How to Fish in Big Bend National Park

How to Fish in Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park in Texas is on the state's border with Mexico and comprises more than 1,250 square miles. The Rio Grande river makes a huge curve in this region of the Southwest, giving the park its name. Fishing is allowed year-round in Big Bend National Park, which according to the National Park Service is a combination of mountain, desert and river ecosystems.


Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Fish only in the Rio Grande when you go to Big Bend. Avoid all other bodies of water within the park if fishing is your main goal. Those ponds and streams are used to preserve endangered species of fish, and no angling is allowed.
Step 2
Obtain a free fishing permit from the National Park Service's visitor center. You do not need a Texas fishing license.
Step 3
Purchase your bait at the Rio Grande Village Store in the park. It is illegal to bring live bait with you. Alternatively, catch minnows in the river and use them for bait, which is allowed.
Step 4
Use a rod and reel setup or a hand line to effectively fish the Rio Grande. These are legal methods, as are throw lines and trotlines, which must be attached at both ends, meaning on both sides of the river. If you use a trotline or a throw line, be sure they are marked with your name, your address and the date.
Step 5
Focus your efforts on catfish when you are fishing in the Rio Grande. This is the major species of fish in the river, with blue catfish, flathead catfish and channel catfish the predominant fish in these waters. There are few other types of fish in the river that are larger than minnows. You have a limit of 25 fish per day in the park.

Keep Me Informed

Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from to your inbox.

Sign me up!

We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.