What’s biting in Llano County?

The largemouth bass. All illustrations from Texas Parks and Wildlife

Drop a fishing line on the lakes and rivers in Llano County and here’s what you’ll reel in.

Largemouth bass are the most sought-after fish in Texas. In Llano County, they can be found in all of the Highland Lakes, particularly Buchanan and LBJ. The largemouth bass is easily recognized by the thick, blotchy stripe down its side and, of course, its very large mouth, which extends behind it when closed.

Guadalupe bass

Guadalupe bass is not only the official state fish but also endemic to Texas. The best area to find this native Texan is in the Llano River from Castell to Llano. It is typically green with dark splotches forming a broken stripe along its side. The color extends lower to the belly, which has rows of spots. 

White bass

White bass are quite popular, especially when they spawn in late winter and early spring. Find white bass in the Llano and Colorado rivers above Lake LBJ. It has a silvery color with gray to black lines of spots down its sides. Typically, only one line runs completely from head to tail. 

Hybrid striped bass

Hybrid striped bass are a cross between striped bass and white bass. Lake Buchanan is regularly stocked with them. Hybrid stripers have prominent dark, broken stripes along the sides and deeper bodies than regular striped bass.

Channel catfish

Catfish are popular a catch in Llano County, and the area has three species: channel, blue, and flathead. The best lakes for catching cats are Buchanan and LBJ. Catfish are easily identified by their “whiskers” and smooth, scaleless skin.

White crappie

Crappie (pronounced croppy), both black and white, is one of the most popular fish to catch in Texas. Lake LBJ is a great spot. Crappies have deep bodies with a round, pan-like appearance. 

Longear sunfish

Sunfish varieties in Llano County include bluegill, redbreast, green, longear, and redear. They’re found in all rivers and lakes in the area. One way to spot a sunfish is to look for the dark, opercular “ear” flap. It is a deep-bodied fish.

Common carp

Carp is classified as a non-game species in Texas and found throughout the area. Look for carp in Lake LBJ. The heavy-bodied fish ranges from brown to gold to olive in color and has a light-colored belly. The carp’s large scales have dark outlines, giving it an obvious scaled appearance. 

Rainbow trout

Rainbow trout. While these beauties are not typically found in Llano County, anglers can reel them in during the winter when the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department stocks them in the Llano River. Fish the river between Castell and Llano. Rainbow trout have an olive green back, a thick, pink stripe down the side, a silver belly, and are heavily speckled.