TPWD District Fisheries Office

3802 East End Blvd. South
Marshall, Texas 75672
(903) 938-1007
Tim Bister, Biologist

About the Area

Nearby State Parks


Martin Creek Lake

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

Lake Characteristics

Location: In Rusk County, on Martin Creek 3 miles southwest of Tatum on Texas Highway 43
Surface area: 4,981 acres
Maximum depth: 35 feet
Impounded: 1974 to provide cooling water for a power plant

Water Conditions

Current Lake Level
Conservation Pool Elevation: 306 ft. msl
Fluctuation: Moderate, 1-4 feet annually
Normal Clarity: Moderately clear

Reservoir Controlling Authority

Luminant Energy
1601 Bryan Street
Dallas, Texas 75201
(214) 875-8299

Aquatic Vegetation

Very little

Predominant Fish Species

Lake Records
Current Fishing Report
Stocking History
Latest Survey Report

Lake Maps

Area maps are available at Martin Creek Lake State Park. Detailed lake maps may be available commercially at bait and tackle stores.

Fishing Regulations

All species are currently managed under statewide regulations.

Angling Opportunities

The most popular game fishes at Martin Creek Reservoir include largemouth bass and catfish (both blue and channel catfish). All are caught in good numbers throughout the entire year. A crappie population is present with fair angling success. Bluegill and redear sunfish are present in high numbers and provide fast action, especially for youth or inexperienced anglers.

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

Habitat in Martin Creek Reservoir consists of standing timber, creek channels, and minor stands of lily pads.

Tips & Tactics

Since Martin Creek is a power plant lake, water temperatures are elevated, especially during the winter months. Anglers are most successful at catching largemouth bass during the winter and early spring. Typically, largemouth bass at Martin Creek will spawn approximately two months earlier when compared to other nearby reservoirs. Prior to spawning (November and December), fish are typically active and crankbaits and spinnerbaits are usually the preferred choice. Once spawning begins (January and February), soft plastic baits fished slower will catch fish. During the hot summer, the bite slows and fish activity is usually concentrated during early morning, late evening, and at night. Topwater baits are good choices during low light conditions. Very little shoreline cover is present in this reservoir. Therefore, as the sun rises, most bass concentrate on deep ledges and creek channels. During this time, deep-running crankbaits and carolina rigs are the preferred baits.

Catfish anglers catch high numbers of fish year-round. Channel catfish are typically caught with stinkbait or liver fished around areas baited with soured grain or dog food. Blue catfish are much larger than channel catfish and provide a trophy fishery. Cut shad fished around creek channels and drop-offs is typically productive

Crappie fishing is good year-round with jigs and minnows fished over brush piles and bends in creek channels, but fishing is best during the spring spawn. Sunfish, especially bluegill and redear sunfish, can be caught year-round but fishing peaks during the late spring or summer when fish are on their spawning beds. Small jigs, spinners, earthworms, and crickets all catch sunfish.