Get lost // Lake Texoma
Size: 74,686 acres // Drive time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Waterfront restrictions: Yes
You should know that, in 2004, a blue catfish weighing 121.5 pounds was caught here, briefly setting a world record for a rod-and-reel catch (the fish now lives in the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center near Lake Athens).
The river-fed lake is one of the largest reservoirs in the country. Texoma is so big that it seems to have a bit of everything: sandy beaches, the largest variety of fish around (largemouth bass, striped bass, and blue catfish being the most abundant), golf courses, resorts, enough water that it doesn’t feel crowded, calm coves that make for great skiing, and wildlife refuges. The Texoma Lakefest Regatta was the first charity regatta in the United States and currently benefits the Make-a-Wish Foundation of North Texas.
Realtor Lezlie Rube says the market did slow here, but people haven’t been discounting prices; they’ve merely sat with their houses, waiting for a better economy. The first part of this year feels like a release of pent-up demand, she says. It’s still a buyer’s market, but Rube doesn’t think it will last long.
Though Texoma is a Corps of Engineers lake, docks are a no-no and boat houses must be approved, those built before the Corps took over were grandfathered in. Close to one-third of properties here are second houses, a figure that seems to decrease as technology allows people to work from home—and ditch their city digs for a better view.