UPCOMING EVENT: FLW Pro Circuit - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Taking on Texoma

Taking on Texoma
EverStart anglers launched under cloudy skies for the first day of competition on Lake Texoma.

DENISON, Texas. - They launched at a marina named "Highport," but EverStart Series Texas Division anglers will end up fishing a lot of low points on Lake Texoma.

With its water level down approximately 3 feet, the sprawling lake straddling the Texas-Oklahoma border presents a challenging, but certainly not hopeless situation. As Texas pro Stephen Johnston said, anglers will just have to adjust from their normal May patterns.

"A lot of these fish stay on the backside of docks and any kind of bigger rocks, but a lot of that stuff is out of the water," Johnston said. "What that's done is it really has the fish messed up. Some of them are still sitting on beds, but a lot of them are postspawn so they're in transition from the bank out. When the water is high, they'll fan out along the bank, but with the water being low, there's nothing for them to go to, so they're heading out to the deeper ends of the docks.

On the upside, Johnston said the lake's large-scale shad spawn presents a point of opportunity, as theStained pilings at Highpoint Marina tell the tale of low water on Lake Texoma. concentrated forage creates a natural predator attraction. The only hitch, he said, is that the low water has the bass scattered so the shad-spawn scenario may not be as rewarding as it would be if the lake was at normal pool.

Johnston said he will start his day working the shad schools around docks with a white Lateral Perch and a Cyclone spinnerbait. Later in the morning, if the sun pokes through the cloud cover, he'll fish Texas-rigged creature baits around isolated shoreline rocks. In the afternoon, he'll likely go to a Strike King square-bill crankbait.

Bill Starks of Dallas will try and capitalize on the shad spawn by not only matching the hatch, but also offering bass a double dose of imposters. Starks rigged a 5-inch Caffeine Shad on a 24-inch leader below a small swivel. Prior to tying on this leader, he slipped his main line through the eye of another swivel holding a shorter leader with a 4-inch Caffeine Shad. This tandem rig, he said, mimics the schooling shad and offers a presentation advantage that often triggers strikes.

"There are a lot of groups of shad flicking near the surface, and this rig excites the fish because it looks like a couple of shad are going by," Starks said. "I work it pretty quickly across the top of the water and then kill it. When I kill it, the two baits separate. You'll skip it 3 or 4 feet and kill it - that's when you'll get your bite."

Texas pro Bill Marks will fish a tandem rig with a 4-inch and a 3-inch Caffeine Shad to mimic the lakeNoting that his tandem rig will work all day - just a deeper presentation in the afternoon - Starks said the lake's many marinas will be prime targets for baits intended to replicate shad. He'll also look for secondary points with pea gravel and any other common shad-spawn areas.

"This lake fishes small, but there are areas that have big populations of fish and most people know where they're at," Starks said. "It's hard to find secret stuff, but it could come down to just a little bait technique change that separates the top guys from the low guys."

Johnston said he expects to see a mix of green and brown fish today, and those who locate kicker fish will place high in the standings.

"There's going to be a big variety of weights, and there might be some guys with some bigger bags of smallmouth," he said. "It will take all day to catch five (keepers). There will be lot of 11- to 13-pound bags. The difference will be if someone catches that 5- to 6-pounder to bump them up to that 16- to 17-pound range."

Logistics

Anglers will take off from Highport Marina, located at 120 Texoma Harbor Drive, Pottsboro, Texas, at 6:30With spawning shad abundant throughout the lake, spinnerbaits will be one of the productive options. each morning. On Thursday and Friday, weigh-ins will be held at the Highport Marina beginning at 2:30 p.m. Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at the Walmart located at 401 US North Highway 75 in Denison, Texas. Saturday's weigh-in begins at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Pros will fish for a top award of $35,000 plus a 198VX Ranger boat with 200-horsepower outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger 177TR with 90-horsepower outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met.

The EverStart Series consists of five divisions - Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of four tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the Angler of the Year title along with $5,000 for the pro and $2,000 for the co-angler. The top 40 pros and co-anglers from each respective division will qualify for the EverStart Series Championship that will be held on Kentucky Lake in Buchanan, Tenn., Oct. 27-30.

The EverStart Series tournament on Lake Texoma is being hosted by the Denison Area Chamber of At the morning takeoff, boaters headed in several directions for their first stop on Texoma.Commerce.

Thursday's conditions

Sunrise: 6:28 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 63 degrees
Expected high temperature: 82 degrees
Wind: SSW at 10-12 mph
Humidity: 30 percent
Day's outlook: cloudy

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2011-05-12-lake-texoma 

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