Year-round fishing at Tenkiller Lake is good with black bass, white bass, striped bass, crappie, catfish, bream and walleye, with rainbow and brown trout stocked in the Illinois River below the dam. The trout fishery on the river attracts many visitors, as does the Illinois River above the lake which attracts canoeist and rafters. Three heated fishing docks offer winter fun for crappie fishing.
Lake Tenkiller is a popular lake for fishing tournaments. Striped bass are also common in the lower Illinois River with several state record fish coming from its waters. The current state record was caught in July 1996 by Louis Parker of Gore. Fishing is a year-round activity with each season producing its own challenges.
Spring - White bass (sandies) provide excellent fishing opportunities in the spring as they head for the upper Illinois River to spawn. Carter's Landing to Horseshoe Bend is an excellent area to catch the spring run. Crappie fishing is usually best in the spring as the fish prepare for spawning. Look for small pea gravel type banks and shallow willow trees.
Summer - Largemouth bass move to deeper water during the hot summer months. Night fishing is popular due to the heavy day use on the lake. Smallmouth bass provide some scrappy fighting in the summer. Most successful areas to catch smallmouth bass are in the upper Illinois River and Baron Fork Creek. White bass begin to school during the summer months. Areas near Cookson, Chicken Creek, and Snake Creek are good choices. Crappie can be found in deep water during the hot summer months. Catfishing really picks up during the summer. Fishing the deep water near mud flats around Pettit Bay, Standing Rock and Carter's Landing are excellent choices.
Fall - Largemouth bass return to the shallows as water temperatures start to cool back down. White bass can be caught along the windy, rocky points. Crappie move back to the shallows and can be found on submerged brush. Catfishing is good in ten to twenty feet of water.
Winter - Largemouth bass seek deep water for winter months. Fish deep underwater structures. White bass also seek deeper water. Crappie can be caught from one of the heated fishing docks around the lake.
Address: 8 miles N of I-40 along Hwy 82
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