Cooper

About The Lake

Location: On the Middle and South Forks of the Sulphur River, northwest of Sulphur Springs in Delta and Hopkins counties
Surface area: 19,305 acres
Maximum depth: 55 feet
Impounded: 1991

Water Conditions
Conservation Pool Elevation: 440 ft. msl
Fluctuation: Moderate
Normal Clarity: Stained

Predominant Fish Species
    • Largemouth bass
    • Catfish
    • Crappie
    • White & hybrid striped bass
Fishing Regulations

Special regulations govern the harvest of largemouth bass at Cooper Lake. There is a minimum length limit of 18 inches and a daily bag limit of 5 fish. All other game fish are managed under statewide regulations.

Opportunities
Largemouth bass are the most popular sportfish in the reservoir. White bass and hybrid striped bass also provide excellent fisheries especially in the lake’s open water areas. Because hybrid striped bass do not reproduce, they are stocked annually by TPWD to maintain the fishery. Crappie fishing is generally good, especially in the lake’s abundant standing timber and brush piles. Though channel, blue, and flathead catfish are all present, channel catfish are most abundant and provide an excellent sport fishery.
Fishing Structure

Flooded timber is found in most of the creeks, along the shoreline and in the upper half of Cooper Lake. Access to the west half of the lake is through boat lanes, sedimentation lines and openings in the timber. The main river channel is a popular area for spring fishing. Numerous small islands and fencerows also provide structure for largemouth bass anglers. Aquatic vegetation is sparse, but there are areas of floating aquatics (lotus, water primrose), and native emergents (cattails, smartweed). The only shore development is at the state park units. There are no other boat docks or boat houses.

Fishing Tips

Largemouth bass anglers are most successful on this reservoir during the spring, fall, and winter months. Topwater baits such as buzzbaits, Zara Spooks, and Pop-R’s are popular in the early morning and evening hours. Crankbaits and spinnerbaits are also productive fished along main-lake points and flooded timber. Popular soft plastic baits include worms, tubes, grubs, and soft-jerkbaits. In summer and early fall, schooling white bass and hybrid striped bass concentrate around main-lake points and humps. Topwater baits, jigging spoons, grubs, and lipless crankbaits are all popular. Techniques for hybrid stripers include trolling with in-line spinners and crankbaits and vertically jigging bucktail jigs. Live bait presentations for both hybrid striped and white bass are popular at all times of the year.

The catfish population is dominated by channel catfish, although anglers can also catch blue and flathead catfish. Stinkbait and cut bait work well for channel and blue catfish, while live bait is preferred for flathead cats. Crappie are commonly sought in Cooper Reservoir’s abundant standing timber and brush piles. Live minnows and crappie jigs are among the most popular baits used. Bank anglers are often successful fishing for crappie on the “wall” at the Heron Harbor Day Use Area in the South Sulphur Unit of Cooper Lake State Park. The Cooper Dam tailrace area also provides good bank access for a variety of sport fish.

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