TPWD District Fisheries Office

409 Chester
Wichita Falls, Texas 76301
(940) 766-2383
Tom Lang, Biologist

About the Area

Local Information

 

Lake Arrowhead

Quick Links: Fishing Regulations | Angling Opportunities | Cover & Structure | Tips & Tactics


Notice

Due to low water levels, State Park boat ramps are closed and most others are not usable at this time. Before you go, visit the state park page or call the City of Wichita Falls at (940) 761-7491 to check current conditions.

Lake Characteristics

Location: 15 miles southeast of Wichita Falls off US Highway 281
Surface area: 14,969 acres
Maximum depth: 45 feet
Impounded: 1966

Water Conditions

Current Lake Level
Conservation Pool Elevation: 926 ft. msl
Fluctuation: 4-6 feet
Normal Clarity: 1-2 foot visibility

Reservoir Controlling Authority

City of Wichita Falls
1300 7th Street
Wichita Falls, Texas 76307
(940) 761-7477

Aquatic Vegetation

Little to none at current lake level

Predominant Fish Species

Lake Records
Current Fishing Report
Stocking History
Latest Survey Report

Fishing Regulations

All species are currently managed under statewide regulations.

Angling Opportunities

Lake Arrowhead is recognized as a premier white crappie lake. Be prepared to share the water with many other anglers in spring, when limits of nice-size crappie are caught in the lower half of the reservoir. Arrowhead also contains channel, blue, and flathead catfish, with blue cats being most harvested. All three species can get big here: the lake record for channel catfish is 12.9 pounds, and for blues, 74.7 pounds. Flatheads over 40 pounds are not uncommon with the lake record at 70 pounds. Largemouth bass fishing can be very good at times, depending on water turbidity and lake elevation. Florida-strain largemouths were stocked in 1995, 2001, 2005, 2006 and 2010. There have been documented catches of largemouth bass over 12 pounds and tournaments are becoming increasingly popular. Abundant numbers of large, hungry, white bass cruise the lake throughout the year. The lake record is 2.88 pounds.

Species Poor Fair Good Excellent
Largemouth Bass     yes  
Catfish       yes
Crappie       yes
White Bass       yes
Sunfish   yes    
Fishing Cover/Structure

Fish habitat includes riprapped areas along the dam and bridges and rocky shoals near the main lake points. Good amounts of standing timber remain in the upper end of the reservoir and in the back of most coves. Aquatic vegetation varies with water levels. Fifteen old oil derricks, extending high above the water, make unique fishing sites. These metal derricks mark wells that were capped and sealed before the lake was impounded. They provide unique fish attractors, useful for anglers in boats.

Three Christmas-tree fish attractors were added to this reservoir in 2012. Anglers may use GPS in conjunction with a fish finder to locate these structures. Get downloadable file

Tips & Tactics

Spring is the time to fish for white crappie. While crappie can be caught year round, the majority are caught during the spawning period. They'll be located in shallow water near shoreline habitat. The dam, state park area, and bridges produce stringers full of fish. Skirted crappie jigs with in-line spinners or minnows are the baits of choice. At other times of year, crappie will be found around the state park piers and docks that have brush piles under them. Boat anglers can almost always catch crappie at the oil derricks from 12-19 feet.

Nice-sized largemouth bass can be found in the lower parts of the reservoir, concentrated around rock riprap, aquatic vegetation, docks, points, and woody debris. Most are caught near the sail boat cove, dam, and the Henrietta bridge. Top water and shad imitation baits work well, especially during the summer months. As a rule, bass at Arrowhead are found in water five feet deep or less. If the water is turbid, they may be found in water only 1-2 feet deep.

Fishing for catfish is productive year round. Favorite baits include shrimp, prepared stink baits, and shad. Boat anglers have had high success rates "baiting out" likely areas with soured wheat. This usually attracts channel cats within a day and can provide good fishing for several days. Another productive technique is drift fishing. On days with light to moderate winds, boat anglers bait multiple rods with shrimp or shad and let the boat drift with the wind, keeping bait near the bottom. Blue catfish anglers might want to concentrate efforts below cormorant roost sites in the upper part of the reservoir. Trot and jug lines baited with shad are almost always productive.

While there is not a well-defined white bass spring spawning run, groups of mature fish do congregate off the rocky main lake points in March and April. These fish run up to three pounds, and their holding points can easily be located with depth finders. As the water warms in late spring and summer, schooling fish spend most of their time in the lower part of the reservoir chasing schools of shad. At this time, shad imitation lures work well cast toward shore or trolled. Trolling boat anglers may want to stop and anchor when they locate actively feeding white bass.


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