The weather may be a little chilly, but this is a great time to get
outdoors if you are an angler in the Brazos River basin –
particularly if you like trout.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department are in the middle of
their annual release of rainbow trout into the Brazos River
downstream from Possum Kingdom Lake’s Morris Sheppard
Dam. Though the state agency stocks numerous water bodies
each winter, the Brazos release of 9,000 trout marks the
second largest in Texas. These fish prefer cooler water and
are not believed to reproduce in the wild in most of the state,
so they are released each winter. Officials made two releases
into the river in December and two more are planned on Jan.
23 and Feb. 13.
But if trout are not your favorite, no worries, winter is a great
time to cast your line for a variety of fish. The cooler weather
means you won’t be competing for space with water-skiers
and fair-weather boaters. Traffic may be lighter on the water,
but beneath the surface things are really hopping.
Fish are exothermic or cold blooded, and the water
temperature affects their metabolism, says David
Collinsworth, the Brazos River Authority’s Central Basin
business development manager and an avid fisherman. When
the temperature drops, the cooler water turn fish into
aggressive active feeders, eager to regain weight lost during the summer, Collinsworth said.
“As old man winter takes grip of Texas, baitfish will congregate and will resort to deeper parts of the lake,”
Collinsworth said. “The many species of fish anglers seek such as crappie, white bass, and largemouth bass
will be close behind looking for a chance to feed.”
Collinsworth says to be mindful of changing weather conditions because high winds associated with northern
cold fronts can quickly turn reservoir conditions hazardous. Also, it is a good practice during the winter to fish
with a partner and have an extra set of clothes in case you accidently fall in the cold water.
Despite ongoing drought conditions BRA lakes are still accessible, and reports indicate fish are biting. Here’s a
summary of fishing conditions:
As of the beginning of January, four boat ramps
remain open, giving quick access to the lake:
Sandy Beach, North D&D, South D&D and
According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife
Department’s fishing report, the water is fairly
clear and black bass fishing is fair to good using
shallow-running crankbaits, Texas rigs, jigs and
drop shot rigs. Crappie are good on minnows.
White bass are fair on slabs. Striped bass are
fair on live shad. Catfish are fair on prepared
bait and nightcrawlers.
This lake can be accessed by a boat ramp at DeCordova Bend Park.
Black bass are good on chartreuse/blue flake soft plastics and Rat–L–Traps. Striped bass are slow. White
bass are fair on small spinnerbaits. Crappie are fair on minnows. Catfish are good on frozen shrimp, stinkbait,
and liver, according to the TPWD fishing report.
All but one boat ramp (at the dam) are open at this treasure of a fishing lake. TPWD says Lake Limestone
offers some of the best fishing of any Central Texas lake, with its gently sloping banks, flooded timber and
abundance of aquatic vegetation that offers cover for fish.
Among the varieties the wildlife department says are in good numbers are largemouth and white bass, crappie
Conditions are ripe for anglers in the Brazos basin. The fish are biting; the lakes are less crowded and are
easily accessible. To learn more about the upcoming rainbow trout releases, please click here. You can find
some tips about trout fishing in Texas by going to this link. Current TPWD fishing reports and related
information can be found here.