Lake Texoma Fishing Guide.

Lake Texoma Fishing Guide

Written by Lenny Rudow
September 30, 2023

Last Updated on October 3, 2023 by Boatsetter Team

Lake Texoma, sitting on the border between Texas and Oklahoma, is utterly massive at 89,000 acres. It’s also unusual in that it’s slightly salty. The Red River, which is one of the lake’s two main sources of water, runs through salt deposits that leach into the water.

As a result, Lake Texoma is the only lake in Texas where striped bass (first introduced here in 1965) can reproduce naturally on a large scale—and the stripers here have a self-sustaining population. That means we anglers can catch wild fish born and raised in the lake, as opposed to the stocked fish found in other lakes.

While this phenomenon makes Lake Texoma a top destination for stripers, there are plenty of other species to be caught here. One that regularly grabs headlines is the blue catfish because true giants roam these waters.

In fact, the Texas state record blue cat of 121.5 pounds was caught in Lake Texoma. Plus, with over 580 miles of shoreline, nine miles of riprap, and 50 miles of standing timber, this lake has tons of structure for hunting predators like largemouth and smallmouth bass.

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Where to fish: Best Lake Texoma fishing spots

Lake Texoma fishing.

Remember people: this lake is huge. Yes, you can fish it from shore, but going by boat will open up nearly endless options and greatly expand your chances of success. If you don’t own a fishing boat, fortunately, there are plenty of fishing boats for rent on Lake Texoma. You might also want to look into fishing charters and hire a guide, who will have the local knowledge needed to head directly for the spots that have been hot recently.

Bass fishing can be great just about anywhere you find structure, but in the spring months in particular the smallmouth tend to gravitate towards the eastern portion of the lake. The area around the dam and Eisenhower Park are well known as is the northern segment of the lake up to the Route 70 bridge. The feeder areas of the Red River and the Washita are also top hotspots in spring, but mostly for white bass, which stage near the river mouths prior to spawning.

Other prime fish-attracting spots include shoreline structures like docks and deadfall. At daybreak and sunset, these are prime zones to toss topwater, and through most of the year, they also hold good numbers of crappie. During the winter months, expect the fish to shift away from the shoreline a bit and look for submerged structure, drop-offs, and underwater points.

What to fish for in Lake Texoma: Top species list

Striped bass fishing in Lake Texoma.

As we mentioned, stripers are a prime target for Lake Texoma anglers. But if these fish don’t get you excited—or you’ve already filled your creel limit—don’t worry; there are plenty of other species to set your sights on. The most popular target species in Lake Texoma are:

  • Blue catfish
  • Channel catfish
  • Crappie
  • Flathead catfish
  • Largemouth bass
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Spotted bass
  • Striped bass
  • Sunfish
  • White bass

When to go fishing in Lake Texoma

Lake Texoma bridge.

You can have plenty of success fishing in Lake Texoma at any time of the year, but spring and fall definitely offer the hottest bites. In the spring, most of the species move close to spawning grounds and feed hard, and once the heat of summer sets in, their active hours are mostly limited to very early and very late in the day when the temperatures are cooler.

Pro tip: If you’re fishing midday in the heat of summer, look to find the fish in shady areas or in deeper waters where the fish can stay cool.

When fall hits, and water temperatures begin falling, you can expect the bite to get quite strong. Those fish want to fatten up before winter sets in, and they’ll begin feeding through all the daylight hours.

How to fish in Lake Texoma

Fishing in Lake Texoma.

Striper anglers use a mix of tactics, including trolling deep-running lures and jigging spoons when the fish are down deep in open water. At times, however, they’ll chase bait right up to the surface and break water—an event most anglers consider as exciting as fishing gets.

Keep a sharp eye out for diving birds (which flock up over the frenzy to pluck away the hapless baitfish), and when you see this type of action developing, cast topwater lures or swim baits into the frothing water.

When it comes to the catfish, fishing bait is the way to go. Cut fish of just about any sort will get you bites, but the old standby is cut shad, and catfish aficionados swear by live sunfish. Some people also like to trot line or “jug fish” for catfish.

Jugging can be quite a thrill, as your lines are tied off to floats, and when a fish starts towing one away, you have to chase it down and wrestle the fish up to the boat. Bait also takes the cake for crappie, commonly in the form of minnows. Small tube jigs can also prove quite effective, however, especially when fished on light lines and ultralight gear.

In spring and fall, tossing the jigs to shoreline structure is commonly best, and when the fish move deep, you can locate schools of crappie on your fishfinder and jig for them vertically.

Are you ready for a serious fishing adventure on a seriously big lake? It’s a fair bet that Lake Texoma will have just what you’re looking for—and casting for.

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