The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is one of the nation’s biggest business hubs, and easily the largest urban area in Texas. At first glance, you wouldn’t expect this to be a great place to cast a line, but you’d be dead wrong. There are dozens of great spots to go fishing near DFW. Today, we’re here to highlight a few of the very best.
Some of these fisheries are right in town. Others take a little while to get to, but they’re still within reach for a day trip. What they all have in common is a variety of family-friendly activities and plenty of space to escape the city crowds. That, and some huge fish just waiting to take your bait.
White Rock Lake
Where better to kick off our list than one of northeast Dallas’s most popular parks? White Rock Lake is a common venue for everything from running races to open-air concerts. Don’t worry, there’s still plenty of space to have fun in the age of social distancing. Explore the arboretum, grill up some lunch, or just unwind and take in the view.
After all that, it’s time to start fishing! White Rock Lake holds good numbers of Largemouth Bass, especially around the reeds and creeks. The lake is also known for its Crappie, with fish over two pounds always on the cards. Keep an eye out for invasive Carp while you’re fishing, too!
The great thing about White Rock Lake is how accessible it is for anglers. Head down to the fishing pier on the south or cast from the bank – either way, you’re in for some action. Prefer to get out onto the water? There are several boat launches around White Rock. Bear in mind that motor boats are limited to 9.9 HP engines, though.
Over on the Fort Worth side of the Metroplex, Benbrook Lake is just a couple of miles out of the city and has several parks that you can visit for a small fee. Depending on where you go, you can enjoy anything from hiking trails, BBQs, and swimming spots to golf courses and even an RC flying field. What more could you ask for?
How about an incredible Bass bite? Benbrook Lake is home to a ton of Hybrid Stripers, as well as regular White Bass and lunker Largemouths originally stocked from Florida. As if that wasn’t enough, you can also load up on Crappie or wrestle big Carp and Flathead Catfish.
Benbrook Lake doesn’t have the engine restrictions that you find over in White Rock, so boaters can really make the most of this spot. At the same time, shore-based anglers can cast the day away in local creek channels, from piers, or even from a fishing barge located at Rocky Creek Marina. Just remember that there’s a consumption advisory on all fish caught here.
Lewisville Lake is a popular spot among families and fish-lovers throughout the DFW area. Sitting 20 miles north of Dallas, or around 30 from Fort Worth, it’s one of the largest lakes near town, with over a dozen different parks to explore. The lake has great swimming, boat and paddleboard rental, camping, and even a full-service marina. Spend the day or make a weekend of it – there’s plenty to do!
The thing that makes Lewisville special for anglers is the sheer variety of fish on offer. There’s everything from small Bluegill, Crappie, and Sunfish, through White, Largemouth and Spotted Bass, all the way up to 20 lb Stripers! This means that the whole family can reel something in, and even experienced anglers can test their skills.
Another great thing about Lewisville is its size. Sure, many spots get crowded during the summer, but at almost 30,000 acres, you can always find space out on the water. If you don’t own a boat, you can either rent one or charter a guide. That’s not to say that the piers and banks aren’t good, it’s just rare to find such good boat-based fishing within sight of a major city.
Lake Fork sits around 70 miles east of downtown Dallas. It’s still within reach on a day trip, but it doesn’t get anywhere near the crowds that local lakes do. This means that you can really get out into nature. Enjoy the area’s golf courses or even try something new like sailing or tubing. There are also some great eateries and plenty of pretty picnic spots.
Not that you’ll care about any of that if you’re into Bass fishing. Lake Fork is quite simply one of the best spots on earth to target Largemouth Bass. Out of the top 50 catches in Texas, 30 of them were landed in Lake Fork, including the entire top six! Huge Florida Bass were carefully stocked here when the lake was created, producing a fishery unlike any other in Texas.
Most people fish Lake Fork by boat, as this lets you get to the very best spots in search of the next state record. Shore-based anglers can still reel in a winner, though, with plenty of banks and docks, and endless structure close to the shore. Want to split the difference? You can rent a kayak at several spots locally.
Lake Palestine is the furthest fishing spot on our list, around 100 miles east of Dallas by car. Make the trip, and you’ll find masses of open water, with plenty of boat ramps, swimming beaches, trails, and even a waterpark. We’re not going to lie, though: this one is all about the fish.
What could rival Texas’s best Bass fishery? Easy, the home of some of its biggest Catfish! The state Flathead record was hauled in here, weighing almost 100 pounds. Lake Palestine has also produced Blue Catfish weighing over 48 pounds in the past, and holds plenty of Channel Cats to round off the slam.
Lake Palestine is no one-trick pony, mind you. It has an awesome Hybrid Striper and White Bass bite and is a popular stop on the Largemouth Bass tournament circuit. You can also fill up on Crappie and Buffalo, as well as Carp weighing well over 20 pounds. Fish from shore or launch out on a boat. Either way, you’re in for a treat!
Ah, Lake Texoma! No surprise this one made it onto the list. It’s one of the largest man-made lakes in the US, after all – well worth the 80-mile drive north. Mount up or hike out along hundreds of miles of trails. Jump into the water to enjoy all your favorite watersports. You can even hop over to one of the islands that litter the lake.
We could write an entire article about what makes Lake Texoma such a great fishing spot. In fact, we did! To keep things brief here, let’s just say that it’s Texas’s best Striped Bass fishery, and the only one with a self-sustaining population. The lake also holds good numbers of Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Alligator Gar, Catfish, Crappie, and much, much more.
One thing to be aware of is that most of the water here is actually in Oklahoma. Because of this, it’s a good idea to get a special Lake Texoma Fishing License, which covers you for the entire lake. You can read all about it here if you want more info. Otherwise, cast from shore in any of dozens of spots on the Texan side – Eisenhower State Park is our personal favorite.
And So Many More!
These are our top picks for fishing near DFW, but they’re just a taste of what the area has to offer. There are literally dozens of lakes within an easy drive, not to mention all the rivers, creeks, and smaller fishing ponds. You could literally spend your life fishing here and still find new spots. That’s what makes it such an exciting place to wet a line.
These are our top picks, but what are yours? Have you fished any of the places we mentioned? Drop us your stories and suggestions in the comments below, we always love to hear them!