Lake Texoma and Denison Dam Bank Fishing

At Lake Texoma, you deal with the fishing regulations of Oklahoma and Texas, which can be tricky. Two-thirds of Lake Texoma lies in Oklahoma. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Tulsa District, (USACE) manages Lake Texoma and leases lakefront property to businesses, organizations, and individuals. The islands belong to Marshall County, Oklahoma.

Detailed fishing maps are available from local chambers of commerce, the Lake Texoma Association, and most North Texas tackle and bait stores. You can also buy a very handy fishing atlas here.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department makes it easy to know what state you are fishing in on Lake Texoma with a downloadable Lake Texoma map. Anglers with only an Oklahoma or a Texas fishing license may only fish in the waters belonging to that state on Lake Texoma. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) set the fishing regulations for their states, and they share the management of the Lake Texoma fishery.

Fishing Below the Denison Dam

Most of the Denison Dam lies in Oklahoma, with a part of its southern end in Texas. The Southwestern Power Administration provides a daily release schedule for its two hydroelectric generator turbines. The number of megawatts to be generated, and the rate at which water is released at each project, is subject to change as demand for power increases or decreases. The USACE may schedule releases for purposes other than hydropower. The schedule is subject to change without notice. Water has to flow out of Lake Texoma to operate one or both of the turbines.

Anglers need to check the release schedule when planning a fishing trip to the Denison Dam. A Lake Texoma Fishing Permit is not valid when you fish below the Denison Dam. You must have an Oklahoma Fishing license or a Texas Fishing license and know where you are. Below the Denison Dam is a great place to catch stripers and catfish. Within the first 1,000 feet of water below the dam, all fish in possession must be kept on a stringer marked with that angler's name and an Oklahoma fishing license tag on Oklahoma territory. All anglers must have their own stringer, and should stay up to date on Oklahoma fishing regulations. The statewide daily limit of five striped bass applies to the Red River below the dam.

There are plenty of bait and tackle stores and other businesses that cater to anglers near the Denison Dam. The Spillway Boat Ramp is the closest ramp to the Denison Dam. Anglers have success fly fishing and with live bait. The tailrace has a rocky shoreline that holds tons of stripers. When the wind is in the right direction, the stripers will hang along the windblown points. You will also find largemouth and smallmouth bass and catfish there. Anglers are advised to have both an Oklahoma and a Texas fishing license to fish at the Denison Dam. Game wardens frequently check licenses at the dam.

Lake Texoma Permit: General Lake Texoma Fishing Regulations

You can purchase a Lake Texoma fishing license that covers you on the entire lake, except for below the Denison Dam for $12.

Regular Texas Fishing License and Oklahoma fishing licenses apply in specific scenarios on Lake Texoma. In order to not worry about legality, you can buy a Lake Texoma License. It is License Type 208, it costs $12, and it is valid only on Lake Texoma until December 31 following the date of issuance. A person may fish in both the Texas and Oklahoma waters of Lake Texoma without any additional licenses. Anglers need to know the possession and length limits of fish.

All persons between the ages of 16 and 79 must possess a Lake Texoma fishing license. Texas residents 65 years of age or older do not need the Lake Texoma license to fish in the Oklahoma portion of Lake Texoma. On the first Saturday in June of each year, everyone can fish recreationally at Lake Texoma without licenses or endorsements. This opportunity is to encourage more people to try fishing for the first time.

Oklahoma Fishing Regulations

Oklahoma has a variety of resident and nonresident fishing licenses and combination licenses, and for detailed information you can the official ODWC Hunting and Fishing Guide. An Oklahoma resident 65 years of age or older is exempt from fishing license requirements in Texas, including on Lake Texoma.

No one can enter, swim, wade, operate a boat, or a floating device in any safety zone. Those that are fishing cannot possess, consume or use any alcoholic beverages on any land or waterway that is subject to the control of the Oklahoma Wildlife Department of Conversations, except for those areas as designated as parking or camping areas.

Lake Texoma Possession and Length Limits

  • Striped bass & hybrid striped bass: No minimum length limit; daily limit 10 fish; possession limit: 20; only 2 fish 20 inches or more per day.
  • Large & smallmouth bass: A minimum length limit of 14 inches; daily limit: 5 fish in any combination.
  • Guadalupe or spotted bass: No minimum length; daily limit: 5 fish.
  • White bass: No minimum length limit; daily limit: 25 fish.
  • Yellow bass: No minimum length limit or daily limit.
  • Carp: No minimum length limit or daily limit for common carp.
  • Catfish: No minimum length limit; daily limit: 15 fish.
  • Blue and channel catfish: No minimum length limit; combined daily limit: 15 fish; only one blue catfish 30 inches or more a day.
  • Flathead catfish: No minimum length limit; daily limit 5 fish.
  • Black and white crappie: A minimum length limit of 10 inches; daily limit: 37 in any combination; possession limit: 50.
  • Alligator gar: During May, no person shall fish for, take, or seek to take alligator gar in that portion of Lake Texoma encompassed within the boundaries of the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge or that portion of Lake Texoma from the U.S. 377 Bridge (Willis Bridge) upstream to the I.H. 35 bridge. Daily bag limit: one alligator gar of any size. No daily limits on other species of gar
  • Sunfish: No minimum length or daily bag limit on bluegill, redear, warmouth, or other species of sunfish
  • Rainbow and brown trout, their hybrids and subspecies: No minimum length; daily limit: 5 trout in any combination.
  • Walleye: Minimum length: 18 inches; daily limit: 5 fish.

Bank Fishing on Lake Texoma

Lake Texoma is rich with beaches and access to fishing from the shore. Fishing below the Denison Dam gets extremely crowded with anglers. The Eisenhower State Park near the dam has a public fishing pier and lots of shoreline for the bank angler. It is a good spot for catching striped and white bass, crappie, and catfish.

The Lighthouse Marina has shoreline access with a playground, a restaurant, and a store in Texas on the Preston Peninsula. Take SH 289, follow it until it turns into Preston Bend Road, and go east on Lighthouse Drive. It is near stores and an American Legion Post.

Island View Park on Preston Peninsula is a great bank fishing spot and swim beach. Anglers catch smallmouth, stripers, and white bass, and crappie here. It is located on the shore opposite the Lighthouse Marina with access off of Preston Bend Road.

The Juniper Point Public Use Area West has good access to shoreline fishing, and East has a few places to fish from the shore. It is right on SH 377 right before you cross into Oklahoma and popular for catching catfish, crappie, and striped and white bass. It is near the Megastar Casino in Willis, Oklahoma, and several stores with live bait.

Burns Run West and East offers miles of shoreline, a public fishing dock, and a campground. Topwater fishing in September is great at this place and good for smallmouth, striped, and white bass, catfish, and crappie. It is near Cartwright, Oklahoma, on SH 91 just north of the Denison Dam, and in easy distance of bait and tackle stores.

Highport Marina in Texas gets a lot of traffic with bank anglers and is one of the best places on Lake Texoma to catch stripers from the bank when the wind is out of the north. Take SH 289 north and go west on Highport Road to D Dock. Fish the bank northeast to the cove. The Highport Public Use Area is close to the Marina with bank fishing access.

Cardinal Cove just south of Kingston, Oklahoma, on Enos/Shay Road south of SH 32 is good for threadfin shad early in the morning, and you can fish off the bank from shallow water to about 20 feet. From Enos/Shay Road, go west on Kaney Road, then south on Post Office Road, then west on Williams Farm Road, then south on June Hill Road, then Turf Farm Road, and look for the access to shore on dirt roads.

Platter Flats near Calera, Oklahoma, supports a healthy population of threadfin and gizzard shad where stripers go to dine. Platter Flats has a nice campground with 26 campsites and 57 equestrian sites with and without electric and water hookups. Take I75 to N3660 Road, go west on Platter Road, then north on Platter Flat Road, then west on Trail Ride Road.

The Soldier Creek Public Use Area is popular for largemouth and striped bass, and blue catfish with good access to the shoreline. From US 70 in Kingston, Oklahoma, go south on Knobb Road to Catholic Camp Road. Roads End Public Use Area just east of Soldier Creek is also good for largemouth and striped bass, and blue catfish. From US 70 in Kingstons, go south of SH 70A, then west on Rinehart Road and follow it to Roads End.

Alberta Creek Resort and Marina and Alberta Creek Public Use Area offer good access to bank fishing. In the summer, the stripers follow the shad there, so it’s a great place for summer bank striper fishing.

All year long, the stripers follow schools of shad from the Denison Dam to the Washita and Red River arms, which cover many miles. There are many other places at Lake Texoma to fish from the shore. All you have to do is a bit of exploring to find your perfect bank fishing honey hole when you are at Lake Texoma.

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Lake Texoma Weather Forecast


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 51

Friday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 35



Hi: 61

Saturday Night


Lo: 39


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 63

Sunday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 46


Chance Rain Showers

Hi: 58

Monday Night

Mostly Cloudy

Lo: 49

Lake Texoma Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 1/28: 615.91 (-1.09)

Lake Texoma

Fishing Report from TPWD (Jan. 26)

GOOD. Water lightly stained; 45-48 degrees; 1.08 feet low. Striped bass are good some days and great others. Due to the cooler water temperatures best success comes from dead sticking using pink and clear five-inch flukes with one ounce jig heads. Report by John Blasingame, Adventure Texoma Outdoors. Striped bass are good in 40-65 feet of water deadsticking with flukes and one ounce jig heads, or drifting main lake flats to catch those suspended in 35-50 feet of water. Catfish are slow, patience and anchor fishing with fresh cut shad or perch in 70 feet of water can bring some in the boat. No report of crappie, other than people are on the lake catching them. Report by Trey Franklin, Tight Lines Guide Service.

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