lake conroe fishing guide

Lake Conroe (TX) Fishing Guide

Written by Lenny Rudow
April 24, 2023

Last Updated on April 24, 2023 by Boatsetter Team

Lake Conroe (TX) is among the top destinations for bass fishermen in the Lone Star state.

Impounded in 1972, Lake Conroe, Texas, covers over 20,000 acres, and different areas are peppered with manmade fish reefs, submerged standing timber, and docks. Located less than an hour from Houston, it’s an incredibly popular spot for anglers who pull a trailer boat or rent a boat at Lake Conroe for a day of fishing.

Bass fishing is the most popular form of angling here, and the lake record caught in 2009 was a whopping-big 15.93-pounder. But bass fishing isn’t the only game in town, and in 1995 the introduction of hybrid striped bass opened up new fishing horizons on this lake. This cross between white and striped bass has adapted incredibly well to Lake Conroe’s environment, and the hybrids have thrived here.

Explore Fishing Charters on Lake Conroe

Where to Fish: Best Lake Conroe (TX) Fishing Spots

artificial reef fish

With over 175 miles of shoreline, there are many great spots to fish in Lake Conroe. That said, when deciding where to wet a line, dividing the lake into upper and lower halves is helpful. The lake is bisected by Route 1097, with most of the upper portion bordered by the Sam Houston National Forest. This area has an undeveloped shoreline, so most of the structure consists of underwater points, deadfall, and natural habitats. There are also five artificial reefs in the upper lake, which you can locate via the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Fish Habitat Structure Viewer interactive map.

The lower lake, with developed shorelines, tends to be quite different. Over a dozen reefs have been planted in this section of Conroe (shown on the interactive map), but much of the shoreline is lined with docks. All of those docks provide structure for the fish, and casting along one after the next is very popular.

The open waters in the middle of the lake deserve to be addressed on their own as a place to fish, too. While the best bass fishing is generally considered along the shorelines, those hybrid stripers are often found in open water. Depending on the season, they may be staging near drop-offs and underwater points, and are often found in open water following schools of shad or prowling below schools of white bass. 

 

What to Fish for in Lake Conroe (TX): Top Species List

crappie fishing

What species will you target the next time you try fishing on Lake Conroe? The main options include:

  • Catfish (blue, channel, and flathead)
  • Crappie
  • Hybrid striped bass
  • Largemouth bass
  • Spotted bass
  • Sunfish
  • White bass

In addition to these popular target species, fish like freshwater drum and smallmouth buffalo may be encountered. But since they aren’t popular targets and their numbers aren’t as significant, catches like these are generally made by accident.

 

When to Go Fishing in Lake Conroe (TX)

best time to fish lake conroe

The fishing here runs year-round, but the peak action comes during the spring and fall. These are the timeframes when largemouth bass swarm the shorelines and shallows and when the fish in open water are fattening up to prepare to spawn or pack on some pounds before winter sets in. During the summer and winter months, the fish will often orient to deeper areas where they can find their preferred temperatures and thermoclines (temperature barriers between different bodies of water). And during the summer, remember that the best fishing will almost always come at first and last light, while midday fishing generally gets slow.

 

How to Fish in Lake Conroe (TX)

bass lures fishing lake conroe

Bass anglers fishing Lake Conroe will usually cast and retrieve standard-issue bass lures, like spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and plastic worms, during the spring and fall. During the summer months, these same lures will prove effective at sunrise and sunset, but once the sun is up, the fish tend to move a bit deeper, and diving lures or jigs become more effective. Panfish like crappie and sunfish are often targeted with similar but smaller lures, and downsized appropriately for the species, but crappie anglers also favor using live minnow at times.

When it comes to catching hybrids, trolling becomes a primary method. Since the fish are often out in open water, shadowing schools of bait instead of sticking close to the structure, pinpointing their position can be difficult. Trolling lures behind a boat allow an angler to cover lots of ground until nailing down the location of the fish. When the hybrids are schooled up tightly and can be spotted on a fishfinder, some anglers will shift to vertically jigging with spoons to get them on the line.

Catfish anglers will commonly fish with bait set out on the bottom. Cut fish is the norm, but catfish anglers often use an eclectic mix of offerings that can range from raw chicken breast strips to store-bought catfish bait chunks. 

Okay: are you ready to hit the road and make Lake Conroe your next angling destination? We certainly hope so, because few lakes can prove as attractive — especially if you have bass and hybrid stripers on the mind.

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