Lake Gilmer

August 26, 2021

Lake Gilmer

Lake Gilmer located north of Longview in Texas

Lake Gilmer, a freshwater lake four miles west of downtown Gilmer, and 15 miles north of Longview in Texas. Located at State Highway 852 (SH 852). Constructed on Kelsey Creek in the Cypress River Basin and impounded in 2001. With a surface area of 1010 acres and a maximum depth of 28.

Further the area has another 1557 acres of land which is planned to be developed into hiking, nature trails and bird watching stations. The water is moderately clear with an annual fluctuation of less than three feet.

The Reservoir Controlling Authority is the City of Gilmer contactable on (903) 843-2552. While the Lake Ranger may be contacted directed on (903) 843-8209. Currently a great recreational facility with a variety of fish, predominated by.

Largemouth Bass Habitat

Largemouth Bass

White Crappie




Channel Catfish in muddy water

Channel Catfish

Structure and Native Vegetation

While low densities of native aquatic plants exist, natural habitats in the form of inundated timber and brush exist.

Lake Gilmer Boat Ramps, Docks and Parking Facilities

Lake Gilmer provides limited access to the public, but one Public Boat Ramp does exist. However, when operating on or around water, please wear your Personal Flotation Device for your own safety.

Public Boat Ramp x x

Public Boat Ramp

Lake Gilmer Park

To gain access to the Public Boat Ramp take Texas 154 from Gilmer and pass the intersection with Texas 271. Then turn right onto 852 for 2.5 miles. The ramp is located 4 miles west of Gilmer on the northeast corner of the bridge.

Operated by the City of Gilmer this free facility is open all year and provides the public with parking and two-lane ramp with courtesy dock. However, for further information, feel free to contact the Lake Ranger at (903) 843-8209.

Fish and Fishing

Lake Gilmer offers the angler excellent Largemouth Bass fishing opportunities. While good opportunities exist for Crappie and Sunfish. Channel Catfish occur but fishing is fair.

Largemouth Bass

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. The Largemouth Bass population in Lake Gilmer is moderately numbered with specimens in good condition having excellent growth characteristics. However, there is a low abundance of legal-sized bass available.

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

Largemouth Bass Habitat


White Crappie

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.

Lake Gilmer has an abundance of Crappie but very few are of legal size. However, fishing will improve over several years as Crappie grow.

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.

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.

Several species of Sunfish are present in Lake Gilmer including Bluegill, Redear and Warmouth. However, Bluegill dominate with good numbers of fish over 6-inches in length.

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


Channel Catfish

Channel Catfish in muddy water

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 are present in Lake Gilmer with good numbers available to harvest.

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

Lake Gilmer Alligator and Alligator Safety

Lake Gilmer 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, Lake Gilmer offers plenty of fishing opportunities, swimming, jet skiing, boating, hiking, and bird watching. With a surface area of 1010 acres and a maximum depth of 28. Further has moderately clear water and an annual fluctuation less than three feet.

However, low densities of native aquatic plants exist, and the natural habitats consists of inundated timber and brush. Should you have any queries or need information feel free to contact the City of Gilmer Reservoir Controlling Authority on (903) 843-2552 or the Lake Ranger at (903) 843-8209.


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