Conroe

About The Lake

Location: West Fork of San Jacinto River in Montgomery and Walker Counties
Surface area: 20,118 acres
Impounded: 1973

Water Conditions
Conservation Pool Elevation: 201 ft. msl
Fluctuation: 1-3 feet
Normal Clarity: Slight to moderate algal staining

Predominant Fish Species
  • Largemouth bass
  • Bluegill
  • Channel catfish
  • White & hybrid striped bass
Fishing Regulations

Most species are currently managed with statewide regulations. An exception is largemouth bass, which is subject to a 16-inch minimum length limit. A Triploid Grass Carp Permit is in effect on this lake. If a grass carp is caught, it must be immediately returned to the water unharmed.

Opportunities
Largemouth bass are the most sought after species in Lake Conroe, though not the most abundant. While catch rates are marginal, the opportunity to catch a trophy bass is very good at Lake Conroe. In 1998, the biggest largemouth bass ever collected by TPWD in an electrofishing survey was taken from beneath a boat dock and weighed in at 14.1 pounds. The standing lake record caught in 1997 by Willis angler Bill Boyett weighed 14.91 pounds.

Channel catfish are by far the most abundant sportfish in the lake, offering most any angler a good opportunity for good catches. Bluegill on Lake Conroe grow to enormous sizes. We have interviewed anglers with 12-inch bluegills in their creels. Crappie are also very popular and offer good opportunity for anglers seeking table fare. White crappie have made a comeback in the lake with the efforts of the Lake Conroe Restocking Association’s spring stockings of advance juvenile crappie. Crappie over two pounds are fairly common occurrences now. The introduction of hybrid striped bass in 1995 has added another dimension to the sport fishery, offering open-water opportunities for anglers who enjoy going after these hefty fighters.

Fishing Structure

Lake Conroe is dominated by open water in the lower two-thirds of the reservoir, with some standing timber still present along the river channel in the upper reaches. Most of the standing timber is slightly submerged when the lake is at conservation pool, making navigation hazardous in these areas. Bulkheads with boat docks dominate the shore in the lower reservoir; the upper reservoir (the portion lying within the Sam Houston National Forest) is primarily featureless shoreline. Substrates range from sandy to silty. A few aquatic plants dot shoreline areas, primarily in areas being planted by TPWD and the US Army Corps of Engineers as part of an ongoing Aquatic Habitat Enhancement Initiative. The lake has had past heavy infestations of hydrilla, but vegetation is not currently present in quantities that would be considered a nuisance. The only fish-attracting structures in the reservoir are rip rap along bridge approaches and the dam, as well as submersed Christmas tree reefs.

Fishing Tips

Largemouth bass anglers can expect to take bass in shallow water, particularly around marinas and boat docks, in the early spring and mid- to late fall. In other seasons, bass are taken around deeper cover. Anglers are most successful with a variety of shad imitation lures or soft plastic baits. Hybrid striped bass are growing in popularity among Lake Conroe anglers and can be caught most any time of year. Most are taken by anglers trolling in open water areas or vertically jigging spoons or live shad. They are occasionally found running up the river channel during the early spring spawning run or foraging beneath schools of white bass in summer.

Channel catfish are caught year-round in good numbers. Most successful anglers use smelly baits or cut shad. Rod-and-reel anglers do just about as well as trotliners on this reservoir. Bluegills of gigantic proportions can be had by the angler who wants to be patient and target them. They can be caught along rip rap, fishing deep near the toe of the slope (sometimes 8 feet or more). Baits must reach near bottom quickly to avoid the small bait-stealers that inhabit the shallower water. Live worms or crickets are the best producers. Some good fly-rod action can also be had using sinking insect imitation flies and sinking fly line.

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