pier along the western side of the lake beyond the green buoys. It is restricted to those aged 12 and younger and 65 and older (Sec. 32-35 City of Houston Municipal Code). A Texas fishing license is required for those aged between 12 and 65.Can you fish at Buffalo Bayou? ›
Fishing. The bayou supports numerous sunfish, bass and catfish.How do you know if a spot is good to fish? ›
A steep shoreline usually indicates the water will be deep close to shore, which makes it a good area to try in the summer and winter when most gamefish prefer the comforts of deep water. A flat or gently sloping bank indicates shallow water that is best to fish in the spring and fall.What is the best bait for fish? ›
Some of the best freshwater fishing bait include worms, leeches, minnows, crayfish, crickets and grasshoppers. Select good saltwater baits including sea worms, eels, crabs, shrimp, strips of squid, and cut-up pieces of fish.Where can I fish in Houston without a license? ›
Sea Rim State Park – At this stretch of state park along the Gulf coast, visitors can fish along the surf or in the marsh areas. The park also loans out fishing equipment to visitors and a license is not required to fish these waters.Where can you fish for free in Texas? ›
“Free fishing applies to fishing in rivers and creeks, from bank or pier. You can also wade fish in the surf along the shore of our coastal state parks. You may be able to fish for free from a boat on lakes or ponds that are fully enclosed in a state park,” Texas Parks and Wildlife.How many rods can you fish with in Texas? ›
Fishing is by pole and line only. Anglers may use no more than two poles while fishing. For largemouth and smallmouth bass, minimum length limit = 14 inches.Can you fish at Sheldon Reservoir? ›
Being located within a state park, this lake is regulated as a Community Fishing Lake.How deep is the lake in Hermann Park? ›
The lake's basin is contoured, with wetlands areas and holes as deep as 15 feet.
As a free, safe, and enjoyable public space, Hermann Park brings people together and fosters a strong sense of community.Is it legal to fish in Houston bayous? ›
Technically, the answer is yes — it's not illegal to fish and eat from Houston's bayous. State health officials wouldn't recommend it, though.Are there alligators in Buffalo Bayou Houston? ›
Right Here in the Bayou City! So you're walking or skating or biking along Buffalo Bayou in the park near downtown Houston, enjoying the balmy day, watching the people. You look down at the water and what's that?!How deep is Buffalo Bayou in Houston? ›
By 1914, the Ship Channel had been dredged to a depth of 25-feet, and today, it is a thriving, fifty-two-mile, 45-feet deep water port connecting Houston to the world. An 1891 map of Houston. Photo courtesy of the author. Buffalo Bayou remains Houston's signature waterway.How do you get a fishing spot on Google Maps? ›
2 NEW Google Maps Features (To Find FISHING SPOTS Fast)How do you pick a bass fishing spot? ›
- Know the seasonal fishing patterns.
- Use maps to break down the lake.
- Spend all of your time graphing and fishing.
- Choose confidence lures to verify fish.
- Build off of what you find.
- Be confident.
How To Find Local Fishing Spots Using Google Maps! - YouTubeWhat attracts fish the most? ›
- Human Saliva. Human saliva seems to be an attractive scent for fish. ...
- Anything Fish. Fish definitely will be attracted to the scent of their kind, which makes a lot of sense. ...
- Cheese. ...
- Coffee. ...
- Garlic. ...
- Alcohol. ...
- Human Natural Oils. ...
- Sunscreen And Bug Spray.
The most effective scents found in fish attractants are garlic, natural fish oil, fish pheromones, anise oil, and amino acids. All of these scents make baits smell and taste like prey that fish would eat in nature.Can you use hot dogs as fish bait? ›
fishing with hot dogs as bait catches 50 Fish in 1 hour - YouTube
For most Texas fishing rules, a violation will result in a citation with a fine of less than $500. You could receive a number of citations from the same incident, with multiple fines. The real cost comes if you are ordered to pay restitution to the state for the value of each damaged or dead animal.Who gets free fishing license in Texas? ›
Yes, Texas residents 65 years of age and older are required to purchase a fishing license. However, Texas residents born before January 1, 1931 are exempt from the fishing license requirement.Can you catch and release fish without a license in Texas? ›
Fishing License Requirements
Any person who takes or attempts to take fish, mussels, clams, crayfish or other aquatic life in the public waters of Texas must have a current Texas fishing license with the appropriate endorsement.
And generally, kids under 16 can fish without a license. The Lone Star State, however, now offers free fishing in Texas state parks for everyone, year round. According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, you don't need a Texas fishing license to fish in Texas state parks, just a park entry fee.Can you fish in Galveston without a license? ›
It is required that you have a Texas Fishing License to fish in Galveston, TX. There are various places on the island for you to purchase these, such as Academy and Walmart. Also, temporary fishing licenses are included with your entry to Galveston Island State Park.How much is a Texas state fishing license? ›
|231||Resident Freshwater Fishing Package||$30.00|
|232||Resident Saltwater Fishing Package||$35.00|
|233||Resident All Water Fishing Package||$40.00|
|234||Senior Resident Freshwater Fishing Package||$12.00|
They can carry a handgun while hunting, fishing and some other sporting activities, as long as the handgun is of a type commonly used in the sport. A licensee can carry a handgun everywhere, unless there is a prohibition. A licensee is not required to conceal the handgun if it is carried in a belt or shoulder holster.Can I fish at night in Texas? ›
Night Fishing - Texas Parks and Wildlife [Official] - YouTubeHow many hooks can you fish with in Texas? ›
In fresh water, it is unlawful to fish with more than 100 hooks on all devices combined. In fresh water, it is unlawful to take fish with a hand-operated device held underwater except that a spear or spear gun may be used to take nongame fish.How deep is the Sheldon Reservoir? ›
Learn more about fishing at Sheldon Lake. Families (children with adults) can drop a line in one of our two fishing ponds, which are catch-and-release only.Where can I fish in Lake Houston? ›
Some of the best areas for catching fish are towards the northern end of Lake Houston, around where the east and west forks of the San Jacinto River run into the lake. Springtime can be a good time for catching white bass and crappie in these areas.Who owns Hermann Park? ›
|Area||445 acres (180 ha)|
|Operated by||Hermann Park Conservancy City of Houston|
Catch and release fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass is open year round unless otherwise noted. Motor Trolling is allowed with up to 3 hooks, baits, or lures, per angler. NOTE: Regulations listed below may not reflect fish species actually found in the lake.What kind of fish are in McGovern lake? ›
McGovern Park Pond is a 4 acre lake located in Milwaukee County. It has a maximum depth of 4.5 feet. Fish include Panfish, Largemouth Bass and Trout.Is Hermann Park safe at night? ›
The only caution I would add is that, at night, the park becomes a very popular hangout for lots and lots of homeless people. Be careful walking certain paths, because there can literally be people asleep on the ground in the middle of the walkways.Why is Hermann Park closed? ›
Due to construction of the Commons, the Buddy Carruth Playground for All Children, water play areas, and pavilions in the southwest area of Hermann Park are currently closed.What is Hermann Park known for? ›
HERMANN PARK GOLF COURSE AND CLUBHOUSE
Built in 1922, the Hermann Park Golf Course is one of Houston's oldest and most popular municipal golf courses. it was the first golf course in the country to be integrated. The golf course was redesigned in 1997.
Yes. It's always a good idea to remove the skin, fat, and internal organs (where harmful pollutants are most likely to accumulate) before you cook the fish. As an added precaution: Remove and throw away the head, guts, kidneys, and the liver.Are treble hooks illegal in Texas? ›
Treble hooks are legal to use in Texas.
The daily bag and possession limit is 20 fish in combination of all species (except shiner perch), with not more than 10 fish of any one species.Does Houston have crocodiles? ›
A sanctuary for “nuisance alligators,” Gator Country Adventure Park outside Beaumont is home to more than 450 alligators, crocodiles and other reptiles, including snakes, lizards, tortoises and caimans.Are there poisonous snakes in Houston Texas? ›
Not just copperhead, there's the cottonmouth or water moccasin, coral snake, and rattlesnake are common venomous species found in the greater Houston area. The good news is the likelihood of being bit by a snake is low.How common are alligators in Houston? ›
Alligators are pretty common. But otters, not so much.Is Buffalo Bayou water clean? ›
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) had determined that Buffalo and Whiteoak Bayous, and several tributaries, sometimes have bacteria levels that are higher than state standards for contact recreation.What is a bayou vs Swamp? ›
Swamp is a wetland with trees. Bayous are bodies of water mainly close to the Gulf Coast.Is parking free at Buffalo Bayou? ›
Buffalo Bayou Park trails can be accessed from Sabine Promenade. Parking on Allen Parkway – Parking is available 9 am – 7 pm Monday-Sunday. There are 140 parking spots between Sabine and Taft streets with pricing at $1 for 3-hours, 3-hour maximum. (including Saturday and Sunday).How do you get a fishing spot on Google Maps? ›
2 NEW Google Maps Features (To Find FISHING SPOTS Fast)Where can I fish in Ontario without a boat? ›
- Bewdley Ontario, Rice Lake. Rice Lake is in South-Central Ontario. ...
- Niagara Whirlpool, Niagara River. This is by far our most scenic pick of shoreline fishing spots on this list. ...
- Thames River, London. ...
- Saugeen River, Bruce County. ...
- St Mary's River Rapids, Sault Ste Marie.
You're only allowed to keep a certain amount of the fish you catch. These fish must also be of a certain size. You must return fish you can't keep to the water unharmed. You're committing an offence and can be fined if you take too many fish or fish that aren't the right size.
Look into the water.
The stuff under the water is always more productive then the stuff everyone can see out of the water. So when you're scouting at low water levels, try to find some stuff a couple feet under the surface. Usually this time of year the lakes start to clear up from lack of rain and current.
Using GOOGLE MAPS to Find SPILLWAYS! | (Find New Spots)Where are the oyster beds on Google Earth? ›
Easiest & Quickest Way To Find OYSTER BEDS In Your AreaHow do you shore fish? ›
Cast your line parallel to the shoreline. While you may have the urge to cast straight out toward the middle of the lake or pond, most of the fish will be close to shore. If you can identify the spots where the shoreline drops off into the lake or pond, those are good areas to try.Does a 65 year old need a fishing license in Ontario? ›
If you are under 18 years old or 65 and older
You do not need to purchase an Outdoors Card or licence to fish. You will need to carry your government-issued identification with you, that includes your name and date of birth, at all times while fishing.
If you are 18 years and older
You will need a valid licence before you can start fishing. This licence includes two parts: an Outdoors Card (a plastic ID card, valid for three calendar years) a fishing licence (valid for either one or three calendar years)
Lake Victoria supports Africa's largest inland fishery, with the majority of the catch being the invasive Nile perch, introduced in the Lake in the 1950s.Can I fish in Lake Victoria? ›
Lake VictoriaWhat fish are in Lake Colac? ›
Fishing Lake Colac
Here you can catch redfin, trout, carp, eels and tench. With redfin and carp in big numbers when the water conditions are right. You can follow when trout will be stocked using the Victorian trout stocking programs as part of the target 1 million by 2020 and 10 million by 2022 initiatives.
Yes. It's always a good idea to remove the skin, fat, and internal organs (where harmful pollutants are most likely to accumulate) before you cook the fish. As an added precaution: Remove and throw away the head, guts, kidneys, and the liver.
Some anglers have reported that experimenting with using meat such as bacon, ham, pork and chicken as bait can catch sea fish species, although using a more conventional sea fishing bait is almost always likely to prove more effective.Can you eat roach fish? ›
Roach are edible and are likely to have been eaten throughout history, however in the UK the majority are returned live to the water. The flesh is bony but esteemed where it is consumed.