With the heat of late summer building to a peak, the striped bass fishing continues to sizzle here in Texomaland.
In fact, at the region’s namesake reservoir, there have been times this summer season where the fishing has been exceptional, almost too good to believe.
To be certain, there are almost always a lot of stripers at Texoma year in and year out. But this year, the angling action is about as good as it can get.
For starters, there was a record number of stripers observed in the joint sampling efforts conducted earlier this year by fisheries biologists with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
Add in higher than usual numbers of fish over 20-inches and a good smattering of trophy stripers stretching the tape measure to 30-inches and beyond, and well, the striper fishing at Texoma is very good in 2019, arguably among the top years that the fabled lake has ever seen.
So much so that TPWD inland fisheries biologist Dan Bennett gave a very enthusiastic prediction back in April when I asked him about Texoma’s linesider potential this year.
“I’d definitely say that if somebody has Texoma striped bass on their bucket list, this year is certainly a good time to come,” he said.
Bennett’s prognostication appears to have proven itself to be true this summer, and then some I might add.
For proof of that statement, take a look at the summertime Facebook fishing reports coming from Texoma’s Orvis endorsed fly fishing guide, Steve Hollensed of Flywater Angling Adventures (flywaterangling.com; 903-546-6237).
Hollensed is a busy guy, guiding on Texoma, jetting to this corner and that corner of the fly fishing world as he hosts trips to exotic locations and teaching fly casting at a world class level. After all, the Tom Bean resident is a Fly Fishers International certified master casting instructor, sits on the casting board of governors for the FFI, is the recipient of the 2015 Mel Krieger award, and is a two-time finalist for the Orvis Guide of the Year award.
And as experienced as Hollensed is at searching the big lake’s depths for stripers on the fly, even he is impressed by the state of Texoma’s prolific striped bass fishery this year.
“This is a fun time to fly fish (on) Lake Texoma,” he wrote in a Facebook post last Saturday after another superb guide trip on the 89,000-acre two-state reservoir. What’s more, he had the pictures to prove it too with a couple of smiling clients that caught several stripers that put a serious bend into eight-weight fly rods.
Veteran Texoma outfitter Bill Carey of Striper Express Guide Service (www.striperexpress.com; 903-207-4023) has also had plenty of good reports and lots of smiling clients this summer season. True to Bennett’s predictions a few months ago, Carey’s recent Facebook reports show plenty of box fish destined for the table, plenty of trophy stripers and lots of big smiles.
Smiles like the one that came from a seven year old boy from central Oklahoma a few days ago when the young angler fished with the guide service, eventually catching, having photographed, and releasing a 20-pound striper.
No matter what your age or angling experience level, that’s an exceptional trophy striper from Lake Texoma!
It’s the same song, same verse for John Blasingame, head man at Adventure Texoma Outdoors (adventuretexomaoutdoors.com; 903-814-5566). Like the others mentioned above, the veteran Texoma striper guide has a wealth of good fishing trip photos on his guide service’s Facebook page this summer. And he’s also got an amazing video of some incredible topwater feeding action that took place in late July, a stretch where the water at the reservoir seemed to literally boil.
And as he reported on Monday, the action hasn’t slowed down yet.
“The topwater bite has been excellent here lately on the big pond,” wrote Blasingame in his Facebook social media post. “Limits are being caught pretty easily and getting a few big fish as well.”
Interested in getting in on this summer’s great striper fishing action at Texoma? Then consider giving one of these guides a call — or one of the other top notch guides that work on the big lake — as long as you understand that open dates on the calendar are hard to come by right now.
What if you want to head for the striped bass filled water body and do it all yourself? Then pay attention to this week’s fishing report at Texoma as posted by ODWC.
“Striped bass (are) good on live shad, Sassy Shad, (slabs), and topwater lures (fished) below and around the dam and flats,” states the Oklahoma City based agency.
“Striped bass fishing has been good the past week in early mornings and late evenings on surface lures while surface feeding is present,” ODWC continued.
ODWC added that looking for large schools of fish breaking the surface of the water is a key. So too is approaching such a school quietly with a trolling motor, staying on the outside edge of the feeding school. Doing so will help to ensure that the school stays up longer and continues to feed on the surface.
“Most any lure will work while surface feeding is present,” said the ODWC fishing report. “Usually, by about 10 a.m., most of the striped bass will lay dormant until late in the evening when they will start feeding again.”
What should you do when there’s little or no surface action visible? Use your electronics, find a good school of active fish, and consider using some live shad or a slab.
“If bait fishing for striped bass, anglers should focus on shallow flats,” said ODWC, giving another good clue as for where to look.
Want even more good news as August continues at Texoma? With the end of summer now in sight, a striped bass population that is exceptional in terms of pure numbers, plenty of big linesiders roaming the lake, and fish that are fattening up after a good shad spawn, don’t expect to see the superb angling action fall off any this fall.
In fact, as the stripers aggressively put on the feed bag in the later stages of autumn, the fishing at the big lake could be even better than it is right now.
And as the year of the striper continues at Texoma, that’s really saying something.