If last month’s golden algae caused fish kill brings a few frowns to the faces of Lake Texoma anglers, don’t let it ruin the solid run of otherwise good news coming out of the 89,000-acre reservoir this spring and summer.
Because as this week’s Fourth of July holiday celebration fades into the rearview mirror, there’s plenty to smile about as a stream of good fishing reports come forth.
For starters, the lake’s famed striped bass population has rebounded strongly after a couple of down years brought on by the combination of poor spawns (from drought induced low lake levels several years ago) to the spillway topping flood of 2015.
How strong is the current resurgence of stripers?
According to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department inland fisheries biologist Dan Bennett, the district man in charge of the Lake Texoma Fisheries Station, it’s very strong.
Ditto for the reservoir’s white bass (sand bass) population. In fact, the TPWD biologist notes that both the striped bass and white bass populations are currently at above-average levels on Texoma, not to mention the fact that both are exhibiting fast growth rates.
“Fish populations have really rebounded in the reservoir following the flooding in 2015,” Bennett said. “We have observed tremendous spawning events in the last three years, producing above average classes of young fish of all species.
“We hope this (recent) fish kill event remains an isolated occurrence and doesn’t pose additional risk to other areas of Lake Texoma.”
With the start of midsummer on the lake, Texoma anglers should find plenty of great striped bass fishing, especially along the Texas shoreline.
“Striped bass and white bass fishing are both really good right now on Texoma,” Bennett said. “From what I’ve understood (in recent weeks), anglers are catching a lot of double-digit fish along the Texas shoreline. And they are also catching plenty of white bass, which are enormous right now, with a good number of them approaching three pounds.”
If that’s the current red-hot striper and sand bass fishing report for the week of this year’s Uncle Sam birthday bash, expect more of the same in the years that follow.
“Yeah, I expect the next several years to be tremendous,” Bennett said. “And that should also be true the rest of this summer and on into next fall.
“This is some of the best fishing that Texoma can put out,” he added. “We’re seeing record catch rates in our sampling efforts for all of these fish. And I think in upcoming years, the fishing is going to be reflective of that.”
What about the reservoir’s black bass species (largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass)?
“Right now at Texoma, they are kind of the same way as the stripers and white bass are,” Bennett said. “In fact, pretty much every sport fish species is benefitting right now from the good habitat and all the forage that they’ve got to eat.”
In short, expect some superb Texoma bass fishing opportunities in upcoming years.
“Bass have had some pretty spectacular spawns the last couple of years with the higher water levels we’ve had,” Bennett said. “They’ll be lagging a little behind the striped bass and the white bass, particularly in seeing how good those two populations are right now.
“And bass, since they tend to grow a little slower than those other two species, it takes more time for (all of their growth potential) to materialize,” he added.
“But the smallmouth bass fishery at Texoma is as good as we’ve ever seen it. And there are plenty of good, big largemouths out there too.”
Meaning that despite the unwelcome golden algae caused fish kill a couple of weeks ago, overall, the fishing news coming out of the two-state reservoir is still very good.
And then some, I might add, as plenty of fish catching smiles from the faces of happy Texoma anglers this summer will readily confirm.
The bottom line here is that the fishing is excellent on Texoma right now.
And according to TPWD’s head man at the lake, it should stay that way — if not get even better — for a long while to come.