Lake Abilene a freshwater reservoir located on Elm Creek approximately 20 miles south of Abilene. While, the surface area of the lake is 595 acres the maximum depth is 25 feet. Further, constructed in 1921 and controlled by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD).
Generally, fluctuation is moderate, but it may be prone to long periods of dropping water levels. While, the water is extremely muddy. Over the past years, the lakes water levels have been extremely low which has had huge impacts on fish populations which were restocked in 2004 and 2005.
However, for information concerning Lake Abilene, feel free to contact TPWD on (325) 572-3204. Predominant fish species occurring the reservoir include.
Structure and Native Vegetation
Fishing cover in Lake Abilene include Black Willow Trees, Button Bush, Rocky Structures and dead terrestrial vegetation which are ample when the lake is full. However, with low levels, cover is limited to brush piles and rocks.
Lake Abilene Boat Ramps, Accommodation and Parking
There are two public ramp facilities available to the public, the Dam and Creek. While, both facilities offer restrooms, parking for 10 vehicles and picnic areas, they also both have a single-lane ramp. Meanwhile, they are open all year, from sunrise to sunset.
Further, you need to pay an entry fee, either at the main park entrance or electronically and get a code to unlock the gate. To get to both ramps from Abilene take FM 89 and turn right on the paved road at the lake, where you travel approximately another mile south west to the Abilene State Park entrance. Both these facilities are operated by Abilene State Park who should be contacted on (325) 572-3204 for more information and see if they are open.
Another thing to know is that when the lake levels fall below 7 feet of the spillway, the ramps become unusable. While, a 4-wheel drive vehicle is necessary to launch boats under low water conditions. There are also campsites available on the main campus of the Abilene State Park across FM 89. However, when operating on a boat or water craft always wear Personal Flotation Devices as these may save your life.
Fish and Fishing in Lake Abilene
The lake has seen many years of low water levels, until 2004 when the reservoir came to within a foot of levelling the spillway. Channel Catfish and Blue Catfish were restocked into the reservoir in 2004 and largemouth bass and white crappie in 2005.
While, high to moderate water levels allow boats access to enter the water. Therefore, providing fair to good fishing of Catfish, White Crappie and Largemouth Bass. However, at low level, only bank fishing is possible and fishing success declines.
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, when the water temperature first holds steady above 60°F. 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, especially as these are breeding females that contribute largely to the future of sport fishing stocks.
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. Largemouth Bass fishing in Lake Abilene is good flipping brushy cover, especially as the water is so muddy.
However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the Largemouth Bass.
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.
Channel Catfish Anglers at Lake Abilene can look forward to some good catches in the next couple of years as the fish takes advantage of all available nutrients in the lake.
However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the Channel Catfish.
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.
The current world record for black crappie is 5 pounds and for white crappie is 5.2 pounds. Flipping brushy cover over for White Crappie in Lake Abilene is a good fishing technique as the water is extremely muddy.
However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the Crappie.
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. 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.
However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the Sunfish.
Lake Abilene Alligator and Alligator Safety
Lake Abilene 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, jet skiing, boating and picnicking. Moderate fluctuation occurs, but the lake may be prone to long periods of dropping water levels. While, the water is very muddy. In periods with ample water levels, Black Willow Trees, Button Brush, Rocky Structures and dead terrestrial vegetation abounds.
However, in periods of low water levels, cover consists of brush piles and rocks. Should you have any queries or need information feel free to contact the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department on (325) 572-3204.