Better Texas Salmon and Trout Fishing

When it comes to finding the best spot for salmon and trout in Texas, location is key. The Rio Grande offers an ideal environment for trout while the Neches River is prime for salmon angling. You may also want to consider other rivers like the Colorado and Brazos which have exceptional trout habitat.

Once you’ve found your favorite fishing spot, it’s important to remember to bring back only what you need. Catch-and-release strategies are often practiced along many rivers in Texas where the size limits are strictly enforced. Make sure to read up on what kind of fish you are allowed to keep and what ones must be returned to the water before making your catches.

Salmon Fishing
Salmon Fishing by slashvee

Fishing doesn’t have to stop when summer ends – many Texas rivers offer excellent angling throughout autumn and winter. Additionally, springtime can offer buyers added success with brim and catfish around this time. Whether you’re a novice or an expert angler, Texas has something wonderful to offer, so make the most out of your next fishing trip!

Salmon River Fishing Techniques

If you want to be successful when salmon fishing, it’s important to know the river you’ll be fishing in. Different rivers offer different challenges, from debris-filled rapids to difficult-to-navigate shallows. Knowing the layout of the river will help you plan your fishing strategy accordingly.

Choose the Right Gear

Choosing the right gear is essential for successful salmon fishing. From rods and reels to hooks and lures, having reliable equipment that suits the river conditions and species of salmon you’re trying to catch makes all the difference.

Tackle Tactics

When it comes to salmon fishing techniques, there are countless tackle tactics you can use. Spinning, trolling, bottom bouncing, and jigging are just some of the most popular methods for catching these mighty fish.

Socialize Your Fishing

In addition to knowing the river and having the right gear, one of the most important tips for successful salmon fishing is to socialize your efforts. Working together with others on the water and swapping fishing stories can improve your knowledge and inspire creativity in your technique.

Be Patient

Patience is key when it comes to salmon fishing. These fish are wild and unpredictable, so it’s important to remain patient and expect the unexpected. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t get a bite right away. Stick with it and eventually, you’ll have success.

Catch More Salmon and Trout

“Scratching” is a new way to catch salmon and trout in fast-flowing water using traditional fishing tackle and an easy-to-do fishing technique.

Scratching” is a successful fishing technique developed in the braided rivers of Canterbury, New Zealand, to catch large sea-run salmon and trout in fast-flowing water.

Scratching Technique

The technique is called “scratching” because the fishing tackle “scratches” along the river bottom like a hand working an area of itchy skin. The technique suits a variety of sand or rock-bedded world rivers where large game fish can be tempted.

Use a Heavy Fly Rod

Split-cane, aluminum, or fiberglass, are best. Carbon-fiber rods can also be used but must be stiff. It must be flexible, not rigid like a thread line.

Feathered Lures and a Weighted Line

Weight is critical. A large cigar-shaped lead (led) weight is attached to a tapered fly-fishing line from which trails a strong nylon leader the length of the rod. “Cigars” flow better over stone beds and “torpedo” thru the water in a natural movement. Below the weight, sport one or two large feathered lures at the end of the leader six inches to a foot apart. These mimic smelt moving in fast water a rod length below the lead weight.

Prevent Fishing Line Breaks

Because large fish are targeted in fast water often rushing over stones, the line needs protection from friction. When snagged, the fishing line will usually break where it rubs or pulls against the eyelet of the lead weight. Before securing the line to the lead weight, thread the line thru tiny plastic electrical wire sheaths emptied of their copper wire, about 1 cm in length. The diameter should be just slightly wider than the line. Thread the separate sheaths through the top and bottom eyelets of the lead weight and feed the line thru these and tie off above each eyelet. This technique pads the line above and below the weight.

Casting the Fishing Line

Standing at the water’s edge, lift the heavy line and weight up through the water and toss the tackle a few meters out into the fast-moving current directly across the river with an overarm action of the rod. The technique is a circular toss rather than a cast. The current will whip the tackle back past you and hug the downstream edge where fish more frequently lay as they move upstream in a fast current. As it arcs around, allow the line to feed out with the current. Control the release with your finger and thumb.

Retrieving the Fishing Line

Draw the line back in using one of several fly-fishing techniques (the collected loop, figure 8 motion, or simply let the line drop-in coils at your feet as you draw it in with your other hand). The technique is to cover an arc of water in front and downstream of you on a frequent basis, with a lifting, “plonk,” retrieve motion.

Cover the Fishing Water

Frequency rather than distance is sought with a “scratching” cast, to draw a lure past a sitting fish until it grabs. Remember, salmon snap lures irritably or instinctively in freshwater where they do not feed; trout may grab a second or third pass of an identical lure having refused a suspicious first swim by. To widen your coverage area, take a few steps up or downstream with each cast.

Match Fishing Lures to Water Color

In milky water use darker lures, in clear water, lures that mimic “smelt” fish. Rubber imitation fish can also be used. Once a large fish is hooked using this technique, the play is very dramatic on strong fly rod gear. Tight lines!

Texas River Fishing

So, which river should you head to for your next salmon fishing adventure?

The Brazos, Colorado, Llano, Guadalupe, San Jacinto or Trinity? Each of these rivers has its own unique features that make it perfect for salmon fishing. The Brazos, for example, is known for its fast-flowing water and abundance of aquatic plants and wildlife. The Colorado is known for its deep pools and strong current. The Llano is known for its wide, open sections and the Guadalupe is known for its gentle current and large population of fish. San Jacinto is known for its large pool and its ability to produce salmon year-round. The Trinity is known for its rocky bottom and steep banks.

  • Brazos River: This fast-flowing river is full of aquatic plants, wildlife, and of course salmon. The fish here are known to be extra large and plentiful, making it the ideal spot for any serious angler.
  • Colorado River: This deep-pooled river is great for salmon fishing due to its strong current. Experienced fishermen can take advantage of the wide open sections while beginners should focus on the shallower depths.
  • Llano River: With its wide and open banks, this river is perfect for those who want to enjoy a slower pace of fishing. Its population of fish is also quite high, so you won’t have to wait long before catching your first trophy trout!
  • Guadalupe River: If you’re looking for gentler waters, then head over to the Guadalupe. Here, you’ll find a slow current and a large population of fish. The scenery here is also beautiful, making it an all-around enjoyable experience.
  • San Jacinto River: As one of the warmer rivers in the area, the San Jacinto is a great spot for salmon year-round. You can also explore its large pool and vast rocky bottom, searching for your next huge catch.
  • Trinity River: This steeply banked river is great for skilled fishermen looking for a challenge. The rocky bottom offers plenty of hiding spots for the fish as well as difficult terrain for anglers looking for more daring expeditions.

Salmon species found in Texas waters

While Texas is not typically associated with salmon fishing, there are indeed certain species that can be found in the state’s rivers and coastal areas.

Chinook salmon

One of the most common salmon species found in Texas is the Chinook salmon, also known as king salmon. These fish are known for their large size, with some individuals reaching up to 50 pounds or more. Chinook salmon are prized for their delicious flavor and are known for their strong fighting ability, making them a favorite among anglers.

Chinook Salmon at Dagger Falls
Chinook Salmon at Dagger Falls by NOAA Fisheries

Coho salmon

Another species you may come across is the coho salmon, also known as silver salmon. Coho salmon are slightly smaller than Chinook salmon, typically ranging from 8 to 12 pounds, although larger individuals can be found. These fish are known for their acrobatic jumps and are highly sought after for their aggressive nature when hooked.

Wild and endangered Coho salmon, North Umpqua River, Deadline Falls
Wild and endangered Coho salmon, North Umpqua River, Deadline Falls by F.Eatherington

Pink salmon

In addition to Chinook and coho salmon, you may also encounter pink salmon, also known as humpback salmon. Pink salmon are the smallest of the Pacific salmon species and are easily recognizable by their distinctive humps that develop on their backs during the spawning season. While not as large as Chinook or coho salmon, pink salmon are abundant in certain areas and can provide a thrilling fishing experience.

Fishing for Pink Salmon
Fishing for Pink Salmon by chi-diver

It’s worth noting that salmon fishing in Texas is not as widespread as in other regions, and the opportunities may be more limited. However, certain rivers and coastal areas, such as the Sabine River and the Gulf of Mexico, can provide excellent salmon fishing opportunities during specific times of the year.

Best spots for salmon fishing in Texas

When it comes to salmon fishing in Texas, anglers have a variety of options to choose from. From picturesque rivers and serene lakes to breathtaking coastal areas, the Lone Star State offers a diverse range of fishing spots for salmon enthusiasts.

Guadalupe River

One of the top spots for salmon fishing in Texas is the Guadalupe River. Known for its crystal-clear waters and abundance of fish, this river attracts anglers from far and wide. The Guadalupe River is stocked with salmon each year, providing ample opportunities for anglers to reel in their prized catch. Whether you prefer fly fishing or spin casting, the Guadalupe River offers an unforgettable fishing experience.

Canyon Lake

For those who prefer lake fishing, Canyon Lake is a must-visit destination. Located in the Texas Hill Country, this scenic lake is home to a thriving salmon population. Anglers can enjoy the tranquil surroundings while casting their lines in search of trophy-sized salmon. With its deep, clear waters, Canyon Lake is a haven for avid fishermen and offers an excellent chance to land that elusive catch.

Texas Gulf Coast

If you’re looking for a coastal adventure, the Gulf of Mexico is the place to be. The Texas Gulf Coast boasts numerous hotspots for salmon fishing, including popular areas such as Galveston, Port Aransas, and Corpus Christi. Whether you choose to fish from a pier, wade into the surf, or embark on a deep-sea fishing excursion, the Gulf Coast provides a wealth of opportunities to catch salmon while enjoying the breathtaking views of the open ocean.

Final Word

We hope you found our guide to salmon fishing in Texas informative and helpful. Salmon fishing can be a thrilling and rewarding experience, and with our tips on the best spots and techniques, you’ll be well-equipped for a successful fishing trip. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner looking to try something new, Texas has some hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered. So grab your fishing gear and get ready to unlock the secrets of salmon fishing in Texas. Don’t forget to share your catch with us on social media – we’d love to see your success stories!

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