lake canyon fishing guide

Canyon Lake Fishing Guide

Written by Boatsetter Team
September 29, 2021

There are many lakes in Texas on which anglers can test their skills, and Canyon Lake is convenient to San Antonio, Houston, and Central Texas. Easily accessible from multiple locations, getting on the water is easy to do, no matter the direction of your arrival.

If you live near Canyon Lake, Texas, or visit the area, read on and learn about the fish you can catch here.

Is Canyon Lake suitable for fishing?

The deep waters of the lake and shallows of the Guadeloupe River are home to over a dozen species of fish. The lake has multiple access points, many of which are open year-round. Here we will tell you where to launch a boat on Canyon Lake and about the fish you can catch. Added is information about Canyon Lake lodging and other amenities.

The Bass of Canyon Lake Texas

Largemouth Bass

largemouth bass canyon lake

Depending on where you are from, the largemouth bass may be called black bass, largies, wide-mouth bass, or bucket-mouth bass. Largemouth bass can grow to over 20 pounds and will put up a fight; you will remember for a while.

They can be caught on almost any live bait, although they prefer small sunfish. When spawning in the spring, largemouth bass will go for any bait you throw their way.

Smallmouth Bass

smallmouth bass canyon lake fishing

Weighing about half of its larger relative, the record smallmouth bass weighs in at a little over ten pounds. However, this is still not a tiny fish, and even the smallest of these fish will put up a fight.

Their nicknames are brownie and bronze back due to their distinctive coloring. Unfortunately, the smallmouth bass does not like the cold and hibernates during the winter, making them hard to find.

Once the water temperatures rise to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, you can find smallmouth bass in the shallows. They move into deeper water as the days get warmer.

Striped Bass

striped bass canyon lake fishing guide

Although Canyon Lake is known for its largemouth bass, you will find stripers here, too. An oddity of a fish, it is a saltwater fish that can survive in freshwater. When that little fact was learned, the striped bass was introduced to many lakes across the south, where they thrived. Unfortunately, often to the detriment of the other fish in the lake, so do your part and catch a striper or two.

These extraordinary fish can grow to over 80 pounds and give you a fight like few other freshwater or saltwater fish. They run in schools, so if you catch one, there are more about to be caught. Use baitfish to lure them in, and fish the deeper waters of the lake where they feed.

White Bass

The fourth species of bass in Canyon lake is white bass. Their appearance is much different than their kin, and they sport silver scales and a distinctive black dorsal stripe. On record, the largest white bass weighed a little over six pounds, so they are also smaller than their relatives.

They, too, run in schools and will put up a fight when you hook one. They go by the names of stripes, barfish, and sand bass and prefer baitfish. However, you can also catch them on worms, insects, and light tackle, including jigs and spoons.

And all of the other fish of Canyon Lake.

Bass aren’t the only fish in Canyon Lake. However, they are the most sought-after and fun to catch. You can also catch these fish in Canyon Lake, Texas:

  • Channel Catfish
  • Flathead Catfish
  • Black Crappie
  • White Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Redbreast Sunfish
  • Longnose Gar
  • Spotted Gar

Catfish can be caught on Canyon Lake in any season and prefer the shallows of the river. Striped bass runs in the fall, and even in the winter months, you can coax a white bass to come to bite a hook.

You won’t find bluegills from late fall until spring unless the winter stays very warm, which it can in Texas.

Where can you fish in Canyon Lake?

If you don’t include the Guadaloupe river that fills the lake’s depths, Canyon Lake is about seven miles long and four miles wide. So it is not very large, as lakes go.

However, the lake is 134 feet deep, at its deepest point, and has an area of 8,300 acres, which is a lot of lake to cover when on the hunt for a prize catch. In addition, it has steep rocky sides and tree falls in the shallows that create an excellent habitat for anglers in search of crappie and bluegill.

The grassy shallows of the river offer different fare than the deeper waters of the lake. Sunfish, crappie, smallmouth bass, and of course, catfish can be found in the shallows of the river.

If you want something bigger than a panfish, then you need to go to the depths of the lake to find it.

Largemouth and white bass prefer water between 25 and 60 feet deep, where they can gather up baitfish. Therefore, this is where you will find them during most months of the year.

Getting on the Waters of Canyon Lake

With over 15 public access points, you can fish from the shore at several parks, but the best way to enjoy Canyon Lake is by boat. With a boat, you will have access to Canyon Lake and the Guadeloupe River, all on the same day.

You will find Largemouth and White bass in the depths of the lake between 20 and 60 feet. Channel cats are also down in the lake’s depths, and there are three species in Canyon Lake.

If you want to fish Canyon Lake, you will need a boat because most of the shore is lined with private homes, although there are a few parks.

If you have a boat, then bring it for a day of fishing, and if you don’t, then a local boat owner listed on Boatsetter will be glad to rent you theirs for a few hours or longer.

Amenities at Canyon Lake, Texas

There are several parks on Canyon Lake. Not all have boat launches and are for day use only. However, there are several state parks with parking for RV’s, over a dozen private campgrounds, several Bed and Breakfasts, motels, and restaurants.

Other retailers can take care of your needs when you are off the water and help you gear up with what you need to get on the water, including gear and bait. There are several marinas on Canyon Lake, also, which gives you pit stops along the way for fuel and snacks.

Best time of year to fish Canyon Lake

best time of year to go fishing on canyon lake

Every type of fish has a season, and those in Canyon Lake are no different. The best time to fish Canyon Lake is in the fall, winter, and spring.

Texas gets hot in the summer, and the fish are not as easy to catch. Boating activity also increases on the lake, which keeps things stirred up and makes finding fish a little more difficult.

As the months of summer turn to fall, the traffic on Canyon Lake drops off, and fishing for striped bass begins. So, from fall until the Holidays, you can expect to pull something more than a catfish from the waters of Canyon Lake.

As winter turns to spring, the bass begins to spawn, and you will find them in the grassy shallows. Bluegill, Crappie, and Sunfish will also be more likely to grab your bait as the waters of the lake warm up.

Plan your next fishing trip to Canyon Lake, Texas

If you need to see a bass at the end of the line, book a trip to Canyon Lake. Whether within driving distance or halfway across the globe, spend the day, and take home a few fish.

With Boatsetter you have a wide selection of boats available for any fishing trip. Book your next Canyon Lake boat rental today and be sure to check the local fishing report before heading out!


Browse by experience


Explore articles