Sam Rayburn Reservoir, variously known as Lake Sam Rayburn or Sam Rayburn Lake, is part of East Texas’ Piney Wood area, and is within the bounds of the Angelina and Sabine National Forest. Many nearby campgrounds allow access directly onto the banks of the lake’s 740 miles of shoreline. The reservoir’s 115,00 acres are home to populations of catfish, bass, crappie, gar, multiple sunfish species, bowfin, bluegill, hybrid stripers, and white bass. Beginners can fish bluegill and sunfish, while more experienced anglers can chase white bass and hybrid stripers in spring and fall. Crappie, catfish, and bass can be fished year-round.
Sam Rayburn Reservoir is a year-round largemouth, crappie and catfish fishery. During fall, winter and spring, fish are active during the daytime and found in shallow water. Crankbaits and spinnerbaits are good choices for daytime fishing.
During summertime, bass become more active in early mornings, late evenings, and night. In these low light conditions, use topwater baits. During summertime sunrises, bass tend to hold around vegetation edges, or deep ledges and creek channels. At that time of day, use plastic worms, jigs and Carolina rigs.
Crappie fishing is always good with jigs and minnows. During their spring spawn, target shallow areas near vegetation. The rest of the year, crappies concentrate in deeper water, around creek channels and brush piles.
Habitat on Sam Rayburn Reservoir includes flooded terrestrial vegetation, standing timber, and submerged aquatic plants. In the clearer waters of the lower part of the reservoir, game fish hold to vegetation edges, flats and humps, and creek channels. There is less vegetation in the upper third of the reservoir, where fish stick to timber, brush, and laydowns.
White bass aren’t numerous but can be caught during springtime.
Sam Rayburn Reservoir has special bag and size limits for some fish species.
Sam Rayburn Fish:
Sam Rayburn boat ramps:
The following boat ramps provide access to Sam Rayburn.