New Kaw lake record
If Lesley McNeff of Mustang had caught her 78 lb. flathead catfish from Kaw
Lake this time last year, she may have been the only one to cherish the
sweet memory, but since she caught it March 8 of this year, the big cat will
go down in the record books.
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation initiated its Lake Record
Fish Program in February, 2008, to recognize the biggest fish from a number
of lakes across the state, as well as the anglers who reel them in.
McNeff’s catfish goes down as the first lake record flathead catfish and the
third lake record caught since the inception of the program. It was caught
on a trotline baited with whole shad, and McNeff, 25, and her father braved
cold weather to bring home the fish.
“It was really cold,” McNeff said. “It was 19 degrees when we got on the
The pair checked her father’s trotline first, coming up with three
nice-sized flatheads, then switched to check Lesley’s trotline. There was
only one fish on the trotline, but neither of them expected to find a Kaw
lake record — weighing an even 75 lbs with a length of 51 inches and a girth
of 34.25 inches.
“I was not disappointed that it was the only fish on the line!” McNeff said.
McNeff enjoys running trotlines this time of year with her father, who
learned the art of successful trotline fishing from his father.
“My dad’s the best trotline fisherman I know,” McNeff said. “He knows how
and where to set them, how to run them.”
And McNeff’s father has been showing her the ropes since she was just a
youngster. Her flathead catfish comes after two other lake records were set
in late February. One was a 14 lb., 8 oz. largemouth bass caught by Allen
Gifford, Davis, from Arbuckle Lake, and the other was a 40.1 lb. Grand Lake
blue catfish caught by Illinois resident Denny Halgren.
Besides Kaw Lake, there are currently 12 other major lakes included in the
Lake Record Fish pilot program, including Arbuckle, Broken Bow, Canton,
Eufaula, Ft. Cobb, Grand, Keystone, Sardis, Skiatook, Tenkiller, Texoma and
Species eligible for spots in the lake records book include flathead, blue
and channel catfish and largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass in addition
to crappie, paddlefish, striped bass, striped bass hybrids, sunfish
(combined) walleye/saugeye and white bass. Minimum weights are set for each
species and are detailed on the Wildlife Department’s Web site at
Anglers who catch a potential record fish from a participating lake should
contact designated business locations around the lake that are enrolled as
lake record keepers. A listing of official lake record keepers is available
Once it has been determined that an angler has landed a record fish, the
media is notified and the public will be able to view information about the
catch on the Wildlife Department’s Web site at wildlifedepartment.com.
An easily-operated search feature is available on the Web site that allows
those interested to view a wealth of lake record fish information, ranging
from the size of record fish caught to what kind of bait or rod and reel was
used to catch them.
All past and current state record fish are registered in the Lake Record
Fish Program as records for their respective lakes.
For more information about the new Lake Record Fish Program, or for more on
bass fishing in Oklahoma, log on to wildlifedepartment.com.
Lesley McNeff of
FISHING REPORT FOR MARCH 12, 2008
Arcadia: Elevation normal and semi-clear. Blue catfish fair on shad at 8 ft.
on northeast shores in morning. Crappie fair by the south dock at 5-6 ft. in
morning on minnows or jigs. All other fishing fair. Report submitted by
Linnie Mason, Arcadia lake gate attendant.
Birch: Elevation normal, water mid-40s and clear. Crappie fair on minnows
and jigs around brush piles at 15-30 ft. Blue catfish good on cut shad at
1-12 ft. fishing flats near the creeks channels. Striped bass hybrids fair
at 15-20 ft. trolling crankbaits. Report submitted by Spencer Grace, game
warden stationed in Osage County.
Carl Blackwell: Elevation normal, water 50 and stained. Crappie fair at
14-16 ft. on jigs. Report submitted by Jon Cunningham, game warden stationed
in Payne County.
Eucha: Elevation slightly above normal, water 48 and murky. Crappie fair on
jigs and minnows around brush and structure at 14-16 ft. Largemouth bass
fair on deep running crankbaits. Catfish fair on juglines using cut shad.
Report submitted by Dwight Moore, City of Tulsa Fisheries.
Grand: Elevation 1/2 ft. above normal, water 44-57 and dirty from Sailboat
Bridge to Horse Creek and stained to lightly stained from Horse Creek to the
dam. Bass fishing has improved on jigs, spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Crappie
slow, with a few being caught on darker colors like Grandpa's jigs in the
browns, blacks, or grays at 10-25 ft. Catfish being caught on jugs baited
with shad at 15-20 ft. White bass are starting to move up Neosho River and
are still being caught in Spring River. Paddlefish are being snagged in the
Riverview Park in Miami and in the mouth of Elk River up to Osage Hollow
trolling in boats. Report submitted by Greg Lamb.
Greenleaf: Elevation 1/2 ft. above normal, water murky. Largemouth bass fair
on crankbaits and spinnerbaits along shoreline and creek channels. Channel
catfish good on stinkbaits and cut baits on bottom. Crappie fair on minnows
and jigs at fishing dock and brush structure. Report submitted by Lark
Wilson, game warden stationed in Muskogee County.
Kaw: Elevation 1 ft. above normal, water 41 and murky. Crappie fair off the
Washunga and Kaw City riprap embankments, Little Beaver and Otter creeks at
8-20 ft. on minnows and jigs; there is a wide variance of depths and
location as fish are on the move and are beginning to disperse to
pre-spawning areas. White bass slow. Blue catfish excellent on juglines
using fresh cut shad for bait. Blue catfish are on the flats in the Bear,
Coon, and Washunga Bay areas at 6-18 ft. Smaller male paddlefish fair to
good on east side below Kaw Dam. Report submitted by Tracy Daniel, game
warden stationed in Kay County.
Lower Illinois: Trout excellent on black midges, pheasant tails, woolly
buggers in green. Bait fishing with power baits and worms have also produced
limits of fish.
Oologah: Elevation 1 ft. above normal, water 40 and murky. Blue catfish fair
on shad fishing flats on upper end of the lake at 10 ft. Crappie fair on
jigs and minnows around brush piles at 15-20 ft. White bass fair on jigs and
deep diving crankbaits in Verdigris River above the lake. Report submitted
by Brek Henry, game warden stationed in Rogers County.
Pawhuska Lake: Elevation slightly above normal, water in middle 40s and
clear. Trout excellent on power bait and excellent casting silver and red
super dupers at 5-15 ft. Report submitted by Spencer Grace, game warden
stationed in Osage County.
Skiatook: Elevation 1 1/2 ft. above normal, water clear. Crappie fair on
minnows at 20-30 ft. in creek channels. Report submitted by Paul Welch, game
warden stationed in Osage County.
Spavinaw: Elevation slightly above normal, water 47 and clear. Crappie fair
on jigs and minnows around the dam area. Largemouth bass fair on deep
running crankbaits. Report submitted by Dwight Moore, City of Tulsa
Tenkiller: Elevation 5 ft. above normal and falling. Water is murky mid-lake
to clear at both ends of the lake. Largemouth bass slow, with some action in
coves on bass jigs. Crappie slow with some action at 30 ft. around brush on
1/16th oz. jigs. White bass starting to hit in the upper end trolling.
Report submitted by Monte Brooks, Cookson Village Resort.
Webbers Falls: Elevation 3 ft. above normal, water murky. Largemouth bass
fair on spinnerbaits along riprap. Channel catfish good on stinkbaits and
cut baits on bottom. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs at 8-12 ft. around
brush structure. Report submitted by Lark Wilson, game warden stationed in
Canton: Elevation normal. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs near brush.
Channel catfish fair on shad and night crawlers. Walleye fair along dam on
jigs and crankbaits. Report submitted by Mark Walker, game warden stationed
in Blaine County.
Ft. Supply: Elevation above normal, water clear. White bass good on jigs and
spinnerbaits along the dam. Crappie good on jigs at the gate tower and at
the jetties. Report submitted by Mark Reichenberger, game warden stationed
in Harper County.
Arbuckle: Elevation normal, water 46 and stained in creeks. Crappie good on
docks and at brush piles. White bass being caught in upper creeks on ¼ oz.
rattletraps and grubs. Bass slow, with a few being caught on crankbaits,
jigs and Carolina rigs. Report submitted by Jack Melton.
Blue River: Elevation normal, water 50 and murky. Largemouth bass slow on
minnows and jigs. Channel catfish slow on liver and worms. Trout fair to
good on power bait, super dupers, rooster tails and mealworms. Report
submitted by Charles Baker, technician at the Blue River Public Fishing and
Broken Bow: Elevation rising, water 49 and murky. Largemouth bass fair on
spoons and deep running crankbaits around islands and off points. Catfish
good on juglines and trotlines baited with cut bait. Crappie fair on minnows
or jigs around structure in the upper end of the lake. Walleye good in the
upper end of the lake staging at 40-45 ft. on deep running crankbaits.
Report submitted by Dru Polk, game warden stationed in McCurtain County.
Eufaula: Elevation 2 ft. above normal and clear. Largemouth bass fair on
jerk baits and jig and pig at 3-8 ft. around rocky areas. White bass slow.
Blue catfish fair on fresh shad at 10-20 ft. drifting the flats. Crappie
fair at 8-15 ft. along I-40 riprap and around boat docks with submerged
brush piles. Report submitted by Ed Rodebush, game warden stationed in
Hugo: Elevation 6 1/2 ft. above normal, water 48. White bass fair on trolled
crankbaits in the river channel above the cutoff. Crappie good on jigs below
the dam at 9-13 ft. Blue catfish good on shad below the dam. Report
submitted by Jay Harvey, game warden stationed in Choctaw and Bryan
Konawa: Elevation normal, water 50 and clear. Largemouth bass good on
Carolina rigging off points and roadbeds at 8-10 ft. White bass and hybrid
striped bass fair on minnows and jigs at 15 ft. in discharge canal. Report
submitted by Daryl Howser, game warden stationed in Seminole County.
Lower Mountain Fork River: Trout very good on a March Brown Mayfly or a
Midge. Report submitted by Beavers Bend Fly Shop.
McGee Creek: Elevation 4 ft. above normal, 48 degrees and murky. Largemouth
bass fair on soft plastic lures and jig and pig at 16-30 ft. over submerged
humps. Crappie fair on minnows at 16-25 ft. over cedar brush. Report
submitted by Larry Luman, game warden stationed in Atoka County.
Pine Creek: Elevation above normal and murky. Bass good on spinnerbaits.
Crappie fair on minnows around submerged tops and timber. Catfish fair on
beef blood magic bait. Report submitted by Mark Hannah, game warden
stationed in McCurtain County.
Robert S. Kerr: Elevation normal, water 48 and murky. Largemouth bass slow
at 6-8 ft. using plastic baits and jigs fishing the rock, weed and woody
structure next to deeper water. Crappie fair at 10 ft. using minnows drift
fishing in the old creek channels. White bass fair using jigs and minnows
fishing the mouths of the major feeder streams; fish are staging up for the
spring run. Blue catfish fair at 8-10 ft. using fresh cut bait fishing the
windy shorelines around the lake. Report submitted by Rick Olzawski, game
warden stationed in Haskell County.
Sardis Lake: Largemouth bass good on plastics off points and along riprap.
White bass fair on grubs in the mouths of creeks. Catfish good on cut bait,
live shad and minnows in creek channels and along the flats. Crappie good to
excellent on shallow timbered areas on minnows and jigs around bridge.
Walleye good around the islands and riprap. Report submitted by Allen Couch,
game warden stationed in Pushmataha County.
Texoma: Elevation 1 ft. below normal, water 48 and clear. Striped bass
hybrids fair on live bait at 15-20 ft. in the coves. Channel and blue
catfish fair on live bait and cut shad at 10-15 ft. in the upper Red River.
Crappie fair on minnows at 5-10 ft. deep around underwater brush. Report
submitted by Danny Club, game warden stationed in Bryan County.
Wister: Elevation 17 ft. above normal and murky. Largemouth bass good on
soft plastic baits. Crappie good with minnows and jigs below dam. Channel
and blue good on shad below dam. Report submitted by Randy Fennell, game
warden stationed in LeFlore County.
Altus-Lugert: Elevation 4 1/2 ft. below normal and rising. Crappie and
walleye poor. White bass fair for small fish and poor for larger fish. Trout
good on corn in the river. Report submitted by Sue Hokanson, Quartz Mountain
Ellsworth: Elevation above normal with one floodgate open. Crappie good at
Ralph's Resort on jigs and minnows at 20 ft. Walleye and saugeye good behind
the dam on jigs and spinners. Report submitted by Mike Carroll, game warden
stationed in Comanche County
Ft. Cobb: Elevation 3/4 ft. above normal. Crappie slow around marina and
boat slips. Saugeye slow along east end of dam. Catfish slow on cut baits.
Report submitted by James Edwards Jr., game warden stationed in Caddo
Lawtonka: Elevation normal. Crappie fair off the
dam in deep water on jigs. Report submitted by Mike Carroll, game warden
stationed in Comanche County.
Waurika: Elevation normal, water 46 and murky. Blue catfish being caught on
shad and punch bait. Crappie being caught on jigs and minnows in the marina
and Wichita Ridge. Report submitted by Phillip Cottrill, game warden
stationed in Jefferson County.
Wintertime Striper Fishing
Striper of 2008
She is an avid fisherperson and fishes year round, Angella's favorite is
Lake Eufaula and the Lower Illinois River. She is like Okiefish, where ever
her travels take her, she fishes. This picture from a trip to Cozumel,
Mexico. When the fish are biting and where ever, you'll most likely find
Angella close by.