Lake Texoma is one of America’s largest reservoirs, formed by the Denison Dam on the Red River between Texas and Oklahoma. The lake included populations of three species of catfish, two species of crappie, three types of bass, three species of gar, and six species of sunfish. The shoreline is very accessible for both fishing from the bank, launching a canoe or kayak, or launching boat. The best times for fishing crappie are in the fall and winter, especially around brush, dock pilings, and standing timber. Catfish are fishable year-round in river channels and creeks feeding into the lake. To find stripers and white bass, follow the schools of baitfish and figure out what depth they are swimming out—the bass will likely be hiding in cover at that depth.
About two-thirds of Lake Texoma is in Oklahoma. With a Texas fishing license, you may fish the Texas portion. If you want to fish the entire reservoir, a Lake Texoma license may be purchased. There are numerous bag and size limits for the lake’s fish species. Also, boats, livewells and bait buckets must be completely drained before leaving the area and there are restrictions on transportation of live, non-game fish.
Texoma is one of a few United States lakes with a self-sustaining striped bass population. In February stripers migrate up the major river arms. Look for them near the river channel near Roosevelt or Willis Bridge. Catch them on heavy jigs, slabs, plastic shad, or live gizzard shad. After spring spawning, you should fish for stripers on the main lake with shad over flats near the river channel, or trolling with deep running lures. In summer, fall and winter, watch for diving seagulls, which are feeding on threadfin shad, a striper’s favorite. If you find such a spot, take advantage using surface baits or plastic shad retrieved rapidly just under the water surface.
Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass are common year-round catches. Find them close to the shoreline and around structure. All three species spawn in spring in shallow waters. Fish around vegetation with crank baits, surface lures, spinners, and Carolina rigged worms.
During summer, the largemouth and spotted bass move offshore, so use Texas rigged worms and deep diving crankbaits near underwater structure, or try surface baits in the early mornings. In fall, use crank baits around brush and off rocky shorelines.
Smallmouths congregate on bluffs around Eisenhower State Park, Denison Dam, and on the Washita River arm to Willow Springs. For smallmouths, use free-line live threadfin shad off the riprap near the dam, or near the Eisenhower State Park bluffs at night.
White bass migrate up the tributary streams and rivers around Lake Texoma. Two to three weeks prior to migration, they concentrate around the mouths of these streams and rivers and are easy catches. At other times of the year, they surface around the lake to eat threadfin shad. Use small surface baits colored silver, white, yellow or chartreuse, silver spoons, minnows and slabs.
After rain, channel catfish congregate near the mouths of creeks. In late spring and early summer, find them around rip-rap and rocky shore. Fish with shrimp, blood bait, cut bait, dough bait or shad gizzards. In late summer, drift-fish shrimp across flats, or use minnows and sunfish. Blue catfish migrate downstream or into the main pool during winter, and upstream during spring. Jugline with live gizzard shad for bait. During winter, use a rod and reel baited with live shad. Your best bet for catching flathead catfish is by trotlining with live sunfish.
Crappie fishing is good in fall and winter, when large schools can be found around boat houses and submerged structure. Crappie move to shallow water in the spring spawning season. Crappie respond to minnows for bait, or jigs.
Lake Texoma Fish:
Lake Texoma boat ramps:
The following boat ramps provide access to Lake Texoma.