Fish are biting as the weather warms up, and many Texans are eager to get outdoors to reel in bass, catfish, redfish and other sport fish.
With 15 Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes stocked with catfish and more than 70 Texas State Parks with fishable waters, finding a place to fish in Texas is easier than ever. Plus, anglers of all ages are reminded that they don’t need a fishing license to fish inside state parks, which offer fresh or saltwater fishing from shore, pier or boat.
If you’re new to fishing or want to introduce your children to a new way to enjoy the outdoors, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department offers fishing lessons through the Go Fish! and Fish With-the-Ranger programs. These free interactive workshops teach the basics of angling and give an overview of the different types of fishing equipment.
In the Texas Hill Country, Inks Lake State Park west of Burnet, will host a “Fishing with the Ranger” program from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., every Friday throughout the summer. A similar hands-on fishing workshop will take place from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, June 22 at Lake Arrowhead State Park in Wichita Falls.
In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Go Fish! Learn-to-Fish events will be held at several state parks, including Cedar Hill (9 a.m.-noon, June 15) and Lake Tawakoni (9 a.m.-Noon, June 15). For a complete list of summer fishing derbies and events, workshops and other fishing-related activities, visit: www.texasstateparks.org/fishing.
Some state parks even offer a “fishing test drive” with loaner equipment. Find one of 30 state parks near you and other sites that loan out rods, reels and fishing tackle to use for free for up to seven days by visiting:http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/learning/angler_education/tackloan.phtml
TPWD brings fishing close to home by stocking fish in a number of local parks and ponds through its Neighborhood Fishin’ program. TPWD partners with local governments in 10 Texas cities to stock channel catfish approximately every two weeks in small neighborhood lakes. In San Antonio, for example, anglers can fish at Miller’s Pond on the southwest side of town and Southside Lion’s Park on the southeast side.
To learn more about the Neighborhood Fishin’ program and where to go “wet a line,” visit: www.neighborhoodfishin.org. Remember, if you’re 17 or older, you will need a Texas fishing license.
Let sea breezes keep you cool as you cast into the surf or wade fish at a coastal state park. Explore fishing opportunities and other park offerings at these four coastal parks: Galveston Island, Goose Island, Mustang Island and Sea Rim.
Throughout the year, two fishing-centric TPWD facilities – Sea Center Texas in Lake Jackson and the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens – celebrate fishing and support Texas fisheries. Both fishing centers host occasional catch-and-release fishing events, but invite visitors year-round to tour their nature centers, hatcheries and wetlands areas, and learn about conservation efforts.