Regional Reports-Midwest

Lake Texoma

With the coming of summer, thousands of Oklahoma anglers are making their annual pilgrimage to Lake Texoma for one of the nation's most famous striper runs. Straddling the Oklahoma/Texas border, Lake Texoma covers nearly 80,000 acres. It supports excellent largemouth and smallmouth bass fisheries and it is one of the most notable catfish lakes in the world, but stripers are what made it famous. From mid-April to Memorial Day, stripers stack up on the channel edges and school beneath fishing boats to seek refuge from the sun. The standard method for catching them is to fish live threadfin shad under balloons or on downriggers. Once anglers locate a school, they often catch stripers by vertical-jigging spoons, a technique known locally as "slabbing." Some of the most fun fishing occurs on the Oklahoma side when the wind has been blowing hard from the south for a few days. The wave action pins huge schools of shad against the north shore, and the stripers follow them. If you hit the right place at the right time, you can catch them wade-fishing in depths of just a few feet with crankbaits, topwaters, jerkbaits and artificial flies.Contact: Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (405-521-3851).