Americans will agree that everything is bigger in Texas. We Texans like our Boyz, Rangers, Astros, Texans and good ol’ Mother Nature. If there is one thing that Texans take a little more seriously than football, it would have to be food. And, as you already know, anything tastes better when you’ve captured, caught or killed it yourself. This makes fishing one of the most popular hobbies for residents of the great State of Texas.
Outsiders and Northerners often believe that Texas is full of cactus and desert terrains. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the state is overflowing with lush green lands and crystal-clear lakes. Those lakes are inhabited with some of the feistiest fish this side of the Appalachian Mountains.
- Largemouth Bass
- Striped Bass
- Bullhead Catfish
- Large Blue Catfish
Below, you’re going to take a tour of some of best spots in Texas for kayak fishing.
#1 Lady Bird Lake
Lady Bird Lake is arguably one of the best kayaking lakes in all of Texas. The lake is perfectly situated in the heart of downtown Austin.
This makes it easily accessible to tourists and Texans alike. Simultaneously, the nearby scenery and the lake itself offer gorgeous imagery that closely resemble a Rembrandt oil painting.
Another great aspect of Lady Bird is the shadowy areas. The shade offers a good place to cool off and plenty of hiding places for some of most delicious fish species in Texas. Lady Bird offers a wealth of activities. While you’re out in the kayak, your family can:
- fish off the shore
- do hiking or biking
- do paddle boarding
- bat watching
Whether you team up with a Texas kayak guide or venture out alone, you’ll enjoy your day out on the Lady Bird Lake in Austin.
#2 Colorado River Texas
When you hear the name Colorado River, your mind probably shifts to the state of Colorado. The Texas Colorado River is the 18th longest in the United States and the longest in The Lone Star State. Suffice to say, the river runs directly through Central Texas and this is a great thing for Texan kayakers. In fact, the river is fairly steady and ideal for those just getting their feet wet.
Grab your rod and get comfortable in your fishing kayak. If you need help selecting a good fishing kayak, we found some of the highest ranked fishing kayaks.
The slow movements of the Colorado River will sooth you into a peaceful slumber. Don’t worry. You’ll be jolted back awake when that great big bass tugs on your line.
The portions of the Colorado River found in Texas are very calm. You’ll find no rapids or hazards. Even better is the fact that there are tons of vegetation. And, as you already know vegetation is a fish’s best friend.
#3 Guadalupe River
If you’re a picky kayaker and an even pickier fisherman, you’ll absolutely love the Guadalupe River. This body of water offers a little bit of everything and then some. It is located near Hill Country and is ideal for plenty of summer activities, including paddling, swimming and even tubing.
The river is capable of satisfying kayakers with diverse skillsets. While there are plenty of stretches of calm waters, there are many class III rapids. Whether you’re a beginner or a full-fledged adrenaline junkie, you can guarantee the Guadalupe River will make its way into your heart.
More importantly, there is one factor that makes the Guadalupe River a must for anglers. It is the only Texas river that is inhabited by trout throughout the entire year. No matter when you decide to visit, you can guarantee you’ll go home with at least a trout or two.
#4 Neches River
When traveling to Texas, you owe it to yourself to make a detour to the Neches River at least once. The river is truly one of a kind.
This is thanks to its remote location and unique atmosphere. The Neches River flows through Eastern Texas for more than 400 miles. It offers amazing paddling opportunities for kayakers of all skill levels.
One of the best things about the Neches is the diverse wildlife. While paddling along, you’ll observe everything from snakes to exotic birds and even alligators. Just keep your eyes on the path ahead, because log jams are fairly common.
Another great thing about the Neches River is the fact that there are just as many animals in the water as there are in the trees and on the nearby bank.
#5 Toledo Bend
If you’re entering Texas from Louisiana, you won’t need to go far to find a worthwhile kayaking and fishing spot. Just stop as soon as you enter the state of Texas and you’ll find Toledo Bend. This lake actually serves as a natural border for both states.
When paddling along the lake, you’ll have a great time and you’ll likely encounter a diverse group of people from both sides of the border. The lake itself is generally best for beginners. This is the case, since the water is mainly flat and calm. This makes it ideal for kayakers that want a relaxing fishing experience.
Whether you hire a Toledo Bend fishing guide or go it alone, you’ll have a blast and create many memorable experiences. The lake is home to a wide variety of fish species, including the following:
- White and striped bass
- Largemouth bass
With a little bit of luck, you’ll find yourself traveling home with a meal fit for a king.
#6 Caddo Lake
The area between Texas and Louisiana is truly the gift that keeps on giving. This segment of Texas is home to many amazing fishing and kayaking hotspots. One of the most notable is Caddo Lake. This 25,400-acre body of water is great for hobbyists and veteran fishermen.
The lake also has a pretty interesting history. It was an important lake for Native Americans and served as the home of the first over water oil platform. During your journey, you’ll come across many interest forms of wildlife, including alligators, owls and even eagles.
As of 2003, the river was home to 216 bird species, as well as 90 fish and reptile species. And finally, many locals have claimed to have spotted Bigfoot near this body of water. Keep your eyes open or you might just become sasquatch prey.
#7 Lake Lewisville
While the previously listed lakes and rivers are amazing, Lake Lewisville may steal the top spot for the most gorgeous lake in Texas. The lake is actually a reservoir, which was initially built for flood control purposes.
Lake Lewisville is located in Denton County and expands over an area of 58,000 feet. If you travel to Lewisville Lake during the summer, you should expect a big crowd. If you prefer to fish alone, you’ll want to visit during another time of the year. The lake is used for various recreational events, including bass fishing tournaments, boating and even jet skiing.
Lewisville is home to many fish species.
- Spotted bass
- Channel catfish
- White and Hybrid striped bass
- White crappie
- Blue catfish
- Largemouth bass
Most of the lake is very calm and this makes it great for those new to kayaking, just make sure to check any boater advisories. For an avid kayak fisherman, you owe it to yourself to visit this lake at least once!
#8 Blanco River
Blanco River, located in the northern part of Kendall County, is fed by a series of springs. The 87-mile (140 kilometers) river generally flows eastward through several counties including Kendall, Hays and Blanco, eventually joining up with the San Marcos River.
The river is one of the most lavish in Hill Country, as it is quite shallow with several areas that dip below ground. With a mean flow of 93 ftÂ³/s, the river still tends to flood without advanced warning from local meteorologists, especially when heavy rains pour into the river’s watershed.
Texas Hill Country terrain is hilly, with steep valleys and flatlands, making it the perfect location for outdoor activities, especially along the banks of the Blanco.
The Blanco River only enhances the fun, while providing more water activity options for visitors, including:
Experts recommend navigating the Blanco under flood conditions, but this is only recommended for skilled kayakers.
#9 Brazos River
Brazos River is located near Mineral Wells in Parker and Palo Pinto counties. It is classified as one of the longest rivers in the United States, stretching 840 miles. The early Spanish explorers referred to the river as “The River of the Arms of God.”
For hundreds of years portions of the Brazos was undeveloped, as it still is today. The 840-mile river flows through the heart of Texas to the Gulf of Mexico, where its mouth is located.
The section of the river between SH 16 nearly two miles below US Highway 180 and Possum Kingdom Dam is a Class I stream, with intermittent small rapids or Class I- rapids. The area where the river flows below 500-foot cliffs is perfect for kayaking and canoeing.
The water traffic can be rather congested in this area during the spring and late-fall. Right after a big rainstorm is the best time to kayak on the Brazos. The headwinds can be rather difficult to handle, so you must be a good paddler to stay on your mark.
#10 Buffalo Bayou
Buffalo Bayou, in Harris County, was formed about 18,000 years ago. It flows about 53 miles eastward through the Houston Ship Channel in Houston, Texas into the Gulf of Mexico and Galveston Bay.
The Bayou is fed by a series of natural springs, tributary bayous and surface runoff. The waters are smooth flowing in several portions of the river, making it perfect for family kayaking and canoeing adventures.
The entire trip is about 3 miles in length and takes anywhere from one to three hours from beginning to end. Buffalo Bayou is filled with a variety of fish species, including bass, catfish and sunfish. So, be sure to pack your tackle box full of jibs, spinner baits, lite-line and plastic worms.
Thank you for reading along. If we missed your favorite kayaking location in Texas, have feedback or would like to share your kayaking Texas experiences. Reach out to Texas Outside Editors here.