The striped bass is the largest member of the sea bass family. The dorsal fin is clearly separated into spiny and soft-rayed portions. Striped bass are silver in color, shading to olive-green on the back, and white on the belly, with seven or eight uninterrupted horizontal stripes on each side of the body. Striped bass have two distinct tooth patches on the back of the tongue. They also have two sharp points on each gill cover.
Stripers can live in both freshwater and saltwater environments. Spawning begins in the spring when water temperatures approach 60°F. Typically, one female is accompanied by several males during the spawning act. Running water is necessary to keep eggs in motion until hatching. In general, at least 50 miles of stream is required for successful hatches. Stripers may reach a size of 10 to 12 inches during the first year. Males are generally mature in two years, and females in three to four. Adults are primarily piscivorous, feeding predominantly on members of the herring family such as gizzard shad and threadfin shad.
Striped bass are the fourth most preferred species among licensed Texas anglers. It is estimated that the economic impact of striper fishing in the Lake Texoma area alone totals well in excess of $20 million. Stripers are often captured using artificial lures that imitate small fish, such as silver spoons. Deep running lures can also be effective, as may live bait or cut bait.
Striped bass migrate up both major river arms in February, and can usually be located in or near the river channel. They may take surface lures, but most often they are caught on heavy jigs, slabs, plastic shad, and live gizzard shad. After the spring spawning run, stripers can be caught with shad over flats near the river channel in the main part of the lake. Trolling with deep running lures can also be productive. Surface baits can produce some mighty tackle bustin’ strikes, and so can plastic shad retrieved rapidly just under the water’s surface.
Lake Texoma’s Record Striper
35.12 Lbs. 39.00 Inches Caught on Apr 25, 1984 by Terry Harber
The white bass looks quite a bit like a shortened version of its larger relative, the striped bass. It has the same silvery white sides and black stripes. It differs most noticeably in being shorter and stockier with a smaller head, and the dorsal fins are set closer together. They can be distinguished from the yellow bass by its more silvery color and regular, unbroken stripes as well as by its protruding, pugnacious looking, bass-like lower jaw (in the yellow bass the jaws are about equal).
White bass are vulnerable to angling when they migrate upstream on the Red and Washita Rivers or the many tributary streams around Lake Texoma. Two to three weeks prior to the migration, they concentrate around the mouths of the tributary streams and become easy prey. At other times of the year, they can be found surfacing around the lake and feeding on threadfin shad. Effective baits include small surface baits in silver, white, yellow or chartreuse, silver spoons, slabs, and minnows.
Lake Texoma’s Record White Bass
3.41 Lbs. 18.00 Inches Caught on Feb 8, 1994 by Robert Blair
Also known as: Black Bass
The largemouth lives up to it’s name with a mouth that extends at least to, and often beyond, the rear edge of the eyes. Also, its first and second dorsal fins are almost separated by an obvious deep dip, and there are no scales on the second dorsal fin. Research indicates that the largemouth bass is also the most intelligent freshwater fish, able to distinguish and avoid a particular type of lure after only one encounter with it. In fact, some bass lakes believed to be fished out contain plenty of bass, but the fish have learned to recognize virtually all the lures in common use on the lake. In such cases, a lure that is new to them will often work where others have failed.
Lake Texoma’s Record Largemouth Bass
11.82 lbs. 24.50 inches Caught on Jan 13, 2000 by Kenneth Stone
Crappies are members of the sunfish and the black bass family, and though they show a definite family resemblance, they are distinctive enough that they shouldn’t be confused with any other species.
The black crappie inhabits large ponds and shallow areas of lakes with sandy or muddy bottoms and usually in areas of abundant vegetation. It requires a deeper, clearer, somewhat cooler habitat than does the white crappie. It is an abundant species and is important both commercially and as a sport fish. Black crappies are easily caught, often as fast as the hook can be re-baited.
Crappie fishing is best in fall and winter when fish tend to school in large numbers and concentrate around boat houses, submerged trees, creek channels, and brush piles. While minnows are the bait of choice, crappie are caught on a variety of jigs. The spring spawning season when they move in shallow is also an excellent time to fill your creel.
Lake Texoma’s Record Crappie
3.23 lbs. 15.50 inches Caught on Mar 9, 1995 by William VanDer Giessen
Channel catfish prefer clean bottoms of sand or gravel in larger lakes and rivers.
They feed mainly on crayfish, fishes, and insects generally at night in swifter moving currents. At spawning time they will enter and ascend small tributaries and streams.
The distinctive channel catfish can often be recognized at a glance by its deeply forked tail and spots on the body.
The channel catfish is very highly regarded for its food and sports value. Channel catfish are taken near the mouths of creeks after a rain, especially in spring and fall. In late spring and early summer, they are found around rocky shores and areas of rip-rap. Best baits are shrimp, blood bait, cut bait, dough bait, and shad gizzards. In summer, try drift-fishing shrimp across flats.
Lake Texoma’s Record Channel Catfish
10.50 lbs. 28.90 inches Caught on Mar 11, 2008 by Tony Petree
This is the largest catfish of the family Ictaluridae, and they have been reported to grow to 120 lb. (54 kg). The blue catfish, the channel catfish, and the white catfish are the only three catfishes in the U.S.A. that have distinctly forked tails, setting them apart from the bullheads and the flathead catfish. The blue catfish can be distinguished from the channel and white catfish by its noticeably longer anal fin, which has a more even depth and a straighter edge than in the other two species.
There are 30-36 rays in the fin, versus 24-30 rays in the channel catfish and 19-23 rays in the white catfish. Internally, the blue catfish can be identified by the fact that it has three chambers in the swim bladder, whereas the channel catfish has two chambers. All three forked tail species may be almost uniformly pale blue or silvery in color, though white catfish may show a more distinct difference between the bluish black and white belly. Channel catfish frequently have spots.
The blue catfish is considered an excellent food and game fish. It is a strong, well-toned fish with a fine, delicate flavor. Blue catfish are caught on shrimp, blood bait, cut bait, dough bait, and shad gizzards; however, these fish migrate downstream or into the main pool area in winter and upstream in the spring. Try juglining with live gizzard shad for bait. A rod and reel baited with live shad on windless winter days works well too.
Lake Texoma’s Record Blue Catfish
121.50 lbs. 58.00 Inches Caught on Jan 16, 2004 by Cody Mullenix