Lake Texoma Monsters and Other Questions Answered

Lake Texoma created mysteries, legends, historical rumors, and tall tales that no one can prove from its inception when impoundment began in 1944, along with some real and verifiable legends. I have presented some of these quandaries through the years that I have been fortunate enough to contribute to in various forms. You asked questions and we are answering them to the best of our knowledge.

Lake Texoma Monsters

When we think of monsters, we might think of a young child believing there is an alligator under its bed, a scary B movie from the 1950s, or a real life person who commits horrific atrocities against humanity. A frequent search term on the internet super highway is Lake Texoma Monster.

Lake Texoma monsters, 99% of the time, refer to fish, specifically monster catfish, alligator gar, and the stripers that Lake Texoma is so famous for that have put Lake Texoma on the global map. Most folks fish Lake Texoma from the U.S. Well-known as the “Playground of the Southwest, Lake Texoma brings six to nine million visitors a year to its shores.

A monster catfish, the size of a bus, is reported to exist somewhere in the vast waters of Lake Texoma. Historically and anecdotally, this catfish lurks in the deep waters of Lake Texoma, with eyes as big as a Volkswagen Beetle’s headlights. No one has ever seen this monster catfish.

What's the Biggest Catfish Caught in Lake Texoma?

Lake Texoma boasts a healthy population of blue, channel, and flathead catfish year round. Anglers come to Lake Texoma for all our game fish species. Catfish legends abound in the marinas, at the boat ramps, and bait shops surrounding Lake Texoma.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s All-Tackle Records confirms a blue catfish caught by Cody Mullennix on January 6, 2004, weighed 121.50 pounds with a length of 58 inches or 4.83 feet by rod and reel. 

On April 6, 1997, Ed Wolfe caught a flathead catfish weighing in at 45.65 pounds with a length of 42.5 inches by rod and reel. Braden Syfert caught a channel cat that weighed 15.26 pounds with a length of 31 inches on December 27, 2014, on a jug line.

What's the Biggest Striped Bass Caught in Lake Texoma?

Stripers are “KING” on Lake Texoma. Anglers come from miles and miles to fight this exciting bass species in Lake Texoma. In 1995, Mark Steven Schoor, et al., of the University of Tennessee, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, produced a research study that found the stripers brought in over $25 million annually to the Texomaland economy.

The biggest striper caught on Lake Texoma by Terry Harber with a rod and reel on April 25, 1984, weighed 35.12 pounds, and was 39 inches long. The biggest hybrid striped bass weighed 14.88 pounds and was 31 inches long. Bruce Maybrier caught it on March 22, 1992, with a rod and reel. Imagine what stripers bring to the Texomaland economy today.

What's the Biggest Alligator Gar Caught in Lake Texoma?

Contrary to popular belief, the alligator gar is an extremely popular game fish at Lake Texoma. The gar is a much underappreciated fish. If you want to know more about gar fishing at Lake Texoma, please see my previous article on this prehistoric fish at

The biggest alligator gar caught on Lake Texoma weighed 127.80 pounds at a length of 86 inches or 7.16 feet. Philip Reno shot that alligator gar on August 20, 2020, with a bow and arrow, which is a popular way to hunt gar.

Does Lake Texoma Have Sharks?

Sharks typically roam the oceans and seas and scare people in movies, which make some people scared to swim in those waters. But sharks in freshwater lakes? Not likely. Lake Texoma is a freshwater lake. But its high salty content provides for our substantial population of striped bass, and sharks like saltwater, right?

On Labor Day in 1988, a visitor to Lowe’s Highport Marina, now the Highport Marina and Tanglewood Resort near Pottsboro, found a floating dead shark. The visitor spread the word, and the strange fish caught the attention of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, which confirmed that the found fish was a three-foot, 17-pound sand shark.

When he first heard about the shark, Texas state biologist Bruce Hysmith thought the shark must be a sturgeon, and folks just thought it was a shark. Even Lake Texoma is not salty enough for a shark. Mr. Hysmith said that a shark cannot survive long in fresh water. This shark was in fresh condition, but was never a resident of Lake Texoma.

Mr. Hysmith believed that someone had caught the shark on the Gulf Coast, packed it in ice, transported it to Lake Texoma, and dumped it in the lake. The shark was floating near one of the boat ramps at the resort. Mr. Hysmith reported, "This particular group of sharks is not known to be too far inshore. Someone must have caught it and thought it would be fun to bring it to Texoma."

Is Lake Texoma Freshwater?

Flows from the Red and Washita Rivers make Lake Texoma one of the few freshwater lakes in the U.S. with a self-sustaining, landlocked population of striped bass. Most freshwater lakes with a striped bass population require routine stocking.

Yes, Lake Texoma is a freshwater lake despite the high salt content of the Red River. The Red and Washita Rivers’ confluence is located on the northeastern part of Lake Texoma. The Red River is a saltwater river. Its salt deposits come from a 250 million year old sea in the current Texas-Oklahoma border region.

The sea evaporated in time and left behind mostly sodium chloride salt deposits. Rock and silt eventually buried the deposits, but the salt continues to leach through natural seeps in tributaries above Lake Texoma and sends as much as 3,450 tons of salt per day flowing down the Red River.

But, Lake Texoma is a freshwater lake. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) introduced striped bass to Lake Texoma in 1965. In 1974, the ODWC documented natural reproduction of the striped bass. Lake Texoma is one of only eight inland freshwater reservoirs worldwide where this species has spawned.

What Is Lake Texoma Known For?

It would take a novel to answer this question. Lake Texoma was impounded by the Denison Dam in 1944, and Lake Texoma was born. WWII German POWs helped build Lake Texoma, and there are four ghost towns under its waters. That date puts a lot of history and several generations of families behind Lake Texoma.

Today, Lake Texoma is best known for striped bass, and a bunch of other game fish like largemouth, spotted and white bass, black and white crappie, and channel, blue, and flathead catfish. Lake Texoma is home to at least 70 species of fish. Lake Texoma is called the “Playground of the Southwest”.

Lake Texoma is well known for beaches, restaurants, a nightlife, resorts, marinas, campgrounds and RV parks, hiking, biking, and equestrian trails, partying, and on the Okie side, casinos, plus all the historical attractions and towns surrounding it. Between six to nine million people flock to Lake Texoma every year. Most Lake Texoma fishing guides guarantee a catch.

Is Lake Texoma a Good Lake?

A good lake recommendation is subjective to what anyone might want from a lake, a lake resort, a vacation home, camping, or outdoor activities and watersports.

Lake Texoma is one of the best lakes in the southwestern U.S. Flat to gently rolling and steep hills to rocky bluffs to deeply forested hillsides characterize Texomaland. Lake Texoma hosts a variety of regional, national, professional, and amateur fishing tournaments. It sports fantastic fishing and sailing with good winds and lots of marinas.

Boaters can find plenty of parties or secluded coves for privacy with swim beaches. There are several popular islands to play on, plenty of marinas, bars, restaurants, bunches of places to buy supplies, bait, and tackle, and a thriving nightlife, plus casinos on the Okie side of the lake. Facilities by the 1990s included fifty-seven campgrounds, many RV parks, 110 picnic areas, over 100 shelter buildings, and more than eighty boat ramps.

Is There a Town Under Lake Texoma?

There are four towns under Lake Texoma. Lake Texoma carved out a huge region when it filled up. Construction began in 1939, and cost the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) $59 million dollars by the time impoundment began in 1944.

Hagerman, Preston Bend, and Cedar Mills, Texas, and Woodville, Oklahoma, lay sleeping with the fish under Lake Texoma today. The towns became freshwater reefs for schools of fish and popular areas with anglers at that time. In 2011, the headstones at the Woodville Cemetery were visible because of record low rainfall in Texomaland.

A former Woodville resident reported years ago that, "Bonnie and Clyde used to come to old Woodville to the chicken fights and they camped right over here in this area what's known as Washita Point. One time for about three weeks they stayed in that area but then they cleared on out without causing any kind of a problem here."

Preston Bend faced Woodville on the Texas side and began as a trading post owned by Holland Coffee with a wild history. Locals called it Washita Bend back then. Hagerman lays under the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge off of SH 289/Preston Road. The refuge can be spooky at night; you can only drive through it at night, but it is not open at night. Cedar Mills popped up before the Civil War, and Quantrill’s Raiders frequented the town, paying for their keep and entertainment in gold.

How Many Miles Is it Around Lake Texoma?

Lake Texoma covers 89,000 acres with a maximum depth of 100 feet and an average depth of 40 feet. Its shores touch Oklahoma and Texas, and Oklahoma owns the islands under the authority of the Marshall County sheriff’s office. The USACE manages 1,127,000 acres around Lake Texoma.

Lake Texoma has 1,250 miles of shoreline, according to the Texas State Historical Association.

Can you live on Lake Texoma?

There are different permits for management of the beachfront property within 30 feet of waterfront property that homeowners can apply for. These include floating device permits (or "dock permits") and vegetation modification permits. It is extremely important to note that a homeowner cannot do anything to or on Corp-owned property without a permit.

Yes, you can live on property with beachfront access at Lake Texoma. The Tulsa District U.S. Corps of Engineers publishes their shoreline management plan on each lake within its district online. Adjoining property usually begins 30 feet from the waterfront at Lake Texoma.

Tell us what you think!

Lake Texoma Email Updates


Visit our Lake Texoma Sponsors!

Lake Texoma on Social Media


Lake Texoma Current Weather Alerts

There are no active watches, warnings or advisories.


Lake Texoma Weather Forecast


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 75

Tuesday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 55


Partly Sunny

Hi: 77

Wednesday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 59


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 69

Thursday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 48



Hi: 66

Friday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 48

Lake Texoma Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 2/20: 616.37 (-0.63)

Lake Texoma

Fishing Report from TPWD (Feb. 14)

GOOD. Water normal stain; 38-41 degrees; 0.06 feet below pool. Striped bass are fair on flukes drifting 35-45 feet of water near the rivers as we get closer to the spawn. Slow rolling swimbaits in coves and on points in 8-15 feet of water are still working for bigger fish. Glow and smoked shad are colors of choice. Crappie are slow on minnows in 10-12 feet of water on brush and dock piles. Look for the fish to move into the coves and creeks with the warmer weather. Catfish are slow on dead shad drifting 30-40 feet of water on ledges for keeper size fish. Bigger fish are shallow, look for dirty warmer water with inflow from rains. Largemouth and smallmouth bass are fair on swimbaits in stumps on points in 8-12 feet of water, and swimbaits along the bluffs in the backs of the coves on warmer days. Report by Jacob Orr, Guaranteed Guide Service Lake Texoma. Striped bass are starting to gorge on bait, so fish can be slow to bite but overall the bite is good. The most active bite in 3-30 feet of water on the humps and ledges using Alabama rigs, swimbaits, and some anglers are having success long lining. Report by John Blasingame, Adventure Texoma Outdoors.

More Fishing Reports