Top Tips for First-Time Fishing in Texas

Fishing in Texas is like surfing in California or museum hopping in DC, you simply have to do it! The state of Texas is known for its huge size, it’s hot weather and its historic accolades. The second largest state in the USA, Texas has diverse geography of hills, valleys, woods, and mountains. Texas is also home to 36 rivers and more than 6,500 lakes, meaning there’s ample opportunity to put out a line. But before you head off on your first fishing adventure, take note of these top tips.

Understand Your Fishing Gear

Don’t know your bait casting rod from your spin jig? Don’t worry. For your first time out on the water, it’s a good idea to keep it simple. Assuming you’re fishing in freshwater from a lake or a riverside, here’s a list of must-have gear.

  • Fishing is for everyone A fishing rod and reel. There’s a lot of information out there about the best rod for the best type of Texas fishing. As a beginner, simply look for a fairly long rod (so you can cast far from shore) that’s lightweight and easy to handle.
  • Fishing line. Again, there are a million types of line out there. Choose one that’s at least 4-pound-test monofilament.
  • Fishing weights
  • Fishing hooks
  • A bobber (a bright piece of cork or plastic that floats on the surface of the water)
  • Fishing lures or live bait

With your gear checklist ticked off, you need to learn how to set up your rod. This handy guide shows you how to make cinch knot and tie on your hook, weight, and bobber.

Prepare for the Weather

Always check the weather before organizing a fishing trip so you have at least a vague idea of what to expect. Texas is known for its humid summers but out on the water conditions can change quickly. Take a few layers of clothes, not only for warmth but to protect your skin from the sun. Wear sunscreen and take extra so you can reapply throughout the day.

Wear sunglasses, preferably those with polarized lenses which minimize glare from the reflection of the water while protecting your eyes. If you’ve got standard lenses you can always upgrade to polarised lenses here. Make sure you wear a hat with a peak or wide brim to further protect yourself while being in the sun.

Know Your Texas Fish

There are many fish species native to Texas but some find themselves on the end of a fishing line more than others. Here are a few of the most common catches in Texas waters:

  • Spotted Seatrout - This fish has two distinctive canine teeth protruding from its top jaw and a spotted pattern along its length.
  • Flounder - Most people can recognize a flounder from the fishmongers. Flounders are good swimmers and one of the most common flatfish in the US.
  • Red DrumRed Drum - The largest Red Drum weighs in at about 15 lbs. They’re not too tricky to catch and are delicious to eat. These fish are copper-bronze in color and recognizable from a dark patch at the base of their tails.
  • Channel Catfish -The catfish is a very distinctive fish with cat-like whiskers protruding from its face. Catfish are abundant in the waterways of the southern US and a fried catfish is a common menu item.
  • Largemouth Bass - As the name suggests, the Largemouth bass has a large jaw and cavernous mouth. This fish is the most popular freshwater game fish in the US.

Get A Fishing License

You must have a license to fish for sports or fun in any public water in Texas. This applies to all methods of fishing and is enforced whether you actually take the fish you catch or release them. There are a number of exceptions to this rule, however. Anyone under the age of 17 doesn’t need a fishing license, for example. Anyone born before January 1st, 1931 is also exempt. See the Texas government website for more details.

There are around 1.67 million fishing licenses purchased in Texas each year, more than any other state. Follow our top tips to make your first time fishing a success!

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Texas Outside has been alive & well since 1996 - that's ancient by today's internet standards! Texas Outside was originally developed by Lone Star Internet which is an Austin based web development company with an excellent reputation & client base. In March of 2006, we purchased Texas Outside & made a commitment to add new, exciting, & informative content on Texas outdoor activities & fun things to see & do.

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