Lake Corpus Christi
Location: Nueces River watershed in San
Patricio, Live Oak, and Jim Wells counties, 20 miles northwest
of Corpus Christi
Surface area: 18,256 acres
Maximum depth: 60 feet
Current Lake Level
Conservation Pool Elevation: 94 ft. msl
Fluctuation: High, 10-15 feet
Normal Clarity: Stained to partly clear
Reservoir Controlling Authority
City of Corpus Christi
PO Box 9277
Corpus Christi, Texas 78469
Isolated beds of water stargrass, American pondweed, coontail, cattail, rushes, water lettuce, and high densities of water hyacinth
Predominant Fish Species
Maps are available at the state park office. More detailed fishing maps are commercially available at most local bait and tackle dealers.
All species are currently managed under statewide regulations.
Largemouth bass are abundant with frequent reports of fish reaching 5 pounds and over being boated. Blue catfish are the most abundant catfish species although flathead and channel catfish also provide excellent fisheries. White bass provide excellent angling opportunities in the Nueces River channel during the cooler months and in the main reservoir during summer. Crappie fishing has been improving and respectable catches are not uncommon in the spring.
Lake Corpus Christi has varied types of habitat which include some steep rocky banks, flooded timber, shallow brushy flats, and creek channels. Water in the lower portion of the reservoir remains stained to partly clear throughout the year, while the upper portion of the Frio River channel is typically stained. Protected creek channels with stands of stargrass stay fairly clear throughout the year. In addition to the cover provided by submerged timber and brush, stands of native aquatic vegetation provide excellent game fish habitat while dense stands of water hyacinth provide moderate habitat in most areas of the reservoir. Structure in the lower portion of the reservoir consists of numerous submerged trees, humps, and roadbeds, and long sloping points extending into deeper water. Flooded terrestrial vegetation, during periods of high water, provides excellent habitat for all game fish species.
Catfish anglers can find channel, blue and flathead catfish throughout the reservoir. Although many catfish anglers prefer deeper water, catfish are often found in relatively shallow areas (8 feet or less) of flooded terrrestrial vegetation. Cheesebait and cutbait produce impressive stringers of blue catfish, while the larger flathead and blue catfish seem to prefer live bluegill and shad. Experienced flathead anglers concentrate on creek channels and the main Nueces River channel. Trotlines and juglines account for many of the larger catfish caught every year at Lake Corpus Christi.
Largemouth bass anglers are most successful on Lake Corpus Christi during the spring, fall, and winter months; although the serious angler can find bass during the summer as well. Popular spring baits include spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, rattletraps, crankbaits, and unweighted soft plastic worms or jerkbaits. Summer bass fishing on Lake Corpus Christi can be frustrating for even the most experienced angler. Topwater baits such as: buzzbaits, Zara Spooks, or Pop-R's, presented very early or very late in the day near weedbeds, are popular and can be productive throughout the day if cloud cover is present. Spinnerbaits, worked on long sloping gravel points early in the morning, often produce numerous bass in the summer. Flipping jigs, plastic worms, or tube baits in heavy shaded cover are often productive when nothing else seems to work.
Crappie are very popular with the local anglers. A lighted fishing pier provides an ideal location to fish for crappie and other game fish species within the park. Most anglers use live minnows, purchased from one of two bait stores located near the park. Small crappie jigs often out-produce live bait under the lights. White bass congregate in the Nueces River channel from December through February to gradually head upstream to spawn. Although live minnows are popular baits during this annual "run," many anglers catch their limit using small rattletraps, shad raps, small spinnerbaits, small grubs, and other minnow imitating artificial baits. As the weather warms, white bass will often school in deeper water located in the lower portion of the reservoir. Jigging spoons or small rattletraps trolled deep near main lake points and humps often put fish in the cooler.