The Colorado River below Austin is where anglers can usually catch fish in a peaceful, uncrowded setting. The river offers miles of underutilized water that support largemouth, channel catfish, bluegill, crappie and the official state fish, the Guadalupe bass.
When to fish
Fishing can be good year-round, but the river is uncooperative during the chilly winter months. At other times of the year, gamefish are abundant in shady areas under tree limbs or next to brush piles.
What to use
For best results, use a fly rod or light spinning tackle with 6- or 8-pound test line. Catfish cannot resist earthworms or grasshoppers, and plastic versions of these items will trick bass and bluegill. Bass also like topwater plugs and short plastic worms. For Guadalupe bass, probe the swift water as it flows over boulders or shallow flats. River regulars keep a ready supply of in-line spinners in their tackle boxes.
Where to go
Many anglers, especially fly fishermen, love the stretch of river below Longhorn Dam, which forms Town Lake in Austin. Here, longrodders catch largemouths, bluegills and Guadalupe bass when using variety of popping bugs and nymphs to imitate frogs, crickets and minnows.
LCRA supports catch-and-release as a key to selective harvest. Consider releasing most or all of what you catch. All state fishing regulations and bag limits apply.
For weekly fishing reports, see Texas Parks and Wildlife or call 1-800-792-1112. Also see, river fishing guide.