Life's Better Outside
Life's Better Outside Activity of the Month: Fishing
Fishing in a Texas State Park or local Neighborhood Fishin’ lake stocked with fish is fun, affordable and a great way for family and friends to be together in nature. Plus, there’s a good chance your fish will be keepers, and end up as a delicious fresh-caught meal for all.
Where to go fishing
- Texas State Parks: over 70 parks offer fresh or saltwater fishing from shore, pier or boat. Everyone fishes for free (no licenses are required) and many parks offer tackle-loaner programs and special fishing classes and events.
- Local Neighborhood Fishin’sites: selected lakes in urban areas are stocked with fish every two weeks—channel catfish in the summer and rainbow trout in the winter. Find out locations for these lakes at: Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio. Kids under 17 fish for free, while a fishing license is required for adults. Before you go, enjoy this Neighborhood Fishin’ video
- Artificial Reefs: 66 artificial reef sites along the coast of Texas attract large saltwater fish and nearly 200 marine fish species. Seven near shore reefs are within 9 nautical miles of the coast and are accessible to more experienced anglers with offshore boats.
Beginner Fishing Programs
Want to go fishing or take your kids fishing, but don't know where to start? Here’s how:
- Go Fish: Families can learn the basics of fishing through fun, hands-on activities. Equipment and bait are provided or you can bring your own. Check the Go Fish calendar for upcoming events in your area.
- Tackle Loaner Program: 30 state parks loan fishing equipment-- just like a library loans books. Individuals can borrow rods, reels and tackle for up to 7 days of fishing. Find a loaner site near you.
Support Healthy Fish Populations
Everyone plays an important role in maintaining healthy quantities of fish and fish habitats. When you purchase a fishing license or fishing equipment, you are supporting fishery management, hatcheries, conservation and education. By learning to identify fish and respecting fishing regulations you can help protect fish populations, ensuring that they will continue to be available now and in the future for all who want to go fishing.
What to bring:
- Fishing pole/rod, bait, tackle
- Food and beverage, ice chest
- Weather-appropriate clothing, hat
- Sunscreen, bug repellent
Outdoor Fun for Kids:
What Experts Say about the Benefits of Nature Play
Pack out what you pack in: Leave No Trace!