Lakes in the East Texas Area
Map showing the location of Lake Tawakoni
In East Texas, there are over 50 lakes offering a variety of outdoor sports for vacations or weekends. These lakes provide fishing, swimming, water skiing, houseboats, jet skis, sailing and other outdoor and hiking activities.
Within easy driving distance are lakes such as Toledo Bend Reservoir, Wright Patman, Lake Fork, Sam Rayburn, Lake Livingston, Caddo Lake and many others..
Lake Tawakoni in East Texas
Lake Tawakoni, also known as the Iron Bridge Dam and Reservoir Project, was the first major project built by the Sabine River Authority of Texas.
Lake Tawakoni has a surface area of 37,879 acres, with a maximum depth of 70 feet. The dam is located about 10 miles northeast of Wills Point, and the reservoir lies within parts of Hunt, Rains, and Van Zandt Counties. It is less than an hour's drive from Dallas, and easily accessible from many cities and towns in East Texas.
The reservoir's primary purpose is to provide a municipal and industrial water supply for the surrounding communities and the City of Dallas.
With a shoreline of approximately 200 miles, stretching through Hunt, Rains and Van Zandt counties, Lake Tawakoni provides water-oriented recreation for much of central northeast Texas.
The reservoir as-built storage capacity at conservation pool elevation of 437.5 mean sea level.
The South Fork, Cowleech Fork, and Caddo Forks that all formed the Sabine River headwaters are now submerged under the lake and the lake now serves as the headwaters of the Sabine River.
Lake Tawakoni State Park
Entrance area at Lake Tawakoni State Park
Nearby is the Lake Tawakoni State Park which offers fishing, boating, camping, hiking, birding and other outdoor activities. The State Park offers 376 acres with more than five miles of shoreline and a variety of activities, including swimming, fishing, boating, mountain biking, geocaching, hiking and birding.
Boat, fish or swim on the water; hike, mountain-bike, go birding or geocaching on land. Reserve a campsite for your tent or RV, or camp with a group. Rent the park's amphitheater for a special event. Take a virtual tour with the park's interactive trails map.
The park has nearly five miles of trails to explore. For campers - Choose from full hookup sites or sites with water and electricity.
Two of the park's sites are wheelchair accessible. Or reserve the primitive group campsite (for up to 48 people).
The Lake Tawakoni Trading Post sells souvenirs, ice, firewood, cold drinks and snacks, and fishing bait and tackle.
Fishing Lake Tawakoni
When the reservoir is close to conservation pool, stands of waterwillow, smartweed, and flooded terrestrial species can provide abundant cover. American lotus is significant in some areas. Submerged species such as coontail and hydrilla are generally scarce.
When water levels fluctuate or remain low, vegetation tends to be scarce and of little use to fish because much of it is exposed.
Predominant Fish Species
- Striped & hybrid striped bass
- White bass
- Blue and Channel Catfish
- Largemouth bass
Striped bass, hybrid striped bass and white bass are vital to the local economy, providing excellent fisheries especially in the lake's open water areas. Striped and hybrid bass are stocked annually by TPWD to maintain the fisheries.
Channel and blue catfish are abundant, along with limited numbers of flathead catfish. Largemouth bass is also a popular sportfish in this reservoir. Crappie fishing can be good around standing timber, bridge pilings, and artificial fish attractors.
Flooded timber, although not abundant, is found in scattered areas throughout Lake Tawakoni. Aquatic vegetation is sparse and tends to decrease following lake draw-downs. As water levels increase, emergent aquatic plants such as smartweed establish dense areas of cover. Main lake humps tend to attract schools of striped bass, hybrid striped bass, and white bass. The habitat on Lake Tawakoni is limited, so any available cover tends to attract and hold largemouth bass
Tips & Tactics
Catfishing is one of Lake Tawakoni's sure bets. Anglers use a range of baits including cut bait, shrimp, liver, stink baits and earthworms. Techniques include drift fishing, bank fishing, and trotlining. Catches of trophy blue catfish, especially during winter months are fairly common.
Largemouth bass anglers should concentrate their efforts around available cover such as piers, boat houses, vegetation and trees along the shoreline. Peak times for fishing include spring for spawning fish and fall for schooling fish. Spawning fish are frequently caught using spinnerbaits, plastic worms, and jigs. Schooling fish can be caught using crankbaits, spinnerbaits and topwater lures.
In spring and summer, surfacing schools of striped bass, hybrid stripers and white basscan be caught using slabs, spoons, shad-bodied grubs, and topwater baits. Seagulls are attracted when schooling fish chase bait fish to the surface.
Crappie fishing is often concentrated near bridge pilings, submerged trees and brush piles in late spring and fall.
Shoreline scene at Lake Tawakoni
Lake Tawakoni Water Level: Conservation Pool Elevation is 437.50'
Courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey
Map of Lake Tawakoni Area (Courtesy of Google Maps)
Lake Tawakoni Resources
Texas Freshwater Lakes provided by Texas Parks and Wildlife