Winter Camping in Texas

Texans have a variety of choices when it comes to camping in the winter months.  From water activities to adventures on dry land, Texas has you covered.

Big Bend National Park

Let’s start with one of the most well-known parks-Big Bend National Park.  Winters are ideal for camping in Big Bend since the summer months can be so brutal due to the desert heat.  Bring your kayak or canoe to enjoy a trip down the Rio Grande River.  For the anglers, pack your rods and reels and you will find several different species of catfish.  Predominantly, blue, channel, and flathead catfish.  Fishing is only allowed along the Rio Grande to preserve endangered species of fish that are in the ponds and streams around the park.  You can find camping spots at a few different locations around the park- Maverick Ranch RV Park, Castolon Campground, and Stillwell Store RV Park.  No RV?  No problem.  Chisos Basin Campground and Rio Grande Village Campground have great sites to pitch your tent.  These tent sites come equipped with fire grills and picnic tables.  Campers here also appreciate the running water and flush toilets.  Warm sleeping bags and blankets are a must since it can get rather chilly at night.  You can expect high temperatures in the upper 60s and lows in the mid 30s during this time of year at Big Bend.

Padre Island National Seashore

If you are looking for somewhere closer to the coast, Padre Island National Seashore may be the place for you.  Here you can put your tent up on the beach and maybe get lucky enough to have an encounter with nesting sea turtles.  Camping is only permitted in these five areas-Malaquite Campground, Bird Island Basin Campground, North Beach, South Beach, and Yarborough Pass.  Padre Island National Seashore boasts itself as being the best shark fishing beach in Texas.  Tarpon, snook and speckled trout are also found in abundance.  Be sure to bring your best cooler for all those fish you catch!

Palo Duro Canyon

Head further West and take a shot at Palo Duro Canyon, aka, The Grand Canyon of Texas.  This area offers hiking, biking, horseback riding and cave exploration.  These caves can get dark, so don’t forget your headlamps or helmet lights.  Different campsites are located in the Juniper camping loop, Mesquite and Sagebrush areas, Hackberry area, Wolfberry Group Camp, and the Cactus or Fortress Cliff areas.  There is a range for nightly fees ($12-$250), with Wolfberry Group Camp being the most expensive.  Grab your favorite camping chair for some amazing West Texas star gazing.

Lake Bob Sandlin State Park

Bring out the binoculars for some eagle watching at Lake Bob Sandlin State Park.  Eagles are prolific in this area during the winter months.  This is also a popular fishing location with crappie, catfish, and large mouth bass being the top catches for the lake.  There are 2 different types of campsites available.  75 sites with water and electricity and 16 sites in more primitive camping areas, which you must hike to from the parking area.  Cottages are also available for those who prefer more shelter.

Colorado Bend State Park

For the adventurous camper, there is Colorado Bend State Park.  This park is located northwest of Austin and offers mountain biking, kayaking, cave tours, repelling, and a beautiful hike up Gorman Falls.  Spicewood Springs is another popular hiking option.  Hikes are 1 to 3 miles, so be sure to pack some snacks.  They have a few different campsites available.  You have your choice of primitive backpacking sites, walk in tent sites, or drive up sites.  Bass fishing is also available in Colorado Bend and they have a fish cleaning station as well.  Bring the family to Colorado Bend State Park for an adventure they won’t forget!

Best Fishing Spots in the Austin, TX Area

You can find some really nice fishing spots in Austin, TX.  A few of our favorites are Lake Bastrop, Lake Fayette, Lake Austin, and Lake Travis.

Lake Bastrop

Lake Bastrop has a surface area of 906 acres and a maximum depth of 60 feet.  The lake has predominantly Florida large mouth bass, catfish and sunfish.  Lake Bastrop is not necessarily known for producing record size large mouth.  Most of the bass that are caught are between 2 and 5 pounds.  There are 3 kinds of catfish: channel, blue, and flathead.  The best time to catch the cats are in the spring and early summer.  On the poor to excellent fishing scale, bass at this lake are excellent, catfish are good, crappie and sunfish are both fair.  Make sure to fire up your electronics and fish finders while on this lake so you can take notice of the well defined creek channels, humps and drop offs.   For all of you bass fisherman, this a great lake to fish between February and June.  Crankbaits and Carolina rigged centipedes have proven to be popular artificial baits.

Fayette County Reservoir

Fayette County Reservoir covers 2400 acres and has a maximum depth of 70 feet.  This lake is first and foremost a largemouth bass lake.  The high average weight and number of bass caught per hour makes this one of the best lakes in Texas.  You can catch 2 to 5 pounders relatively easily throughout the entire year.  You can also catch plenty of cats including channel, blues, and flatheads.  The record flathead cat weighed in at 79 pounds and 50 inches long.  There is also an abundant amount of sunfish most of which are more than 8 inches long.  This lake is not a good lake for crappie fishing.  On the fishing scale, bass is excellent while catfish and sunfish are both good.

Lake Austin

Lake Austin’s surface area is 1599 acres with a maximum depth of 75 feet.  There is an abundant amount of largemouth bass in Lake Austin and there is a potential to land a trophy.  There are a good number of 8 to 10 pound bass caught every year.  This lake is also known for the quality and number of bluegill, redbreast, and redear fish and has a below average number of catfish including bluegill and flatheads.  This is a popular lake to fish at night because there is generally a lot of recreational boating during the days. Make sure to bring your fishing lights!  On the fishing scale, bass are excellent, sunfish are good and catfish are fair.

Lake Travis

Lake Travis is enormous with a surface area of 18,622 acres and a maximum depth of 190 feet.  As far as the bass fishing is concerned, there are a great number however they tend to be small.  For those of you who enjoy white bass fishing, you will have your best shot from February to May.  You should concentrate your efforts in the creek arms, the upper part of the Colorado river and the Pedernales arm.  You will find striped bass in the lower end of the reservoir.  On the fishing scale,  bass, catfish, white bass and sunfish are all good while striped bass are fair and crappie is poor.

Top Houston Area Fishing Spots

There are some great spots to fish around the Houston, TX area.  With the annual average temperature in the high 60s to low 70s, Houston and its lakes provide a nice getaway from city life.  Whether you prefer saltwater fishing, or freshwater, the Houston area has you covered.

Redfish, speckled trout, and flounder can be found swimming along the shorelines of East Galveston Bay at Lake Anahuac just south of Houston.  Some consider this some of the best wade fishing in Texas.  This lake is part of a wildlife refuge along the Texas coastline and you are provided free access, 24 hours a day.  Three fishing piers give you an opportunity for some freshwater fishing along the banks of East Bay Bayou.  Here you will find crappie, bass, gar, and catfish all of which make for very good eating (maybe not so much the gar).

South of Houston and Northwest of Pearland you will find Tom Bass Park.  This is a massive park with spring fed ponds where you will find plenty of trout and catfish.

Take a charter out of Galveston for some bay fishing where the flounder and red fish are plentiful.  The Galveston Bay Complex is the largest estuary on the Texas Gulf Coast and is considered as one of the very best fisheries in the state of Texas.  Feeling seasick?  You can also fish on your own at the Galveston Fishing Pier or Eagle Point Marina.  Here you can buy shrimp and buy or rent rod and reel combos to fish with.  You can also bring a cooler stocked with food and beverages.

Sheldon Lake provides 3 fishing piers as well as 2 small ponds for the littles who enjoy ‘catch and release’.  The predominate species in this lake are largemouth bass, bluegill, catfish, and crappie.  It’s hard to beat a big fish fry consisting of catfish and crappie.  You can find the best bank fishing at the Garrett Road crossing.

Lake Conroe is located on the North side of Houston and the home to some monster sized fish.  Bass and catfish are plentiful as well as hybrid striped bass.  Fishing guides are available to lend an extra hand for those without a boat.  The standing lake record for a large mouth bass caught in 2009 in Lake Conroe weighed 15.93 pounds!  Lake Conroe hosted the 2017 Bassmaster Classic.

One of the largest lakes in Texas is Lake Livingston, just northeast of Houston.  Here you will find a fishing pier, boat ramps and fish cleaning stations for all the bass you will reel in.  Bluegill, catfish, and crappie are common catches as well.  White bass are plentiful during the spring in several creeks that feed into Lake Livingston. Striped bass can be caught around the 190 bridge area. Largemouth bass are most frequently caught in the bays and creeks from the Kickapoo/Penwaugh vicinity. Spring and fall are the most successful seasons for largemouths. Channel and blue catfish can be caught most of year over the main river channel.

All of the areas also have wonderful camp sites for those of you who enjoy camping.

Massive Pahaque Tent Sale

Greetings from FishermansDestination.com!  We wanted to let everyone know that we are having a huge sale on our camping tents and family tents from one of the leading manufacturers PahaQue.  Please visit our homepage at FishermansDestination.com to see several specials including…

PahaQue Basecamp Quick Pitch Tent Grey or Yellow 6 People

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This camping tent from PahaQue is one of the most affordable family camping tents on the market and provides total weather protection.  It has enough room for 6 people and gear, it can be set up in less than 1 minute and it’s is perfect for a campground or backyard.  It ensures waterproof performance and has 1 large door and 3 windows.  Purchase this fantastic large family camping tent today for only $129.99!

PahaQue Green Mountain 5XD – Blue

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The Green Mountain Tents from PahaQue are designed to provide exceptional performance and the 5XD provides an additional 20 square feet of space in comparison the 4XD.  This wonderful family tent can be set up in less than 5 minutes and it only takes one person to set it up.  Priced at $169.99, this large camping tent is hard to beat!

PahaQue Promontory XD 8 Person

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If you are looking for a super spacious, extra large camping tent, look no further than the  Promontory tent from PahaQue that comfortably fits 8 people.  There is stand up room up to 7 feet and a roomy 120 square feet of floor space.  You can divide this large family tent into 2 60 square feet rooms and each room has it’s own access door.  This large tent also comes with 2 removable hammocks which are located under each window.  Two huge windows offer plenty of ventilation and visibility into the campsite.  At $419.99, this camping tent is priced to sell!

 

 

Product Specials

We have some wonderful products on sale at FishermansDestination.com.

Bradley Technologies Bradley Digital 4 Rack Smoker

This killer smoker is priced down from $713.70 to $399.99 for savings of over $300.

The 4-rack Digital Smoker includes all the features of the Original Bradley Smoker along with the benefits of digital technology. Temperature time and smoke are now completely controllable so you can decide how much smoke you want how long your food is going to be smoked for and at what temperature.

Perfect for entertaining creating gourmet foods in your own home or just enjoying the flavor that smoking brings the Bradley Digital Smokers offer an easier and better way to automatically roast smoke and barbecue in the outdoors.

Bradley Technologies Digital 6 Rack Smoker

The digital 6 rack smoker is priced down from $843.70 to $499.99 for savings of over $340.

The 6-rack Digital Smoker includes all the features of the Original Bradley Smoker along with the benefits of digital technology. Temperature time and smoke are now completely controllable so you can decide how much smoke you want how long your food is going to be smoked for and at what temperature. Perfect for entertaining creating gourmet foods in your own home or just enjoying the flavor that smoking brings the Bradley Digital Smokers offer an easier and better way to automatically roast smoke and barbecue in the outdoors.

PahaQue Promontory XD 8 Person

The highly sought after PahaQue 8 person tent is priced down from $713.70 to $549 for a savings of over $170.

The Promontory Tent offers campers lots of room with a generous peak height of 7 feet and a roomy 12 x 10 floor space. Thats 120 total square feet of room or two spacious 6 X 10 rooms. Doors on either end offer individual access to each room and the large side door makes entry to either room a breeze! Theres even a built-in awning that offers flexibility to meet any weather conditions. Two large windows also offer excellent campsite visibility and ventilation.

Lews Fishing TLM1H TL Pro Magnesium Speed Spool ACB

The very popular and best selling Lews casting reel is priced down from $363.99 to $279.95 for a savings of over $80.

Weighing a mere 5.3-ounces this gold-accented black beauty features a compact one-piece magnesium frame with carbon C45 side-plates double anodized U-shape Duralumin drilled spool and 85mm genuine carbon fiber handle with lightweight custom EVA foam cork knobs. The Pro Magnesium Speed Spool also features the Speed Dial line indicator for keeping track of what line type and weight has been spooled and the built-in Speed Keeper hook keeper that retracts out of the way when not in use.

All of these specials are listed on our homepage at Fisherman’s Destination.

 

2017 Bassmaster Classic

This year the Bassmaster Classic took place in Houston, TX.  The competition was held at  Lake Conroe just north of The Woodlands, TX, the exhibit was held at the George R. Brown Convention Center and the weigh-in’s took place at Minute Maid Park.

This was the first year it has been at Lake Conroe and the first time the Classic has come to Houston, TX.   There were a total of 51 Bass Pros competing in the Classic.  The top prize of $300,000 went to Jordan Lee with a total of 56 LB-10 oz, second prize ($50,000) went to Steve Kennedy with a total of 55 LB-1 oz, and third prize ($40,000) went to Brent Ehrler with a total of 54 LB-14 oz.  It was a very close and epic battle with less than 2 pounds separating first and second place and 3 ounces separating second and third.

We decided to head down to the convention center on Saturday to see the expo, the largest B.A.S.S. expo ever.  At the expo, you are able to see some of the latest and greatest equipment and gear as well as get up close and personal with some of the big name pros including Rick Clunn, Bill Dance, Roland Martin, Jimmy Houston and Hank Parker.

It was a beautiful day on the way down to the expo.  Down the road from our subdivision on the way to I45, we saw some deer, including a nice buck.

Buck

Once we got there and found a parking space, we made our way to the entrance.

Entrance

I have to say that we were quite impressed with the Expo.  It was huge and had tons of manufacturers on display including Humminbird, Lews, RaymarineOkuma, Shimano, and Cast Away to name a few out of many.

 

One of the coolest things for kids to do while at the expo was “Ride The Bass”.  I wish our kids had been with us so they could have given it a whirl.  I was actually thinking about going for a ride myself and posting the video but I was only on my second beer at that point.

RideTheBass

There is a new cool app available for those who may be interested in having a fishing tournament.  The app, called icatch, allows you to create tournaments by inviting friends from social media sites.  You can quickly snap photos of your catch, enter the length, weight, species and tournament.  The young man educating us about the app had just launched his sales career and did a great job explaining how it works.

Icatch

Another cool booth we came across was the #1 Bass Lake in the Nation.  Any guesses here?  Bassmaster Magazine named Toledo Bend the best bass fishing in the nation.  Here is a picture of the booth showcasing the 40.45 LB’s of bass that George Herr caught and released in less than 50 minutes on 11-9-2014.  Looking forward to fishing this lake soon!

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On the way out, we saw a hot pink decorated booth – Reel Girls Fish.   They sell clothing and accessories for passionate fisherwomen.  We considered buying a few t-shirts but figured we let our wives/daughter pick out and purchase online the ones they like at home.  I fail miserably when picking out clothes for my wife.

ReelGirlsFish

All in all, it was a great time.  It’s amazing how many people are passionate about bass fishing and attended the expo.  There were literally thousands and thousands of people at the expo.  To put it into perspective, we were told there were as many people at the Bassmaster Classic Expo on Saturday as there were at the Super Bowl Expo this year which was also here in Houston at the convention center.  We were there as well and I agree that it was just as packed.

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We would have liked to have stayed for the weigh-in at Minute Maid however we had to get back to The Woodlands.  Looking forward to going to fishing up in Lake Conroe soon to see if we can land a 12 or 13 pounder.