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Bachman Lake – Trinity River Freshwater for Dallas

Bachman Lake

Bachman Lake is a small freshwater lake in northwest Dallas, Texas. Originally constructed in 1903 by damming Bachman Branch, a tributary of the Trinity River. While, used as a water source for Dallas. The surface area is 132 acres with a maximum depth of 14 feet.

Therefore, it proved too small for the city’s needs which led to the construction of White Rock Lake in 1911. Further, has a fluctuation of a foot with stained water clarity. Furthermore, the reservoir controlling authority is the City of Dallas Parks and Recreation Department, contactable on (214) 670-8281. Meanwhile, the predominant fish species include.

Structure and Native Vegetation

Cover is limited at Bachman Lake with sporadic emergent vegetation only occurring along the shoreline. However, the dam offers some submerged brush that holds sunfish, crappie and bass.

Bachman Lake Boat Ramps, Docks and Parking Facilities

While, majority of the shoreline is available for fishing, there is only one boat ramp with limited parking on the southern side of the lake. Meanwhile, when operating on or around water, please wear your personal flotation devices and keep safe.

Shorecrest Drive ramp

Shorecrest Drive Ramp at Bachman Lake

Shorecrest Drive Ramp located on the south side of the lake just north of Dallas Love Field Airport, offers parking for five trailers and a two-lane paved ramp. The free facility is operated by the City of Dallas and is open all year round. For information feel free to contact (214) 670-8281.

Fish and Fishing

Statewide regulations exist for all species available in the lake. While, only 5-horsepower engines or electric trolling motors may be used on the lake. White Crappie fishing in Bachman Lake is excellent. While, Largemouth Bass fishing is good. Furthermore, Channel Catfish, Blue Catfish and Sunfish do occur with fair fishing.


The Crappie is a freshwater fish in the Pomoxis genus. A North American fish in the sunfish or Centrarchidae family. A species of popular pan fish. Other names for Crappie include Papermouths, Strawberry Bass, Speckled Bass, Speckled Perch, Crappie Bass or Calico Bass.

Further, the crappie is divided into the White Crappie (Pomoxis annularis) and the Black Crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus). Both species feed predominately on small fish including the Northern Pike, Muskellunge, Walleye and Crappies.

While, farther feeding on zooplankton, insects and crustaceans. They are less active during the day and will concentrate around weed beds or submerged objects such as logs and boulders.

Meanwhile, they feed during dawn and dusk, moving in open waters or approaching the shore. Considered among the best tasting freshwater fish due to their diverse diets.

While, crappie can be caught on many different lures and baits including light jigs, plastic jigs, lead jig heads, crankbaits, trolling with live minnows and small spinnerbaits. As well as, spider rigging. While, some anglers even chum or dump live bait into the water to attract the fish to bite their bait.

Generally, crappie is targeted and caught during the spawning period from May to June. White Crappie in Bachman Lake can be caught on minnows and jigs along the dam and in the deeper water on the western end of the lake.

However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the Crappie.

White Crappie

Largemouth bass

Largemouth Bass Habitat

The Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) is a carnivorous species of freshwater game fish. Has an olive green to greenish grey body with dark, sometimes black blotches forming a jagged horizontal stripe along each flank.

Meanwhile, the upper jaw extends beyond the rear margin of the orbit. Reach lengths of 29.5 inches weighing around 25 pounds.

Feed on snails, crawfish, crayfish, frogs, snakes, salamanders, bats, shrimps, insects, small water birds, mammals, baby alligators and small fish. Including bluegill, banded killifish, shad, yellow perch, ciscoes, shiners, sunfish, catfish, walleye, bass and trout.

Larger bass occupy deeper water and prey items may be as large as 50% of the bass’s body length or larger. While, they prefer open areas with little or no cover. Meanwhile, in areas with overhead cover such as overhanging banks, brush or submerged structures, they use their sense of hearing, sight, vibration and smell to attack and seize their prey.

Generally, spawning occurs in spring from March until early July. Sought after by anglers for their exciting fight. Often caught on Spinnerbait, plastic worms, jigs, crankbaits and live baits such as worms, frogs, crawfish, shiners and minnows. While, there is a strong cultural pressure among largemouth bass anglers encouraging catch and release practices of larger specimens.

Furthermore, bass have a white, slightly mushy meat which is of a lower quality than that of the smallmouth bass, bluegill, yellow perch, walleye or crappie. The world record largemouth bass weighed in at 22 pounds 4 ounces. Bachman Lake bass occur in the brush along the dam and in the riprap on the south side of the lake opposite Love Field.

However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the Largemouth Bass.

Channel Catfish

The Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) is the most abundant type of catfish species in North America. While, being the official fish of Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Tennessee.

The Channel Cat is popular for food. Therefore, there has been a rapid expansion of aquaculture of the species in the United States. Cavity nesters laying eggs in crevices, hollows or debris to protect them from swift currents.

Have a keen sense of smell and taste. With taste buds distributed over the surface of their entire bodies and their nostrils. Further, the fish has four pairs of barbels surrounding the mouth allowing the catfish to find food in dark, stained or muddy water with relative ease.

Generally, are omnivores and feed on a variety of natural and prepared baits including crickets, nightcrawlers, minnows, shad, freshwater drum, crawfish, frogs, bullheads, sunfish, chicken livers and suckers. While, they are even known to take Ivory soap as bait and even raw steak.

Meanwhile, popular fishing methods include juglines, trotlines, limb lines and bank lines in addition to the traditional rod-and-reel fishing techniques. While, another method of fishing for the catfish includes noodling or hand fishing. Catfish in Bachman Lake are not overly abundant.

However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the Channel Catfish.

Channel Catfish in muddy water

Blue Catfish

Blue Catfish

The Blue Catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) is the largest species of freshwater catfish in North America. While, reaching up to 65 inches in length and weighing 150 pounds. Generally, they are 25 – 46 inches in length. While, these catfish live up to 20 years.

Tolerate brackish water. The Blue Catfish can be misidentified as a Channel Catfish. However, Blue Catfish are heavy bodied, blueish grey fish that have a dorsal hump.

While, the best way to tell it apart from the Channel Cat is to count the number of rays on the anal fin. The Blue has 30 – 36 rays and the Channel Cat has 25 – 29 rays. Meanwhile, the Blue also has barbels, a deeply forked tail and a protruding upper jaw.

Furthermore, the Blue is an opportunistic predator feeding on crawfish, mussels, frogs and other aquatic food sources. Generally, catching wounded or dead prey.

Furthermore, these fish feed beneath marauding schools of striped bass in open water reservoirs or feeding on baitfish washed through dam spillways. The current world record Blue Catfish weighs 130 pounds, has a length of 57 inches and is 45 inches around. Catfish in Bachman Lake are not overly abundant.

However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the Blue Catfish.


The sunfish is a species of freshwater fish in the Centrarchid family, order Perciformes and genus Centrarchus. A ray-finned fish comprising of 34 different living species. Native to North America.

Mostly valued for sport fishing and have been introduced in many waterways. Generally, they have laterally compressed body shapes with 3 – 8 anal spines and 2 fused dorsal fins.

However, there are two main groups, the Lepomis and the Micropterus. The Lepomis are defined by a deep rounder body shape, smaller mouth that obtain food by suction feeding. While, the Micropterus have more streamlined body shapes, larger mouths and primarily consume prey by ram feeding methods.

They prefer clear, warm, slow moving water. Preferring to live in and around aquatic vegetation. Further, found in various water columns within a body of water.

Generally, spawning occurs in spring and juveniles emerge in the late spring to early summer. Their diets consist primarily of insects, snails and small invertebrates.

Therefore, they can be caught on nightcrawlers, crickets, grasshoppers, waxworms or mealworms. As well as, small flies and lures on light spinning tackle. Bachman Lake Sunfish can be caught with live worms, especially along the shore. Furthermore, the lake has some nice warmouth.

However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the Sunfish.


Bachman Lake Alligator and Alligator Safety

Bachman Lake is a water source within Texas. As we are aware, there are alligators in Texas. Let us not fret over whether there are or are not alligators. Rather, take necessary precautions and always be on the lookout. Alligator safety does not take much time and it may save your life or the life of someone else around you.

Should you detect an alligator, regardless of size, do not feed them to allow them to get food as they will become a problem to everybody. Alligator safety is covered in our article Alligator Safety, but here is a quick breakdown.

If the gator hisses, you are too close, move away! In encounters, back away slowly.

Report the alligator to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Do not attempt to remove it.

If you have a pet with you, place it on a leash and keep it under control.

Do not swim in the water where there are alligators.

Killing or harassing or attempting to move an alligator is prohibited by state law.


In short, offers plenty of fishing opportunities exist. Only small motorized boats with engines smaller than 5-horsepower or electric motors may be used Has a fluctuation of a foot. While, having a stained water clarity. While, originally used as a water source for Dallas until 1911. Further, has a low density of aquatic vegetation. Should you have any queries or need information feel free to contact the City of Dallas Parks and Recreation Department on (214) 670-8281.

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