As an avid angler in South Texas, few things excite me more than feeling the tug of a largemouth bass on the end of my line. Just last weekend, I hooked a beauty of a 5-pounder on Choke Canyon Lake after a 20-minute wrestle, and was overjoyed to land it. The fight these bass provide when hooked is exhilarating, and they’re fantastic eating as well with their sweet, flaky meat.
Largemouth bass thrive in the lakes and reservoirs throughout South Texas, providing a popular target for anglers in the region. Their large size makes them a trophy fish, with 8 to 10 pounders possible. Below I’ll share the prime spots to hook into these hard-fighting fish, the proper tackle to use, helpful tips for landing more catches, and more. So… Where Can I Find Largemouth Bass In South Texas? you might ask. Read on to plan your next South Texas bass fishing adventure!
Why Target Largemouth Bass in South Texas?
Largemouth bass offer anglers several appeals that make them a top target in South Texas lakes and reservoirs:
- Great fighters – Bass strike lures and baits aggressively and fight hard when hooked, making them a thrill to reel in. They are very strong for their size and provide excitement with long runs and dives during the fight.
- Trophy sized – Largemouth bass can grow quite large in South Texas waters. Fish from 6 to 10 pounds are trophies, with the state record being an 18+ pound behemoth. Even 2-4 pounders put up a worthy battle.
- Delicious eating – Most anglers practice catch and release, but kept fish provide tasty fillets with white, flaky meat when fried or grilled. Their sweet flavor has made them a southern favorite.
So if you’re looking for a fighting fish that’s fun to catch and great eating as well, target largemouth bass for an exciting South Texas fishing experience.
The Best Lakes and Reservoirs for Largemouth Bass
South Texas offers many top-rated spots to hook into nice-sized largemouth bass. Here are the prime lakes and reservoirs to visit and what makes each one a bass hotspot:
Choke Canyon Lake
Known for producing trophy bass over 10 pounds, Choke Canyon is a 27,700 acre reservoir near Three Rivers, Texas.
- Average catch is 2-4 lbs, 7-10 lbers possible
- Look for hydrilla, flooded brush, and standing timber to find bass
- Spring and fall are best, fish early mornings and late evenings
Tips: Fish soft plastic worms and jigs around structure. Use topwater frogs over hydrilla mats.
Lake Corpus Christi
This reservoir northeast of Corpus Christi offers excellent largemouth bass fishing opportunities.
- Fish average 2-5 lbs, 6-8 lbers are trophies
- Find bass near shoreline grass and docks
- Spring through fall provides consistent action
Tips: Throw soft plastic baits and spinnerbaits parallel to shorelines. Fish topwaters like poppers and walking baits early and late when bass are active.
Amistad, formed by the Rio Grande, provides over 89,000 acres of prime bass habitat along the Texas/Mexico border.
- 2-4 lb fish are common, 6+ lb trophies caught
- Look for fish on main lake points, rip-rap, and standing timber
- Winter and spring offer the most consistent bite
Tips: Fish deep diving crankbaits and jigs along drop-offs and structure. Target shallow fish in the spring with spinnerbaits and topwater lures.
This international reservoir on the Rio Grande is known for producing gigantic bass with many 10+ pounders landed.
- Average around 4 lbs, double digit fish possible
- Find bass near flooded brush, hydrilla, and rocky banks
- Spring and fall are best seasons
Tips: Throw big swimbaits, plastic worms, and spinnerbaits near cover and structure. Use buzzbaits over hydrilla mats.
Make sure to check fishing regulations for each lake and purchase appropriate licenses. Now let’s discuss the proper tackle and techniques to use when targeting trophy bass.
Tackle and Gear for Landing Largemouth Bass
Chasing largemouth bass requires having the right rod, reel, line and lures suited to battling bulky fish. Here are the best choices for bass:
- Rod – a 6-6.5ft medium power, fast action rod. The length helps cast lures and handle bigger fish.
- Reel – a baitcaster or spinning reel with quality gears and drag. Match the reel size and line capacity to the rod.
- Line – Use 12-20 lb. braided line or fluorocarbon line for strength and abrasion resistance against cover. Higher line strength is needed for big bass.
- Lures – plastic worms, jigs, spinnerbaits, topwaters, crankbaits, swimbaits. Have an assortment of colors and weights.
- Terminal tackle – strong hooks, extra heavy leaders for thick cover, bobbers, sinkers.
- Landing net – helps secure bass once landed without damaging them. Long handled nets are easier to use.
Make sure to set your drag on the lighter side when bass fishing so hard charges and long runs don’t snap your line. Now let’s go over some helpful tips and techniques for enticing more strikes and landing more of these bruising largemouth bass from South Texas lakes.
Helpful Tips for Catching Largemouth Bass
The habits of largemouth bass differ by season and conditions. Here are some helpful tips, tricks and techniques to catch more:
- Fish areas of structure – target cover like submerged wood, boat docks, fallen trees, rocks or vegetation. Bass love ambush points.
- Fish the shoreline cover early morning or late evening when bass are most active.
- Vary your retrieves – try various motions of your lures like a steady retrieve, stopping and starting, twitching, erratic movements to trigger strikes.
- Use the right gear – 12-17 lb line and strong hooks are needed to successfully land bass after long fights.
- Downsize in clear water – use less visible line, smaller lures and natural colors to entice wary bass.
- Fish slower in cold water – lethargic bass require slower retrieved baits in the winter.
- Look for shad and baitfish activity – find the food and you’ll find the bass.
- Stick with areas – bass don’t roam too far. Stay in a productive area and change lures if needed.
- Learn the lake structure – find where creeks, flats, drop-offs and other features hold fish.
So now you know the prime lakes to target trophy largemouth bass in South Texas and the proper tackle and techniques to use. The fight these bass provide will get your heart pumping. I hope you can get out on the water soon. Let me know if you have any other questions and good luck reeling in that trophy catch!