Catching tilapia encouraged at Squaw Creek and other lakes

June 21, 2014

Tilapia is an invasive species that is flourishing in our local Squaw Creek power plant lake.

Many anglers are concerned that the tilapia will hurt the other game species within the lake, and I believe there will certainly be some impact. However, many folks enjoy eating tilapia.

Lately, not only Squaw Creek Lake but the creek downstream of the dam has an abundance of tilapia. Those being released accidentally downstream will probably not survive the winter.

However, right now you can catch them.

Many anglers are taking advantage of this huge population. Fill your coolers with this species as no one is opposed to reducing the population.

There is no limit and you are not allowed to release a known invasive species back into the water.

Tilapias are typically put into farm and ranch ponds to control weed and algae growth in the summer. They thrive in the summer and die off in the winter in North Texas. These are tropical fish that love water temperatures above 75.

Tilapias look similar to large sunfish. There are several species but I am told the blue tilapia is typical in Texas.

Adult fish are generally blue-gray along the back, fading to white on the belly. Sides may have vague irregular markings. Dorsal and caudal fins have reddish borders.

The spiny dorsal fin is joined with the soft dorsal fin. Their life span is around five years. Fish over 20 inches and approaching ten pounds are possible.

Being herbivores, catching these tasty fish can be a chore. I understand though that you can catch them with worms, hot-dogs and range cubes. They also will eat insects, and many fly anglers like this species.

I hear also that some are being caught where the catfish remains are tossed back near the cleaning station on Squaw Creek. They prefer warm water, so fish the warmest spots.

Best results on Squaw Creek are with a small piece of worm and a bobber. Some fish are close to 16 inches.


Sand bass and small stripers continue to be excellent on slabs and jigs on the lower ends and near Western Hills on Lake Granbury. Black bass continue to be good as well with some fish to 6 pounds being caught on soft plastics and crankbaits.

Squaw Creek continues to boast fair to good catches of black bass near midlake and on the upper ends. Best baits include top water early, crankbaits and soft plastics where bait fish are located. Channel catfish are good on prepared baits and cut shad. Tilapia can be taken in numbers on worms near moss covered rocks. .

Whitney and Possum Kingdom sand bass and some stripers are being caught similar to Granbury. The fish are congregated near midlake and on the lower ends on both of these bodies of water. Live shad and slabs are the preferred baits.

Best hybrid striper action close to Granbury is on Lake Bridgeport if you can get on. There is one functional launch near the 380 bridge in Runaway Bay.

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Category: Sports