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Conroe Review and Rating

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Conroe
Conroe, TX
Website
Texas Outside Rating: 8.7

Acres Of Water & Miles Of Shoreline
22,000 acres and 157 miles of shoreline

Links

Brief Overview:

Review of Lake Conroe

Lake Conroe is located approximately 60 minutes north of downtown Houston (via IH-45). This man-made lake was created in 1973 as the reserve drinking water supply for the City of Houston and offers water for an abundance of recreational activities including sailing, fishing, hunting, golfing, swimming, camping, hiking, waterskiing, jet skiing, and pleasure boating. Boating is the #1 activity and main reason for living or visiting Lake Conroe. Watersports of every kind can be seen on any given day somewhere on the lake. You'll find luxurious condominiums, hotels, resorts, quality RV parks, waterfront boat storage with valet launching, and gorgeous waterfront real estate that adorns the shoreline. Visit Discover Lake Conroe to learn more about what to see and do, where to stay, and more.

Lake all of the Texas Lakes, in September 2013 Lake Conroe was down about 4 feet but most of the ramps were still open and the docks still had some water under them.

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A Typical Texas Outsider Day

Lake Conroe is one of our favorite lakes - good coves, on the water campsites, excellent cruising, fun bars, and great restaurants.

We usually start the day by finding a good cove for boarding/skiing and anchoring for an afternoon of swimming and games on the boat. You've got lots of choices and most are well protected, depending on the wind direction.

It seems like it is always a must to cruise by Bentwater on the west side of the lake to marvel at the magnificent homes and then anchor and watch some of the golfers trying to par one of the beautiful Bentwater golf course holes. Or head over to a beautiful 3 holes on the Lake at Walden Golf Club.  Jump overboard near the fairways or greens and you'll find lots of golf balls.  On this last trip, the grandkids made $6 by finding and returning the balls to the embarrassed owners.

Another must is to head to the south end of the lake and Waterpoint Center for some good food, fun bars, lively crowds, and usually some live music. What a cool place and you'll also find shopping, video games, ice cream, boat dealers, and more.

We can't leave Conroe without playing golf at some of the many fantastic courses that are close to the lake. Check this golf map to find a course and read our reviews of the courses.

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Other Cool Things To Do:

Some of the things to see and do on Lake Conroe include:

  • The north end of Lake Conroe is dedicated to the Sam Houston National Forest that offers a full range of camping options, boat launches, hiking, and multi-use trails
  • You can cruise the lake on an authentic riverboat aboard the Southern Empress
  • The Lake Conroe area has some of the finest golf courses in Texas - check this golf map to find them and read our review
  • Boat over to Waterpoint Marina that hosts a lakeside lifestyle with luxury condominiums at the Beach Club, restaurants that include Sam’s Boat, County Line BBQ, or Five Guys Burgers, Starbucks, and Marble Slab Creamery, plus shopping and entertainment all on the water’s edge - on weekends there is usually like music
  • La Torretta Resort & Spa has a 18 holes of golf, a good restaurant, water park, comfy rooms, a spa, and other amenities to enjoy
  • depending on the wind direction, you can typically find a smooth water cove for swimming or boarding

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What To Do If No Boat:

There are several boat rental places on Lake Conroe that rent jet skis, fishing boats, pontoon boats, or party barges.  You can take a sunset cruise on the lake on the Empress or on a large houseboat.  And you can sleep on a small houseboat at Waterpoint.  Check out our Lake Conroe Boat Rentals Page and Party Boat Rentals Page.

Nearby Activities:

Lake Conroe is one hour north of Houston, the 4th largest city in the U.S. and Houston is loaded with fun things to see and do. Just 20 minutes south of Lake Conroe is The Woodlands that hosts the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion bringing big name performing artists and great entertainment. Their website will provide you with additional information. The Woodlands is also known for excellent golf courses, upscale shopping, and plenty of excellent restaurants.

If you like to golf, there are plenty of excellent choices on the lake and nearby - check this golf map to find a course and read our reviews of the courses.

Restaurants, Bars, & Music:

The south shore of Lake Conroe is the place to be! Whether you’re seeking live music, good food, and nightlife you've got lots of choices including: Papa’s on the Lake, Sam’s Boat, El Dorado Jacks, Wolfies, County Line BBQ, McDonalds, or Starbucks. Most of the restaurants, including McDonalds and Subway have docks for your boat!

You might enjoy a stroll along the boardwalk at Waterpoint to feed the fish at the feeding pier, watch the sunrise to sunset, or check out the beautiful boats. Lake Conroe tips the fun scale - fun crowds, good food and drinks, and great decks make it easy to see why Lake Conroe is a favorite destination for locals and visitors alike.

Wake Boarding & Skiing:

Water sports go hand-in-hand with boating on Lake Conroe. Jet skiing has become one of the most favorite recreational activities for families of all sizes on the lake. Water skiing and wake boarding is very popular all over the lake and in the multitude of protected coves smooth water surfaces can be found almost all times of the day. Wind surfing and sailing enthusiasts are on the southern shores of the lake closer to the dam where the winds prevail. 

Wind and boat chop can make the lake very bumpy - check the wind direction and you'll most likely find a cove somewhere on the lake that is protected and good for boarding or tubing.

Fishing:

If you don't have a boat, why not hire a fishing guide and let them take you to where you'll catch enough fish for a great fish fry.

According to Texas Parks & Wildlife: Largemouth bass are the most sought after species in Lake Conroe, though not the most abundant. While catch rates are marginal, the opportunity to catch a trophy bass is very good at Lake Conroe. In 1998, the biggest largemouth bass ever collected by TPWD in an electrofishing survey was taken from beneath a boat dock and weighed in at 14.1 pounds. The standing lake record caught in 1997 by Willis angler Bill Boyett weighed 14.91 pounds.

Channel catfish are by far the most abundant sportfish in the lake, offering most any angler a good opportunity for good catches. Bluegill on Lake Conroe grow to enormous sizes. We have interviewed anglers with 12-inch bluegills in their creels. Crappie are also very popular and offer good opportunity for anglers seeking table fare. White crappie have made a comeback in the lake with the efforts of the Lake Conroe Restocking Association's spring stockings of advance juvenile crappie. Crappie over two pounds are fairly common occurrences now. The introduction of hybrid striped bass in 1995 has added another dimension to the sport fishery, offering open-water opportunities for anglers who enjoy going after these hefty fighters.

Fishing Cover/Structure: Lake Conroe is dominated by open water in the lower two-thirds of the reservoir, with some standing timber still present along the river channel in the upper reaches. Most of the standing timber is slightly submerged when the lake is at conservation pool, making navigation hazardous in these areas. Bulkheads with boat docks dominate the shore in the lower reservoir; the upper reservoir (the portion lying within the Sam Houston National Forest) is primarily featureless shoreline. Substrates range from sandy to silty. A few aquatic plants dot shoreline areas, primarily in areas being planted by TPWD and the US Army Corps of Engineers as part of an ongoing Aquatic Habitat Enhancement Initiative. The lake has had past heavy infestations of hydrilla, but vegetation is not currently present in quantities that would be considered a nuisance. The only fish-attracting structures in the reservoir are rip rap along bridge approaches and the dam, as well as submersed Christmas tree reefs.

Tips & Tactics: Largemouth bass anglers can expect to take bass in shallow water, particularly around marinas and boat docks, in the early spring and mid- to late fall. In other seasons, bass are taken around deeper cover. Anglers are most successful with a variety of shad imitation lures or soft plastic baits. Hybrid striped bass are growing in popularity among Lake Conroe anglers and can be caught most any time of year. Most are taken by anglers trolling in open water areas or vertically jigging spoons or live shad. They are occasionally found running up the river channel during the early spring spawning run or foraging beneath schools of white bass in summer.

Channel catfish are caught year-round in good numbers. Most successful anglers use smelly baits or cut shad. Rod-and-reel anglers do just about as well as trotliners on this reservoir. Bluegills of gigantic proportions can be had by the angler who wants to be patient and target them. They can be caught along rip rap, fishing deep near the toe of the slope (sometimes 8 feet or more). Baits must reach near bottom quickly to avoid the small bait-stealers that inhabit the shallower water. Live worms or crickets are the best producers. Some good fly-rod action can also be had using sinking insect imitation flies and sinking fly line

Species Poor Fair Good Excellent
Largemouth Bass
Spotted Bass
Catfish
Crappie
White Bass
Hybrid Striped Bass

*Courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife

Camping, Waterfront Lodging, and Day Use Parks

Lake Conroe Public Park on Hwy 105 on the south end of the lake provides day use for family picnics, BBQs, and swimming on a beach shoreline. Sam Houston National Forest on the north end of Lake Conroe to lots of campgrounds or you'll find some in Montgomery or Conroe.

For a more refined taste of lakeside accommodations you can stay at La Torretta Resort & Spa. Elevate your expectations of Lake Conroe with this 20 story elegant resort. Spectacular lake views, 18 hole golf course, international spa treatments, and a multitude of resort activities. This exquisite resort can facilitate every possibility from a corporate conference to international travelers, or a community gathering. Read our review of La Torretta Resort to learn more.

For camping, a fantastic lakeside 2 bedroom condominium, or cabins try Castaways RV Park & Cabins.

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Ramps & Marinas

There are over 10 marinas surrounding Lake Conroe and multiple public boat ramps for easy accessibility regardless to which part of the lake you want to launch from. Check out this Lake Conroe Access page from Texas Parks & Wildlife to find a ramp or marina to best suit your needs. Click here to find some ramps.

Texas Outside Rating of Conroe
Beauty: 
Water Clarity: 
Water Conditions: 
Skiing & Board Conditions: 
Beaches: 
Cruising & Touring: 
Restaurants & Bars: 
Safety Level: 
Lake Lodging & Camping: 
Fishing: 

More Pictures

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Texas Outside Lakes Rating Scale

Texas Outside rates lakes on a 1 to 10 scale based on:

  • Beauty: high scores are given for lots of trees, hills, or pretty houses
  • Water Clarity: if you’re standing in two feet of water and can’t see your toes or the water has a deep brown color, we’re talking a 1
  • Water Conditions:  rough water with waves over a foot (good for PWCs or surfing) due to consistent wind or boat wakes don’t rate high on our scale
  • Skiing & Board Conditions:  on the weekends if you can typically find a good cove or part of the lake with glass, we’re talking a 10
  • Beaches:  don’t you hate those beaches when you step into the water you sink in mud up to your knees and loose your flip-flops or it’s all slime and weeds or small rocks – if so, that’s a 1
  • Fun Scale: lakes scoring a 10 have fun restaurants and bars, great coves for raft ups or swimming, and fun rental toys
  • Cruising & Touring:  if you can cruise the lake and look at beautiful houses, nice marinas, pretty coves, or anything similar it will score high
  • Restaurants & Bars:  nothing better than cruising over and having some good food and listening to some great music on the deck of a fun restaurant – the ride back with smooth water and a fun moon is also pretty cool – we’re talking a 10
  • Safety Level: lakes with lots of wild and crazy jet skiers or fast cigarette boats will score low
  • Camping:  we’re looking for beautiful spacious sites right on the water with a nice sandy beach to swim and park the boat
  • Fishing:  the bigger the better and they have to be easy to hook

 

*Fishing information was provided with permission of the Texas Parks and Wildlife (www.tpwd.state.tx.us) in 2006. Texas Parks and Wildlife does not endorse Texas Outside or information presented on texasoutside.com. ©Copyright Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.