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Lake Tawakoni Catfish

Lake Tawakoni Catfish

I have heard a number of people talking about Lake Tawakoni catfish and wondering of it was worth driving to the lake from South Texas to do some fishing.


Lake Tawakoni catfish “worth the drive”?  Lake Tawakoni has been officially named the catfish capital of Texas by the state of Texas. Anybody that does any fishing in Texas, Oklahoma or Arkansas knows about Lake Tawakoni.

The lake is located about 50 miles east of Dallas Texas and is one of the many lakes in North and East Texas that is excellent for catfishing. There are a number of public boat ramps and parks on the lake so you can do your fishing from a boat or from the bank either one. It draws in people from all over the US for that matter in hopes of catching some of the big Lake Tawakoni blue catfish.

The lake is located in Van Zandt, Rains, and Hunt counties, It is 15 miles southeast of Greenville on Caddo Creek and the South Fork and Cowleech Fork of the Sabine River. The surface area is 37,879 acres and the lake has a maximum depth of 70 feet. Lake Tawakoni was impounded in 1960.

The lake has excellent populations of blue and channel catfish and is well known for producing excellent catches of both species. Catfishing is one of the more popular activities on the lake. It has a stellar reputation for producing excellent catches of shallow water blues and channels in the Spring but is even more notorious for the Winter fishing.

Drift fishing for trophy blue cats is a very popular activity. Anglers typically fish with fresh caught shad or cut bait while drift fishing with a slip sinker rig or a santee rig.  Anglers fishing in the winter can often produce excellent catches of big fish.

Another popular form of fishing is in the late Spring and Summer with a slip sinker rig or a slip float rig baited with punch bait in shallow water along the edges of the willows. Fishing with these techniques using punch bait is very common on the lake and has been known to produce some excellent catches.

Jug fishing is also a very popular activity here.

There a lot of good lakes in South Texas that can produce excellent catches but if you are considering driving to Lake Tawakoni for the weekend to do some fishing you will probably have a great time there.  It does have a reputation for getting really rough when the wind gets blowing so make sure you play it safe!

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SOUND OFF: Have you ever fished this lake?

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About Chad

Chad Ferguson is a professional catfish guide and founder of Learn To Catch Catfish. Click here to subscribe for more exclusive catfish fishing tips by email and then follow on Twitter or Google


  1. I grew up on Lake Tawakoni (East Tawakoni) and doing so, natually fished it quite often. I live in Parker County Texas now and miss fishing Tawakoni, but, with it being about a 115 mile drive or so, I figured I would locate something comparable closer to home..

    So far I have found three spots. I wanted to mention a couple of spots in North East Texas that do compare though. The first one is the Sulphur River outside of Maud and Simms Texas… Right below New Boston. I fished there many times and always had good luck…

    The second is over at Lake Wright Patman.. Over near Red Hill Texas the Corp of Engineers have several sites that will yield plenty..

    Down below the spillway, you can easily catch plenty of shad with a cast net.. Be sure to cast on the shallow side cause some pretty big gar hand out in that area.

    Speaking of Spillways, around between Wills Point and Flatts, you will find the Iron Bridge Dam.. Right below the Dam on the Sabine, you will have good results with Channel Cats… and right past the Dam going west there is a Marina with a boat ramp pretty close to the Dam.. If you go straight out from the boat ramp towards the spillway, there is a big sand bar barely below the surface… It yields some monster cats around midnight to about 3 in the morning…

    That’s about it.. Other than if you try fishing around Quinlan and Cash area where the Sabine feeds Tawakoni, watch the rocks.. I know many people who tore the bottom out of their boats and some got hung up in the rocks and drowned… so the North Western end of the Lake, be extremely careful.

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