Texas Fish Limits: Everything You Need to Know About Fishing Regulations

What are the fish limits in Texas

When planning a fishing trip in the Lone Star State, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the fish limits set by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). These regulations help ensure sustainable practices and protect the diverse aquatic ecosystems found within state waters. This article will provide you with all the essential information about fish limits in Texas.

Fish Limits Overview

The TPWD has implemented specific guidelines regarding how many fish of each species an angler can legally harvest per day. These limitations vary depending on factors such as species type, size, location, and sometimes even time of year. By adhering to these rules, anglers contribute to maintaining healthy fish populations for future generations.

Freshwater Fish Limits

If you enjoy freshwater fishing in lakes, rivers, or reservoirs across Texas, here are some key details about catch limits:

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass is one of the most popular gamefish targeted by recreational anglers statewide. In most freshwater locations, there is a daily limit of five largemouth bass under 18 inches in length. However, certain bodies of water may have additional restrictions or exceptions that must be followed diligently.


Catfish enthusiasts will be pleased to know that there is no statewide bag limit for catfish species such as blue catfish and channel catfish. However, when targeting flathead catfish specifically from Lake Texoma or Toledo Bend Reservoir along the Texas-Louisiana border shared waters,a minimum length requirement applies, so make sure to check those local regulations!

Sunfish (Perch)

Texas offers various sunfish species including bluegill, redear sunfish, and longear sunfish. These colorful fish are a favorite among anglers, especially those taking younger family members along. The daily bag limit for sunfish is 25 fish in total, regardless of species or size.

Saltwater Fish Limits

If saltwater fishing is more your style, whether from the coast or the Gulf of Mexico, it’s crucial to understand the regulations surrounding popular gamefish limits:

Red Drum (Redfish)

The TPWD has set certain restrictions on catching red drum to protect their populations. In Texas coastal waters and bays, there is a slot limit ranging from 20 to 28 inches in length. Anglers may keep one red drum within this slot range per day as part of their daily bag limit which varies depending on location and time of year.

Speckled Trout (Spotted Seatrout)

When targeting speckled trout in Texas waters, recreational anglers are allowed a daily bag limit of ten trout per person with no minimum size requirement. However,certain bay systems might have unique regulations, so do some research beforehand.

Gulf Snapper

If you’re planning an offshore adventure in the Gulf of Mexico off Texas’ coast targeting snapper species such as red snapper or vermilion snapper,specific federal regulations apply, separate from state rules. These include season lengths and bag limits that may change annually based on stock assessments by marine biologists.

Tips for Responsible Fishing

To ensure sustainable fishing practices while adhering to fish limits:

  • Familiarize yourself with local regulations: Check specific lake or county guidelines before heading out.
  • Measure and release: If you catch a fish that doesn’t meet the size requirements, gently release it back into the water.
  • Avoid overfishing: Respect the bag limits to maintain healthy fish populations for future generations of anglers.

In Conclusion

Fishing in Texas offers ample opportunities for anglers to enjoy diverse freshwater and saltwater species. By understanding and adhering to fish limits set by the TPWD, we ensure sustainable practices that protect these valuable resources. So grab your fishing gear, respect nature’s balance, and have an unforgettable angling experience in beautiful Texas!