TPWD District Fisheries Office

5325 N. 3rd
Abilene, Texas 79603
(325) 692-0921
Michael Homer, Biologist

About the Area

Nearby State Parks


Fort Phantom Hill Lake

Quick Links: Fishing Regulations | Angling Opportunities | Cover & Structure | Tips & Tactics

Lake Characteristics

Location: On Elm Creek in Jones County, north side of Abilene
Surface area: 4,213 acres
Maximum depth: 66 feet
Impounded: 1938

Water Conditions

Current Lake Level
Conservation Pool Elevation: 1,635.9 ft. msl
Fluctuation: Moderate to severe, sometimes prone to long periods with dropping water levels
Normal Clarity: Stained to muddy and red-colored in upper end

Reservoir Controlling Authority

City of Abilene
555 Walnut
Abilene, Texas 79603
(325) 676-6038

Aquatic Vegetation

Stargrass, bulrush, pondweed, smartweed at full water levels

Predominant Fish Species

Lake Records
Current Fishing Report
Stocking History
Latest Survey Report

Lake Maps

A contour map is available. Download the map or pick up a copy at the Abilene fisheries office, (325) 692-0921.

Fishing Regulations

All fishes are managed under statewide regulations.

Angling Opportunities

Blue catfish, hybrid striped bass, and white crappie provide the most consistent fishing opportunities at Fort Phantom Hill. Largemouth bass can occasionally be good as well. Florida largemouth bass were introduced in 1976.

Species Poor Fair Good Excellent
Largemouth Bass     yes  
Catfish       yes
Crappie       yes
White Bass/Striped/Hybrid Bass       yes
Sunfish   yes    
Fishing Cover/Structure

TPWD has worked with local partners to install brush piles at the downstream end of the lake.

Use the Habitat Structure Viewer for an interactive map of fish habitat structures and downloadable GPS coordinates.

When the reservoir is full, the west bank has acres of black willow trees and some aquatic vegetation. Other areas of the lake are predominantly rocky with boat docks and brush piles. At low water levels, habitat is limited to rocky areas on the east and north shores and boat docks. Several humps and ledges can also be productive.

Tips & Tactics

Fort Phantom Hill is a good all-around fishing lake for several species. Better areas for hybrid striped bass, white bass, and blue catfish are in the spillway, sailboat slough, Johnson Park, and the west bank humps. "West Texas surf fishing" using surf rods in windblown areas with small shad or ghost minnows (silversides) can be extremely productive, especially in late winter and early spring. During warmer months, trolling with deep diving crank-baits or downriggers as well as live-bait fishing with shad can produce nice catches of hybrid striped bass. For crappie, March and April are the prime months. Many crappie are caught along the rocky shore on the east and north shores of the reservoir. Largemouth bass fishing can be good, especially in the summer and winter. Slow-rolling spinnerbaits along the steeper rocky areas of the east side during the winter is effective. As summer approaches, buzzbaits and spinnerbaits work very well, especially from sunrise until about noon.