Seems that most of the anglers one talks to these days here on Richland respond to the question of how’d you do with one of two answers, they either didn’t get a bite or they crushed ’em. One need only look at the tournament results to see that Richland, in only four years, has become one of the premier fishing lakes in Texas, if not in the country. How about a lake that is basically brand new, but it takes 24 to 29 pounds to win just about any tournament. What’s really amazing is that many of these stringers have a big fish under 8 pounds. The average fish coming out of Richland these days has to be in the area of 3+ pounds. Two questions come to mind, why and where. The first one is easy, Richland has an excellent forage base of shad, probably Mr. Bass’s favorite, and we have unbelievable structure or habitat. Richland has tremendous deep timbered creeks, good shallow to deep points and many other fish condo type structure (not unlike our east Texas neighbor). Another factor that has helped Richland is the lake just made reference to, namely Lake Fork. If Richland was an hour from Houston or any other major city in the nation you would wait in lines to launch on Saturday mornings in March and April. Thanks to Fork the lines aren’t here, but the fish are. The where is a bit more complicated. I’ve heard many rumors about how and where Richland was originally stocked. Rumors aside Richland, in it’s first few years, demonstrated a peculiar trait of having big wads of fish in some areas, while having other areas that you couldn’t buy a bite in. In the last two years this problem has rapidly begun to disappear. Due to an increased number of fish overall and tournament fisherman redistributing them around the lake bites are now a bit more spread out. There are still wads of fish, and my experience is that to find them you need to fish a little different. Specifically if it’s your first time on Richland or your normal fish don’t seem to bite, cover water, lots of water. What I’m suggesting here is that Richland has 47 thousand plus acres of water, most of which is fishable. Don’t waste your time in an area if your getting no bites. I want to say fish quick but I’m afraid my meaning will get lost if you race through an area. What I’m suggesting is that you use baits (crank baits or spinner baits) that cover lots of water, I always have a 3/8 ounce Mepps spinnerbait and a Poe’s 300 series crankbait tied on. Both these baits cover lots of water and catch lots of fish. You don’t want to be throwing these baits and burning them back to the boat, but you need to keep moving. once you get bit fish the area thoroughly. Before you come to Richland get a good map and mark 8-12 places that you can find easily. These need to be places that meet the fish holding criteria we all know, creeks, points, humps, tanks, etc.. Hit these spots until you get bit. The pros don’t come to a lake without a game plan, neither should you.
– Texas Saltwater Fishing Guide