Cool and windy weather in late October is a turn-off for many anglers but not for Texoma striper guide Chris Carey. When many anglers are struggling under windy conditions to use live bait in rough open waters, Carey heads for the banks with his arsenal of artificial lures.
“This wind is going to be rough on those live bait guys, but I have some places we will be able to fish where the top-water action really has been hot lately.” Within minutes, Carey stopped his boat near a small island. He already had several rods rigged with two of his favorite top-water lures – Pencil Poppers and Chug Bugs.
We began casting the lures as close as possible to the banks of the island and retrieving them with sharp jerks from our rods to create as much commotion with them as possible atop the rolling waves. Within minutes a striped bass weighing about seven pounds struck one of our Chug Bugs in the shallow water. That fish set the stage for the great action that followed.
When the action slowed, we moved to a similar island that also provided protection from the high winds. We caught several striped bass on the Pencil Poppers, it was the more noisy Chug Bugs that seemed to attract most of the strikes. The two largest bass weighed about nine pounds, and just as Carey mentioned he has recently caught much larger fish at this spot, it happened. Ten feet from the boat a fifteen-pound striper exploded on the lure. With line stripping and rod bending, Texoma striper guide Carey grinned and said, “Vicious bites and extreme fights!”
“This is my favorite type of fishing,” Texoma striper guide Carey said. “You just can’t beat the excitement you get when a striped bass blows up on a top-water lure.”
The best action during the past few weeks has been the early morning hours. As the sun rose higher and the action slowed, Carey moves out to deeper water. Then casts soft plastic Sassy Shad rigged on lead head hooks and bumps them along the bottom. Every time we move Carey was scanning the whole lake. In the fall, thousands of seagulls arrive at Lake Texoma and they are the best fish locater.
We rounded a bend moving to the next spot. “There they are,” Carey said. He positioned the boat so the schooling fish were coming towards us. There were lots of splashes on the surface but Carey said, “Cast your jigs, count to five and hold on!” The boat drifted along with the feeding fish and “Fish On!” echoed with four fish on at the first cast.
We landed thirty striped bass that Carey called “box fish”. All were three to four pounds. Lake Texoma boasts twice the state’s normal daily limit of striped bass at ten fish per person. The fish are fat and tough to land.
Amazingly enough, despite a hot summer, the stripers are still there. The legendary Lake Texoma fall fishing is happening. The current fishing is nearly epic and Texoma’s famous striped bass population is in robust shape.