Two-thirds of this lake lies in Oklahoma. A Lake Texoma fishing license ($12) will permit access to any part of the lake. To fish the Red River below Denison Dam, however, requires a state license from the appropriate state. Anglers with state licenses may fish in the state portions of the reservoir. Most marinas as well as bait and tackle shops sell licenses and can help explain the regulations.
Free-flowing current in the Red River makes Texoma one of the few lakes in Texas with a self-sustaining population of striped bass, and one of only eight inland freshwater reservoirs worldwide where this species has spawned. A cousin of the white bass, striped bass were first stocked in Lake Texoma by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation in 1965. They began spawning in 1974.
While Texoma has little aquatic vegetation, it does offer cover in structures such as rocks/boulders, standing timber, submerged stump beds, channels, rocky bluffs, sandy flats, and rip-rap along Denison Dam and elsewhere. Of the 580 miles of shoreline, there are approximately 9 miles of rip-rap, 50 miles of standing timber, and 50 miles of submersed aquatic vegetation. The remainder is cut banks, sandy beaches, rocky shoreline, and bluffs. A shoreline of irregular and branched shoreline, also increases habitat for fish.
Channel catfish are taken near the mouths of creeks after a rain, especially in spring and fall. In late spring and early summer, they are found around rocky shores and areas of rip-rap. Best baits are shrimp, blood bait, cut bait, dough bait, and shad gizzards. In summer, try drfit-fishing shrimp across flats. Sunfish and large minnows also pay off here. Blue catfish are caught on many of the same baits; however, these fish migrate downstream or into the main pool area in winter and upstream in the spring.Try juglining with live gizzard shad for bait. A rod and reel baited with live shad on windless winter days works well, too. Flathead catfish are infrequently caught by rod and reel anglers, but most often by trotlining with live sunfish for bait.
Crappie fishing is best in fall and winter, when fish tend to school in large numbers and concentrate around boat houses, submerged trees, creek channels, and brush piles. While minnows are the bait of choice, crappie are caught on a variety of jigs. The spring spawning season, when they move in shallow, is also an excellent time to fill your creel.
White bass are vulnerable to angling when they migrate upstream on the Red and Washita Rivers or the many tributary streams around Lake Texoma. Two to three weeks prior to the migration, they concentrate around the mouths of the tributary streams and become easy prey. At other times of the year they can be found surfacing around the lake and feeding on threadfin shad. Effective baits include small surface baits in silver, white, yellow or chartreuse; silver spoons; slabs; and minnows. Striped bass migrate up both major river arms in February, and can usually be located in or near the river channel in the vicinity of the Willis or Roosevelt Bridges. They may take surface lures, but most often they are caught on heavy jigs, slabs, plastic shad, and live gizzard shad. After the spring spawning run, stripers can be caught with shad over flats near the river channel in the main part of the lake. Trolling with deep running lures can also be productive. Stripers surface frequently in summer, fall, and winter, attracting diving sea gulls, who also like to feed on threadfin shad. Surface baits can produce some mighty tackle bustin' strikes, and so can plastic shad retrieved rapidly just under the water's surface.
Largemouth, spotted, and smallmouth bass can be caught pretty much year round, but they are caught closer to the shoreline and around structure. While largemouth and spotted bass are found lakewide, smallmouths are mostly limited to the bluffs around Eisenhower State Park, Denison Dam and up the Washita River arm to the Willow Springs area. Since all three species spawn in the shallows, that's the best place to fish for them in the spring. Fish around grass and brush with crank baits, surface lures, spinners, and Carolina rigged worms. As the water warms and bass move offshore, switch to Texas rigged worms, deep diving crankbaits, and surface baits early in the morning. Concentrate on submerged structure such as rocks, boulders, stumps, logs, channels, and secondary points. Fall bass fishing can be very exciting on Lake Texoma. Work crank baits around brush and off rocky shorelines for largemouth and spotted bass. Try free-line, live threadfin shad off the rip-rap at the dam for smallmouths, or fish at night by the bluffs near Eisenhower State Park.
Address: From Denison, TX, 5 miles NW onTX 91
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