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September 2010 cover image Oh Deer!

Park Pick: Go Fish

Lake Casa Blanca International State Park aims to get families fishing.

By Sheryl Smith-Rogers

In his 17 years at Lake Casa Blanca, Rudy Dominguez has seen many a largemouth bass pulled from the water tip the scales at 13 pounds. Flathead catfish can weigh even more. Much more.

“They catch ’em big here,” Dominguez says. “Largemouth average 8 pounds. And I’ve seen guys with 30- and 40-pound flathead catfish.”

No doubt, fishing’s a major attraction at Lake Casa Blanca International State Park, a 371-acre getaway located northeast of Laredo. Hybrid striped bass and catfish abound in the lake along with largemouth bass, crappie and sunfish. You can fish from the bank or a fishing pier or launch a boat from the park’s three-lane concrete ramp.

On several weekends, the park has hosted “Go Fish! A Learn-to-Fish Event,” a morning-long activity targeted at families.

Besides fishing, local folks flock to Lake Casa Blanca International State Park for family picnics and barbecues, not to mention swimming, boating and biking. Shaded picnic tables overlooking the lake fill up quickly on weekends and holidays, so arrive early to stake out your place.

Family reunion time? Take your pick from among five day-use facilities. All come with barbecue pits and picnic tables. Looking to escape the heat? Book the park’s recreation hall, which has air conditioning and indoor restrooms. Sporty types go for the picnic pavilion with volleyball and basketball courts nearby. Hint: Reserve group facilities in advance.

The park also has tennis courts, a baseball field and several playgrounds. Three campgrounds with 66 sites come with water and electricity. FYI: This park has the only “international” designation among state parks. Why? “We’re only three miles away from the border,” Dominguez explains. “So we get a lot of visitors from Mexico.”

Lake Casa Blanca International State Park is off Bob Bullock Loop (Loop 20) near Laredo. Park entrance is via State Senator Judith Zaffirini Road. For more information, call 956-725-3826 or visit (archive.tpwd.state.tx.us/lakecasablanca).

 

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