Lake Bonham Information

Lake Bonham, situated in the Prairies and Lakes region of north Texas, is seven miles south of the Texas/Oklahoma border and five miles slightly northeast of Bonham, Texas, in Fannin County. It covers 1,020 acres with 22 miles of shoreline with a maximum depth of 30 feet. A tributary of the Red River, Bois d’Arc Creek, and Timber Creek feeds Lake Bonham. The city of Bonham owns and operates Lake Bonham.

SH 78 runs along Lake Bonham’s western edge, SH 273 run across Lake Bonham’s western arm, and there are several farm to market roads leading to the shoreline all around Lake Bonham. Bonham, Texas, is the closest town to Lake Bonham, but the closest metro areas are Sherman/Denison, Texas, on the west and Paris, Texas on the east, with both being about 25 to 30 miles from Lake Bonham.

History of Lake Bonham

The City of Bonham designed Lake Bonham for water supply and recreational use. Construction of the dam began in 1967, and Lake Bonham was impounded in 1969. The city of Bonham experienced water issues as far back as 1880, even though it sits only 12 miles south of the Red River. From 1899 to 1910, Bonham piped water from the Bois d’Arc Creek to its old City Lake.

The old City Lake is still located on Bonham’s southeastern edge, but was no longer used for water supply by 1930. Businesses continued to use the old City Lake for a water source. The City of Bonham built a water tower. It wasn’t until construction of Lake Bonham began in the late 1960s that Bonham residents would finally see improvements to their water shortages.

Fishing Lake Bonham

All boats are required to have a current Bonham Lake permit. You can purchase these permits at the concession stand at the Lake Bonham Recreation Area or at the Kwik Chek at 97 FM 273 on the way to the lake from Bonham.

The predominant species in Lake Bonham are largemouth and spotted bass, black and white crappie, blue and channel catfish, bluegill, green, longear, redbreast, and readear sunfish, and warmouth. Look for the cattails which are abundant when Lake Bonham is full for largemouth bass action.

Fish habitat is abundant in Lake Bonham where there are long points, rip-rap at the dam, man-made brush piles, limited standing timber, and boat houses. There is limited aquatic vegetation. Lake Bonham has excellent catfish, crappie and sunfish ratings, with largemouth bass rated as good. There are also several fishing guide services.

There is a boat ramp on the north side of Lake Bonham off of SH 273 on North Ramp Road. On the southeastern side of the lake, the Lake Bonham Recreation Area has a doublewide launch ramp that will accommodate most boats. To get to the south boat ramp, take Recreation Road 3 off FM 273. Lake Bonham has no marinas or gas docks, but there are plenty of bait shops.

Find experienced local guides on our Lake Bonham Fishing Guides page.

Boating on Lake Bonham

Lake Bonham is relatively small, not known as a party lake, and has exceptional natural areas with lots of wildlife viewing opportunities. All boats are required to have a current Bonham Lake permit. You can purchase these permits at the concession stand at the Lake Bonham Recreation Area or at the Kwik Chek at 97 FM 273 on the way to the lake from Bonham.

There are two boat ramps on Lake Bonham. One is on the north shore, and from SH 273, take North Ramp Road. The south shore ramp is in the Bonham Lake Recreation Area on the southeastern border of the lake and provides restrooms, live bait, courtesy docks, picnic areas, camping, and handicap access. Both ramps can handle most types of boats. Waverunning and skiing are good in some of Lake Bonham’s coves.

Find or sell a boat on our Lake Bonham’s “Boats for Sale” page.

Camping at Lake Bonham

The Lake Bonham Recreation Area is one of the only campgrounds and parks at Lake Bonham and is operated by the City of Bonham. It has some lovely peaceful campsites, with or without water and electric hook-up. Its RV sites have 20 and 30 amp electric and water.

This campground and park features a double wide launch ramp for boats, an enclosed heated/cooled event center, an open pavilion for parties, a public beach for swimming, a fishing pier, a playground, horseshoe pits, a flat, nine-hole golf course, a volley ball court, and restrooms with ADA access.

Explore your options on our Lake Bonham Camping page. 

Lake Bonham Real Estate

Lake Bonham is nestled in a part of Texas that is referred to as where the Old South meets the Wild West. The Piney Woods of Texas nudge up to the east side of Lake Bonham, and on its west side are the wind-blown Plains of the Blackland Prairie.

The Lake Bonham real estate market has limited inventory. Modern homes range from $175,000 to over one million dollars. This is an extremely rural area. Paris/Reno, Texas, on the east and Sherman/Denison, Texas, on the west, are the closest metro shopping areas a half an hour away. Bonham, Texas, only five miles from Lake Bonham’s southern border, has a Walmart. The Bonham ISD serves Lake Bonham.

Find your perfect home on our Lake Bonham Homes For Sale page.

Things to Do at Lake Bonham

There is one restaurant serving American cuisine at the Lake Bonham Recreational Area near the Lake Bonham shore, and several restaurants in Bonham. You can buy beer and wine in parts of Fannin County. This is an extremely rural area and Lake Bonham is the main attraction.

Bonham, Texas has the Sam Rayburn House Museum, the Fannin County Museum of History, and the Creative Arts Center, where artists and performers can display or create their art. The Bonham Chamber of Commerce arranges tours of local wineries.

The Sam Rayburn Library and Museum, one of the five divisions of the Center for American History, contains exhibits on the life of Sam Rayburn and an exact replica of the office of the Speaker of the House. Sam Rayburn served as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives longer than any other speaker.

Plan your activities on our What To Do At Lake Bonham page. 

Lake Bonham Zip Codes

Fannin County: 75413, 75418,75438, 75439. 75443. 75447. 75475. 75476, 75479, 75488, 75490, 75492.

Lake Bonham Weather and Climate

Lake Bonham sees an average of 46 inches of rain, 232 sunny days, and one inch of snow per year. The January low is 31 degrees, the July high is 93 degrees, and April, May, and October are the most pleasant months of the year. Stay up to date on our Lake Bonham Weather Forecast page.

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Lake Bonham Current Weather Alerts

There are no active watches, warnings or advisories.


Lake Bonham Weather Forecast



Hi: 98

Friday Night


Lo: 73



Hi: 98

Saturday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 75



Hi: 98

Sunday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 77



Hi: 100

Monday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 76

Lake Bonham Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 7/12: 564.19 (-0.81)