Fishing in Fort Worth, TX Guide
Thanks in no small part to the winding forks of the Trinity River system and the many reservoirs it feeds, there are awesome Fort Worth fishing spots within a few miles no matter what part of town you may be in.
So, just what are the best fishing spots in Fort Worth, Texas? What species will you catch, and how will you fool them into biting? Let’s take a close look in our Fishing in Fort Worth, Texas guide.
Where to Fish: Best Fort Worth, Texas Fishing Spots
There are options aplenty for anglers in Fort Worth, starting with the Trinity River’s West Fork, Clear Fork, and the many creeks and branches attached to them. Although the river is surrounded by development, in many areas the banks are kept clear, regularly mowed, and accessible by the public.
Anglers in search of a bit more solitude — or perhaps bigger bass — will likely head for one of the area’s reservoirs. And in Fort Worth, there are plenty.
- The largest is the 8,738-acre Eagle Mountain Lake, located on the northwest side of town. Largemouth bass is the most targeted species, but crappie fishing is very popular here, too. The upper section of the lake has reedbeds that hold fish, and docks along the middle and lower lake shorelines are always popular targets to cast at.
- Just south of Eagle Mountain Lake, a little less than half the size and connected by the West Fork Trinity River, sits Lake Worth. Bass anglers will find some action here, too, but this lake is better known for good catfish and crappie fishing.
- Benbrook Lake, on the southwest side of town, is also fairly large at 3,635 acres. This lake has a bit more depth than the others, dropping down to 70 feet (Eagle Mountain tops out at around 45 feet and Lake Worth doesn’t get much past 20 feet deep). It also has the draw of hybrid striped bass fishing, which can be good around the underwater contours in the lower lake, thanks to regular stockings.
- On the east side of Fort Worth sits the last sizable (1,939 acres) reservoir, Lake Arlington. This lake also had hybrid striped bass stockings at one time but they were discontinued decades ago. Today largemouth bass is by far the main draw, and the fishing here can be quite good for them particularly around stump fields and on the east shore where there’s more structure.
One of the uber-cool things about having so many lakes close by is that you can rent a boat in Fort Worth and in some cases launch it in whichever of these bodies of water you’d like to try fishing in. If not, you can find a boat already waiting for you on one of the major Fort Worth lakes.
Adding to the options for Fort Worth fishing spots, there are also many smaller lakes and ponds to explore. And on top of those, many more lakes within easy driving distance, like:
- Grapevine Lake
- Lewisville Lake
- Lake Granbury
What to Fish for in Fort Worth, Texas: Top Species List
Even though the Trinity River system goes right through town, there’s a surprising amount of diversity in the species one might catch in this waterway. This is due in no small part to stocking efforts by the Texas Regional Water District and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Fishing in the rivers and creeks, you can catch:
- Catfish (blue, channel, and flathead)
- Trout (put-and-take stocking)
Though they all have common species like largemouth bass, catfish, and crappie, the different local reservoirs or lakes may or may not offer the complete list of these species:
- Catfish (blue, channel, and flathead)
- Hybrid striped bass
- Spotted bass
- White bass
When is the best time to go fishing in Fort Worth, TX?
The simplest answer to the question of when to go fishing in Fort Worth: whenever you can!
- Still, if you want to stack the deck in your favor and catch the biggest number of fish possible, you’ll spend most of your time casting in the spring and fall.
- Lunker hunters also appreciate winter fishing in these waters. Although you may get fewer bites when the water is chilly, this time of year is often when the largest fish get caught.
- Summer, on the other hand, can get tough for anglers. Sure, you can still enjoy some success, especially at daybreak and dusk. But in the heat of the day, fish will often be more interested in staying cool than they are in feeding. Savvy anglers will look for fish that have moved to deeper water where the temperatures are a bit lower, and in shady areas.
Ready to go fishing in Fort Worth?
How you’ll want to try fishing in Fort Worth, Texas depends on the species you want to target and the type of waterway you’re in.
- When it comes to catching the stocked trout in the Trinity waterways, many people simply cast out a hook baited with store-bought jarred trout bait. Those who like to use artificial lures might cast spinners, or try fly fishing.
- When catfish are the target, regardless of the type of waterway you’re fishing, nothing beats sinking a chunk of cut fish down to the bottom. You can also use cheese baits, chicken livers, or store-bought catfish baits. Many serious catfish anglers prefer to go out and catch sunfish or crappie, then use chunks of the fish or a live fish (when small enough) to tempt the catfish.
- As a general rule of thumb, bass anglers fishing in the reservoirs will be casting or jigging artificial lures. Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jerkbaits, and plastic worms can all be effective.
- Those going for crappie will downsize many of the same sorts of offerings and use small spinnerbait or tube jigs. Some will also use the classic live minnow on a hook or under a bobber.
Fort Worth may be urban — in fact, the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area is the fourth most populous in the nation — but that doesn’t mean the fishing opportunities here aren’t both excellent and numerous. In fact, it’ll be tough to find a city that offers you a better chance to cast and catch, all year round.
With over three decades of experience in marine journalism, Lenny Rudow has contributed to dozens of boating and fishing publications and websites ranging from BoatU.S. Magazine to BDOutdoors.com. Rudow is currently the Angler in Chief at Rudow’s FishTalk, he is a past president of Boating Writers International (BWI), a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design, and has won numerous BWI and OWAA writing awards.