Sam Rayburn

About The Lake
Location: On the Angelina River; dam is located in Jasper County approximately 15 miles north of Jasper.
Surface area: 114,500 acres
Maximum depth: 80 feet
Impounded: 1965
Water Conditions
Conservation Pool Elevation: 164.4 ft. msl
Fluctuation: Average 10 feet annually
Normal Clarity: Clear to off-color in upper lake
Predominant Fish Species
  • Largemouth bass
  • Crappie
  • Catfish
  • White & hybrid striped bass
Fishing Regulations
Statewide regulations apply to all fishes.
Opportunities
The most popular game fish at Sam Rayburn Reservoir is the largemouth bass; an excellent year-round fishery exists. Excellent year-round crappie and catfish fisheries are also present. White bass numbers are limited, but provide good fishing opportunities during the spring. The hybrid striped bass population is maintained by TPWD through annual stockings and is popular due to this fish’s growth potential, schooling nature, and fighting characteristics. Bluegill and redear sunfish are present in high numbers and provide good fishing, especially for youth or inexperienced anglers.
Fishing Structure
Habitat in Sam Rayburn Reservoir consists of submerged aquatic vegetation, standing timber, and flooded terrestrial vegetation. Hydrilla is the predominant plant species, although many native plants such as coontail and pondweed are also present. In the lower part of the reservoir the water is relatively clear; game fish are typically found around vegetation edges, flats, humps, and creek channels. In the upper third of the reservoir, the abundance of vegetation typically declines. Timber, brush, laydowns, and creek channels provide upper-lake gamefish habitat. Due to water level fluctuations, habitat conditions change seasonally and yearly. Drastic water level changes can decrease the amount of vegetation. At high water levels, inundated trees and bushes provide excellent habitat.
Fishing Tips
Anglers are most successful at catching largemouth bass during the fall, winter, and spring months. Due to cooler water temperatures, fish are active for longer periods of the day and are typically found in shallow water. A variety of baits and techniques will work during these times. When fish are active, crankbaits and spinnerbaits are usually the preferred choice. During the hot summer, the bite usually slows and fish activity is usually concentrated during early morning, late evening, and at night. Poppers, propeller baits, stickbaits, and flukes are good topwater choices during low light conditions. As the sun rises, most bass are concentrated in or around vegetation edges, or seek refuge on deep ledges and creek channels. During this time, plastic worms and jigs are the preferred baits.

Crappie fishing is excellent year-round with jigs and minnows. During the spring spawn, anglers target shallow areas around vegetation. During other times of the year, fish are typically concentrated in deeper water around brushpiles and creek channels.

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