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Lake Ray Hubbard Breakdown

Get ready to throw your lines into Lake Ray Hubbard, your go-to spot for an epic fishing experience nestled in the vibrant heart of North Texas. This vast reservoir is a paradise for casual and serious anglers, boasting a rich variety of fish that promises something for everyone.

We’ve compiled a detailed fishing report with the latest and most significant insights to take your fishing to the next level. You’ll get the scoop on water conditions like clarity and temperature, which are crucial to understanding fish movements and habits. Plus, we’ll point you to the hotspots where the fish are biting, from the deep spots favored by white bass to the cozy inlets where you can snag a crappie or two. 

And that’s not all – we’ve got the lowdown on the best baits and lures to ensure your fishing trip is as fruitful as possible. Whether you’re after a trophy largemouth bass or the thrill of reeling in a feisty striped bass, our expert advice will help boost your chances of landing the big one. 


Lake Ray Hubbard Overview

Lake Ray Hubbard, formerly known as Forney Lake, is another large reservoir in North Texas, specifically in Dallas, Kaufman, Collin, and Rockwall counties. It was created in 1968 following the completion of the Rockwall-Forney Dam, which impounds the East Fork of the Trinity River. It was later renamed to honor Ray Hubbard, a former Dallas Parks and Recreation Board president who played a significant role in developing the city’s park and recreation system.

Lake Ray Hubbard is a vital recreational hub for residents and tourists, offering various activities, including fishing, boating, and water sports. Its location, just east of Dallas, provides easy access for city dwellers looking to spend time in nature without traveling far from home. The lake also supports a variety of wildlife and has several surrounding parks and marinas that contribute to its appeal as a recreational destination.

Size and Topography

Lake Ray Hubbard is a man-made reservoir covering 22,745 acres. It is crucial in supplying water to the Dallas area and is managed by Dallas Water Utilities and the City of Dallas.

Nestled within the Elm Fork of the Trinity River system, the lake boasts a surface elevation of 435.5 feet above sea level. Depths here can plunge up to 40 feet, though on average, they hover around 32 feet. The lake holds a significant volume of water, up to 490,000 acre-feet. At its flood control pool’s peak, it expands to cover 36,900 acres, containing as much as 1,064,600 acre-feet of water.

The varied landscape of Lake Ray Hubbard includes vast open waters, submerged vegetation, and assorted underwater structures. This diverse environment serves as a perfect home for fish, making the lake a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts. With a vast water expanse and a shoreline stretching 111 miles, Lake Ray Hubbard is a vibrant ecosystem and a beloved recreational spot for fishing fans and nature lovers.

Here’s a summary of the lake according to its capacity:

Water Surface Area: 22,745 acres

Max. Depth: 40 ft

Ave. Depth: 32 ft

Water Volume: 490,000 acre-ft

Shore Length: 111 mi

Surface Elevation: 435.5 ft above mean sea level


Air Temperature

The area around Lake Ray Hubbard enjoys a humid subtropical climate, with generally mild winters and hot and humid summers.

The summer season stretches for about three and a half months, from May through September, with temperatures often soaring above 90°F. July stands out as the hottest month, with average highs touching 95°F. The evenings offer a slight reprieve during these months, with temperatures dipping between 75°F and 80°F.

On the flip side, the region cools down for about three and a half months, from late November until early March. During this time, the average daily highs don’t cross 65°F, making January the chilliest month. The daytime temperatures in these cooler months hover between the mid-50s and low 60s (°F). At the same time, the nights are colder, with temperatures falling to around 40°F.

Table 1 summarizes the temperatures at Lake Ray Hubbard.

Table 1. Temperatures at Lake Ray Hubbard based on historical data (Source: Weather Spark).


High (°F)

Low (°F)







































Figure 1. Graph of precipitation data in Lake Ray Hubbard. Image Courtesy: WeatherSpark

Lake Ray Hubbard enjoys a humid subtropical climate marked by clear wet and dry seasons. For roughly 6.4 months, from April 8 to October 21, the region enters its wet phase, with May often being the rainiest, averaging around 11.3 days of rainfall. 

The dry season rolls in for about 5.6 months, from October 21 to April 8. January typically sees the slightest rain, about 5.7 days, with measurable precipitation. Rain is the most common type of precipitation throughout the year, especially in May, which has the most rainy days and sees the chance of rain peaking at 38% on May 26. 

Cloud Cover

Figure 2. Graph of cloud cover categories in Lake Ray Hubbard throughout the year. Image Courtesy: WeatherSpark

Lake Ray Hubbard offers a varied sky throughout the year. Starting May 28, we get nearly 5.6 months of sunny days, perfect for anyone keen on boating, fishing, or enjoying nature. October shines as the clearest month, with the sky staying mostly clear about 71% of the time, setting a beautiful stage for lake adventures. 

However, the scene shifts around November 15, ushering in a more cloudy season that stretches over 6.4 months till May 28 again. February feels the brunt of this change, with overcast skies 45% of the time, possibly dampening outdoor fun and reducing visibility by the lake.

Vegetation and Fishing Cover

The shores of Lake Ray Hubbard are lined with native plants such as water willow and cattail. These plants are essential for providing shelter and food for the lake’s aquatic life, enhancing the ecosystem’s overall health.

Underneath the surface, the lake hosts an array of submerged plants, including varieties like Chara and milfoil. However, a plant of concern is Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata), an invasive species. According to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Hydrilla grows quickly and forms thick mats that can suffocate native plants, impede the water’s flow, and hinder recreational activities in the lake.

Unfortunately, Hydrilla isn’t the only invasive species that causes these issues. Lake Ray Hubbard is also home to Giant Salvinia (Salvinia molesta) and Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes). These plants are particularly harmful as they block sunlight from reaching underwater and deplete oxygen levels, creating a less-than-ideal environment for the lake’s inhabitants.

On a brighter note, among the lake’s flora, Eelgrass (Zostera marina) stands out for its positive impact on the aquatic environment. This plant is critical in retaining sediment, oxygenating the water, and nurturing various marine species.

The lake is also rich in fishing cover, mainly dominated by standing timber. The area above Interstate 30 is teeming with standing timber, creating perfect fishing spots by offering excellent habitats for fish. Adding rocky riprap along the roads that cross the reservoir introduces structural diversity to the environment, attracting various fish species that can drastically improve your fishing prospects.

Water Levels

Figure 3. Graph of water levels in Lake Ray Hubbard within the last two years. Image Courtesy: Water Data For Texas

As of April 24, 2024, Lake Ray Hubbard is at 100% of its reservoir storage capacity, maintaining a mean water level of 435.54 feet, with its reservoir holding 440,399 acre-feet. This full capacity has been consistent for the last month, mirroring the 100% fullness recorded a week prior, with a slightly higher level of 435.57 feet. 

Three months prior, the lake was sitting at 98.3% capacity with a water level of 435.15 feet, and six months ago, in October, it was only 78.9% full. These numbers demonstrate the lake’s successful management in sustaining and recovering its water levels, ensuring a reliable water supply and effective conservation.

Lake Ray Hubbard Fish Population

Lake Ray Hubbard is a fishing paradise, home to an impressive variety of fish, including largemouth and hybrid striped bass, white bass, channel and blue catfish, and white crappie. The lake’s diverse environment, with its mix of standing timber, rocky shores, and patches of Hydrilla, creates the perfect habitat for these species. 

Notably, the lake has been the site of some remarkable catches, such as a 19.66-pound hybrid stripie reeled in by John Haney back in 1984. In 2013, Kenneth Hall recently caught a 62.23-pound blue catfish, showcasing Lake Ray Hubbard as a prime spot for landing trophy fish.

Here’s a summary of the fish population in Lake Ray Hubbard:

Table 2. Summary of the fish species present in Lake Ray Hubbard (Source: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department).

Fish Species



Largemouth Bass


Improved due to increased vegetation and hydrilla in some areas.

Hybrid Striped Bass


Sought after fish but requires annual stocking.

White Bass


Found especially around humps and long points in deeper waters.

Channel Catfish


The population has decreased but is still present.

Blue Catfish


Large individuals available, thriving population.

White Crappie


Available around brush in deeper waters.

Black Crappie


Increased catch rates compared to previous surveys.

Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) 

Anglers across the United States are particularly fond of chasing largemouth bass, not just because it’s a thrilling catch but because of its potential to reach notable sizes. Within their first year, these fish can grow between 4 and 8 inches, hit 14 inches by their second year, and might even surpass 18 inches by the time they’re three years old.

What sets the largemouth bass apart is its vivid green hue, accented with dark spots that line horizontally on either side of its body. The belly of the fish typically presents a lighter green or white shade. Its dorsal fin is split into two parts: the front has nine spines, and the back part is equipped with 12-13 soft rays. Another notable feature is the upper jaw, which extends past the eye’s rear margin, giving the fish a distinct profile.

Habitat: Largemouth bass can naturally find secure hiding spots, including logs, rock ledges, standing timber, and artificial structures. They also adapt well to a variety of environments. During the spawning season, they search for areas with a solid bottom made of sand, mud, or gravel. Adult largemouth bass use submerged aquatic vegetation to catch their prey, whereas younger fish tend to find cover in underwater weeds, tree branches, submerged logs, and standing timber.

Breeding and Nesting Patterns: Largemouth bass prefer to breed in water between 55 and 65°F. They typically spawn in shallow waters during spawning periods to guarantee a warm environment for their eggs.

Movement Patterns: During the spring season, it’s common for Largemouth bass to migrate towards shallow waters to spawn. As the summer season arrives, they tend to head towards deeper and cooler areas throughout the day but return to shallow waters during dawn or dusk to feed. In the fall season, Largemouth bass become more active and can be found at different depths. During the winter, they prefer deeper waters to maintain their body temperature. However, they may swim towards shallower waters if the temperature outside is warm enough.

Recommended Fishing Strategy: When you’re aiming to catch largemouth bass at Lake Ray Hubbard, you’ll find that soft plastics set up with a Texas rig, along with Rapala crankbaits and Strike King spinnerbaits, also bladed jigs like the Z-man Jackhammer can all do the trick. These types of lures work wonders around areas with a lot of riprap and spots teeming with vegetation, especially where there’s plenty of Hydrilla. The Texas rig effortlessly glides through thick Hydrilla, avoiding any snags. When fishing near riprap, the key is to cast your lure close to the rocks and retrieve it slowly, mimicking the movement of prey fish. Also, don’t overlook the west side discharge area of the lake. It’s a prime spot for catching not just largemouth bass but other sportfish, too, thanks to the lively feeding environment it creates.

Hybrid Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis, Morone chrysops)

Hybrid Striped Bass, often called “wipers” or “Whiterock bass,” are a favorite among fishing enthusiasts for their energetic fight and delicious taste. These fish are a hybrid mix of the White and Striped Bass, bringing together the best traits of both. Typically, Hybrid Striped Bass stand out in the water due to their unique, jagged horizontal stripes on a shiny silver body that always catch the eye in clear waters.

Habitat: Hybrid Striped Bass are primarily found in freshwater lakes and reservoirs, where they’ve been added for sport fishing. They’re pretty adaptable, thriving in various water conditions and preferring spots with plenty of smaller fish to eat. These hybrids do well even in conditions that might be tough for purebred stripers, handling hotter temperatures and lower oxygen levels like champs.

Breeding and Nesting Patterns: Unlike their parent species, Hybrid Striped Bass typically cannot reproduce naturally in the wild, requiring human intervention to propagate. Hatcheries often breed them by mixing eggs and sperm from White Bass and Striped Bass, then raising the fry in controlled conditions before stocking them into local water bodies. This practice helps maintain their population and supports fishing industries.

Movement Patterns: Hybrid Striped Bass are known for their active feeding habits and are often found chasing schools of shad and other small fish. Their movement in lakes and reservoirs depends mostly on where they can find food, the water temperature, and the time of year. Fishermen often have luck finding them near shores where the wind has pushed the water or in spots where currents bring together lots of baitfish.

Recommended Fishing Strategy: Don’t overlook the power of trolling with downriggers or casting in open water. Keep an eye out for key areas like humps, points that stretch out into the lake, and discharge zones. These spots are gold mines because they’re exactly where the bass love to hang out. They offer plenty of cover and a steady food supply, making them prime fishing grounds.

White Bass (Morone chrysops)

The White Bass is common in North America’s lakes and rivers, usually measuring 10 to 12 inches and weighing about two pounds. These fish stand out with their shimmering silver-white to light green bodies, accented with dark horizontal stripes that stretch from their heads to their tails. They’re covered in large, rough scales and have a body squished from side to side, along with two distinct back fins and a tail that’s the same on both sides, which helps them adapt to various water environments. 

Anglers love going after White Bass because they don’t give up without a fight. They’re aggressive when it comes to feeding, making them a fun catch for sport fishing and a tasty option for dinner, thanks to their mild, delicious white meat. The heaviest White Bass ever caught in Lake Ray Hubbard was by Terry C. Tredway, who snagged one weighing 4.37 pounds back on July 10, 1990.

Habitat: Adaptable by nature, the White Bass is a versatile fish found in rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. They are often drawn to schools of baitfish. They are skilled at using natural and artificial structures, such as submerged ledges and rocky areas for protection. When it comes to spawning, they prefer shallow gravel or rocky bottoms to lay their eggs.

Breeding and Nesting Patterns: White Bass spawn in early spring by migrating to tributary streams. Males reach maturity and move to the spawning grounds before females. The mature adults swim in schools of their own sex. Spawning occurs near the surface or midwater over a rocky or gravelly bottom without nest preparation. After fertilization, the eggs settle to the bottom and attach to rocks. It takes about two days for the eggs to hatch, and a single large female can produce up to a million eggs in one season.

Movement Patterns: The preferred habitats of White Bass are streams’ deep pools and lakes and reservoirs’ open waters. They avoid turbid conditions and prefer clear waters with a sandy or rocky bottom. These fish are most active during dawn and dusk and thrive in environments with optimal visibility and structured substrates.

Recommended Fishing Strategy: Catching white bass often depends on timing and location. Try using jigs and small spinnerbaits to mimic prey like shad or herring. Aim to fish around deeper structures such as humps and extended points, especially during the prime feeding times of early morning or late evening. These fish gather around these spots, boosting your odds of catching more than one. Throw your line near areas where you can see baitfish activity or where you think fish might be schooling to up your chances of landing a great catch.

Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus)

Channel catfish are versatile omnivores that flourish in various water environments. They quickly adapt to their surroundings by dining on aquatic insects, small fish, and plants. Originating from North America, these freshwater fish are sought after for their distinctive olive-brown to slate-blue shades and black spots, impressive fighting capabilities, and delicious taste. One of their unique features is that their upper jaws extend beyond the lower ones. 

The record at Lake Ray Hubbard for the largest channel catfish stands at an impressive 26.06 pounds and 38 inches, caught by Will Titsworth on May 30, 2018, with a senko worm. 

Habitat: Channel catfish can survive in murky waters and thrive in the dark depths of deep pools, particularly near dams. They are often found in areas with submerged logs, rocks, or debris, offering shelter and potential feeding opportunities. 

Breeding and Nesting Patterns: During spawning periods, catfish search for quiet and hidden places to construct their nests. Male catfish use their tails to clear away garbage until they reach a foundation of sand or gravel. They lay their eggs between May and July, when the water temperature is approximately 75°F. Channel catfish swim upstream in search of warmer and shallower waters.

Movement Patterns: In the summertime, channel catfish tend to move towards deeper and cooler waters to avoid the hot and intense sunlight. But at night, they return to shallow areas to look for food. This allows fishermen to catch them in the shallower waters after sunset. If you want to catch channel catfish, consider going fishing after dark.

Recommended Fishing Strategy: Bottom fishing with cut or stink bait can be highly effective for catching channel catfish at Lake Ray Hubbard. Concentrate on areas with submerged structures and deeper lake sections to increase your chances. The rock riprap along the roads crossing the reservoir is a catfish hotspot. Also, don’t overlook spots like the standing timber above Interstate 30 and the deeper areas close to the dam, known as catfish hideouts. Lately, anglers have had success finding channel catfish at mid-depths around long points and ridges, typically between 14-24 feet deep. Cut shad has been particularly effective in these areas, including the rocky spots around Robertson Park or the deeper channels by Terry Park.

Blue Catfish (Ictalurus furcatus)

Blue catfish are freshwater fish known for their large size and unique blue-gray coloration. They can be found in major river systems in North America. These fish have a distinctive forked tail and smooth, scaleless skin that covers their robust bodies. 

They are known for their voracious appetites and will eat various fish and other aquatic organisms. Just like other catfish species, anglers are attracted to blue catfish because they are a challenging catch and can weigh several hundred pounds. 

Habitat: Blue catfish are usually found in medium to large freshwater channels and pools with strong currents. They prefer to live on sandy bottoms and can often be found near rock piles where they can rest.

Breeding and Nesting Patterns: Male blue catfish construct nests using their tails and jaws for breeding. They mate through pheromones, and the eggs attach to the nest once fertilized. The male then guards the eggs until hatching, and the young ones stay close to the nest under his supervision until they are independent.

Movement Patterns: During the breeding season, blue catfish seek low or non-existent water flow areas. They nest in protected and slightly secluded areas with cover. Blue catfish migrate long distances and adapt to changes in water temperature. They swim toward warmer waters in winter and calmer waters in summer.

Recommended Fishing Strategy: Just like channel catfish, you can increase your likelihood of success when bottom fishing with cut or stink bait around areas with submerged structures and deeper sections of the lake, such as the rock riprap along the roads crossing the reservoir. The standing timber above Interstate 30 and the deeper areas close to the dam have also been known to be blue catfish hotspots. 

White Crappie (Pomoxis annularis)

The white crappie is a fish species with a flattened and deep body shape. It is also called papermouth, its name originates from the Greek word “Pomoxis,” which refers to the sharp spines on its gill covers, and the Latin word “annularis,” which describes its distinctive dark bands resembling rings. 

The white crappie features a silvery belly, a dark green back, and a dorsal fin with six spines. During the spring season, male white crappies develop a dark throat. This species has large dorsal and anal fins on a laterally compressed body, with the dorsal fin having five to six spines and 14 or 15 rays, while the anal fin has five to seven spines and 16 to 18 rays. 

Habitat: Adult crappie can be found in various freshwater habitats, such as lakes, reservoirs, ponds, sloughs, backwaters, pools, and streams. They usually prefer to stay in areas that provide cover, such as vegetation, fallen trees, or boulders. These fish tend to gather in schools in clear water surrounded by vegetation over mud or sand.

Breeding and Nesting Patterns: White crappie tend to thrive in larger nest beds and are known to have a high reproductive capacity, which can sometimes lead to overpopulation and stunted growth in smaller lakes. These fish usually prefer to spawn during spring and lay eggs when water temperatures range between 65°F and 70°F. After hatching within 3 to 5 days, the fry remain attached to the nest substrate for a short while before they start feeding on microscopic organisms.

Movement Patterns: Crappie fish are opportunistic feeders. They explore newly flooded areas during rising water levels for better food sources. They move towards submerged structures or deeper waters in falling water conditions for better cover and stability. They are also attracted to areas with abundant forage.

Recommended Fishing Strategy: Many anglers have succeeded by spider rigging in areas with submerged brush and timber in deeper waters. For better results, it’s recommended to use minnows and scented jigs. Another effective method is dock shooting, especially because white crappie often gather around these submerged structures. The cooler months also tend to be the best times for crappie fishing, so make sure to plan ahead.

Seasonal Fishing in Lake Ray Hubbard

Winter (December to February)

Texas winters might be on the milder side, but the fish still seek the deeper, warmer waters. This is when you want to zero in on crappie around bridge foundations and the lake’s deeper structures, using vertical jigging well. Largemouth bass also retreats to the depths, favoring areas near underwater features. The ideal time to fish is when the sun’s up and warming the waters, usually from mid-morning till the early afternoon.

Spring (March to May)

Lake Ray Hubbard tends to come alive around springtime. As the water warms up, largemouth bass get active and head for the shallows to spawn. Look for them in the skinny water near docks, in the midst of weed beds, or around shallow timber. Early mornings and late afternoons are your best bet for bass. And if catfish are what you’re after, using cut fish or live sunfish as bait in the evenings can bring in a hefty haul when they’re on the prowl.

Summer (May to September)

In the warmth of summer, get up early or stay out late to catch white bass. Temperatures tend to get a bit high during the midday, so it may get too hot for you. The fish will be out playing in the cooler hours of dawn and dusk, around when the temperature is between 65°F and 80°F. At this time, they love hanging around the lake’s southern edges, right below the Route 30 bridge. They’re fans of the shady spots near underwater ledges and drop-offs. 

Fall (October to November)

When the air starts to get that crisp fall chill, it’s all about crappie. You’ll find them huddled around the standing timber that dots the northern half of the lake. Fall brings them together in schools, making it the perfect time to drop a line. Aim for those beautiful, stable weather days when water temperatures hover between 50°F and 70°F.

Best Fishing Spots in Lake Ray Hubbard

Heated Discharge Area on the West Side South of I-30 

  • The warm waters around this area can attract different fish species, making it a year-round hotspot. 
  • Access is easiest from nearby boat ramps south of the I-30.

Standing Timber in the Northern Half of the Lake

  • Attracts largemouth bass and crappie. 
  • Access to these areas is recommended through the State 66 Highway boat ramp.

Rock Riprap: Along the Roadways Crossing the Reservoir

  • Great for catching largemouth bass. 
  • Provide ideal conditions for bass, especially during warmer months. 
  • Access from shore is possible or by small boat close to the roadways.

Harry Myers Park

  • Provides shoreline fishing opportunities along with scenic views and walking trails.
  • It is located off North Lakeshore Drive in Rockwall, with parking available near the entrance.

The Harbor Rockwall

  • Offers fishing from docks and piers, along with nearby dining and entertainment options.
  • Found off East Interstate 30 in Rockwall, with parking available at The Harbor complex.

Boat Ramps Along Lake Ray Hubbard

Nearest Town or City

Boat Ramp Name




Captain's Cove Marina

5965 Marina Dr, Garland, TX 75043

Four-lane concrete ramp, parking for 30 vehicles

Chaha Boat Dock

4099 Zion Rd, Garland, TX 75043 (Paul Jones Park)

Four-lane ramp, parking for 50 vehicles, restrooms


Terry Park Ramp

100 Terry Ln, Heath, TX 75032

Two-lane ramp, docks, parking for 29 vehicles, restrooms


SH 66 Public Boat Launch

Willow Bend, Rockwall, TX 75087

Two single-lane ramps, parking for 30 vehicles

Harbor Bay Marina

Windjammer Way, Rockwall, TX

Two-lane concrete ramp, parking for 50 vehicles


Elgin B. Robertson Park Ramps

Dalrock Road and Cooke Lane, Dallas, TX 75388

Three ramps (6 lanes), parking for 150 vehicles, restrooms, no fee

Lake Ray Hubbard Fishing Regulations

According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, you must have a fishing license to fish in Texas public waters. This license covers all legal means and methods of fishing, from rod and reel to bow fishing.

However, all persons under 17 are exempt from these license requirements, regardless of whether you’re a Texas resident. Additionally, you do not need to apply for a fishing license to fish from the shore or a pier inside a state park. 

However, the following rules and regulations that apply to a Community Fishing Lake will still apply:

  • Largemouth Bass: The minimum length limit for largemouth and smallmouth bass is set at 14 inches, while there is no minimum length limit for Alabama, Guadalupe, and spotted bass. The daily bag limit is set at 5 for all black bass species, which can be a combination of any of them.
  • Channel and Blue Catfish: Blue or channel catfish must be at least 14 inches long, and your total daily catch cannot exceed 15 fish. For flathead catfish, the minimum length is 18 inches, and you can catch up to 5 of them daily.
  • Crappie: The minimum length limit for white and black crappie, including hybrids and subspecies, is set at 10 inches. Anglers are subject to a daily bag limit of 25 crappies in any combination.

The law requires all anglers to drain water from their boats and onboard receptacles when approaching and leaving public fresh waters to prevent the spread of invasive zebra mussels.

Conservation Authority Information

City of Dallas

Dallas Water Utilities

(214) 243-1533