Visiting and Fishing Texas’ Lake Ray Hubbard
There are close to a dozen major lakes within an easy drive of Dallas-Ft Worth (DFW), giving the area a wide range of options for anglers of all levels. Perhaps none of these locations offers a wider variety of fishing options than Lake Ray Hubbard. Not only does Hubbard provide plenty of angling opportunities, it also affords anglers a chance to catch some truly big bass, as evidenced by the 14.10 pound lake record bass.
Located on Dallas’ east side and once known as Eastern Dallas Lake, Lake Ray Hubbard is surrounded by the cities of Dallas, Garland, Rowlett and Heath. Lake Ray Hubbard is a large lake in total area, covering 22,000 surface acres, and has numerous access points for boating and anglers preferring to fish from shore.
Fishing Lake Ray Hubbard
Although Lake Ray Hubbard is a large lake, it is relatively shallow, with a maximum depth of only 40 feet. As a result, anglers rarely need to utilize deep water techniques or tactics in order to catch fish. Instead, Hubbard is better known for the range of structure in and around the lake. In fact, the list of structure types found at Lake Ray Hubbard is long, including brush, standing timber, rip rap, submerged rock piles, bridge, points, hydrilla, and even submerged bridges and house foundations can be found on this sprawling urban reservoir.
Lake Ray Hubbard is a year-round fishery. In the spring months, anglers can find plenty of spawning fish on the flats adjacent to the river on the upper end of the lake. Throughout the year, fishing rip-rap shorelines is also a good way to find bass. Anglers can find plenty of rip-rap and structured habitat holding fish along both the I-30 and Highway 66 bridges. There are also numerous points featuring rip-rap shorelines throughout the lakes, as well as rip-rap to be found near the various marinas, including Chandler’s Landing, and the different parks dotted along the lakeside. There are also nice stretches of rip-rap in the cove near the hot water discharge of the power plant. This cove tends to hold warmer water thanks to the discharge and is a good spot to find fish throughout the winter and spring.
There is a large population of shad in Lake Ray Hubbard, and it is one of the primary forage items for bass in the lake. Spinnerbaits, crankbaits and lipless crankbaits all do a good job imitating these baitfish. And regardless of where the rip-rap is found, anglers can generally do well throwing either spinnerbaits or crankbaits along the rocks. The numerous docks found in the marinas and along the residential areas of the lake are also good areas to throw these baits, as are the bridges themselves.
Spring through fall many of the shorelines, coves and flats also have healthy amounts of vegetation – hydrilla, lily pads and submerged vegetation. Topwater baits, particularly frogs, can draw good strikes from fish along the shorelines and near grass beds. Fishermen can also use jigs and Texas-rigged baits to punch through the vegetation to the bass lying beneath.
Standing timber is also a prominent feature on Lake Ray Hubbard, particularly above the I-30 bridge and in the areas on the upper end of the lake. Crankbaits, spinnerbaits and Texas-rigged plastics all can produce good catches of bass from areas of standing timber.
Bass fishermen on Hubbard are not limited to just fishing visible structure. There is plenty of submerged structure holding fish in the lake, particularly the submerged secondary points and humps close to shoreline. There are also several submerged house foundations off Robertson Point and brush piles throughout the lake, including a number of piles near the Terry Park boat ramp.
In addition to largemouth bass, fishermen can target several other types of species on Lake Ray Hubbard. The lake is well known for its hybrid striper and white bass fishery. Crappie and catfish are also found in good numbers.
With all of the angling options found on Lake Ray Hubbard, fishermen also have many choices when it comes to accessing the lake. Whether an angler is planning to fish from shore, on a boat or with a kayak or canoe, there are no shortages of ways to get a line in the water, regardless of skill level and ability. John Paul Jones Park in Garland features the Chaha boat ramp, piers and shore access. Windsurf Bay Park, also in Garland, offers shore access. Rowlett’s Lakeside Park has a fishing pier and shore access. Terry Park in Heath has a boat ramp, docks and shore access. Additionally, there are several marinas around the lake, as well as companies offering rentals for kayaks, paddleboards and boats. A number of experienced guides offer trips on Lake Ray Hubbard as well.
Considering it is surrounded by the largest metro area in the state, it comes as no surprise there are also a number of hotels, shops and restaurants surrounding Lake Ray Hubbard. These options give visiting anglers plenty of choices for accommodations as well as ways to spend time when not on the water. Even if making a daytrip, Lake Ray Hubbard is a great place to spend time on the water, whether an angler is a first timer or a tournament champion.