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Falcon Lake Fish Species and Sportfishing Records
Falcon Lake boasts a thriving, diverse fishery, excellent scenery, and less fishing pressure than many Texas lakes. Here's a rundown of what to fish for when you visit our fine lake.

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Largemouth Black Bass (Micropterus salmoides)
Scotty Deaton with old Falcon record. 05-01-1991 till 01-07-11

See Big fish Gallery for new Lake record pic!

...Barry St Clair 18.18 Texas Record Bass*

* Largest Bass caught in Texas. State Record 18.18 lbs Barry ST Clair on Lake Fork.

February 2011: Lots of talk and lot bragging has been done lately about the crappie fishing here on Falcon. And 95% of the crappie that have been caught have come from beneath the Hwy 83 bridge here in the Veleno. And not a lot of folks have looked for them in many other places. We have caught them from several places here on the lake, and I can tell you that they have spread from the top to the bottom. But the biggest concentrations still seem to be in the Veleno. We have found them from the dam to the Arroyo Burro, and their future looks bright. There has certainly been some overfishing in the Veleno, and we have heard that a lot of folks are cleaning their limits every day.. I personally cannot eat that much fish.

Daily bag limits are 25 per person with a 10" minimum. And it has not been at all unusual to have a limit of fish that weigh 50 pounds.. Fish over three pounds have been reported on many occasions..


Summer 2010: Falcon received approximately 250,000 pure Florida fingerlings, and about a month later, we received about 3,000 Sharelunker fry. Most of the big stocking was done in the Tigers area, and the Sharelunker fry were dispatched in the Veleno. Other than a few spotty stockings here or there, this is the first delivery of any substantial numbers for quite a while.

The white bass that were hatched in spring of 2010 at the hatchery got a fungus and died.. Hatching White Bass is still a new science and it may or may not be viable. The white bass that were released last year have not been seen since their release..


November 09, 2008: While it has been quite a while since this page has been updated, not a lot has been done in the way of stocking here on Falcon. There have been a few attempts at relocating some adult white bass to the lake. So far I have not heard of one white bass being caught. There were 170,000 white bass fry released here last spring. But I think they could all fit in a quart bottle when they were released.. I'm still waiting to see if a viable population will ever inhabit Falcon again.. Also last spring there were about two thousand Largemouth fingerlings released into Falcon, and they were third generation Sharelunker fry. It will be impossible to tell if they make any real effect on Falcon.. But it can't hurt anything.

Update: In the spring of 2009 1.17 million White Bass babys were released into Falcon. We'll see what happens!

My belief is that if you catch a Sharelunker size fish here on Falcon, the best thing you can do for the fish and the Lake is to turn her loose right where you caught her.

Please Note! Information posted below was gathered and presented by Larry Bridgeman, the previous owner of Falcon Lake Tackle. It is accurate to the best of our knowledge!!

Current Status 5/06/05: With several good years of spawn behind us, fishing on Falcon has continued to improve for blacks (and catfish)and catches of 50- to-100, or even 150 fish a day for one boat with a couple good fishermen has not been unusual, although it is not always a sure thing either. If you find the fish (and some of our better guides like the guys at Beacon Lodge, are a good bet if you want to make sure you find the fish) chances are they will bite. Not all guides are created equal so make sure you get a guide and not a guy with a boat who charges to go out on the lake. We can help steer you away from the disreputable guys who take your money and leave you dissatisfied.

Current Status 2/8/04: Falcon enjoyed a stable or gradually rising lake during the 2002-2003 early and mid-spawn (October - April), which enabled the bass to produce a large number of fry. Unfortunately Mexico's insatiable appetite for water using Falcon's water and rapid drawdown of the lake together with their total disregard of the fishery followed the same inevitable course as in the past. Beginning in April, thousands of acre feet of water was released daily during April, May and part of June. This devastated the late spawn causing the eggs of millions of Falcon fry to have gone dry before they could spawn. The 2003-2004 spawn has already produced another good class of fry. By next year, juveniles from the 2002-2003 class will be over 14 inches and the new fry will have grown to 12 or 13 inches. This should bring much improved fishing over the current fishing experience.

View all state records at TPWD
View Top 50 Largemouth at TPWD
View Falcon Lake and other Body Records at TPWD

Falcon Lake 10.3 lb. Striped BassStriped Bass AKA Stripers
(Morone saxatilis)

State Record: 52.90 lb. Brazos River 1999
Falcon Lake Record: None

View Top 100 Stripers at TPWD

A pair of pleased anglers with 10.3 lb striper caught 03/31/01.

February 2004..For a few years, back in the seventies and beyond, stripers were caught in large quantities and the size was in the 20 to 30 LB range. Many of the stripers stocked in early years died during a summer O2 depletion episode. Striper stocking in Falcon was accelerated in the last several years and fish over the 18" limit were being taken in fairly good numbers. Location of fish varies with the time of year, but generally those fishing in the summer and early winter will find fish in the lower end of the lake up as far as the Tigers. During late winter, fish seem to migrate into the river for a doomed effort in spawning. It is was not uncommon to catch these fish in the river around Zapata and even farther North depending on the amount of water available in the river.

The price of having stripers in the lake proved to be very high in terms of the impact on several of our other species. Harvesting by U.S. fishermen, Mexico's chimerical netters and the stripers (in addition to loss of habitat due to extended drought conditions) depleted the white bass and crappie populations. Now the Mexican netters have proficiently and systematically eliminated virtually all the stripers. Considering the multiple millions of stripers stocked compared to only a couple hundred thousand black bass during the same period, most of us considered the process pretty much a waste of money and effort (see below chart). We have therefore encouraged the TPW to abandon striper stocking and concentrate on a revitalization of the catfish, crappie, white and black bass fisheries.

Falcon Lake 10.3 lb. Striped BassWhite Bass AKA Sand Bass
(Imorone chrysops)

State Record:  5.56 lb. Colorado River 1977
Falcon Lake Record: None

Mr. Bridgeman Sr. Deceased with a stringer of Falcon White Bass..

February 2004.. Like many of the Winter Texans, my Dad and I always enjoyed our treks up the Rio Grande to catch white bass and an occasional black bass or striper. Thanks to the efficiency of the Mexican Commercial Fishermen the white bass no longer exist in fishable numbers. The once prolific species, that was evidenced by large schools of white bass working shad under birds, has been virtually obliterated. In October 2001,2002 and 2003, the O.P.E.C. Tournament offered a $100/day prize for the big white bass, but not one was weighed in. In recent "shock and net surveys" by TPWD, not one white bass was taken. Lack of enforcement, greed and low water conditions apparently achieved what years of overfishing failed to accomplish; an obliteration of the species. Efforts are being made to repopulate via catch and transfer, but the jury is out as to the ultimate success.

Falcon Lake 10.3 lb. Striped BassFreshwater Catfish
Blue (Ictalurus furcatus)
Channel (Ictalurus punctatus)
Yellow AKA Flathead (Pylodictis olivaris)

State Records:
Blue: 116 lb. Lake Texoma 1985 (unrestricted)
  Channel: 36.5 lb. Pedernales River 1965 (R&R)
  Yellow: 114 LB Lake Livingston 1976 (unrestricted)
Falcon Lake Record Blue :Jeffery Hammer 31lbs 7/23/02
Falcon Lake Record Yellow: Jeffery Hammer 29.9 lbs 9/23/02

February 2004: Picture 26 LB Blue Cat taken by Greg Kempf 11/00 on Red Bug Brush Hog (above). Many of the large blue cats are caught by bass fishermen in the hardwoods during the winter months on Falcon. Large cats (yellows and blues) approacing 80 lbs in the past were often taken from the Rio Grande on live bait. Due to the continued exploitation of these fish by Mexican netters and trappers, the size and frequencies of catches have continued to decline. Enforcement, although better than in the past, continues to be largely ineffective especially against illegal netting and trapping on the US side of the lake.

White Crappie (Pomoxis annularis)
Black Crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus)

State Records:
  White: 4.56 Navarro Mills Lake 1968
  Black: 3.69 Toledo Bend 1985
Falcon Lake Record: None
February 2004: Crappie have been decimated by Mexican commercial fishermen, US fishermen and stripers. A stocking of 1500 mature crappie this year by TPWD will hopefully be followed by another substantial stocking at a later date. Update Spring 2009: Catchable numbers of Crappie are being reported on a sporatic basis.. Not a lot of folks targeting them as yet. If water levels hold and enforcement of laws and nets continue I believe we will see the return of the crappie here on Falcon.

Gar & Carp

Several species of Gar are found in good numbers in Falcon Lake and the Rio Grande River. The largest gar is the Alligator Gar. This one weighed 200 lbs after lying in the sun for 3 hours and probably would have topped 220 lbs when caught by Oliver Talamante 04/13/01 on the Rio Grande River below Falcon Dam with a bow and several arrows. Texas has no shortage of big gar, as TPWD shows a 302 LB state unrestricted tackle state record taken on a trotline by T C Pierce Jr. in the Nueces River 01/01/53. The rod and reel record is 279 lbs, taken on the Rio Grande by Bill Valverde 01/01/51.

Carp are very common in the Rio Grande River and in Falcon Lake, often foul hooked by a crankbait or similar lure. Rarely will a carp bite an artificial bait, as they prefer dough bait, corn, or multiple other concoctions. This carp weighed over 25 lbs. and was taken by Oliver with a bow on the same day he took the above monster alligator gar.

In May 2005, Alex Gutierrez pulled this spotted gar weighing 5.24 lbs out of a net on Falcon Lake. Texas Parks and Wildlife lists the unrestricted State record as 5.9 lbs taken in Houston in 2004.Falcon lake record: 213# Jorge Gutierrez Arrowhead Ranch May 2004

See Pic below left

See picture right taken in front of Falcon Lake Tackle on May 6. 2005.

Falcon is one of the top big gar lakes in the country and hunters from all over the US make treks here to seek out the big fish. See additional pictures in our Big Fish Gallery



Spotted Gar Lepisosteus oculatus
Longnose Gar Lepisosteus osseus
Gizzard Shad Dorosoma cepedianum
Threadfin Shad Dorosoma petenense
Common Carp Cyprinus carpio
Pugnose Minnow Opsopoeodus emiliae
Inland Silverside Menidia beryllina
Smallmouth Buffalo Ictiobus bubalus
Blue Catfish Ictalurus furcatus
Channel Catfish Ictalurus punctatus
Flathead Catfish Pylodictis olvaris
Yellow Bullhead Ameiurus natalis
Mexican Tetra Astyanax mexicanus
White Bass Morone chrysops
Striped Bass Morone saxatilis
Redbreast Sunfish Lepomis auritus
Warmouth Lepomis gulosus
Bluegill Lepomis macrochirus
Redear Sunfish Lepomis microlophus
Largemouth Bass Micropterus salmoides
White Crappie Pomoxis annularis
Black Crappie Pomoxis nigromaculatus
Freshwater Drum Aplodinotus grunniens
Rio Grande Cichlid Cichlasoma cyanoguttatum
Blue Tilapia Tilapia aurea
Alligator Gar Lepisosteus spatula
Bullhead Minnow Pimephales vigilax
River Carpsucker Carpiodes carpio
Black Bullhead Ameiurus melas
Green Sunfish Lepomis cyanellus
Longear Sunfish Lepomis megalotis
Sheepshead Minnow Cyprinodon variegatus
Gulf Killifish Fundulus grandis
Sailfin Molly Poecilia latipinna
Grass Carp Ctenopharyngodon idella







Falcon Lake Stocking HistoryFalcon Lake, voted by Bass Clubs as the number one bass fishing lake for several years in the nineties has endured a number of hardships during the last decade. The once excellent fishery has suffered many abuses and injustices. Unfortunately drought conditions together with abuses of our fishery by Mexican Commercial netters have eliminated multiple species and significantly impacted the great black bass fishery. In addition, she has been virtually ignored as far as any TPWD involvement in stocking, management, facility development and enforcement. We have initiated a restoration awarness and action program intended to revitalize our fishery and restock a number of these species. Stocking of fish in 2003 include 313,000 Florida Bass, 200,000 Blue Gill, 28,000 9" Blue Cat, 1,500 mature Crappie & fifty two (52) White Bass. A good spawn in 2003 has greatly increased our fish population. We are in line for another good 2004 spawn and with the lake level well above the weed cover line of 257' elevation, 2004 should equal or exceed 2003 spawn production. Unfortunately, neither the office of the President, The State Department nor the Secretary of State has responded to our appeal for intercession in Mexico's continual disregard of Falcon Lake, the International Water Treaty and the seriously declining status of our fishery. In 2004 some largemouth bass were stocked, both Florida and Northerrn Strain
Crappie (1500 Mature) a few mature whites (Caught at Choke Canyon and transported here 174), some BlueGill and catfish were stocked also.

1975 - 19841984 - 1999
Species Date # Stocked Stocking Stage Species Date# StockedStocking Stage
Walleye 1975 447184   Striped x white bass 1984 222174 Fingerling
Florida largemouth bass 1975 750000 Fingerling Florida largemouth bass 1984 18375 Fingerling
Florida largemouth bass 1976 2250 Fingerling Striped x white bass 1987665000Fry
Walleye 1976 4830000   Striped bass 1988 617902 Fingerling
Striped bass 1976 149804   Striped bass 1989 4786960 Fry
Walleye 1977 1706600   Mixed largemouth bass 1989 219316
Striped bass 1977 725692   Florida largemouth bass 1989 117   Adult
Florida largemouth bass 1978 451049 Fingerling Rainbow trout 1994 2012 Adult
Striped bass 1978 186287   Striped bass 1994 685542 Fingerling
Florida largemouth bass 1979 131455 Fingerling Striped bass 1995 782685 Fingerling
Striped bass 1979 174638   Rainbow trout 1996 1743 Adult
Florida largemouth bass 1981 67000 Fingerling Florida largemouth bass 1997 501783 Fingerling
Striped bass 1983 386503   Rainbow trout 1997 1335 Adult
Largemouth bass 1984 6000 Adult Striped bass 1997 78837 Fingerling
Smallmouth bass 1984 20265 Fingerling Striped bass 1998 78645 Fingerling
Striped x white bass 1984 222174 Fingerling Rainbow trout 1999 1255 Adult
Florida largemouth bass 1984 18375 Fingerling Striped bass 1999 390919 Fingerling
Florida largemouth bass 1985 102000 Fingerling Striped bass 2000 769,405 Fingerling

Black Bass stocking records, and many others, are not yet updated by TPWD. See TPWD website for latest stocking reports.

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