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Fishing in the Texas Hill Country: Living The Dream

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Tony Maples Photography


Mention the word “fishing” in the Texas Hill Country, and you’re liable to get several “the one that got away” stories! It’s like living a dream to be able to take a break in the area, drop a line in a lake or river and fish for native Guadalupe bass and Rio Grande perch. The region is teeming with beautiful scenery, pristine lakes, and a spring-fed watershed including numerous sparkling rivers (the Pedernales, Frio, and Guadalupe to name just a few).

Subsequently, there are a number of great Texas Hill Country fishing hot spots scattered throughout the area, some having waters as clear as gin, others having depths so impressive you’re not even entirely sure there’s a bottom, and still having a beautiful sapphire color allowing for the silhouettes of your future catches to impress upon you the great opportunities that lie ahead.

Fishing in the Texas Hill Country: Living The Dream

Photo: Pixabay

Home to some of the southernmost freshwater trout fishing, the Guadalupe River in the Texas Hill Country is stocked with both Brown and Rainbow by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department annually at fall and winter. And for impressive largemouth and Guadalupe bass populations, you might want to visit the Sabinal River (with access at Vanderpool and Utopia).

Fishing in the Texas Hill Country: Living The Dream

Photo: Pexels

The San Saba River, with its slow-moving current, undercut banks, and deep pools, offers much in the way of largemouth and pure-strain Guadalupe bass. Due to the great amount of natural coverage along its banks, there’s also a good chance you’ll find perch and redbreast sunfish. Similarly, the Pedernales River (a tributary of the Colorado) features 23 feeder-creeks, and sustains Guadalupe and largemouth bass as well as catfish and sunfish. There are five miles of access to the river via Pedernales Falls State Park, and where it reaches Johnson City, it enters a spillover dam that’s been known to hold fish in some of the toughest droughts in Texas.

Fishing in the Texas Hill Country: Living The Dream

Photo: Flickr/Heath Alseike

The Colorado River makes its way through the Texas Hill Country and the heart of the Lone Star State on its way to the Gulf of Mexico from its headwaters which are located just south of Lubbock. Flowing 900 miles in total, it passes through the city of Austin in the process, and from Webberville Park to Longhorn Dam, anglers have scored large bass, catfish, Rio Grande perch, white crappie, drum, striped and smallmouth bass. And certainly, there’s ample opportunity for some great fishing in the many state parks throughout the Texas Hill Country. If you’re more than a dabbler in the sport, you may also want to check into private ranches which allow angling in the area. And for further information on stocking, species locators, and permits required, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website. Plan ahead, enjoy the day, and practice proper catch and release techniques where you won’t be keeping and eating your daily limits.