Creek Fishing in Texas | 7 Secrets to the Best Bite

by Dalvin
Creek Fishing in Texas
  1. Find the Shade while Creek Fishing
  2. Creek Bends Hold Deep Water and Giant Fish
  3. Down-sizing Your Lure, Doesn’t Mean Down-sizing Your Fish
  4. Rats & Mice Unlock the Big Bite
  5. The Best Lures for Creek Fishing
  6. Don’t Forget to Fish the Middle
  7. Texas Creek Fishing is Great for Multi-species Fishing

Creek fishing in Texas is a way of life for some. From a young age in west Texas, the best fishing I experienced was in small creeks in and around Abilene. Those creeks produced memories for a lifetime and some of the biggest fish I have caught. Here are 7 secrets to unlock the best bite on a creek near you today!

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Creek Fishing Provides Shade

This fact is true for you and the fish! When the old late summer sun is beating down on a day heading into the triple digits, a tree-lined creek can be the perfect place to catch some shade and some bass.

In addition to lower temps for the angler, a slight current and ample shade can make the bass feel more comfortable. The great thing about creeks is shade can be found most of the day. Look for the darkest shade on a swing or bend and it can be the best fishing of the summer.

Creek Bends Hold Deep Water and Giant Fish

When studying where to make your casts note the current. Where the current pushes into a bank creates depth. Not only is this usually the deepest part of the creek, but it also can cut into the bank providing structure and cover for the biggest fish in a given area.

Down-sizing Your Lures Doesn’t Mean Downsizing Your Fish

My personal best bass and crappie came from holes in creeks on hot summer days. Small plastic jigs caught 15-16 inch crappie on a creek bend. My biggest bass to date came while casting a 4-inch power worm to a stick-up. Ole one eye never saw a scale but we weighed a much smaller bass caught the same day and it went 7 lb 4 oz. It will take a double-digit to remove this memory from the personal best category.

Don’t be afraid to downsize on a creek. While the saying can still hold true, “bigger baits – bigger bites”, we have found creeks to be one place where downsizing your lure can actually land a trophy bass.

Rats & Mice Unlock the Big Bite

One secret to finding big bass fishing in Texas creeks is the popular mice and rat lures. While these can get bites on a lake, it is not a normal occurrence to see a rat scurrying from one side of the lake to the other. However, creek banks see plenty of rodents.

Fishing the lure parallel to the bank can elicit some massive strikes on topwater. The presentation can make all the difference. Think about locations where a rodent might fall or the one spot on the creek where animals could come and get a drink. Toss your mouse on the bank and pop it into the water like it is trying to escape a predator. Then try not to set the hook too fast. Much like frog fishing, it is vital to let the bass take the lure down when rodent fishing.

This can be an addicting way to pursue summertime creek bass. Who doesn’t love topwater blowups?!

Top Lures for Creek Fishing

The backs of creeks can be great places for slightly different bait sizes and types. Just as bass are more likely to feed on rodents in creeks, they are more likely to feed on insects falling out of a tree or off the bank. This makes the hellgramite and other bug imitation lures great choices for creek fishing. A hellgramite on a ned rig or the simple TRD are great ways to coax a bite.

Additionally, we recommend always having a crankbait of some sort tied on and ready to throw. Square-bill crankbaits can be deadly around laydowns and coming in out of sloughs (small coves) or small tributaries off the main creek channel.

Finally, we love having a small buzz bait tied on. We like to throw white-chartreuse when the sun is up but black can be deadly in off-color water or pre- and post-sunset.

Don’t Forget To Try the Middle

On a warm spring day in April, the bite had slowed significantly. It was starting to get hot as we made our way into the back of a creek. On a straight portion of the creek, a fishing buddy cast straight down the middle of the creek. Boom! 14-inch crappie. For the next 100 yards, we got onto one of the best crappie bites I have experienced. Almost all of the bites were in the deeper water in the middle of the creek.

When you find fish in the middle, it is important to target the middle before moving forward. With the shallow waters often found in creeks, announcing your presence before fishing the middle can cost you a dozen fish or more. Like the deep holes of channel bends, the middle of creeks can be stacked with fish.

Multi-Species Opportunities Fishing Creeks

Finally, let’s spend a moment talking about just pure fishing fun. When you are looking to add some adventure to your fishing day, creeks are a fantastic place to have a little fun chasing multi-species. This is also a fantastic way to keep kids engaged!

Texas creeks hold multiple species that are beautiful, scary looking, and downright fun to pursue. Freshwater sunfish represent 7 species alone. Learn more about identifying sunfish here and pursuing sunfish here. Black and white crappie are also ample in Texas creeks and can be stacked in one area. There are also at least 5 species of catfish: mudcats, flatheads, blue catfish, yellow catfish, and channel catfish.

When it comes to bass in Texas creeks, you can find largemouth, smallmouth, spotted, mean-mouth (largemouth x smallmouth hybrid), and the Texas specialty: the Guadalupe bass! White bass, striper, and hybrids can also be found in creeks if you know where to fish. If you are keeping count that is already over 20 species.

When it comes to fish that get your adrenaline going, look no further than the gar. In Texas, you can catch longnose, shortnose, spotted, and the famous alligator gar. These prehistoric-looking fish are amazing to fight and catch. If you are looking for a fight, check out the common carp! Their stout bodies and never quit attitude make them a challenge to land in a creek for even the most skilled angler. Buffalo and freshwater drum round out our list of species.

The pursuit of multi-species in Texas is an amazing way to test and gain knowledge, as well as a lot of fun!

One Last Cast on Creek Fishing

If you are a seasoned veteran or just starting out in fishing, creeks can be a great way to experience the best of fishing in Texas. Year-round there will be fish that live in surprisingly shallow water in the backs of creeks. We hope you are able to take some of these tips and get out there and enjoy the best Texas creek fishing has to offer.

For more creek fishing adventures and tips check out these videos.

As always, tight lines and fin times. We hope to see you out there searching for thePerfectCombo Fishing.

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