Lake Livingston

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Fishing in Lake Livingston

If you’re a passionate freshwater angler, Lake Livingston fishing is an experience you shouldn’t miss out on. This is the second largest lake completely within the Texas borders, and it serves as a water source for Houston, that is 85 miles away. Not long after it was made in the 1960’s, the lake became one of the prime fisheries in the state, and it kept its status throughout the decades. 
 
The reason why fishermen come back to Lake Livingston time and again is galore of freshwater game fish that calls these waters home. Striped Bass is the main target here, as well as Catfish, White Bass, and Crappie, but you can also easily catch Largemouth Bass and Bluegill. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, Lake Livingston State Park is a great spot for enjoying the scenery, bird watching, and of course, world class fishing.
 

Fishing Spots

 
One thing that Lake Livingston fishing guides can tell you is that the lake has four fishing areas to explore – the south end, the dam, the mid-lake area, and Trinity River in the upper end. Each part offers a different kind of fishery, though the quality of the catch is consistent.
 

South End

 
In this part of the lake, you’ll find plenty of docks to cast your line from, and there are also flats and submerged structures that serve as the perfect hideouts for fish. The waters here are much clearer than in the upper end, and you can find various species of Catfish at the end of your line, as well as Stripers, Crappie, and White Bass. The best honey holes here are Wolfe, Kickapoo, Indian, and Penwaugh creeks.
 

Lake Livingston Dam

 
Lake Livingston Dam fishing is the best combo for anglers who want to admire the power of the thundering waters and hook Alligator Gar. These striking fish are native to Texas and have been around since the dinosaur age. The lake is one of the best spots in the state to hook a Gar, as long as you’re not intimidated by their sharp teeth and you’re ready for a good fight they will give you before you get them into the boat.
 

Mid-Lake

 
White Rock and Caney creeks are the most productive grounds you will find in the mid-lake area. The lake bottom is full of big rocks and shaded water, and this is usually the favorite hangout spot of Largemouth Bass. If you’re out with a knowledgeable captain, he’ll know exactly where to go in case you want to target good food fish like White Bass, Catfish, and Bluegill. You will also find productive Striped Bass grounds just north of the Hwy 190 bridge.
 

Upper End – Trinity River

 
Some of the best Lake Livingston fishing spots can be found in the upper end, near the Trinity River. The proximity of the river changes the fishing conditions, but buoys very visibly mark the channel and serve as a roadmap toward the best bite. You can reel in a mixed bag of catch here – White, Striped, and Largemouth Bass, Sunfish, Bluegill, and Blue Catfish. The most popular fishing grounds in the upper end are Harmon and Carolina creeks.
 

Fishing Tips

 
  • Targeting Striped Bass on Lake Livingston will be exciting and successful when you use live shad and vertical jigging spoons.

  • Dam fishing is thrilling and a bit different to standard lake fishing, so you’ll need rods and reels suited for long casts and strong enough to hold the fish and the strong current.

  • The period from late January through March is reserved for the White Bass spawning run, and you’ll be most productive if you use light jigs with spinners.

 

Need to Know

 
One of the best things about Lake Livingston fishing is that it’s available year-round. The winters in Texas are mild, so the bite is solid whenever you go. The summers can get quite hot, but that doesn’t affect the fishery. In fact, both Striped and White Bass love the warm weather, so chances are you’ll return to the dock with a boatload of fish.
 

Regulations

 
There are a few regulations you need to keep in mind before you head out. You will need to buy a valid Texas fishing license, and the prices are slightly different for  state residents and non-residents. If you decide to fish from the Lake Livingston State Park, you don’t need to buy a license.
 
When it comes to bag and size limits, you’re allowed to keep up to 5 Largemouth Bass, as long as they’re 14 inches or longer. When it comes to Striped Bass, the minimum length to keep it is 18 inches.
 

Budget

 
You can go fishing on Lake Livingston without breaking the bank. Full day fishing trips can cost anywhere from $450–$800 for the whole family. You can also find specialized trips that target a particular species, and the prices for eight-hour trips are around $450. Half day trips are usually within the $350–$550 price range. Remember that you will need to buy a fishing license before you start your fishing expedition.
 

Getting There

 
To get to Lake Livingston from Houston, you will need up to an hour and a half by car, and the fastest route  to take it along  I-69 or US-59 N. Once you get to the lake, there are plenty of towns that you can visit – Livingston, Onalaska, Coldspring, and Huntsville are just a few. You’ll find docks and piers along the lake and every town has local captains that can show you the best time on the water. Lake Livingston is one of the best fishing spots in the state, and when you cast your line there you’ll understand that the title is well-earned.
 
Lake Livingston
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Lake Livingston Fishing Seasons

January

Winter fishing for Striped Bass and White Bass is always a lot of fun on Lake Livingston. This means you can easily get your bag limit and have an amazing dinner.

February

This month is reserved for the American Bass Anglers tournament. You can find Catfish in Harmon Creek, and Crappie in the clearer waters. White Bass and Stripers are active as well.

March

Blue Catfish are the most common catch in March, and if you want to chase White Bass, going to the clearer waters in the upper end is your “bass-t” chance to catch something good.

April

If you’re looking to hook a Crappie or two, go to the shallows, to the tea-colored waters. Catfish are thriving in the lower end of the lake, and White Bass are hiding around Pine Island.

May

The weather is warmer, the rains have passed, and fishing in Lake Livingston is excellent. This means you can catch anything from Largemouth Bass to Crappie and Stripers.

June
To beat the heat, head out early in the morning and catch the best bite. You’re looking at copious amounts of Crappie, Largemouth, Striped, and White Bass, as well as Catfish.
July

White Bass, Catfish, and Crappie fishing is excellent, even though the heat is on. Largemouth Bass are not as present, but you can still find them in Harmon and Newton creeks.

August

If you want to have a good day on the water, you will have to have your line in the water as the sun is rising. Blue Catfish, White Bass, and Crappie are the most popular catch on the lake.

September

It’s not as hot anymore, but the wind can be a problem. Striped Bass is there for the taking, and you’ll find Catfish on the flats. White Bass is still present in the clear waters.

October

In October, you can hook Largemouth Bass that weighs up to five pounds, and Crappie are biting as long as you’ve got some fresh minnows around.

November

Late fall fishing on Lake Livingston is excellent, and Harmon Creek is one of the best spots on the lake to catch Striped Bass, Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Catfish, and White Bass.

December

Rains are frequent in December, but you can still reel in a good amount of Blue Catfish and White Bass. Crappie don’t like muddy waters, so it’s harder to target them this month.

Lake Livingston Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Lake Livingston

Excellent afternoon on the water!
Dewayne B. fished with Lake Livingston Texas Guide Services on May 9, 2020
Book with a quality guide, it makes for a better experience when you go with someone who knows the lake.
Whole day trip
Stephen W. fished with Lake Livingston Texas Guide Services on December 7, 2019
Pick the right part of the lake for the type of fish you want to catch.
Half day Capt john
Louis J. fished with Lake Livingston Texas Guide Services on September 21, 2019
Not a fisherman but had great time with grandchildren
1/2 day trip with Captain Richard Bolton
Clint D. fished with Lake Livingston Texas Fishing on August 11, 2019
Being water, sunscreen, and wear stay dry long sleeved fishing shirts
Birthday Surprise!
Mary C. fished with Lake Livingston Texas Fishing on June 19, 2019
This is a great way to experience fishing in Lake Livingston!
Our third time to book with Jeff!
Rich A. fished with Fishin Addiction Guide Service on June 14, 2019
Hire a guide and preferably Fishin Addiction or J M Guide service. Otherwise, you wil have a had time locating fish in this large, deep lake. A person could do it yourself and be years learning the lake well enough to be successful.
April fishing trip
John P. fished with Big Dawg Outfitters on April 12, 2019
Fish with Scott and do the noodle fishing
July fishing trip
Angela B. fished with Lake Livingston Texas Fishing on July 20, 2018
It’s hot in the summer months. Cover your skin and bring lots of sunscreen and fluids.

Top Targeted Species in Lake Livingston