Falcon International Reservoir
Location: Mainstream reservoir
on the Rio Grande River, located 40 miles east of Laredo on
Highway 83 in Zapata and Starr counties
Surface area: 83,654 acres
Maximum depth: 110 feet at dam
Conservation Pool Elevation: 301.2 ft. msl
Fluctuation: Severe, 40 to 50 feet or more
Normal Clarity: Turbid (upper) to stained (lower)
Reservoir Controlling Authority
International Boundary & Water
Predominant Fish Species
Available from the Chamber of Commerce and at Falcon State Park
On the Texas side of the lake, the daily bag limit for alligator gar is 5 fish, with no minimum length limit. There are no bag or size limits on other species of gar. All other fishes are managed under statewide regulations.
For recreational anglers fishing Mexican waters, a Mexico fishing license is required for everyone in the boat. Mexico boat permits are no longer required. For information on Mexico's fishing regulations, visit the National Aquaculture and Fishing Commission (CONAPESCA) website.
Mexico licenses can be purchased in Zapata at Robert's Fish N' Tackle (2425 S. Highway 83, 956/765-1442) or from Falcon Lake Tackle (2195 S. Highway 83, 956/765-4866.)
Several fishing guides are available at Falcon Reservoir. A list is available from the Zapata Chamber of Commerce. Falcon has long been regarded as one of the best largemouth bass lakes in the state. To win a bass tournament at Falcon, it often takes a 5-6 pound average/fish for your stringer. Channel catfish provide additional opportunities, with an occasional blue or flathead catfish. Recent drought conditions have adversely impacted the white bass and crappie populations.
Falcon is a relatively shallow lake with gradual sloping banks found in the majority of the reservoir. At low lake levels rock piles and standing timber provide the majority of structure. At conservation pool level, strong growths of terrestrial vegetation provide excellent cover and structure. Prior to the onslaught of the drought, hydrilla provided good fishing cover along the shoreline.
Largemouth bass anglers are more successful during the spring, fall and winter months. Popular baits include spinner baits, crank baits and Texas and Carolina rigged worms. These are used around flooded brush, points, and offshore structure which includes humps, rock piles, inundated buildings, and road beds. Summer fishing at Falcon can be tough, partially because of the South Texas heat. The same lures mentioned above along with top-water and buzz baits (fished early and late) are successful. Catfish can be caught almost any time during the year. Stink baits or natural baits such as shad, shrimp or sunfish are effective for catching catfish throughout the lake.