June 21, 2024

Hardcore Game Fishing

Game Fishing News

The Complete Guide To Fishing in Austin

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Known for purple-hued sunsets and more than 300 days of sunshine each year, the capital of Texas radiates positive energy. And what goes well with this sun-kissed vibe? Angling, of course! Austin is the proud home of some serious prolific fisheries. So, if you’re still unsure where to go for your next vacation, consider fishing in Austin for your next adventure.

With the Colorado River, several reservoirs, and numerous surrounding lakes, Austin promises a memorable angling experience for the entire family. Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned angler or a first-timer, there’s something for everyone, here. And we’re here to help you truly envisage your Austin angling getaway.

In the following sections, you’ll read more about the fish species that call these waters home. Keep on scrolling and you’ll find out about popular ways of fishing and where the ultimate hotspots are. We’ll cover regulations surrounding your hunt, as well as answer some frequently asked questions. So without further ado, let’s get started!

What fish can I target in Austin?

While the area is famous for Bass, there are plenty of other prominent fish also in Austin. The underwater world is brimming with renowned freshwater species. Here’s a breakdown of the most commonly caught fish in Austin.

Largemouth Bass

Inland angling in Texas is synonymous with superb Bass action. You’ll come across a variety of Bass species when fishing in Austin. But if you were to go after only one target, opt for Largemouth Bass. They’re the largest and the most challenging members of the Sunfish family. Notorious for their explosive runs and enviable fighting abilities, Largemouth Bass won’t disappoint.

James Roberts’ Fishing

These chunky fellas won’t let you down when it comes to their proportions either. It isn’t uncommon to land a 10-pounder when angling on Lake Austin. But what should you do to land a prize catch? There isn’t a single trick, but several things to remember.

Firstly, monitor areas with thick underwater vegetation. Largemouth Bass lurk near the shoreline in weed beds. Secondly, use different lures. If jerkbaits and plastic worms don’t grab their attention, live minnows suspended under corks might do their magic. Finally, adjust your angling approach depending on the time of the year. Spring is ideal for sight fishing during the day. Summer, on the other hand, is perfect for late-evening trips.

Striped Bass

Largemouth Bass are undoubtedly the most wanted trophy fish in Austin, but Striped Bass aren’t lagging far behind either. Even though they’re from a different family altogether, Stripers are similar to Largemouth Bass in terms of sportfishing qualities. But unlike their neighbors, Striped Bass prefer the open water to shoreline vegetation.

An angler proudly showing off his Striped Bass catch with both hands while standing on a charter boat against a blurred background
ATX Bass Guide

When it comes to successful angling practices, locals believe that dim light creates apt conditions for catching Stripers. They’re nocturnal feeders, so fishing at night may yield better results. As for angling methods, feel free to experiment with baits and techniques. Sometimes shad will be your secret ingredient. If they don’t prove to be efficient, switch to minnows and herring. The same goes for trolling, casting, and jigging. Mix and match until you hit the jackpot.


Sure, Bass are all the rage when fishing in Austin. But, make no mistake, Catfish can easily steal the spotlight. They can be massive and mean, and you wouldn’t want them any other way. Their size alone can be impressive. Add a pinch of stubbornness to it, and you’ve got yourself true monster rivals. So, if you want to spice up your Austin angling rodeo, go for Catfish.

A photo of a kid wearing gloves and warm jacket while holding a Catfish and standing on a charter boat on a cold day
Central Texas Fishing Guide, LLC

You may find Catfish in almost any lake and reservoir around Austin, but not all fisheries will bless you with an abundance of all species. Lake Travis, for example, mostly boasts a Blue Catfish population. Meanwhile, Walter E. Long Lake offers excellent Channel and Flathead Catfish. But regardless of the species, Catfish won’t resist your stinkbait.

If you score a giant, make sure to snap a photo and move on to battle the smaller specimens to fill the cooler. Sall, chubby Catfish provide the best meat! And speaking of mouth-watering bites, don’t miss out on fried Catfish – it’s Austin’s delicacy.


If the “small but mighty” category intrigues you, Austin has another surprise for you – Crappie! These little fellas are often overshadowed by their bigger relatives, but Crappie are an equally entertaining game fish to catch. Plus, it’s a great way to get the little ones into fishing. Crappie are a great choice for an action-packed family fishing trip in Austin. And they make a juicy dinner, too!

A cute photo of a child wearing a life jacket while holding a Crappie in one hand and a fishing rod in other, while  standing on a charter boat and posing next to an adult angler
McConnell Outdoor Adventures

Crappie tend to populate areas around structure. Find flooded objects or dropoffs and you’ll have no problem locating Crappie as well. You’ll also spot them around docks, so if you don’t have a boat, give it a try with shore fishing. Casting from shore can be particularly prolific in spring when Crappie start frequenting the shallows. To secure a decent catch, set off at dawn and bring plenty of tasty minnows.

… And More!

Largemouth Bass, Striped Bass, Catfish, and Crappie are the most commonly caught fish species when fishing in Austin. But they’re far from the only ones. Smallmouth Bass, White Bass, Guadalupe Bass, and Hybrid Bass all call these waters home, too. Austin doesn’t lack peculiar species either. And Gar are definitively on top of that list.

A photo of two satisfied anglers standing on a charter fishing boat while one angler holds a net and the other is showing off a Gar
Hill Country Bass Coach

Longnose and Spotted Gar are the most predominant species, but anglers have reported seeing Aligator Gar, too. Interestingly, biologists from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department haven’t confirmed these claims yet. But who knows? It might be you who helps them prove this to be true!

When to fish in Austin?

Fishing in Austin is a year-round activity. This means that you can visit the city’s fisheries any time of the year and end up with a decent catch. Be it Largemouth Bass or Crappie, a fish will grace the end of your line. However, not all seasons offer superb angling opportunities. Winter, for example, sees the fish move to the deeper waters, so locating and luring them can be challenging.

A photo of two adult anglers and a child standing on a charter fishing boat and happily showing off their catches on a bright and sunny day
Redemptional Fishing and Outdoors

Summer can be heavy even for the most experienced angler. High temperatures and the blazing hot sun can make your hunt more difficult than you imagined. Also, have in mind that some lakes are packed with boats during summer, so if you still want to hit the water during the hottest season of the year, do it either at sunrise or sunset.

Spring and fall are considered to be the most productive seasons for exploring what Austin has to offer. This is especially true for Largemouth Bass. They’re at their peak from March to May, and then again between August and September. Plus, a spring spawning hunt is quite the treat!

How can I fish in Austin?

Depending on your preferred style, there are several options for exploring Austin’s fisheries. Take a look at the best ways to fish in Austin below.

Charter Fishing

There’s no dilemma about charter fishing being one of the most efficient ways to fish in Austin. No one can know Austin’s rivers and lakes like local guides born and raised in the area. They grew up conquering these waters. This means they’re familiar with how the fish behave throughout the year, where they hide, and what angling methods work best.

A view across the water of a typical charter boat in Austin captured during sunset on a lake
McConnell Outdoor Adventures

Besides their expertise, Austin fishing charter boats are fully equipped for a full day trip for you and your group. You can bring your own gear if you prefer, but the beauty of hiring a certified charter operator is that you can travel light. You don’t have to worry about fishing equipment, as they’ll provide it. That means that you can focus on outsmarting that trophy catch of yours instead!

Kayak Fishing

There’s another approach to angling in Austin that guarantees mobility and coverage similar to that offered by charter operators – kayak fishing! Kayak fishing is quite popular around here. Not only does it allow you to move around in search of your prey, but it also gives you the upper hand by not spooking the fish when getting closer.

An angler wearing a cap and pair of sunglasses while sitting in a kayak and showing the fish he caught while angling in Austin, with a fly fishing rod over his shoulder
Chasing Scales Guide Service

While beginners can also give it a try, kayak fishing is usually reserved for professionals. It comes as no surprise, then, that Austin is home to several kayak fishing tournaments. The Texas Kayak Bass League, All Starr Fishing, and Central Texas Kayak Trail are the most well-known.

Shore Fishing

Whether you want to spend an entire day angling from shore or you just want to cast a line or two, Austin’s got you, covered. However, you should be aware that while Austin doesn’t lack shoreline, you can’t fish from just any spot.

A photo of an angler taken from behind while he's standing on the shore and fishing in a river under a bridge

Bank access is limited because the land around the river and reservoirs is mostly privately owned. Luckily, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has reached an agreement with property owners, so you’ll have several designated spots for bank fishing at your disposal. You can find detailed maps with access points for almost all fisheries on their official websites (e.g. Lake Austin, Lady Bird Lake, Walter E. Long Lake, etc.).

Where to fish in Austin?

The meandering Colorado River brings superb reservoirs, so you’ll have several excellent fisheries to choose from. Apart from them, there are also lakes in Austin and its proximity that you can take advantage of. So let’s take a look at the top-rated fishing spots in and around Austin.

A photo of three anglers standing on a charter boat and angling on the Colorado River during a bright day surrounded by greenery
McConnell Outdoor Adventures
  • Lake Austin. Located on the Colorado River in the city itself, Lake Austin is your obvious choice if you want to stay closer to the center. It has an excellent Largemouth Bass population and decent Sunfish and Catfish offer.
  • Lady Bird Lake. Speaking of downtown, Lady Bird Lake is another good spot for fishing for Largemouth Bass in the city. But unlike Lake Austin, Lady Bird Lake won’t be your go-to location for Catfish.
  • Lake Walter E. Long. Also known as Decker Lake, Lake Walter E. Long will bless you with impressive Largemouth and Hybrid Striped Bass catches. Besides them, expect regular Catfish and occasional Crappie encounters.
  • Lake Travis. Situated on the outskirts of the city, Lake Travis will introduce you to some serious superstars – Guadalupe and White Bass. They share the stage with Largemouth Bass, Catfish, and Sunfish.

If you want to see what the surrounding fisheries have in store for you, you can visit Lake Bastrop, Granger Lake, and Canyon Lake. All three lakes are an hour’s drive from the city of Austin. Lake Bastrop is perfect for Largemouth Bass fishing, while a Granger Lake adventure is reserved for Catfish and Crappie. Meanwhile, Canyon Lake is ideal for White and Striped Bass angling.

Anything else I should know?

An infographic featuring the state flag of Texas, a vector of a boat, and text that says "Austin Fishing Regulations: What You Need to Know" against a dark blue background

The most important thing you should know about your Austin fishing adventure is that you can’t wet your line pretty much anywhere without having a valid fishing license. So, if you’re 17 or older, you’ll need to buy the appropriate permit before heading out to fish. Along with your license, you’ll have to obtain an “endorsement” as well. For more information on how to go about your Texas fishing license, read our blog.

Besides having the proper documents, you should pay attention to size and bag limits. Not everything you catch will be up for grabs, so make sure you’re familiar with the statewide regulations before keeping that catch.

Frequently Asked Questions

Fishing in Austin: The Best Pastime the Capital Can Offer

A sunset view of two anglers standing on a charter boat near the shore and fishing on Lake Travis
Central Texas Fishing Guide, LLC

The capital of Texas is known for many things, and fishing is definitively at the top of the list of things to do in Austin. We did our best to depict what fishing in Austin can be like but, truth be told, it’s always better to experience it first-hand. So, here’s a list of our top guides in Austin for you to browse through. Team up with a top-tier local charter operator and see for yourself what fishing in Austin is all about.

Have you ever been fishing in Austin? What did you catch? Hit the button below and tell us everything about your Austin fishing adventure!

The post Fishing in Austin: The Complete Guide appeared first on FishingBooker Blog.

By: Tanya
Title: Fishing in Austin: The Complete Guide
Sourced From: fishingbooker.com/blog/fishing-in-austin/
Published Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2023 08:41:00 +0000

Share This