While the ‘Lone Star State’ may be best known for its cattle and cowboys, it’s also home to some of the best fishing in the United States, and this Texas fishing seasons guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about fishing seasons in Texas.

We’ll cover each of the different Texas fishing seasons so that you can plan your dream destination fishing trip to the state of Texas. From saltwater fishing in the Gulf of Mexico through to the monster freshwater fish, Texas really has something to offer all anglers.

In the following Texas Fishing Seasons Guide, we’ll cover:

If you love freshwater fishing, you’ll love this article, Maximize Your Catch: Guide to the Best Freshwater Fishing Baits, to learn about the best ways to maximize your fishing opportunities!

When it comes to finding the best fishing spots in Texas and local hot spots, you’ll need a little help. If you want to land fish on your Texas fishing trip, you’ll need the premium Fishing App and Fishbox App. Thanks to the Fishbox App, you’ll know the perfect time to go fishing in Texas and when you’re better off staying home and cleaning out your tackle box.

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Expert Opinion on Texas Fishing Seasons

Pierce Latta

16 years fishing experience

“When people say, “Everything is bigger in Texas” they are not at all wrong—especially when it comes to fishing. Consistently ranked among the top ten best fishing states in the country, Texas provides anglers with all sorts of opportunities to catch distinct species from Largemouth Bass to bull Redfish on the coast. Once again, Texas is one the best states for fishing because it gives anglers many opportunities for both fresh and saltwater. While lots of people know Texas for its gigantic Largemouth Bass, it also boasts one of the best inshore saltwater fisheries in the world next to places like Louisiana. As you can hopefully see from this article, Texas is stacked—just take a look at the chart we are given. There is not a single month in Texas where the bite for at least one species is not “great.” This is huge for a few reasons. First, it means there are always some species you can target and have a fairly good chance of catching with a bit of effort. Second, because you can plan a trip for any time of the year and know something is biting. And yes, certain months are better than others as you would expect, but there will always be some species firing at all points of the year in Texas. If you are planning a trip to Texas or are in Texas already, try to put in your efforts in the summer months as that is when the fishery as a whole is at its best. Summer months in Texas provide opportunities to catch species such as Redfish, Flounder, Black Drum, Red Snapper, Sailfish, and even Catfish. I cannot overstate this enough, prime inshore fishing season in Texas is world class and you need to get on it if given the opportunity. However, if you do not get an opportunity to fish prime inshore season, the article gives plenty of other insight into how you can approach different months. Another thing I loved about this article was the fact that it dives into some of the fishing hotspots in Texas. Now it does not give the secret, local spots, but it does give anglers a place to start their search. I will repeat, this article is in no way, shape or form a substitute for getting out on the water or asking locals for advice, but it does give you a place to start. The article closes with arguably the most crucial point of the entire thing—the importance of conservation and abiding by the rules in place to protect our fisheries. You can whine about the high cost of a license or how you want to keep that over-slot fish, but at the end of the day, anglers shortcutting and circumventing regulations only harm our waters and destroy them for future anglers. So do not be that guy and play by the rules, please. Have fun on the water, and as always, tight lines!”

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Understanding Texas Fishing Seasons

While there is the opportunity to catch fish in Texas year-round, there are definitely peak seasons that will allow you to maximize your fishing opportunities. If you live in Texas and love fishing, then you’ll have a lot of opportunities to fish year-round. However, if you’re planning your dream destination fishing trip to Texas, you need to time it perfectly to suit specific fishing locations, seasons, and target fish species.

One big bonus that Texas offers anglers is both abundant freshwater and saltwater fishing opportunities, so it doesn’t matter which you prefer. Texas offers excellent fishing opportunities for anglers.

Below, we have created a Texas fishing season calendar of the most popular fish species in Texas, including when they’re hot on the bite and when they’re not. That doesn’t mean you’ll only catch these fish species during the great months. It’s just your best opportunity to land one.

Texas Fishing Calendar

Texas Fish SpeciesJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Black DrumPoorGoodGoodGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGoodPoorPoor
Red SnapperPoorPoorPoorGoodGoodGreatGreatGreatGoodGoodPoorPoor
Largemouth BassGoodGoodGreatGreatGreatGoodGoodGoodGoodGoodGoodGood

When is Fishing Season in Texas? 

As you can see from the Texas fishing season calendar above, the summer months are going to be your best opportunity to catch the most diverse range of fresh and saltwater fish. However, that doesn’t mean there’s not some great fishing to be had in Texas all year round.

If you’re planning a destination fishing trip to Texas, the ultimate fishing season is undeniably summer. You’ll want to plan your trip from around April to August to maximize your freshwater and saltwater fishing opportunities.

If you plan on taking advantage of a local Texas fishing charter, then be sure to book early to secure a prime fishing time in Summer.

While Summer is peak fishing season in Texas, it doesn’t mean it’s the only season you’ll be able to catch fish in the state of Texas. Thanks to its warm climate and diverse range of saltwater and freshwater fishing opportunities, there really are some tremendous year-round fishing opportunities to be had if you’re willing to look for them and put in a little hard work.

Best Time to Fish in Texas: Unveiling the Secrets

There’s no denying that the warmer summer months and increasing water temperatures across Texas play a massive role in fish activity. As the weather and water temperatures start to increase in April and May, both the freshwater and saltwater fishing activity really kicks up a notch.

If you’re saltwater angling, it’s essential not to forget the role that tides play in fishing opportunities. Your best chance of catching fish in Texas is when the water is moving. You want to try to target either an incoming rising tide or an outgoing low tide. The worst time to fish is undeniably the slack time between a high or low tide, where there is little to no water movement.

What Fish Are in Season in Texas?

January Fishing in Texas

The cooler winter months are probably the slowest fishing season in Texas. However, that doesn’t mean there’s not some hot fishing action to be found if you know where to look.

Freshwater fishing is still an option, with plenty of inshore Trout and Redfish opportunities. 

If you fancy chasing some Catfish, then the Blue and Channel Catfish will be on the bite in inland locations such as the Choke Canyon Reservoir.

February Fishing in Texas

The fish are slowly starting to warm up, but not fast enough for saltwater anglers! Your best fishing opportunities in February in Texas are still going to be the many freshwater opportunities.

Crappies will be biting in local hotspots such as Lake Stamford or the massive Toledo Bend Reservoir. Along with a feed of Crappies, you might also be lucky enough to hook into a significant winter Bass or Catfish.

Read also: Reel in Big Catch: Your Ultimate How-to Guide for Catching Catfish

March Fishing in Texas

Ask any local fisherman in Texas, and they’ll tell you that March is the big Bass highlight of the year. It’s time to switch up your tackle and prepare to hook into some monster Largemouth Bass. As the water starts warming up, these predatory fish will start heading into the shallows, hunting smaller bait fish. You’re looking for a water temperature of around 18.333°C or 65°F.

If it’s saltwater fishing in Texas that gets your motor running, then large Redfish will be on the bite around local structures such as jetties and wharves. 

April Fishing in Texas 

The fishing in Texas will really start to fire up in April. Throughout the state, the fish are starting to become more active, and both freshwater and saltwater fishing opportunities are abundant.

If you love the thrill and excitement of offshore fishing, then Mahi Mahi, Kingfish, Snapper, Grouper, and Billfish are all on the menu in April. 

When it comes to a great day of fishing with your family, Redfish are on the bite in areas such as the Laguna Madre. Redfish are not only delicious tablefish but also fun for beginners and experienced anglers looking for a fun day on the water with a rod in their hand.

May Fishing in Texas

The hot April fishing will roll into an equally impressive May fishing bite in Texas. The weather is cooperating, and the peak summer tourist season isn’t in full effect, so boat ramps and fishing spots shouldn’t be too crowded yet.

There’s some excellent inshore fishing to be had for species such as Jack Crevalle, Cobia, Black Drum, and Flounder. If you’re looking for a unique challenge, try heading down to Corpus Christi or Port O’Connor and try your luck against the ‘Silver King’ Tarpon.

June Fishing in Texas

If you only do it once, then the Federal Red Snapper season opening is one thing you need to add to your Texas fishing destination trip. With abundant reefs and shipwrecks, there are plenty of opportunities to target this delicious tablefish. 

Summer Sailfish charters are also in full swing in June, so if you fancy landing a big Billfish and you think you’ve got what it takes, then June is the ultimate month to try your luck with an offshore fishing trip in Texas.

July Fishing in Texas

While you might be lucky enough to land a Tuna in Texas year-round, July is peak Tuna fishing season. Blackfin Tuna are the most commonly caught, and while they’re not as big as a Bluefin or Yellowfin Tuna, they are still extremely fun on light tackle.

If you prefer a little more relaxed and tranquil freshwater angling, then Bass fishing for Black Bass and Stripers is in full swing. Cooper Lake is a great hot spot, and the best catch methods are slabs or topwater lures, but they’ll also take flies.

August Fishing in Texas

August is Billfish Month and also when the annual Texas Legends Billfish Tournament usually takes place. Regardless of whether you’re entering the tournament, Texas offshore fishing is hot for species such as Sailfish, Mahi Mahi, Tuna, Amberjack, and Snapper.

If you’re planning a freshwater fishing trip in August, it’s best to avoid that midday Texas heat and plan to fish for an evening. Nighttime fishing for Bass is a great experience, as well as targeting inshore saltwater species such as Seatrout, Flounder, and Redfish.

Read also: What Do Bass Eat? Exploring the Best Baits for Bass Fishing

September Fishing in Texas

Surf fishing in September is one experience you can’t afford to miss if you plan a Texas fishing trip. The Fall Bull Red Run will see thousands of anglers across Texas take to beaches, piers, and jetties to target these delicious fish.

Close to the Louisiana border sits Sabine Lake, but Sabine Lake isn’t a freshwater lake; it’s a saltwater estuary packed full of Sea Trout and Redfish.

October Fishing in Texas

October offshore fishing in Texas is drawing to a close, so if it’s Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Kingfish, or Snapper you’re looking for, you better make it quick!  The two best spots to find a late-season charter outfit in Texas are Freeport or Galveston. Closer to shore, the Flounder Run is in full effect, and during their Fall, migration to the Gulf is the best time to target them. Texas Flounder gigging, where you use a gigging spear and light, is the preferred local method for landing Flounder.

November Fishing in Texas

Offshore fishing in the cooler month of November is pretty much finished in Texas, but there are still some inshore fishing opportunities. You’ll be targeting species such as Flounder, Redfish, Gator Trout, and Sheepshead. 

Targeting Largemouth Bass and Catfish in freshwater is still an option, and Falcon Lake or Falcon International Reservoir is a great place to try your luck.

December Fishing in Texas

As the cold weather truly settles in for Winter, you’ll find most Texas anglers out targeting the flats in December for species such as Snook, Speckled Trout, and Redfish. Laguna Madre is a great place to go, sightfishing in the flats in Texas in December.

Saltwater Fishing Seasons in Texas: A Coastal Experience

If you fancy yourself as an exclusive saltwater angler, the Summer and Fall fishing season in Texas will present you with a lot of great opportunities. In this section, we’ll cover five of the best coastal saltwater fishing locations in Texas.

One. East Bay and Trinity Bay

Located close to Galveston, East Bay, and Trinity Bay, it offers anglers some fantastic Texas inshore saltwater fishing, particularly in the Fall. Redfish and Speckled Trout can be found feeding in the numerous flats and oyster beds throughout the year.

Two. Baffin Bay 

Only 70 miles away from Corpus Christi, Baffin Bay is a remote Texas fishing destination, but not so remote to be unreachable. It’s not as well-known as other inshore Texas destinations, which means the competition won’t be as high for the best fishing spots. You’ll be able to target big Reds, Speckled Trout, and Flounder.

Three. South Padre Island 

If you enjoy site fishing for Reds or Speckled Trout, then the flats around South Padre Island are a prime fishing location. Tarpon can be found lurking around structures, and if you love surf fishing, this is a great place to experience it.

Four. West Bay

Located between Tiki Island, Jamaica Beach, and Galveston Island, West Bay is a maze of bayous, canals, and artificial structures, making it an angler’s paradise. Some of the species you can target include Redfish, Black Drum, Speckled Trout, and Flounder.

Five. North Padre Island

If you want a quieter location, North Padre Island could be the sweet spot for you. You’ll find schools of Black Drum and Redfish, along with Sharks, Spanish Mackerel, Speckled Trout, and Jack Crevalle.

Texas Fishing Seasons: Regulations and Conservation

Fish are a natural resource that, if not managed correctly, will quickly become depleted. If we want to ensure that future generations have the same access to premium fishing in Texas, it’s essential we follow the rules and guidelines set out by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

If you visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), you’ll be able to access all of the freshwater fishing rules and regulations and the saltwater fishing rules and regulations, including size limits, catch limits, and seasons for all fish.

The TPWD also has a fishing app, which, once you download it, can be used even without an internet connection, giving you detailed information on size, species, and catch rules.

Texas Fishing Seasons: Your Comprehensive Guide – Conclusion

There you go! The complete and comprehensive guide to Texas fishing seasons will help you plan your next destination fishing trip. Be sure to check out the calendar we created above to choose the best month or season to target your favorite saltwater or freshwater fish species.

Before casting a fishing line, be sure to check out the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) website for a full and detailed list of fishing regulations and licensing requirements.

If you only have the time or budget for one fishing trip this year, Texas is a great state to visit, and it’s packed full of both freshwater and saltwater fishing opportunities. 

By using the Fishbox App, you’ll be able to track weather conditions accurately and predict the best times to hit the water fishing in Texas. It combines predictive fish behavior with weather, lunar, and tidal conditions to deliver optimal fishing opportunities in Texas.

The Fishbox App was developed in collaboration with accurate weather data and expert fish behavioral analysis. These advanced forecasts will significantly increase your catch rate while reducing your time on the water. Take your fishing to the next level thanks to the expert advice from the Fishbox App team.

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If you have any personal fishing experience in Texas and you’d like to share some tips and tricks with other anglers, be sure to drop a comment below! We’d love to hear from you. Your tips or hotspot information could help us determine the difference between a good and bad day on the water in Texas. However, any day spent fishing on the beautiful waters of Texas is a good day, regardless of whether or not you catch your limit.

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