Largmouth Bass are the most sought after species in Lake
Conroe, though they are not the most abundant. While angler
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.
The more abundant channel catfish and bluegill
are also highly sought after by anglers.
Channel catfish are by far the most abundant sportfish in
the lake, offering most any angler a good opportunity for good
Bluegill on Lake Conroe grow to enormous sizes. We have
interviewed anglers with 12-inch
bluegills in their creels.
White crappie and
black 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 at Lake Conroe, offering open-water
opportunities for anglers who enjoy trolling or vertical jigging
spoons for these hefty fighters.
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.
The shoreline is predominantly composed of bulkheads with boat docks
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 with
native aquatic plants 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 no vegetation is
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
FISHING TIPS AND TACTICS
Largemouth bass anglers can
expect to take bass in shallow water, particularly around marinas
and boat docks, during the early spring and mid- to late fall.
During most of the remaining seasons, bass are taken around deeper
cover. Anglers are most successful with a variety of shad imitation
lures as well as soft plastic baits. Hybrid striped bass are
growing in popularity among Lake Conroe anglers and can be taken
most any time of year. Most fish are taken by anglers trolling in
open water areas or vertically jigging spoons or live shad. They can
occasionally be found running up the river channel during the early
spring spawning run or foraging beneath schools of white bass in
Channel catfish are caught year-round in good numbers on Lake
Conroe. Most successful anglers use smelly baits or cut shad.
Rod-and-reel anglers do just about as well as trotline anglers on
the 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 be gotten near the 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.
The US Forest Service operates boat launches at Stubblefield Lake,
Cagle Recreation Area, and Scott's Ridge. Stubblefield Lake also has
a fully developed campground. Facility use fees apply; for more
information, call the district ranger's office at (936) 344-6205. A
free public ramp can be found on the east side of Lake Conroe at the
end of FM 830. Numerous commercial marinas provide public access for
Location: West Fork of San Jacinto
River in Montgomery and Walker Counties, Conroe, Texas
Size: 21,000 acres at conservation
Date Impounded: 1973
Normal Water Clarity: Slight to
moderate algal staining
Water Level Fluctuation: 1-3 ft.
Conservation Pool Elevation: 201
Current Water Levels
Aquatic Vegetation: Low density
Predominant Fish Species:
Largemouth bass, bluegill, hybrid striped bass,
channel catfish, white bass