March 13, 2013

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Fishing Report for March 13,2013



Check out the new lake record striped bass hybrid caught at Hudson Lake. It was caught on March 4 and weighed 20.5 lbs. and was 31.25 inches long. For more information go to





Arcadia: March 10. Elevation normal. Channel catfish fair to good on punch bait and chicken liver around points and flats. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs suspended early morning and midday. Carp good on hotdogs. Report by Chance Whiteley, game warden stationed in Oklahoma County.

Arcadia: March 12. Elevation normal, water 46 and muddy. All fishing fair. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs at 8-12 ft. along shorelines and docks early morning. Bass fair. Catfish fair on cut bait. Report submitted by Sheila Hutton, gate attendant.


Overholser: March 11. Elevation below normal. Catfish fair on night crawlers and cut shad. Report submitted by David Rempe, game warden stationed in Oklahoma County.

Thunderbird: March 9. Elevation 7 1/3 ft. below normal, water murky. Crappie fair on minnows and small jigs at 8-10 ft. around structure. Bass fair on spinnerbaits around structure. Report by Tony Woodruff, game warden stationed in Cleveland County.




Ft. Gibson: March 9. Elevation 1 1/2 ft. above normal, water 49 and clear. White bass fair on whole shad on a Carolina rig in the main channel in the Mission Bend area. Catfish good on whole shad at 10-20 ft. drifting the flats. Largemouth bass good on crankbaits at 5-15 ft. around structure. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs at 15 ft. around the docks. Report submitted by Rick Stafford of Wagoner.


Hudson: March 11. Elevation normal. Largemouth bass good on crankbaits and plastic baits. White bass fair to good in the lower of the creeks and below the dams. Blue catfish fair to good on cut bait. Crappie good on minnows and jigs. Report submitted by Steve Loveland, game warden stationed in Rogers and Mayes counties.


Kaw: March 11. Elevation normal, water 44. Crappie good on minnows and jigs at 10-12 ft. around Sarge Creek. Blue catfish fair on juglines. Channel catfish good on fresh cut shad north on the Arkansas River. Largemouth and spotted bass good on the south end of the lake. Report submitted by Emily Long, game warden stationed in Kay and Grant counties.

Keystone: March 12. Elevation 1/2 ft. below normal, water 46. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs. Catfish fair on cut bait. Striped bass good on shad-colored jigs. Report submitted by Karlin Bailey, game warden stationed in Creek County.

Lower Illinois: March 11. Elevation normal, water 44 and murky. Largemouth bass slow on crankbaits at 1-3 ft. and minnows with corks at 1 ft. around bridges, coves and the mouth of the river. White bass slow on spinnerbaits and jigs at 2-3 ft. at the mouth of the river. Striped bass slow on shad at 3 ft. at the mouth of the river. Channel catfish excellent on cut bait on bottom all along the river. Crappie slow on spinnerbaits and jigs at 3 ft. around bridges and coves. Trout excellent on flies at the surface, on rooster tails at 1-2 ft. and on Power Bait on bottom from the dam to Gore Landing. Report submitted by D. Tracy, Town of Gore.


Lower Illinois: March 13. Stocked 2,329 rainbow trout. The Corps of Engineers will be doing turbine inspections on Tenkiller Dam during March and April and the turbines will be out of use for 4-6 weeks. Report submitted by Josh Johnston, biologist stationed in the east central region.

Oologah: March 10. Elevation 3 ft. below normal, water upper 40s to lower 50s. Crappie fair at 10-15 ft. around brush piles. Blue catfish fair on worms and shad at 10-15 ft. on flats. White bass fair on jigs in the river above the lake. Report submitted by Brek Henry, game warden stationed in Rogers County.


Sooner: March 13. White bass and striped bass hybrids fair on ghost minnows, sassy shad and topwater lures in the discharge. Saugeye fair on minnows and sassy shad. Fishing fair on live shad, cut shad and slabs where pumping water at the dam. Report submitted by Doug Gottschalk, game warden stationed in Noble County.


Tenkiller: March 11. Elevation 4 ft. below normal and rising, water 50 and clear. Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass slow on deep running crankbaits, soft plastics and spinnerbaits around main lake points. Report submitted by Monte Brooks of Cookson.




Canton: March 9. Elevation 15 ft. below normal, water clear. Channel catfish good on shad in the river channel near Canadian campground. Report submitted by Mark Walker, game warden stationed Blaine County.




Arbuckle: March 9. Elevation 5 3/4 ft. below normal, water 51 and clear to stained in upper creek arms and back of feeder coves. Crappie slow around docks and fair on minnows and jigs scattered around the lake at 25 ft. around brush piles. White bass are on the move and being caught at 20 ft. in back of creek arms off creek channel ledges. Bass being caught on crankbaits, jerk baits and Alabama rigs off points and bluffs. Report submitted by Jack Melton.


Broken Bow: March 10. Elevation near normal and rising, water low 30s. Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass fair on plastic baits, jerk baits and jigs. Crappie good on minnows and jigs in deeper water around structure. Walleye good on jigs and rogues in the upper end of the lake and mouths of creeks. Report submitted by Dru Polk, game warden stationed in McCurtain County.

Eufaula: March 10. Elevation 3 ft. below normal, water clear. Largemouth bass good on jerk baits and plastic baits along rocky areas. Blue catfish good on shad along flats. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs below docks and along riprap areas. Report submitted by Ed Rodebush, game warden stationed in McIntosh County.

Hugo: March 10. Elevation 2 ft. above normal. Crappie fair on minnows along the river channel. Catfish fair on trot lines baited with cut shad and live bait. Report submitted by Jay Harvey, game warden stationed in Choctaw and Bryan counties.

Konawa: March 11. Elevation normal, water 51 and clear. Largemouth bass fair on plastic worms and crankbaits at 4-8 ft. along the outside edge of weed beds and cattails. White bass and striped bass hybrids good on shad and jigs at 15 ft. in the discharge canal. Report submitted by Daryl Howser, game warden stationed in Seminole County.

Lower Mountain Fork: March 10. Fishing has been great. In addition to midges and blue-winged olive mayflies, March Browns and tan caddis flies are beginning to take trout throughout the river. Report submitted by Mark Hannah, game warden stationed in McCurtain County.

Lower Mountain Fork: March 7. Stocked 1,577 lbs., approximately 2,472 rainbow trout. Report submitted by Don Groom, southeast region fisheries supervisor.

McGee Creek: March 10. Elevation 6 ft. below normal, water 52 and murky. Largemouth bass fair on soft plastic bait at 15-25 ft. Crappie fair on minnows at 12-28 ft. over cedar brush in creek channels. Report submitted by Larry Luman, game warden stationed in Atoka County.


Pine Creek: March 10. Elevation below normal, water clear. Boat ramps have been reopened. Bass good on most jerk baits. Crappie good on jigs. Report submitted by Mark Hannah, game warden stationed in McCurtain County.

Robber's Cave State Park: March 7. Stocked 351 lbs., approximately 547 rainbow trout. Report submitted by April Drake, secretary southeast region fisheries.

Sardis Lake: March 8. Elevation normal. Largemouth bass good on crankbaits, stick baits and spinnerbaits. Channel and blue catfish good on cut bait and dead shad. Crappie fair to good at 8-10 ft. Walleye fair trolling and on jigs in shallows. Report submitted by Dane Polk, game warden stationed in Pushmataha County.

Texoma: March 10. Elevation 6 ft. below normal, water 50 and clear. Largemouth and smallmouth bass fair to good on crankbaits and plastic combination baits at 10-20 ft. off the points. Striped and white bass fair to good on live bait, sassy shad and salt craws at 10-30 ft. from Washita Point to the islands. Channel and blue catfish fair to good on live bait, cut bait and stinkbait at 10-30 ft. from Johnson Creek to Platter Flats. Crappie fair to good on minnows and jigs at 10-20 ft. along creeks and around underwater brush. Sunfish fair on tube jigs and shrimp at 5-10 ft. around the fishing docks. Report submitted by Danny Clubb, game warden stationed in Bryan County.

 Wister: March 10. Elevation 1/2 ft. above normal, water murky. Largemouth bass fair on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Crappie good on minnows and fair on white grubs at 10-12 ft. around brushy cover. Catfish fair on juglines and trotlines baited with cut bait and dead minnows at 10-15 ft. Report submitted by Randy Fennell, game warden stationed in LeFlore County.




Altus-Lugert: March 9. Elevation 27 ft. below normal and steady. Overall fishing is very slow. Report submitted by Sue Hokanson, Quartz Mountain Nature Park.


Medicine Creek: March 11. Trout good on salmon eggs in Bath Lake to Gondola Dam and fair on small in-line spinnerbaits and Super Dupers. Trout good on small black flies with fly equipment from the Hwy 49 Bridge to the south and fair on minnows, floating Power Baits and small spinnerbaits. Report submitted by Jimmy Miller with Gone Fishin'.

Tom Steed: March 12. Elevation 9 ft. below normal, water murky. Crappie slow on minnows and jigs at 15-20 ft. near the dam. Report submitted by David Smith, game warden stationed in Kiowa County.

 Waurika: March 11. Elevation 11 ft. below normal. Blue and channel catfish fair on cut shad along north shorelines during strong south winds. Striped bass hybrids and crappie slow on minnows and jigs. Report submitted by Ted Hasty, game warden stationed in Jefferson County.



To check current Oklahoma lake conditions across the state go to the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department's website at This website provides information on blue-green algae, lake updates, water safety tips, etc.



Oklahoma Spoonbill Fishing

March 16, 2013

A service of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation



Paddlefish: A conservation success story

            The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation's Paddlefish Research Center in the northeast part of the state has already processed at least 300 fish for anglers this spring.

            When it comes to unusual, it doesn't get much stranger than the paddlefish. The paddlefish takes its common and scientific names from its distinctive snout, which is elongated and flattened into a "paddle" shape. One of Oklahoma's largest fish, the paddlefish feeds on tiny zooplankton (microscopic insects) and, like a shark, has a completely cartilaginous skeletal system.

            The paddlefish was alive when dinosaurs were rumbling around in the late Cretaceous Period. Paddlefish are one of the most unique fish in Oklahoma. They can grow over 100 pounds and live up to 50 years. Paddlefish range throughout the U.S from Montana to Louisiana. In Oklahoma, they are found mainly in the Grand, Neosho and Arkansas River systems.

            Paddlefish are caught by snagging, usually beginning sometime in March and ending in late April, during the fish's early spring spawning run. The prehistoric fish can be caught by snagging with a stout surf rod, heavy test line, and a large, barbless treble hook. Historically, paddlefish were not a highly sought after species. They were mainly caught by local anglers who fished from the banks and cleaned their fish on the spot, taking the meat and leaving the carcasses in the river or trash cans at state parks.

            During the past decade, paddlefish have been increasingly in the spotlight, both as a favorite thrill for sport anglers and a target for poachers seeking to sell their eggs as caviar on the black market.

            In February 2008, the Wildlife Department opened the Paddlefish Research Center at Twin Bridges State Park near Miami, Okla. The center collects important biological data, processes paddlefish fillets for anglers and salvages paddlefish eggs.

            Since 2008 more than 20,000 fish have been brought to the paddlefish research center by anglers, where their fish are professionally cleaned and packaged. Workers at the center collect eggs from female fish to sell as caviar. Workers collect details on the condition of the eggs, weight, fat percentage and other data that tells biologists about the health of the fish. Once data is collected, the eggs are processed and sold as caviar. These funds are being used to fund continued paddlefish research and improve angler access. Oklahoma paddlefish caviar is dispersed throughout Europe and Asia after the critical biological data is recorded from each fish.

            Most importantly, the Wildlife Department is able to gather large quantities of useful data for managing paddlefish in Oklahoma. Certain types of biological data can only be collected once a paddlefish is dead. Prior to the opening of the Paddlefish Research Center, the Department had only collected information from 240 fish since the late 1970s. The center makes it possible to collect data from thousands of fish that are already being harvested by anglers. In just a few months, biologists found themselves years ahead of where they had been in terms of researching and managing the species.

            Biologists are able to get the scientific information they need for management, anglers get the meat from their fish, and the salvaged eggs are sold to pay for continued management of the resource. It is a win-win for the anglers and for the resource.

            Some examples of projects funded through caviar sales:

- Sonic tracking of paddlefish populations in Grand Lake and the Spring River.

- Genetic diversity analysis research project with Oklahoma State University.

- Purchase of boats and other equipment to assist law enforcement patrolling paddlefish waters.

- Improvement of fishing access at Miami Park on the Neosho River, the low water dam at Lake Hudson and planned improvements at Twin Bridges State Park at Grand Lake.

            The center is open during prime paddlefish snagging months (approximately March 1 - April 30), and anglers can bring their catch to the center for cleaning and processing. Additionally, anglers such as those fishing at Miami's Riverview City Park also can call the center to come pick up their paddlefish for processing. Anglers who take advantage of the service will take home meat from their own fish that has been safely cleaned and packaged.

            The paddlefish research center is seasonally staffed by employees trained in proper handling and processing of fish products.

            Paddlefish anglers are required to obtain a free paddlefish permit before fishing for paddlefish in Oklahoma. Last year around 70,000 anglers obtained the permit with a specific number that must be attached to all paddlefish that are caught and kept. The permit system provides clearer information about paddlefish anglers and helps better manage paddlefish populations. The permit is annual, and the permit number can be used on every paddlefish tagged during that period. Permits can be obtained online at



An angler poses with a paddlefish, a species that is benefitting from research and management taking place thanks to anglers who bring their paddlefish to the Wildlife Department's Paddlefish Research Center to be processed.


Brent Gordon, paddlefish research supervisor for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, takes data from a paddlefish at the Paddlefish Research Center. Workers at the center process paddlefish fillets for anglers and collects data and eggs from the fish for research and management of the unique species.




Dustin Newer

April 2010

These were caught near the Twin Bridges State park fishing with Dempsey’s Guide Service…My fishing partner is a well known OkieFish contributor but I will let her send in the pics of the 60 lber she caught.

Huge striped bass hybrid takes lake record spot at Canton
            Lifelong Oklahoma angler James Wesley Jones, Jr. of Canton said he loves fishing because it is a relaxing activity, but there was likely no relaxing going on April 19 when he landed a 23.2-lb. (23 lbs., 3 oz.) striped bass hybrid from Canton Lake. The huge fish qualifies as a lake record for
Canton and falls only about an ounce shy of taking the state record spot as well, which is held by Paul Hollister and his 23-lb., 4 oz. fish caught April 1, 1997, from Altus-Lugert Lake.
            Jones caught his fish in the evening using a 1-oz. rattletrap. Though the hybrid fell short of the state record, it reminds anglers that if they catch a potential state record fish, they should contact an employee of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation for procedures on certifying state records.
Lake record fish are weighed on scales through lake record keepers registered with the Wildlife Department, but the weighing of state records must be done on certified scales with a witness from the Wildlife Department present.
            Jones said the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s new Lake Record Fish Program does more than just recognize fish, but that it also encourages the sport of fishing. Before the program was in place, his near state record fish could have gone overlooked by anglers across the state, but the recognition his fish received through the Lake Record Fish Program reminds anglers of the potential that Oklahoma’s lakes hold for producing monster-sized fish.
            “It gets people motivated to fish knowing that there are larger fish in the lake,” Jones said.
            He said it is common in discussions among anglers to wonder about the sizes of the largest fish caught in lakes across the state.
            “You don’t have to wonder anymore,” he said. “You can just go on and find out.”
            Jones is referring to the Wildlife Department’s Web site,, which includes an easily-operated search feature 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. And right now, lake records are being set and broken on a regular basis, which means the wealth of information on the Web site is updating and growing regularly as well.
            Other recent lake records include a 4.8-lb. smallmouth bass caught by Derek Thurman of
Collinsville. His fish went down as a record smallmouth for Skiatook Lake, but that record was broken just days later, on April 5, when angler Jim Horn of Cleveland landed a 6.6-lb. smallmouth bass from Skiatook using a bait casting rod and reel set up with a jig.
            Lakes included in the program include Arbuckle, Broken Bow,
Canton, Eufaula, Ft. Cobb, Grand, Kaw, Keystone, Sardis, Skiatook, Tenkiller, Texoma and Thunderbird.
            Species eligible for spots in the lake records book include blue, channel and flathead 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 are detailed on the Wildlife Department’s Web site at
         Anglers who catch a potential record 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 on
            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
            All past and current state record fish are registered in the Lake Record Fish Program as records for their respective lakes.
            To see the complete database of all lake record fish caught, or to learn more about the Lake Record Fish program, log on to the Wildlife Department’s Web site at

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