Tawakoni is the name of a Native American people who lived in the North Texas area, part of the Caddo Nation. Their name translates to “river bend among red sand hills.” It’s an appropriate name given to the reservoir that was built in 1960, Lake Tawakoni.
Located 50 miles east of Dallas, Lake Tawakoni is a favorite boating and fishing spot for Texas locals and visitors. If you’re visiting Dallas, we can’t encourage you enough to make the hour’s drive to experience a bit of Texas nature. The lake covers 36,700 acres and has over 200 miles of shoreline. There are vacation homes available on all sides of the lake; why not switch up your vacation and stay near the lake instead of the city?
You could also go off the grid and spend a few days camping near the lake. Whether you stay for a day or longer, be sure to check out Lake Tawakoni State Park. It’s a 376-acre park on the southwest side of the lake. Here families can enjoy camping, swimming, and of course, fishing. Even if you didn’t pack your gear, the park’s shop has bait and tackle available, as well as drinks, snacks, and souvenirs. In our opinion, your day will get significantly better when you’re at the lake!
Lake Tawakoni is known for one thing: catfish. In fact, it was deemed the “Catfish Capital of Texas” by the Lone Star State Legislature in 2001. So you know it’s a big deal. And we do mean BIG! Anglers will find some big blue catfish when fishing Lake Tawakoni; the current record is a 69.6 pound blue caught in 2006.
Anglers travel from near and far to fish blue catfish in Lake Tawakoni. They typically make this trek anytime from November to April, as this is peak season for the species. You can fish from the bank or a vessel from pretty much anywhere in the lake; although the east side of the lake is known for giving anglers better success rates. The state park, as we mentioned, is one spot that many will fish from the bank of the reservoir. There’s also Arm Point Park on the east side of the lake near West Tawakoni.
Live bait is best when fishing for catfish, although they are not picky eaters. Shad is most commonly used for Lake Tawakoni cats; and anglers will first fish for the baitfish before moving on to the bigger fish. Or you can use frozen shad, purchased from nearby bait & tackle shops. Knowing where the blue catfish holes are can be difficult to track down. We recommend hiring a local guide that knows the area and where the hot spots are. Drift the bait near the hiding holes and wait for the fish to strike the line. It’s an exciting time reeling in your next trophy catfish!
While catfish are the star of the lake, there are plenty of other fish around. Striped bass, largemouth bass, white bass, hybrid bass, and crappie are also frequently targeted by Lake Tawakoni anglers. Peak season for largemouth bass is during the spring spawn season; while spring months are best for striped, hybrid, and white bass fishing. The vegetation of the lake creates a habitat where these species thrive. Anglers who fish early in the morning typically see better results than afternoon anglers. Other wildlife near Lake Tawakoni include waterfowl, alligators, feral hogs, bobcats, and deer.
There are several cities around the lake where anglers can start their adventure. These include West Tawakoni and East Tawakoni, Wills Point, Hawk Cove, Quinlan, and much more. Your fishing trip can start near these cities, or the previously mentioned Lake Tawakoni State Park and Arm Point Park, both which have entry fees. Other nearby fishing areas include Wind Point Park or Cedar Cove Landing for those looking for bank fishing opportunities. If you’re fishing from a public pier, make sure to have your fishing license with you. However, when fishing from state parks you won’t need a license.
It’s a low-key kind of adventure when you visit Lake Tawakoni. There are no major attractions or entertainment other than what you’ll find in nature. Bird watching, boating, swimming, and fishing are all the main activities of the area. It’s an opportunity to get away from the hectic city and non-stop cycle of life when you’re at the lake.
If you’re ready for one of the best fishing trips ever, consider hiring a local Lake Tawakoni fishing guide. They take the guesswork out of your fishing trip by bringing you to their “Honey Holes”, secret spots that can only be found by locals with decades of experience fishing Lake Tawakoni. All of your gear is provided, and the captain can take you right where the fish are. You’ll just need to bring a valid Texas fishing license, a cooler of drinks and snacks, and a camera to capture the day’s memories. Try to get a catfish on the line, perhaps set a personal best?! You’ll never know unless you try; book today – your adventure is just a click away!