If you’re looking for a fishing adventure in Texas, you’re in luck! The Lone Star State is home to over 100 state parks, many with some of the best fishing in the country. With its extensive coastline, numerous lakes and rivers, and diverse marine life, Texas offers anglers a wide range of fishing opportunities. Whether you are a seasoned pro or a beginner, these state parks have something for everyone.
Here you will find a combination of Texas Outside and Texas Parks & Wildlife’s list of the best Texas State Parks for fishing. What makes these parks some of the best Texas State Parks for fishing includes: boat ramps, fishing piers, stocked lakes, and fish cleaning stations.
In addition, keep in mind that to help promote fishing, you don’t need a fishing license to fish from rivers and creeks, banks, or piers in Texas State Parks. You may be able to fish for free from a boat on lakes or ponds that are fully enclosed within a State Park. And a number of the Texas State Parks offer loaner fishing gear! There are over 70 Texas State Parks that offer free fishing.
Be sure to also catch Texas Outside’s Reviews to learn more about the lake or State Park, things to see and do, campsites, best places to fish, and more. We rate the lake and State Park on a 1 to 10 scale based on a number of different criteria.
Top 10 Best Texas State Parks For Fishing
1. Lake Bob Sandlin State Park (Pittsburg, Texas)
Lake Bob Sandlin is a fisherman’s paradise, with ample opportunities to catch a wide range of species. The lake is stocked annually with trout, with over 125,000 stocked in 2015 alone. Other popular species include white bass, crappie, channel catfish, and redear sunfish. Anglers can check the Texas Parks & Wildlife website in mid-November to find out when the lake will be stocked.
Additionally, Lake Bob Sandlin State Park offers over 60 campsites, screened shelters, and cottages for those who want to extend their stay. The park also features a boat ramp, fishing pier, and fish cleaning station. Don’t miss Texas Outside’s reviews of Lake Bob Sandlin State Park and Lake Bob Sandlin for more information on what to expect during your visit.
2. Lake Casa Blanca International State Park (Laredo, Texas)
Lake Casa Blanca State Park is an urban oasis for those looking to experience nature just a stone’s throw away from downtown Laredo. With several acres of shoreline along the 1680-acre lake, anglers can enjoy a variety of fishing opportunities, including hybrid strippers and the occasional 8-pound largemouth bass, as well as plentiful crappie, catfish, and carp.
The park also boasts 66 campsites, day-use areas along the shoreline, a fishing pier, multi-lane boat ramp, and sports facilities, including tennis, basketball, and baseball courts.
Don’t forget to check out Texas Outside’s Review of Lake Casa Blanca State Park for more information on what you can expect during your visit.
3. Cooper Lake State Park (Cooper, Texas)
Located northeast of Dallas, Cooper Lake State Park offers a wealth of fishing opportunities for anglers of all levels. Cooper Lake is home to white and hybrid striped bass, largemouth bass, catfish, and crappie, and is also known as Lake Jim Chapman. For crappie, head to the “wall” at Heron Harbor, while below the dam is a great spot for flathead catfish when water is released.
In addition to fishing, visitors can enjoy a plethora of activities, including camping, picnicking, swimming, boating, water-skiing, hiking, biking, birdwatching, stargazing, horseback riding, and geocaching. The park offers campsites and screened shelters, as well as air-conditioned screened shelters. Come experience the beauty and excitement of Cooper Lake State Park.
4. Lake Corpus Christi State Park (Mathis, Texas)
Encompassing over 20,000 acres, Lake Corpus Christi is a prized fishing destination, known for its abundance of 5-pound largemouth bass. The park boasts two lighted piers for fishing, one of which extends over 400 feet (that is wheelchair-accessible), making it great for catching crappie. Anglers can also find plenty of flathead catfish in the river channel. Be sure to check out Texas Outside’s Review of Lake Corpus Christi State Park for more information on what to expect during your visit.
5. Eisenhower State Park (Denison, Texas)
Lake Texoma is one of the few lakes in Texas with a self-sustaining population of striped bass, thanks to the free-flowing current of the Red River. As a result, it has carved out a reputation as one of the best striped bass fishing lakes in Texas. The lake also boasts a healthy population of smallmouth bass and catfish, with the world record 121-pound catfish caught here in 2004. With 89,000 acres of water and 580 miles of shoreline, there is no shortage of prime fishing spots.
Eisenhower State Park, which spans over 450 acres, features five camping areas, day-use areas, two lit fishing piers, a boat ramp, playgrounds, bike and hiking trails, swimming areas, and much more. Check out Texas Outside’s Review of Eisenhower State Park, as well as Texas Outside’s Review of Lake Texoma for more information on planning your fishing trip to this haven.
6. Fairfield Lake State Park (Fairfield, Texas)
Fairfield Lake, a 2,350-acre local fishing hotspot, owes its warm water to the power plant, which extends the fishing season. Anglers can expect to catch catfish, largemouth bass, and even red drum—the lake is home to two state record catches, measuring 36 and 44 inches.
Unfortunately, Fairfield State Park, which offered 128 water and electric campsites, mountain biking trails, a fishing pier and cleaning station, volleyball, swimming, and more, was officially closed in 2023. Don’t miss Texas Outside’s Review of Fairfield Lake State Park. to learn more about this once-popular destination.
7. Goose Island State Park (Rockport, Texas)
Nestled in the heart of Aransas Bay, Goose Island State Park offers a plethora of fishing options for both beginners and experienced anglers. From the 1620-foot-long fishing pier to wade fishing or fishing off the shoreline or from your own boat, there are plenty of opportunities to reel in a variety of fish such as spotted seatrout, back and red drum, sheepshead, hardheads, or bull sharks in the Gulf.
You can also take advantage of the park’s numerous amenities, which include several sites right on Aransas Bay, bike and hiking trails, a playground, boat ramp, fish cleaning station, and more. Check out Texas Outside’s Review of Goose Island State Park to learn more about this outdoor haven.
8. Martin Creek Lake State Park (Tatum, Texas)
Thanks to the power plant located at Martin Creek Lake, anglers have ample opportunities for winter and early spring fishing for Largemouth bass. Catfish and crappie are also readily available year-round, while kids will love catching sunfish in late spring or summer.
Martin Creek Lake State Park offers 60 sites, 15 of which are waterfront, all with water and electric hookups. Other amenities include a four-lane boat ramp, fishing pier and cleaning station, hike and bike trails, and canoe rentals. Don’t miss Texas Outside’s Review of Martin Creek Lake State Park to learn more about the park’s offerings and attractions.
9. Purtis Creek State Park (Eustace, Texas)
With two fishing piers, an annual stocking of catfish, and plenty of largemouth bass and channel catfish in its waters, Purtis Creek State Park is a paradise for anglers of all levels. This small state park spans 1,582 acres and features 58 sites with water and electric hookups, some of which offer stunning waterfront views.
Additionally, there are 15 walk-in tent sites, a bait store, and a lit fishing pier to enhance your fishing experience. Check out Texas Outside’s Review of Purtis Creek State Park for more information on planning your next fishing trip.
10. Sheldon Lake State Park (Houston, Texas)
Situated northeast of Houston, Sheldon Lake State Park is an expansive 3,000-acre park where anglers can enjoy fishing for catfish and crappie. The park features two ponds where kids can catch and release fish with adults, as well as abundant wildlife, including plenty of alligators. While camping is not available at Sheldon Lake State Park, visitors can spend the day enjoying the park’s serene natural beauty and recreational opportunities.
Many pictures are courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife.