How to Fish in Texas Rivers

How to Fish in Texas Rivers
Made up of 15 major rivers, Texas consists of 41 major waterways including clear, fast-flowing hill country streams to turbid, slow-moving bayous. Not all waterways in Texas allow public access for fishing, as many riverbank areas are privately owned, so some level of research is required before river fishing in Texas.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • License
  • Measuring tape/stick
  • Bait
Step 1
Obtain a fishing license. A fishing license is required by Texas law to fish private or public rivers.
Step 2
Call (800) TX LIC 4 U or (800) 895-4248 or visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department headquarters to obtain a fishing license. City offices can also be found by visiting the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website. You must be at least 17 years of age to obtain a license
Step 3
Choose a state park with river fishing access. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, Blanco, Colorado Bend, Devil's River State Natural Area, Dinosaur Valley (Paluxy River), Fort Griffin (Clear Fork Brazos River), Garner (Frio River), Goliad (San Antonio River), Guadalupe River, Lyndon B. Johnson (Pedernales River), Lost Maples State Natural Area (Sabinal River), McKinney Falls (Onion Creek), Mother Neff (Leon River), Palmetto (San Marcos River), Pedernales Falls, South Llano River, Stephen F. Austin (Brazos River) and Village Creek all feature fishing access as of November 2009. Private rivers are also available for fishing with consent.
Step 4
Learn about game fishing in Texas. Popular game fish in Texas include Channel Catfish, which are more active in the evening and early night, Bluegill, which are easy to catch with worms, crickets, and mealworms, as well as Largemouth Bass, which are more prone to bite artificial bait.
Step 5
Know the "daily bag limit", which is the amount of fish that can be kept in one 24-hour period. Each river will post its daily bag limit along the banks of the river.
Step 6
Understand "slot limit", which varies by species and is sometimes defined by each individual river. Slot limit refers to how big a fish must be ("slot limit") before it is required by law to be released back into the river. Measure the fish from its mouth to the tip of its fin to determine its true length. Verify the slot limit at the river where you will be fishing. It is important to note that it is illegal to disregard slot limits posted at public and private rivers.
Step 7
Understand limitations and regulations. It is illegal to take, kill, or disturb endangered or threatened species. (See "Resources" for a complete listing of restrictions.)

Tips & Warnings

Wear a Coast Guard approved type III-V lifejacket while fishing on a boat
Fishing regulations are subject to change.

Article Written By Charlie Gaston

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

The Latest from the Community

Nice easy flat trail that leads to beautiful red rocks.
Stunning hike but extremely steep and tiring! Bring plenty of water.