With almost 200 public reservoirs and thousands of miles of  rivers and streams, there's no shortage of public places where you can go fishing for free.  Even so, experts say the best fishing holes are on private property, but fishing in them will cost you.

The key word is "exclusivity" , and that's the biggest attraction of a private lake.  Billy Higginbotham, with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, says being the only person, or one of only a few people fishing on a lake is the biggest reason people will pay to fish private water.

That has huge appeal for people who often find the public waters so crowded and other boaters/anglers so intrusive it just ruins the day for them.

Many anglers say private lakes are more peaceful and quiet. There's a solitude you can't find on a public lake or waterway, and it's easier to soak up the natural beauty around you.

This is why private lake fishing is growing in popularity, and owners of private lakes are raking in the money.  Some make as much money from fishing fees as big landowners make from deer leases.

Whether they catch anything or not, most fisher folk will tell you the worst day they ever had fishing was still better than the best day they ever had at work.

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