4 Texas Fish Species That Will Challenge Your Skills

By Debbie Hanson

Apr 11, 2017

If you want to learn more about challenging Texas fish species, read about this list of freshwater fish that are known for being anything but easy to catch.

Are you thinking about planning a trip to Texas? If so, don't forget to pack your fishing gear because the Lone Star State has a lot more to offer than good barbecue and ten gallon hats. There are plenty of freshwater Texas fish species you can target. Check out four types of fish in Texas that will challenge your angling skills.

Blue Catfish. As the largest freshwater sport fish in Texas, the blue catfish is certainly capable of putting freshwater anglers to the test. This species can reach weights of over 100 pounds. Blue catfish are most commonly found in channels, tributaries, and river systems. Freshly caught threadfin shad or gizzard shad are good natural baits to try when fishing for blue catfish.

Alligator Gar. The alligator gar is the largest of the gar species. Alligator gar can grow up to 8 feet long and weigh up to 300 pounds (bigger than most Texas saltwater fish species). Which means that landing one is no small accomplishment. Aside from the challenge of bringing a fish like this to the boat due to its sheer size, alligator gar have plenty of sharp teeth that generally require the use of a wire leader. You can find alligator gar in large rivers and reservoirs, as well as in coastal bays

Longnose Gar. It won't be hard to figure out where to fish for this Texas freshwater fish species since they inhabit most of the state's river systems. However, hooking and landing a longnose gar is another story because of their snout is almost entirely bone and teeth. You can learn how to fish for longnose gar using a shad (live or dead) on a #4 treble hook. If you are lucky enough to get a bite, be sure to let the longnose gar run with your bait for a minute. These fish will often pick up your baits and run with them before they actually stop to eat. If you try to set the hook too early, you're likely to miss your chance at hooking up.

Spotted Bass. While spotted bass aren't quite as large as largemouth bass, they are certainly a feisty fighting fish species for their size. Good spots to target spotted bass include the Sabine, Neches, and Cypress Rivers in East Texas. Grab your spinning gear and cast out a shad, crayfish, or worm near areas where current flows around rock piles.

Now that you know about four Texas fish species that will challenge your skills, buy your Texas fishing license online and start planning your trip. Don't miss out on an opportunity to fish in Texas!

Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.