Texas is a vast state that experiences all four seasons with dramatic fluctuations in temperature and water. Fish are naturally very in tune with their environment and these seasonal swings in weather drive fish behavior from spawning to migration. Texas also has abundant and diverse habitat that offers anglers a variety of fish species to target throughout the year. With so many fish to target and more spots to fish than you could get to in a lifetime, Texas has something for every angler.
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The lake and rivers in Texas offer fishing opportunities throughout the year with different species having their peak bite at different times. In the spring, largemouth bass and crappie are the best targets as they move from their deeper wintering grounds up to more shallow waters ahead of their spawn. In the summer months when water temperatures are maxing out, stripers are feeding in open water on the lakes. When the dams are releasing cool water, fishing downriver can also produce giant striped bass.
Once summer turns to fall, the striper bite is still hot but catfish are also starting to warm up. The largemouth bass turns back on once the temperatures drop making it the second peak for catching big bass. In the winter, the number of fish you catch may drop, but the size of the fish seems to double. Winter is the best time of year to catch massive catfish and stripers. The bite seems to be even better when the weather turns bad but if you are looking for quality fish there’s no better time to hit the water.
There is always a bit of mystery when you are fishing the Texas Coast but in the spring, the speckled trout dominate the inshore waters. The specks are getting ready to spawn and trying to feed as much as possible so get ready for an action packed trip. As spring fades into summer, the bite in the shallow turns from trout to redfish. These are two of the most popular fish on the Texas Coast and with aggressive strikes and a variety of ways to target them, it’s easy to see why.
Once fall hits the inshore bite is firing on all cylinders with redfish and flounder taking over the shallows ahead of their spawns but the black drum and speckled trout are also ready for action. The shallow waters clear out once winter hits but sheepshead and black drum actively feed in these inshore waters throughout the colder months.
Deep sea fishing Texas offers plenty of fish species to target depending on the season. In the spring the amberjack season is open and the bite is on fire. Cobia or “ling” along with yellowfin tuna are also heavily feeding in deeper water during the spring months. Once the warm summer weather sets in, grouper, kingfish, and mahi mahi are easy to come by but everyone is after the red snapper bite. The federal red snapper season is one of the most popular times for anglers to head offshore and catch some dinner.
When the weather begins to cool off in the fall, kingfish continue to bite, but it's prime time for blackfin tuna, or “footballs”, as they’re sometimes called. Yellowfin tuna start to roll in again during the fall months, but their peak bite comes in the winter. In the coldest months of winter, the yellowfin tuna and wahoo bite is crazy with some of the biggest fish being caught in the worst weather. If you want to catch a big tuna or wahoo, come to texas in the winter.
This is a brief overview of when to target certain species in Texas waters. If you want a more in-depth look at what you can catch, check out our Texas page here.
Updated on December 6, 2022
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