March 20, 2015
By Rob Neumann
Lake Texoma stripers are revered as a top-notch harvest for numbers of mid-size fish. This vast reservoir on the Red River on the Texas-Oklahoma border is now producing stripers that exceed 25 pounds. Lake Texoma is one of only a handful of lakes where natural reproduction occurs, with the fish running up the Red and Washita river arms to spawn in April. As such, Lake Texoma supports abundant stripers and oftentimes, strong year-classes that create great fishing.
Early in the season stripers move shallow along points, rocky shorelines, and on flats. Here they gorge on abundant shad and anglers can enjoy an exciting topwater bite, as well as connect on swimbaits and umbrella rigs. In May, when the water temperature climbs into the upper-60Â°F range, the stripers transition deeper to mainlake areas around drop-offs, humps, and other structure that attracts both shad and stripers.
Fishing live shad is a top presentation from May into June when stripers consolidate around deep structure. Vertically jigging spoons and swimbaits also can produce well. In recent years, anglers have discovered using umbrella, or Alabama rigs, such as Berkley's 5-arm Schooling Rig. This rig can be cast or trolled. Adjust jig weight depending on the target depth, and tip each jig with a 3- or 4-inch swimbait like a Berkley Havoc Grass Pig. Shad colors as well as chartreuse often are best.
Contact: Capt. Steve Barnes, txfishingguide.com; Guides Bill and Chris Carey and Dave Wand, striperexpress.com.