Lake Murvaul

Posted by MYETX

Lake Murvaul is located 15 miles west of Carthage, in Panola County. The lake is 3,397 surface acres, with an average maximum depth of 36 feet. Native and non-native aquatic plants are present, with total coverage ranging from 10% to 30% of the lake’s surface. 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.

Lake Murvaul has an excellent and highly utilized largemouth bass fishery. The reservoir received national recognition in the 1960s 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 1990s, 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 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 fish over 6 inches available for harvest.

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. 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 produce strikes in the early morning hours. Artificial worms are effective in deeper water off major points and secondary points at midl-day 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. 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. Live baits such as night crawlers, minnows, and catalpa worms are most effective but commercial prepared dough or stink baits can also be used. 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. Most species are currently managed with statewide regulations. One exception is a 14 to 21 inch slot length for a largemouth bass. Bass 14 inches and less or 21 inches and greater may be retained. Only 5 bass may be retained each day, and only one of those can be more than 21 inches in length.

Public Ramps & Marinas

Decker-Hill Park

  • Located at the north end of the dam. From Texas 315 at Clayton, go south on FM 1970 and turn on FM 1234.
  • Three concrete boat ramps and public fishing pier
  • No boat launch fee; camping fees required
  • Open all year, 24 hours a day
  • Operated by Panola County Fresh Water District (903) 693-6562

FM 1971 Bridge

  • Located uplake at south end of FM 1971 bridge crossing. Take FM 1971 south from Texas 315 near Clayton.
  • Two-lane concrete ramp
  • No fee required
  • Open all year
  • Maintained by Panola County Fresh Water District (903) 693-6562

Rosie Jones Park

  • Located uplake at north end of FM 1971 bridge crossing. Take FM 1971 south from Texas 315 near Clayton.
  • Single-lane concrete ramp
  • No fee required
  • Open all year
  • Maintained by Panola County Fresh Water District (903) 693-6562

Tinkle Park

  • Located on the south lake shore. From FM 1970, go west on FM 999 to Panola County Rd 176. Turn right at first road after concrete bridge.
  • Two-lane concrete ramp
  • No fee required
  • Open all year
  • Maintained by Panola County Fresh Water District (903) 693-6562
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