John's Journal...

The South's Sleeper Lunker Lakes

Lake Arrowhead, Texas

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: If you want to catch bigger bass than you’ve ever caught, then consider fishing secret spots. Most anglers know that if they can find the areas with little fishing pressure, they’ll have better chances of locating and taking bigger bass than if they fish where everyone else fishes. We’ve investigated some overlooked hotspots that home secret big bass.

Source: Mark Howell, district fisheries biologist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD)

The Scoop: Lake Arrowhead in north Texas, Click to enlarge15-miles southeast of Wichita Falls, covers 14,969 acres. Impounded in 1966, Arrowhead has had eight stockings of largemouth bass, with the most-recent in 2006. The lake’s cover consists primarily of floating mats of American pondweed around the state park and nearby coves, and some reeds. Due to fluctuating water levels and turbidity, some parts of the lake have no vegetation. A non-resident freshwater fishing license valid from the date of sale until August 31, 2008, costs $55 and a 1-day costs $15. Call 1-800-792-1112, or 512- 389-4800. You can get a complimentary map from the TPWD District Fisheries at 940-766-2383 and also Five boat ramps at this lake remain open year-round, require no entrance fees and will accommodate any size of boats. 1) You can reach Pawnee Point boat ramp on the east side of the lake near the dam that’s open year-round by traveling FM 1954 east and turning north onto FM 2606 near the entrance to Lake Arrowhead State Park. Follow the road across the dam, and take Pawnee Road, the first right after the Lake Arrowhead Association building. 2) To travel to the Henrietta Bridge boat ramp on the east side of the lake, take FM 1954 east, and turn north on FM 2606, just before the entrance to Lake Arrowhead State Park. Follow the road across the dam, and continue until the road ends in a T to see thClick to enlargee ramp. 3) Anglers also use the Deer Creek boat ramp outside the city of Scotland. From US 281, turn east at the blinking light, and travel about 9 miles to reach the non-marked entrance off of FM 172. 4) You can travel to the boat ramp at West Arrowhead Park, off FM 1954 near the state park entrance by taking West Arrowhead Road until you see the Boat Ramp Road street sign, and then follow the road to the ramp at end. 5) You can use the State Park boat ramp, located 8 miles off US 281 on FM 1954.  

You also cClick to enlargean reach the no-fee, smaller-boat Shoshone Park boat ramp at the upper end of the lake, east of US 281 by looking for the turnoff just south of the Little Wichita River bridge. Write the City of Wichita Falls at 1300 7th Street, Wichita Falls, Texas 76307, or call 1-940-761-7477 to learn more about these boat ramps.

Lake Record: In 2006, the lake-record largemouth weighed 12.71 pounds, and in 1995, the record striped bass weighed 14.36 pounds.

When, Where and With What to Fish for a Big ‘Un: Fish the last full week of April, when the largemouth will start to actively spawn around the dam and Sailboat Cove, on the east side of the yacht club with Texas-rigged worms, especially watermelon-colored with the pepper flecks, and heavy, blue-and-black jigs.

Gear Tips: You’ll need to steer the big bass out of the flooded vegetation using medium-heavy spinning tackle.

Professional Secrets: Bass fishing has improved dramatically in the last 2 years here with very-few non-locals aware of this development. You can launch your boat and camp at Lake Arrowhead State Park. To learn more about this area, go to

Check back each day this week for more about "The South's Sleeper Lunker Lakes"

Day 1: Lake Victor, Florida
Day 2: Dodge County Public Fishing Area (PFA), Georgia
Day 3: Caddo Lake, Louisiana
Day 4: Lake Bill Waller, Mississippi
Day 5: Lake Arrowhead, Texas


Entry 444, Day 4