Conroe: Not as Cool as it Sounds

You know how every time a Kardashian sister blows her nose you read about it in 18 different magazines the next day? Well, the same thing happens in the bass world when a five-fish tournament sack comes in over the 40-pound mark.

Texas’ Lake Conroe, a body of water about 1 hour from my front door [a 1 hour drive to a Texan is like 15 minutes to people in the rest of the country], is the latest lake to cough up such a sack of toads. Rusty Lawson and Dusty Schultz [Rusty and Dusty? hehe] pieced together a once-in-a-lifetime stringer weighing 45.10 that included two brutes over 10 pounds at a recent Sunday morning event out of Conroe’s Stow-A-Way Marina.

Conroe joins Falcon and Choke Canyon on the list of Texas lakes that have coughed up 40-plus-pound derby limits in the last few years. I know what you’re thinking. “Dude! You’ve got a public lake an hour’s drive from your crib that’s turning out 10-pounders on a weekly basis? Why aren’t you out there RIGHT NOW?”

Because… Conroe sucks.

Falcon = awesome. Choke = awesome. Conroe = suckfest.

Yeah, you heard me. Conroe is terrible. If you’re jetski guy or “OMG – Starbucks and Taco Bell on the water!” guy, Conroe is awesome. But if you’re bass fishing guy, go somewhere else. I’m sure you read about these awesome stringers and think, “Dang. If I lived close to Conroe I’d be on that lake every weekend whacking pigs.” Well, sir, you’d be wrong. You see, Conroe is only a great fishing destination if you’re a local. And by local I mean a guy that spends 2-5 days a week checking the milk run of 50 brush piles you’ve planted over the past 3 years.

There are giant fish in Conroe, but if you think you’re just going to launch your rig and go flip up a 10-pounder, or even a 2-pounder, on one of about 5 bazillion docks in the lake, you’re sorely mistaken. There is one, and only one tried-and-true method for consistently catching big bags on this lake, and that is by having a $#!^ ton of brush piles marked on your GPS that nobody else knows about.

I don’t know if I can accurately convey how crazy these locals are about their brush piles. I’m talking about stories of guys launching in the middle of the night to go plant piles in prime locations. I’ve heard stories of guides and tourney anglers using their anchors to drag competitors’ piles 50 yards into shallow or unproductive water. It’s insanity. Just Google “Conroe tournament brush pile” and look at some of the results that come up. It won’t take you long to find some kind of drama.

I’m sure the Conroe Visitors Bureau won’t be pleased with me saying this, but I’d rather drive 4 or more hours to fish lakes like Choke, Falcon or even Amistad [which I hate because of the clear water] than take an hour’s jog up to Conroe for the day. The only exception to that statement would be during the spawn, as Conroe can get just plain ugly when the big girls are on beds.

Kudos to Texas Parks and Wildlife for giving us multiple bodies of water where a 10-plus-pound fish is possible on any given cast, but they can keep Conroe for all I care. If you’re planning a trip to Texas to chase lunkers, stick to the staples like Fork and Falcon and leave Conroe to this crowd…



  1. BryanT

    January 11, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    HAHAHAHAHA! Love this. That is seriously true. The cool thing is if you are a good offshore fisherman. Every ledge corner and creek intersection has brush on it. So somebody else already did all the work. The bad news is you get maybe one good trip out of maybe 15. To me a good trip is 15lbs not 45lbs!

    There are times I’d rather fish the Trinity backwaters up lake from Livingston than be on Conroe in the summer. The size and numbers are probably better on the Trinity.

    • BryanT

      January 11, 2011 at 4:28 pm

      Also your best bet at a 10lb fish is L Austin from now till March. More 10lbers per acre than any other lake in TX.

  2. Shaggybass

    January 11, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    I agree Conroe is a beast! I need SI to make finding these brush piles easier so I can quit donanting to these guys!!

    • Shaggybass

      January 12, 2011 at 10:25 am

      Fishing Conroe might not be easy, BUT knowing any one cast could land you the fish of a lifetime makes is a great lake! People of Texas need to know how lucky they are to have a Dept. of Parks and Wildlife that truly cares about the fishing!! Be thankful you have all the great options of fisheries to choose from!!

      • Jason

        January 12, 2011 at 10:55 am

        No doubt. I’m a born-and-raised Texan and take pride in our state and the amazing fisheries we have readily available.

  3. Ed

    January 11, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    You sir are correct. I can go up there and whack the unders all day long. It is truly a nice stringer of fish, but since there is no grass, has anyone else noticed that no Share-a-Lunkers have been caught in a while. I can be on the lake in 45 minutes, but am looking at my options for this year.

  4. Longshot

    January 11, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    Everyone has their own view I suppose.
    However, I’m not sure what jetski ran you over, or even where the Taco Bell is located. Probably because there isn’t one one the lake.
    True there are probably more brushpiles on Conroe than parking spots at Reliant, but if get caught fishing on history rather than establishing a pattern, well you might as well take up fly fishing. For all the Love you put out there on Conroe, it’s still taking 20+ to draw a check.
    I love the big bass lakes like Choke, Falcon, and
    Amistad just like the next guy.
    Bringing 45.10 to the scales on any lake is a feat, regardless. The only other recorded 45+ plus sack brought to the scales in a tournament was Dean Rojas on Toho in 2001.
    By the way, Lake Falcon’s new lake record is about a pound lighter than Conroe’s.
    If your an hour away, why not give it a try again and stay off the BP and fish some ditches, roadbeds, or a sunken bridge or two
    Good Luck

    • Jason

      January 12, 2011 at 10:53 am

      You’re right about Taco Bell. I took a little creative liberty there since I thought non-locals might not recognize establishments like Papa’s and Sam’s Boat – both of which ARE on the shores of Conroe.

      I mean no disrespect to the folks who love to fish Conroe, it’s just NOT for me. I work in the concrete jungle 5 days a week, the last thing I want to do is fish there, too.

      Call me a hippie, but fishing is still about getting “outside” for me. And “outside” means away from all the hustle and bustle I deal with traveling Houston freeways every day. Conroe doesn’t provide that kind of experience.

  5. Debby

    January 12, 2011 at 12:16 am

    You don’t know anything and especially about Lake Conroe. I would challenge you anyday, but I know that if you can’t catch fish on Conroe, you can’t catch fish anywhere! So watch what you say because you might have to eat those words someday. This lake can prove if you are really a true fisherman!

    • Jason

      January 12, 2011 at 10:47 am

      Spoken like a true local! 😛

      Debby, you should be thanking me. I’m keeping people off YOUR lake. That means more 10-pounders for you! Send us a pic when you catch one.

      I accept your Conroe challenge, but I get to pick the method. I choose float tubes… July 4th weekend. If we don’t catch a fish at least we’ll have fun bobbing around on the pleasure boat wakes.

  6. C. Craig

    January 12, 2011 at 7:26 am

    Also they have killed all the grass off the lake. All of it. Last time I went we caught 3 fish that weighed in about, oh, 3lbs! Nice homes to look at though!

    • Jason

      January 12, 2011 at 10:58 am

      Yeah, I’ve always heard stories of Conroe’s heyday [when Clunn was fishing it] when it was full of grass and all the healthy bass you could catch. I’d love to see it like that again, but it’s never gonna’ happen.

  7. Alex Voog

    January 12, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Instead of midnight plantings of brushpiles, why not “repopulate” the lake with native grasses. Fight fire with fire.

    • Jason

      January 12, 2011 at 3:05 pm

      Losing battle.

      Anytime so much as a sprig of hydrilla pops up in this lake there’s a homeowner on the phone complaining and demanding that someone come in and kill it.

      The people with the $$$ demand that this lake be kept “pristine”, which somehow means completely devoid of any and all aquatic vegetation.

  8. Shaggybass

    January 30, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Love it or hate it. Conroe kicked out another 40+lb bag again today in a 61 team tournament!!

  9. Slicks N Tricks

    March 21, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Gonna Jump in on this way late but here goes. Conroe can be one hell of a lake was 25 years ago is today. Lake Conroe has got to be the ******* lake to fish in this state. Yes If you stay on the fish and I mean stay on them like put a saddle on and ride them you can catch some nice sacks of fish. The difference between Conroe and say Choke is all the BS. Drunk people, jetskis, Offshore type boats, and flat out rude people to just make your relaxing day suck. Born and raised in Conroe TX learned to fish on that lake heck I even fished my first tournament on that lake( Dont remember the weight) . Ill say this and stick to it. If your a Big stick on Conroe for the past ten years you suck it up every where else you go. Yes Clunn is one of the best all time but he fished an Old school Conroe. Why is that? Because back then it took skill to out fish other guys on that lake. Now all it takes is a few good spots. O and yes I have been apart of those late night missions to make those spots and have seen brush drug 300 yards with an anchor. I know well over 50 “Spots” on that lake and its 20 min from the house and I still fish Falcon more now days.

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