There are many reasons why Lake Texoma is a truly special fishery. Firstly, it spans the border between Oklahoma and Texas, meaning that it can be accessed from either state. Secondly, it’s one the largest man-made reservoirs in the entire US. And thirdly? Lake Texoma Striper fishing is so excellent that it’s earned the title “Striper Capital of the World.” If you’re looking to battle Striped Bass, you couldn’t wish for a better place!
Those of you that know a little about Striped Bass might be scratching your heads. Is it really possible to target Striper, which mainly flock to the Atlantic Coast of the US, in a man-made reservoir? The answer is simple: yes! While these fish are originally native to ocean waters, they were introduced to Lake Texoma’s brackish waters in the 1960s. It’s proven to be an excellent habitat for them, packed full of bait fish.
Another huge bonus for Striped Bass enthusiasts is that you can target these fish here throughout the year. There’s never a bad time to visit! Let’s delve a little more into what you can expect from your Lake Texoma Striper fishing adventure…
Why Striped Bass?
Why not Striped Bass?! These fish are beloved all across North America for the hard-fighting action they provide. We’re talking strong hits and runs that’ll keep you on your toes. They also make for great table fare. However, many anglers choose to safely release their catch in order to preserve this population for generations to come.
As we mentioned above, Stripers were introduced to Lake Texoma in the 1960s. This fishery is now one of only seven inland lakes where they reproduce naturally. Because of this, you’ll find a healthy number of Stripers here year-round. The angling action is pretty hot 365 days a year, and has led to the lake’s reputation as one of the top Striped Bass fisheries in the entire US.
Despite this, Lake Texoma’s Striper fishing enthusiasts recommend planning your trip carefully. These fish move around the lake and inhabit different waters depending on the season. Visit in spring, for example, and you’ll be smack-bang in the middle of Striper spawning season. You’ll want to head to the lake’s shallow waters for the best results. “Limiting out,” which means reaching your daily limit of 10 Stripers, is common during this month!
Want to explore the lake in summer? This is when Stripers head to the deeper parts of the lake, towards Denison Dam, in an attempt to escape the heat. In fall, as temperatures start to drop, they start moving towards the shallows again. Winter means lots of slow, lazy Stripers feeding in the shallow flats of the lake. It’s the perfect time to visit if you’re a newer angler getting to grips with the sport!
Thanks to the lake’s diverse habitat, there’s a whole host of bait fish for Stripers to gorge on. This gives them the opportunity to grow to impressive sizes, regularly reaching between 12 and 20 pounds. Species around the 30-pound mark have been hooked here too. The chance of reeling in a trophy specimen could be in the cards.
How can I go Striper fishing on Lake Texoma?
The most popular way to experience a Lake Texoma Striper fishing trip is alongside a local charter guide. You rely on their knowledge and experience, and you’ll be able to try out the best techniques depending on when and where you’re fishing. If you’re new to Striper fishing, plan on exploring deep waters during summer, or if you just want to make sure you get the most out of your day on the water, fishing with an expert angler is the way to go.
You can also choose to cast a line in these waters from the shores of the lake. If you’re visiting during spring or fall, when Striper flock to the shallows, then shore fishing can be a productive way to target ’em. Some of the lake’s nature parks offer up pier fishing, whereas some local anglers choose to just set up shop along the shoreline.
Lake Texoma Striper Fishing Techniques
There’s a whole host of ways to target Striper in Lake Texoma. Many locals choosing to put their own spin on tried-and-tested techniques. To keep things simple, we’ve decided to break down the most common ways to cast a line here.
Bait and Tackle
Before we focus on techniques, however, here’s a quick note about bait and general equipment. Striped Bass are opportunistic feeders, so you’ll probably already have something in your tackle box or live bait well that’ll lure them in. Eels, bunker, herring, shad, crabs, bloodworms, and sandworms are effective live bait options. For artificial lures, you can mimic these bait fish with plastic or rubber eels, a swim shad, or combining a tube lure with a live worm.
When it comes to your rods and reels, a 7′ medium rod with fast action will do the job. Chasing smaller schooling Bass? Medium-light spinning tackle is a good option. If you’re expecting to encounter schools of huge fish, a heavier spinning outfit will come in handy. You don’t need special tackle. Go for braided or fused lines weighing 30 pounds or more, attached to a 30–50 lb fluorocarbon leader.
As one of the largest reservoirs in the US, Lake Texoma has plenty of water to cover. Trolling from a boat is the perfect way to do this, especially if you’re visiting in the summer. This usually involves focusing your attention on deeper waters and potentially bigger fish.
Trolling involves rigging multiple lines with bait (live or artificial) and trailing them behind and alongside your vessel at multiple depths and lengths. Then, when you see or hear a fish hit, there’s plenty of hands-on action to enjoy as you attempt to reel it in. This technique is suitable for all kinds of anglers, but local Lake Texoma fishers especially recommend it for Striper newbies.
If you’re into artificials, try implementing either an umbrella or mojo rig. These rigs create the illusion of a school of bait fish, which attracts Striped Bass. Live bait fishing in Lake Texoma is a little trickier, but you can opt for any of the options we listed above.
In some places, Striper are known as “Rockfish,” thanks to their love for hanging around underwater structure. Because of this, the majority of casting techniques in the Lake Texoma area focus on dropping bait and lures to the bottom of the lake around humps, rocks, and other structures. However, as these fish also make their way to the shallows during certain seasons, you can cast into topwaters and allow your bait to drift with the current.
If you’re visiting during spring, fall, or winter, when these fish are swarming shallow waters, you’ll want to focus your attention towards the top of the water. Local anglers recommend casting with large topwater plugs that give off the appearance of injured bait fish. Fishing from a boat? You’ll want to position it in front of the school of fish, so they’re swimming towards you.
Visit during the start of summer, when these fish are heading to deeper waters, and you’ll likely witness a favored local technique known as “slab fishing.” The lake is full of hundreds of thousands of hungry Stripers that have just finished spawning. Slab fishing allows you to make the most of this situation! You’ll locate your fish, drop slab spoons over the side of your boat, let them fall to the bottom, and then reel up as quickly as possible.
Lake Texoma Striper Fishing Spots
Basically, the whole lake is a Striper fishing hotspot – but how fruitful your adventure will be depends a lot on when you visit certain sections of it. We’ve done our best to identify some of the most popular areas, as well as top departure points, as well as highlighting the best time to visit them. Take a look below…
- Denison Dam: Located at the meeting point of Lake Texoma and the Red River, Denison Dam is where you’ll find the lake’s deepest waters. For that reason, it’s a excellent angling locale during summer. What’s even better, you’ll find plenty of local guides posted up here!
- Lake Texoma State Park: Head to Oklahoma’s side of the lake during spring and focus your attention on Lake Texoma State Park. It’s the perfect place to cast a line in the lake’s shallower waters! There are plenty of charter guides here, as well as ample opportunity to fish from shore.
- Eisenhower State Park: Want to explore the lake’s offerings entirely on foot? Eisenhower State Park is the place to be. It’s located on the Texan side of the lake, near the meeting point with the Red River, and boasts two fishing piers that provide access to deep Striper-filled waters.
- Little Mineral Arm: This arm of Lake Texoma is a great place to cast a line during the fall, when Stripers head back out to shallower waters. It can be accessed from the Texan towns of Pottsboro or Preston. The former is a sleepy fishing village, whereas the later juts right out into the lake.
Rules and Regulations
All anglers need a valid fishing to cast a line here. As Lake Texoma borders two states, you’d be justified in thinking that getting your hands on one might be a little tricky! Luckily, although it’s possible to fish sections of the lake with either a Texas or Oklahoma license, you can actually purchase a Lake Texoma license. This means you don’t have to worry about crossing state boundaries on your Striper-chasing adventure.
When it comes to retaining your Striped Bass, there are certain regulations you need to follow. Although there is no minimum length limit, only two Stripers measuring 20 inches or more can be kept each day. The total bag limit is 10 fish per day. These rules are subject to change, so make sure you keep an eye on both Texas and Oklahoma’s wildlife and fishery websites.
Lake Texoma Striper Fishing: An Unforgettable Adventure
A Lake Texoma Striper fishing adventure is the stuff that dreams are made of. Chasing one of the most beloved game fish in the entire US combined with a world-class fishery? We can’t think of anything better. Time to grab your rods and reels – the Striper Capital of the World is ready to show you the experience of a lifetime!
Have you ever been Striper fishing on Lake Texoma? Any tips, tricks, or local advice to share with us? Let us know in the comments below!
Katie is a Philosophy graduate from the UK, and now she spends her time asking (and answering!) the important questions, such as: What, exactly, are the best ways to bait a hook for Redfish? She first cast a line in Florida as a teenager, and it took her a while to circle back to angling as a hobby, but now she’s hooked. Her personal fishing highlight? Reeling in a rare Golden Trevally while cruising the deep waters off the United Arab Emirates!