Like every state, Texas has laws regulating fishing in public waters. These regulations apply to all aspects of freshwater and saltwater fishing, such as rods or poles and lines, hooks, and other fishing supplies. In addition to having a license, you must know how many fishing rods you can use in Texas.
You can use a maximum of 2 fishing rods or poles at the same time in Texas community lakes, freshwater impoundments, and rivers in the state parks. Also, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department limits the number of simultaneous hooks in all public waters.
Texas has many regulations specific to the type of waterbody you fish in and the jurisdiction of every site. You must also be aware of the bag and size limits for the different species you can retain at various locations. Keep reading to know how many fishing rods you can use in Texas.
How Many Fishing Rods Can You Use in Freshwater in Texas?
You can only use fishing rods or poles and lines in the following freshwater ecosystems in Texas:
- Community lakes: This includes all public impoundments up to 75 acres in an incorporated city or public park.
- State parks: This includes all lakes, ponds, and reservoirs, irrespective of their sizes, and any river flowing through a state park.
You cannot use other types of freshwater fishing devices, such as trotlines, in these areas, and the maximum number of fishing rods per licensed angler is 2. All state parks conform to this regulation, as well as the following rivers and freshwater lakes or reservoirs, among others:
- Brushy Creek Lake
- Lake Pflugerville
- North Concho River: between O.C. Fisher and Bell Street dams
- South Concho River: between Lone Wolf and Bell Street dams
- Wheeler Branch Reservoir
Freshwater fishing beyond such restricted zones doesn’t have a specific law regarding rods or poles. Instead, the state regulation caps the number of hooks you can use at the same time.
How Many Freshwater Fishing Hooks Can You Use in Texas?
The maximum number of hooks you can use for freshwater fishing in Texas is 100. This limit applies to all devices used simultaneously, including fishing rods or poles and other lines.
However, you can’t use 100 hooks in community fishing lakes and state parks because you are restricted to 2 fishing rods. You cannot use trotlines in community fishing lakes and rivers or reservoirs in state parks.
If you’re fishing in freshwater beyond the state parks, you might use a trotline with a maximum of 50 hooks per line. So, you can use a trotline with 50 hooks and multiple fishing rods, but the total number of hooks of all your devices should be below 100.
If you use a trotline, you should abide by the relevant regulations, such as:
- You can only retain nongame fish and a few catfish, such as channel, blue, and flathead.
- You cannot possess or retain red drum, shark, and spotted seatrout.
- The main line shouldn’t be longer than 600’ (183 m).
- The hooks should have a minimum horizontal spacing of 3’ (0.9 m).
- The trotline should have an appropriate commercial or noncommercial gear tag.
How Many Freshwater Fishing Lines Can You Use in Texas?
You can only use legal freshwater fishing devices, while the total number of lines is limited to the maximum number of hooks you can have in the water at any given time.
If you want to use 2 fishing rods or poles and lines, as well as 2 trotlines, the trotlines cannot have a maximum of 50 hooks per line. You must reduce the number of hooks in one or both trotlines to stay up to 100 or abandon the fishing rods.
How Many Fishing Rods Can You Use in Saltwater in Texas?
Texas doesn’t have a specific regulation limiting the number of fishing rods you can use in saltwater. You should have a fishing license with a saltwater endorsement, which is a similar requirement to having a fishing license with a freshwater endorsement and appropriate gear tags.
While you can use multiple saltwater fishing rods in Texas, more than a couple might be difficult to manage in most circumstances. Some people may try their luck with 3 or 4 fishing rods, but that’s about the maximum you might be able to somehow tackle.
You can use 1 sail line per license with up to 30 hooks for saltwater fishing in Texas, but not in the Gulf of Mexico waters within state jurisdiction. The sail line or its hooks don’t impose any restrictions on your fishing rods or poles and lines, but there are relevant regulations, such as:
- The sail line shouldn’t be longer than 1,800’ (~550 m).
- The line shouldn’t have any hook farther than 200’ (61 m) from the sail.
- You must use a valid sail line or saltwater trotline tag for every 300’ (91 m).
- You can retain nongame fish, red drum, sharks, and spotted sea trouts with the sail line.
You will also need special tags, such as for red drums. However, you cannot use sail lines for commercial fishing in Texas.
How Many Fishing Rods Can You Carry in Texas?
You can carry multiple fishing rods or different types of poles and lines if you want to have them with you on your freshwater or saltwater expedition. All fishing rods and reels or poles and lines are vulnerable to damage, so you can have two or more extra rigs for contingency.
The only cap is on the number of fishing rods in the water simultaneously in the restricted freshwater areas that were discussed above. If you use multiple legal fishing devices at the same time in unrestricted zones, you shouldn’t exceed the maximum limit of 100 hooks.
Whether you use one or more fishing rods in non-restricted freshwater and saltwater zones for game and nongame species, ensure that your poles and lines don’t snag or foul-hook any fish.
Any kind of foul-hooking, including jerking, is an unlawful act in Texas.
Other Texas Fishing Resources
- The 10 Best Fishing Spots Near Austin (Texas)
- Best Fishing Spots Near Dallas, Texas
- Best Time to Fish Lake Fork [Seasonal Fishing Guide]
- Selecting a Fishing Guide at Lake Fork [Everything You Need to Know]
You can use 2 fishing rods and reels or poles and lines in freshwater community lakes and state parks, including the rivers flowing through them. There’s no such restriction for other freshwater havens and saltwater fishing, but there are limits for all game species, sizes, and bags per day.
- Texas Parks & Wildlife Department: Local Fishing Regulations
- Texas Parks & Wildlife Department: Local Fishing Regulations
- Texas Parks & Wildlife Department: Legal Devices, Methods & Restrictions
- Texas Parks & Wildlife Department: Fishing Licenses and Packages
- Texas Parks & Wildlife Department: Fishing Endorsements, Tags & Permits