Taking Sport Fish in Texas

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department offers the following tips for taking sport fish in Texas.

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Sport fishing is a popular activity in Texas, with many different species of fish to be caught. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) strives to maintain healthy fish populations and uphold conservation efforts, so it’s important to be familiar with the rules and regulations before heading out on your fishing adventure.

This guide provides an overview of the sport fishing regulations in Texas, including information on licenses, catch limits, size restrictions, and more. Take a look; then get ready to reel in your next big catch!

Sport Fish in Texas

What is a Sport Fish?

Sport fish are fish that are caught for recreation and include freshwater and saltwater species. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department defines a sport fish as “any fish caught in Texas waters for which there is no open season and no size limit other than the statewide minimum length limit.”

In order to be classified as a sport fish, the fish must be caught by hook and line, gig, cast net, or spear. All other methods of taking fish, such as commercial fishing, are not considered sport fishing.

Sport fish include popular game fish such as largemouth bass, catfish, trout, and redfish. Other sport fish include crappie, sunfish, flounder, drum, and sheepshead.

What Sport Fish are in Texas?

Texas is home to many different types of sport fish, including largemouth and smallmouth bass, catfish, Crappie, and sunfish. With so many different kinds of fish to choose from, there’s sure to be a type that’s perfect for you.

Largemouth and smallmouth bass are two of the most popular sport fish in Texas. Largemouth bass are known for their large mouths, while smallmouth bass have a smaller mouth in comparison. Both types of bass can be found in freshwater lakes and rivers across the state.

Catfish are another popular choice for sport fishing in Texas. There are three main types of catfish that can be found in the state: channel catfish, blue catfish, and flathead catfish. Channel catfish are the most common type of catfish found in Texas waters, and they can grow to be quite large. Blue catfish are less common than channel catfish, but they can reach sizes of up to 100 pounds! Flathead catfish are the largest type of catfish that can be found in Texas, and they can grow to be as big as 150 pounds!

Crappie are a type of sunfish that is commonly sought after by sport fishermen. They can be found in both freshwater lakes and rivers across the state. Crappie are known for being good fighters when caught on hook and line, making them a great challenge for anglers.

Sunfish are a diverse group of fish that includes several different species. The most common types of sunfish found in Texas waters are bluegill sunfish, redbreast sunfish, longear sunfish, and green sunfish. Sunfish are usually smaller than other types of sport fish, but they can still provide a good fight when hooked on line.

Where to Find Sport Fish in Texas

Texas has a variety of different environments, from subtropical to temperate, which means that there are a wide variety of fish habitats. You can find sport fish in freshwater lakes, rivers, and streams as well as in the Gulf of Mexico.

Here are a few of the most popular sport fish in Texas and where to find them:

-Red Drum: Red drum are found in the Gulf of Mexico and in bays along the coast. They prefer areas with a sandy or muddy bottom and are most commonly found near reefs, shipwrecks, or other structures.
-Striped Bass: Striped bass are found in freshwater lakes and rivers as well as in brackish waters. They prefer areas with a deep channel and plenty of cover such as submerged trees or rocks.
-Largemouth Bass: Largemouth bass are found in freshwater lakes and rivers throughout Texas. They prefer areas with plenty of vegetation such as weeds, lily pads, or timber.
-Smallmouth Bass: Smallmouth bass are found in freshwater streams and rivers throughout Texas. They prefer clear water with a gravel or rocky bottom.
– Crappie: Crappie are found in freshwater lakes and rivers throughout Texas. They prefer areas with plenty of vegetation such as brush piles, logs, or docks.

Taking Sport Fish

Sport Fish are those fish which are main catch in the fishing industry and are widely consumed. The term is relative, and different people have different opinions about which fish count as sport fish. For example, some believe only fish which are caught on a rod and line can be classed as sport fish, while others believe that any fish which is caught for sport can be classed as a sport fish.

Licenses and Permits

Anglers must have a valid fishing license when taking fish, crabs, clams, oysters or any other kind of fish from Texas waters. A license is required for all persons 17 years of age or older fishing in public waters. You can buy a license online at the TPWD website, in person at TPWD offices and select retail stores, or by phone at 512-389-8917.

Texas residents who are 65 years of age or older, texas resident veterans with a 100% service-connected disability rating from the Veterans Affairs Department, and Texas resident graduates of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Hunters Education Course are eligible for a free permit.

All anglers 16 years of age and younger must successfully complete a Hunter Education Training Course to hunt in Texas. The course is available online, in person or by home study.

Gear and Equipment

To be successful, you’ll need the right gear and equipment. Here’s a list of what you’ll need to start fishing in Texas:
-A fishing license
-A fishing rod and reel
-Line (monofilament, braided or fluorocarbon)
-Lures or bait (live or artificial)
-A landing net
-A hook remover
-A stringer or livewell

In addition to the basics listed above, there are a few other things that can make your fishing trip more enjoyable. These include:
-Waders or hip boots (if you plan to fish in water that is deeper than waist level)
-A boat (if you plan to fish on open water)
-A cooler (to keep your catch fresh)


Successful anglers know there is more to taking fish than just putting a bait on a hook and dropping it in the water. Some fish are easy to catch, while others seem impossible. age, type of fish, time of day, season, temperature,Barometric pressure, wind speed and direction all play a part in the bite. No two fishing trips are alike, so anglers must be able to adapt their techniques. The section covers some basic techniques for taking sport fish with rod and reel, artificial lures, flies and natural baits.


We hope this guide has provided you with the information you need to get started fishing in Texas. Sport fishing is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, whether you’re by yourself or with friends and family. Remember to follow the state’s fishing regulations in order to ensure a enjoyable and sustainable experience for everyone.

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