Obtaining a Fishing License in Texas

 Texas Fishing License Information

For anyone looking to fish in the waters inland and off the coast of Texas, whether freshwater or saltwater, there are guidelines and restrictions to follow and a fishing license is required. To help fellow anglers retain a license and learn when and why the state requires one, we have put together this handy post.

First, you must understand that “A valid fishing license with a freshwater or saltwater stamp endorsement is required to take fish, mussels, clams, crayfish or other aquatic life in the public waters of Texas.” ** [Texas Parks and Wildlife website – http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/regulations/fish_hunt/licenses/fish_licenses/]

If you have a freshwater pond or lake on your private property, you do not need a fishing license. If public water coincides with your private property, you will need a valid fishing license.

Texas named the first Sunday in June of each year “Free Fishing Day”. While fishing on that day, no one is required to obtain a fishing license or saltwater stamp endorsement. If fishing in public waters, all Texas residents must obtain a fishing license for public waters. These are the following exceptions:

  • Kids under seventeen
  • Anyone born before 1931
  • Anyone fishing at a Texas State Park
  • Mentally disabled persons with supervision.

Texas has many State Parks surrounded by water. For visitors to the park, you do not need to obtain a fishing license as long as you are fishing on park property. In circumstances where having a fishing license is not a requirement, such as on State Park property, fish size and daily bag limits apply.

You can apply for a one day fishing license, year round license, or you can purchase a non-resident or fishing license package. Prices and additional information is available on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website – http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/regulations/fish_hunt/licenses/fish_licenses/

Things to keep in mind while Fishing for Specks

Speckled trout are a beautiful fish and very fun to fish for. But, just like every species, specks have things they like and don’t like. So, you’ll need to approach them a bit differently than you would approach others.

For example, specks really like shrimp and small fish. While lures can work and many have success, your best bet is to stick with shrimp and small fish as bait. The bigger the bait, the better chance you’ll have at a bigger trout. But, keep in mind, specks only get so big, so don’t throw a huge fish on the line and expect to hook a mammoth trout!

You’ll also want to look out for a few things to spot the specks. If you see a lot of bait fish swimming around an area, there’s a good chance that the specks will be looking at them too. So, cast into those areas and you might end up hooking a nice big speck!

Another thing to look for is diving birds. Depending on the bird size, they could even be going for the catch that you want! So, keep an eye out for them and get to the speckled trout before they do!

Keep these things in mind and you’ll be sure to have fun fishing for speckled trout on Matagorda Bay!