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Get ready to spend the rest of spring all of summer and part of fall fishing for your favorite kind of fish. Catfish fishing is returning with help from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Neighborhood Fishing Program. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) will be re-stocking our neighborhood fishing lakes across Texas.

Beginning on April 14th, 2023, the TPWD will begin stocking thousands of catfish at 18 Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes, including five in Dallas-Fort Worth, four in the Houston area, two each in Austin and San Antonio, and one each in Amarillo, College Station, San Angelo, Waco, and Wichita Falls.

The program gives families and friends the opportunity to properly participate in an old Texas tradition of catfish fishing. While the catfish stocking does not apply to every city in Texas there are 18 neighborhood fishing lakes that will be stocked regularly from April through November of 2023.

Interestingly, all anglers can keep up to five (5) catfish of any size per day. Some of our parks offer cleaning tables to make it easy for families to clean their catch. Children under 17 fish for free, however, adults must all have a fishing license. Fishing licenses can be purchased for as little as $11 for “one-day, all-water” access. All proceeds go toward the management and conservation of the fish and their habitats.

To find the Neighborhood Fishin’ Lake near you, find stocking locations or to sign up for email updates, visit Neighborhood Fishin’ is supported by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation through donations from Phillips 66 as well as the local municipalities across the state.

Photo by: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Photo by: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Abilene’s Cal Young Park Lake was recently stocked with rainbow trout. Therefore, the TPWD says they will not be restocking any fish in any lake during the spring and summer months due to the heat.

One thing to keep in mind even that the TPWD doesn’t stock catfish in and around the Abilene area on a “regular basis.” The fact still remains, Abilene’s fishing holes like Lake Abilene, Nelson Park, Cal Young Park, Kirby Lake, and Fort Phantom Lake all have a healthy stock of catfish.

If you would like to try your hand at fishing for catfish, the TPWD offers these suggestions. Catfish prefer strong-smelling baits. Try using things like raw chicken livers, raw shrimp, stinkbait, cut-up hot dogs, and even nightcrawlers (those are the big fat worms that you find in your grandma or mom’s garden). More fishing tips in the video below.

Adult Fishing Licenses Start Around $11 Dollars for a One Day Pass

Furthermore, fishing for catfish is best done in the evening hours when the catfish are feeding and more active. Most importantly, remember to get your fishing license. Kids under 17 years of age fish for free, however, adult licenses start as low as $11 for a one-day all-water pass. Many licenses can be purchased at department stores like Wal-Mart or most sporting goods stores like Academy.

Source: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

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