Spencer Canoes and Shady Grove Campground

Leased Fishing Access - San Marcos River near Martindale

Located on the south bank of the San Marcos River near Martindale, TX in Guadalupe County.
See map

Lease period: December 1, 2020 to August 31, 2024
Phone: (512) 357-6113
Lat/Long: 29.831793, -97.841916

Area Description

Located at 9515 FM 1979, Martindale, Texas. Spencer Canoes offers a parking area for TPWD leased access users and approximately 200 feet of river frontage on the San Marcos River for bank or wade fishing. This access serves as a take-out point for a 5-mile float from the TPWD leased access area at San Marcos River Retreat. The paddle does require portage around the Martindale Dam on river right.

Alternatively, the 5.25-mile reach downstream of Spencer Canoes offers excellent fishing opportunities in the slower backwaters of the San Marcos River down to Staples Dam. Take-out is on river right at the FM 1977 crossing.

Spencer Canoes offers canoe/kayak rentals and shuttle services for an additional fee. For information about camping at the Shady Grove Campground, please contact us at 512-357-6113 for availability and pricing.

Special Conditions on Public Use

Access is open weekdays from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset and weekends from 7 a.m. to 30 minutes after sunset for bank angling and launching non-motorized boats, canoes, kayaks, or other floatable devices for the purpose of fishing. Please call before you arrive to ensure the availability of parking space.

Shady Grove Campground requests customers to do two things. (1) Register on the porch of the office, and (2) Hang their PERMIT ON THEIR REAR-VIEW MIRROR. All registration is self-service. Directions are posted above the Self-Service box, and all Campground Rules are on the back of each PERMIT.

Launch Fees: $5 for up to two persons per vehicle and an additional $2.50 per person for all other persons in that same vehicle. 
Bank Angling/Day Use Fee:  $5 per person. 

Pack It In, Pack It Out

TPWD strives to leave our environment cleaner and more natural than when we found it. We encourage and expect all visitors to do the same by taking any trash and recycling out of the access area and properly disposing.


From Austin:
Take Exit 205 from I-35 S in San Marcos. Take Hwy 80 east. After the second traffic light on Hwy 80 past the Blanco River, you’ll enter Martindale city limits. Watch your speed. After 2 miles, proceed through traffic light at FM 142, and continue on Hwy 80 further for about 1/2 mile. Turn right onto FM 1979. FM 1979 is the first street after the traffic light at FM 142 and the only direction you can turn is right.

Continue for 1 mile from Hwy 80 on FM 1979. Cross the San Marcos River and Spencer Canoes is the first place on the left past the river.

From San Antonio:
Take Exit 201 from I-35 N toward McCarty Ln. Turn right onto FM 110/ E McCarty Ln. Travel about 4.3 miles, then turn right onto FM 621 S/ Staples Rd. Continue to follow FM 621 for 4.0 miles. Turn left onto FM 1979, and continue for 1.4 miles. Spencer Canoes is on the right immediately before the river.

Angling Opportunities

Abundant angling opportunities are found in this segment of the San Marcos River for Largemouth Bass, Guadalupe Bass, and Channel Catfish. Fishing for black basses is best when turbidity in the river is low, as these species feed primarily by sight. Anglers should target faster riffle areas for Guadalupe Bass, and downed trees and aquatic vegetation in pool habitat for Largemouth Bass.

Anglers are urged to practice catch-and-release of sportfish in this segment of the San Marcos River, especially for Largemouth and Guadalupe Bass.

Fishing Regulations

All species are currently managed under statewide regulations. A current freshwater or combo fishing license is required for each angler to fish.