The 16 Best Bass Fishing Lakes in Texas: Local Expert Guide

Get ready for epic Texas bass fishing! Our expert guide unveils the 16 must-visit lakes for anglers. Find hidden gems and insider tips to reel in the big ones.

Texas is widely regarded as the big bass capital of the United States. The state is home to vast lakes and reservoirs that often enjoy a warm climate throughout most of the year, giving fish ample opportunity to grow to trophy-sized bass.

The state is home to a variety of different types of waterways that are filled with largemouth bass. If you’re planning to visit the Lone Star State in the near future to wet a line, we’ve compiled this list of the best Texas bass fishing lakes to help you plan your trip.

Bass Species in Texas 

Largemouth Bass Fishing

The saying “everything is bigger in Texas” is true to some extent, especially in terms of the size at which fish species are known to reach. Texas is famous for having some of the biggest largemouth bass in the world, as well as monster striped bass, spotted bass, Guadalupe bass, white bass, yellow bass, and many other fish within the black bass family.

Most of the lakes we will mention in our list include reservoirs that are known for having massive channel catfish and other bottom-feeder species as well. The lack of deep water reservoirs is one of the main reasons why smallmouth bass are not a naturally occurring species in Texas. However, the state’s natural resources division occasionally stocks smallmouth bass in some lakes.

The Best Texas Bass Fishing Lakes

Texas bass lakes are unlike any other in terms of their size and abundance. The state truly offers just about every type of habitat you might find largemouth bass and spotted bass. Here are some of the best bass fishing destinations in Texas and some helpful tips I’ve learned from fishing in these waterways.

Lake Fork Reservoir

Texas bass fishing Lake Fork

Lake Fork Reservoir is known among locals across this part of Texas as the “Crown Jewel of Texas Bass Fishing.” This reservoir is famous for its abundant numbers of trophy-sized largemouth bass. Lake Fork Reservoir is a 27,690-acre lake located in East Texas.

Lake Fork is somewhat shallow in most parts, but you can find deeper channels that are about 60 feet in depth. I prefer to use finesse lures around the deeper submerged timber during the winter months, but I like to target this lake’s thick vegetation in the summer using topwater lures, especially buzzbaits. Lake Fork Reservoir does get heavily pressured as it’s one of the routine stops for most professional bass fishing circuits, so you may want to stick with less aggressive fishing techniques for better success.

Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Texas bass fishing Sam Rayburn Lake

Sam Rayburn Reservoir is one of my all-time favorite bass fishing lakes in the country. Located in the Piney Woods region of East Texas, this massive lake is the largest waterway in Texas. With more than 114,500 acres of surface water, there is no shortage of places to fish on Sam Rayburn Lake.

Largemouth bass are the target of just about every angler on this lake and finesse techniques work well throughout most of the year. The lake is teeming with shad, which bass heavily feed on during the spring and fall months. I like to fish around the various points and mouths of coves during these times using a jerkbait to catch hungry bass.

Toledo Bend Reservoir

Toledo Bend Reservoir sits along the Texas-Louisiana border and is one of the largest man-made reservoirs in the United States. I have fished this 185,000-acre labyrinth a few times and still not ventured across one-quarter of its waters.

Catching trophy bass on Toledo Bend Reservoir involves focusing your efforts on depth changes since there is no shortage of shelves, knolls, and channels. One of my favorite aspects of fishing this waterway is the fact that most of the coastline is undeveloped and features plenty of trees and aquatic vegetation where big bass like to hide.

Lake Amistad

Texas bass fishing Lake Amistad

Most anglers may disagree with my decision to rank Lake Amistad toward the top of our list, but I consider this to be one of the Lone Star State’s hidden gems in terms of largemouth bass fishing lakes. Lake Amistad is situated along the Rio Grande River in Southwest Texas and is famous for big bass that live in exceptionally clear water surrounded by pristine, rugged shorelines.

Most anglers tend to associate bass fishing with lush, green vegetation and tree-lined shores, but this 64,900-acre reservoir is a distinct desert oasis of bass fishing paradise. Lake Amistad is home to deep structures and rock ledges with some submerged structures that hold bass throughout the year. The extra-long growing season pays off huge dividends on Amistad and you can catch trophy bass using natural, earthy colored lures and swimbaits.

Lake Conroe

Texas bass fishing Lake Conroe

Lake Conroe is located just north of Houston, Texas, and is a mecca for big bass fishing. This 21,000-acre reservoir offers a range of access points, making it easy to fish specific parts during the different seasons of the year. There are as many spotted bass in Lake Conroe as there are largemouth bass and both will feed on the same types of prey.

There are plenty of docks located along the shoreline of Lake Conroe and my favorite method of catching big bass is flipping a heavy jig around these docks. Due to its warm climate most of the year, bass in Lake Conroe tend to grow more quickly than largemouth bass in different parts of the United States.

Falcon Lake

Texas bass fishing Falcon Lake

Falcon Lake is one of the most famous trophy bass fishing lakes in the world. This is one of the biggest lakes in the state and is located along the Texas-Mexico border. Falcon Lake is an 83,654-acre waterway that has gained a reputation in recent years as anglers have caught multiple trophy-sized bass in one outing.

There are plenty of different types of depth changes and structures to fish on Falcon Lake. I have had success using Zoom Super Fluke rigged weightless when fishing around flooded timber during the late spring and summer months. If there’s one lake I would recommend looking for a guided trip, it would definitely be Falcon Lake since you can learn a great deal about the waterway on just one trip.

Lake Bastrop

Texas bass fishing Lake Bastrop

Lake Bastrop is one of the lesser-known bass fishing hotspots in Texas. Nestled in the scenic Texas Hill Country near Austin. This lake is only 900 acres but has a sprawling bass population.

Lake Bastrop is one of the more relaxed waterways in Texas and kayak fishing is exceptionally popular here. The shoreline surrounding the lake is largely undeveloped and bass are not heavily pressured, making Lake Bastrop a great destination to introduce children to the sport of fishing.

Choke Canyon Reservoir

Texas bass fishing Choke Canyon Reservoir

Choke Canyon Reservoir is situated deep in the heart of southern Texas. This reservoir spans more than 26,000 acres and offers plenty of opportunity for catching big bass. Choke Canyon Reservoir’s crystal-clear waters are full of different types of submerged structures, creating an ideal environment for bass to flourish.

Bass fishing is best in the fall at Choke Canyon Reservoir and you can catch bass along different submerged logs and stumps using a variety of soft plastic baits. I would recommend using plastic worms, jigs, and crankbaits for best results.

Lake O’ the Pines

Texas bass fishing Lake O' the Pines

Nestled in the thick pinewood forests of East Texas, Lake O’ the Pines is another hidden gem for bass fishing enthusiasts. This pristine reservoir stretches across 18,700 acres and offers a thriving ecosystem that creates outstanding opportunities for bass fishing.

Lake O’ the Pines has an abundance of largemouth and spotted bass that can be caught in large numbers throughout the year. My favorite time to visit this waterway is during the spring and summer months around the spawn. There are a number of places where anglers can fish from the shoreline, so if you’re in the east Texas area near Shreveport, Louisiana, it’s worth the drive to this destination.

Cedar Creek Reservoir

Texas bass fishing Cedar Creek Reservoir

Cedar Creek Reservoir is a Texas bass angler’s paradise spanning over 32,000 acres. This lake features large numbers of white bass along with largemouth. As is the case in many lakes in the Dallas area, fishing is best during the cooler months of fall or spring.

Cedar Creek Reservoir offers a range of underwater structures including submerged trees and rocky points, which is where I focus most of my efforts when fishing this waterway. My go-to lures at Cedar Creek are soft plastic worms, crankbaits, and spinnerbaits.

Lake Lyndon

Texas bass fishing Lake Lyndon

Lake Lyndon Nestled sits in the heart of the Lone Star State. This lake has earned a reputation as a premier bass fishing destination, despite its relatively small size at just over 1,200 acres. Most anglers in Texas are familiar with Lake Lyndon as it is known to produce bass weighing into the double digits.

This waterway is mostly clear water, making fishing more challenging, especially when there hasn’t been any rain in recent days or weeks. I would recommend going with Texas-rigged soft plastic worms fished around points for best results. You can also get bites using crankbaits and topwater lures around the entrance to coves during the early morning or late evening hours.

Lake Texoma

Texas bass fishing Lake Texoma

Lake Texoma straddles the Texas-Oklahoma border and is a renowned Texas bass fishing waterway. Anglers flock to this 89,000-acre reservoir in pursuit of both largemouth and smallmouth bass. The largemouth bass are naturally occurring, but the state stocks most of the smallmouth found in this lake.

Lake Texoma features rocky points, underwater structures, and a number of deep coves where bass take refuge. There are large schools of shad found all throughout this lake which largemouth bass feed on voraciously. For this reason, I have mostly fished Lake Texoma in the fall season using spinnerbaits for best results.

Lake Travis

Texas bass fishing Lake Travis

If you’re planning to go bass fishing in Texas, don’t rule out a trip to Lake Travis. This waterway is located in the Texas Hill Country and is a popular destination for avid bass fishing anglers. Lake Travis is 18,000 acres and is best known for its abundant largemouth and Guadalupe bass populations.

You can catch Guadalupe bass on the same types of lures you might use for largemouth. When fishing this lake, consider using Texas-rigged plastic worms, crankbaits, and swimbaits. Big fish are often caught in Lake Travis and the lake record is a whopping 15-pound giant that was landed in 2021. The best place to fish on Lake Travis is around the area near Mansfield Dam Park. The water is very clear in this area, so stick to more realistic lures and color presentations.

Lake Alan Henry

Texas bass fishing Lake Alan Henry

Lake Alan Henry is one of the Lone Star State’s best-kept secrets when it comes to bass fishing. This 2,880-acre reservoir is located in west Texas and is teeming with both largemouth and smallmouth bass, making it a worthy addition to our list.

I like to fish around the rocky shoreline and submerged structures found near the dam. You can rely on a good Texas-rigged soft plastic lure, but I prefer to stick to topwater lures at the break of dawn for the best chance of catching a trophy bass. Crankbaits also work well during the cooler months throughout the day.

Caddo Lake

Texas bass fishing Caddo Lake

Caddo Lake is one of the best bass lakes found on the Texas-Louisiana border. This is one of the more famous waterways among bass anglers who flock to its cypress-lined bayous and sloughs in search of monster bass along its 25,000 acres.

The best place to focus your efforts will often be around Big Cypress Bayou, which offers an abundance of submerged vegetation and hideouts for bass. If you’re planning to fish this picturesque lake, consider using soft plastic worms, spinnerbaits, and topwater lures in the early morning and late evening. Night fishing is also prime time on this trophy bass lake as there is less fishing pressure.

O.H. Ivie Lake

One of my personal best largemouth bass catches in Texas came from one of the many brush piles on O.H. Ivie Lake. This 19,000-acre beautiful lake is located in south central Texas and is a haven for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.

There are abundant numbers of crappie to be found in O.H. Ivie Lake as well, but most anglers will focus their efforts on catching trophy largemouth bass. Stick to any boat docks found on the lake during the summer for the best fishing opportunities.

Bass Fishing Texas: Techniques and Tips

One of the top lures in bass fishing draws its namesake from the Lone Star State. The Texas rig earned a reputation as a true workhorse of a lure setup that works across just about any bass fishing scenario to catch fish. I have found that spinnerbaits work exceptionally well when fishing around depth changes to catch bass feeding on schools of shad. Many of the lakes in Texas feature standing timber and finesse techniques tend to function best in these situations.

Texas Bass Fishing Size and Bag Limits and Other Rules

Regulations for largemouth bass fishing in Texas state that anglers can harvest bass that are at least 14 inches long. There is also a 5-fish daily limit for largemouth bass, so be sure you’re not overharvesting when keeping some of your catches.

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AUTHOR
Donny Karr is a respected fishing writer and passionate fisherman who loves targeting largemouth bass and a range of other species. He's a specialist on using the latest gear and techniques to boost fishing success. https://www.facebook.com/donny.karr
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