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Located about 15 miles southwest of Carthage, TX, near Gary City, on FM 1970 and FM 1971 Lake Murvaul is fed by the Murvaul Bayou and numerous creeks and covers about 3,890 acres. Impounded in 1958. This East Texas lake is bordered by classic Piney Woods habitat, and much of the shoreline is privately owned and extensively developed. Average depth is 12 feet. The water is fairly turbid and moderately fertile.
Fishing Regulations: Most fish are covered under statewide harvest regulations. One exception is a 14-21-inch slot length for largemouth bass. Only 5 bass may be retained each day, and only one of those can be more than 21 inches in length.
Comments: This was once regarded as one of the premiere trophy bass lakes in the state. In fact, in the early 1970's the TPWD experimented with using brood fish from this lake to cross with Florida bass.
Lake Murvaul has an excellent and highly utilized largemouth bass fishery. The reservoir received national recognition in the 1960's for its trophy bass production and continues to produce bass over 8 lbs. Management strategies have been developed to take advantage of Murvaul's ability to grow large bass. During the late 1990's, a supplemental stocking program was conducted to increase the Florida bass genotype in the population and harvest regulations were modified to protect intermediate-size bass and increase fishing quality. Channel catfish are present in high numbers and provide excellent fishing opportunities for anglers. Quality-size crappie are present with best fishing success in winter and spring. Sunfish (bluegill and redear) are present in good numbers with high numbers of > 6-inch fish available for harvest.
Natural habitat is present is present in the form of inundated timber, aquatic vegetation, and numerous creek channels. An abundance of man-made structures (rip rap, boat houses and docks) provide additional structural habitat.
FISHING TIPS AND TACTICS
Although largemouth bass fishing is good throughout the year, the most productive months are January through March. Jig combinations, oversized crankbaits and spinner baits are the most popular lures used by anglers. Fish are located in deep water along creek channels during winter months and tend to move into shallow water flats during the spring. Aquatic and terrestrial vegetation may also be productive habitat to fish during the spring through fall months. During warmer months, top-water lures can be effective in producing strikes during early morning hours. Artificial worms are effective in deeper water off major points and secondary points during mid-day hours in summer months.
Crappie fishing is steady throughout the year with higher success rates generally occurring in March and April. Minnows and artificial jigs are productive for crappie. Jones Branch and the creek channel near the FM 1971 bridge are popular fishing areas. Best catch rates for channel catfish occur April through October. A variety of live baits such as night crawlers, minnows, catalpa worms are most effective but commercial prepared dough/stink baits can also be used when fishing for channel catfish. The best months to fish for sunfish are May and June. Fish can be found near shorelines in 2-6 ft of water. Earthworms and crickets are good bait choices for sunfish.
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