FISHING REPORT FOR MARCH 16th, 2007
Fish tagging helps biologists
manage prehistoric paddlefish
Oklahoma anglers who
catch a tagged paddlefish this year can learn more about their fish by
logging on to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation's Web site at
For months, Brent Gordon,
fisheries biologist with the Wildlife Department, has been netting,
weighing, measuring and marking paddlefish with metal tags on the front of
the jaw before releasing them to be caught again by anglers.
"Now is the time to be
preparing for a paddlefish trip," Gordon said. "They will begin spawning any
time now, and on some days you can catch them almost nonstop."
Paddlefish are caught by
snagging, and top fishing spots include locations on the Neosho River such
as the Riverview City Park in Miami, Conner and Twin Bridges above Grand
Lake, the Kaw Lake tailwaters, Ft. Gibson Lake and Oologah Lake. Also, good
paddlefishing can be found on Hudson Lake, where over 500 fish have already
been marked with Wildlife Department tags to date.
Like sharks, the skeleton
of a paddlefish is made of cartilage instead of bones. The fish regularly
weigh over 50 pounds, and anglers say the action is intense, better compared
to heart-pounding saltwater fishing than freshwater angling. One of
Oklahoma's largest fish, paddlefish feed on plankton made of up microscopic
plants and animals, just as they did long ago during the Jurassic Period.
"Most people have to go
to a museum to see something that swam around in ancient times, and even
then they are limited to fossils and bones," Gordon said. "But Oklahomans
can actually reel in a prehistoric fish in their own state."
Paddlefish, also called
"spoonbills," range throughout the U.S. from Montana to Louisiana, and
though some states have seen dramatic decreases in their numbers, studies in
Oklahoma indicate an increase in recent years. In fact, data collected
through the Wildlife Department's paddlefish tagging program may assist
other state wildlife agencies in restoring their paddlefish numbers.
"If you catch a
paddlefish that has been tagged by the Department, you can find out the
length of the fish when it was first caught in a gillnet as well as when and
where it was netted," Gordon said. "You will also be helping the Department
to better manage paddlefish by reporting your catch - all with just a few
clicks of a mouse."
Anglers who catch a
tagged paddlefish can log on to wildlifedepartment.com/paddlefishtag.htm to
enter the tag number, learn more about their fish and read about the
paddlefish tagging program.
Gordon said it is
important for anglers to participate.
"Paddlefish are unusual
and require different management practices than other big fish," Gordon
said. "For example, it takes a male paddlefish six to eight years to mature,
and it takes a female eight to 10 years. That's a long time compared to
other big trophy fish in Oklahoma, like striped bass, which can reproduce in
their third or fourth year."
Since the fish take so
long to mature, Gordon said as much information as possible needs to be
gathered on Oklahoma's populations.
"They're in trouble in
some states, so keeping track of our populations as well as the makeup of
those populations will help us assist other states and will keep our
management program going strong," Gordon said.
Recently, the Wildlife
Department developed rules to help paddlefish continue to thrive in
Oklahoma. The rules reduce the bag and possession limits from three to one
paddlefish daily and require the use of barbless hooks. Any fish caught and
kept must be immediately tagged with the angler's name, address and fishing
license number. Anglers are allowed to catch and release paddlefish until
they decide to keep a fish, a practice that was previously prohibited. For
more information and regulations for paddlefishing, consult the current
"Oklahoma Fishing Guide."
FISHING REPORT FOR MARCH 14,
Hefner: Water 56 and clear.
Crappie being caught around the dam on jigs. Catfish being caught on cut
bait and stinkbait around the dam. Report submitted by Kelly Roberson, game
warden stationed in Oklahoma County.
Overholser: Water 62 and murky.
Catfish being caught on cut bait and stinkbait from the bank. Crappie being
caught around docks on jigs. Report submitted by Kelly Roberson, game warden
stationed in Oklahoma County.
Thunderbird: Elevation 10 1/2
ft. below normal and clear. Crappie good on minnows and jigs at 5-9 ft.
around structure. Bass are starting to hit, but still pretty slow on
spinners at 3-6 ft. Report submitted by Tony Woodruff, game warden stationed
in Cleveland County.
Wes Watkins: Elevation 5-5 1/2
ft. below normal, water 48-57 and muddy in feeder creeks but clearing in the
center of the lake. Catfish good on chicken livers, minnows, fresh cut baits
and various stinkbaits. White bass good on deeper-diving crankbaits in
various creek channels. Largemouth bass good on lighter colored spinnerbaits
with some action on brush hogs and assorted soft plastics. Some spawning
beds being spotted. Report submitted by M.M Fowler, St. Gregory's.
Birch: Elevation 3 ft. below
normal, water in the mid-50s and clear. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs
around standing timber and along creek channels. Report submitted by Paul
Welch, game warden stationed in Osage County.
Carl Blackwell: Elevation 4 ft.
below normal, water 47 and murky. Crappie fair on jigs at 15-25 ft. Saugeye
fair on jigs and crankbaits. Report submitted by Jon Cunningham, game warden
stationed in Payne County.
Eucha: Elevation slightly above
normal, water 52 and clear. Crappie fair on jigs and minnows around brush
and structure at 12-14 ft. Largemouth bass fair on jerk baits. Report
submitted by Dwight Moore, City of Tulsa Fisheries.
Greenleaf: Elevation normal and
clear. Largemouth bass fair on crankbaits and spinnerbaits in creek channels
and along shoreline. Channel catfish fair on cut bait and stinkbait on
bottom. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs around brush structure and fishing
dock. Report submitted by Lark Wilson, game warden stationed in Muskogee
Kaw: Elevation normal, water 50
and clear. Crappie have transitioned into a spring pattern on Kaw. Crappie
are being caught as shallow as 5 ft. around the fishing dock in Osage Cove
and Coon Creek. In the warmer days of mid-March, the crappie will move into
2-5 ft. in preparation to spawn around rocky banks or brush close to the
surface. Crappie can be caught around both marinas, the riprap around
Washunga Bay Bridge, Beaver and Otter creeks from the shoreline, by wading
or from a small boat. Anglers have been catching crappie on minnows and 1/8
oz. jigs with two-inch bodies in black and green on 10 lb. super line. Blue
catfish have picked up. Blue catfish are being caught by jug fishing using
cut shad at 10-15 ft. in close proximity to the channel and in the upper
portion of the lake and on trotlines baited with shad. Shad can be caught
with a cast net in the same area. Channel catfish are being caught in the
upper Arkansas River. Fishing below Kaw dam has picked up with the recent
release of water. A few white bass are showing up, while a few paddlefish
have been caught. It is time to start watching for white bass in the upper
portions of Kaw Lake. White bass spawn when the water temperature is between
50 and 55, about the same time the redbuds starts blooming. Fish can be
caught during spring break in the Arkansas River around the river bridge
east of Newkirk, upstream and downstream. Report submitted by Larry Green,
game warden stationed in Osage County.
Keystone: Elevation 2 ft. above
normal, water 48-50 and murky. Largemouth bass fair on crawdad, crankbaits
and jig and chunk at 6-10 ft. off secondary points in coves. Smallmouth bass
fair on crawdad, crankbaits and jig and chunk at 6-10 ft. in small main lake
pockets. Spotted bass fair on spinnerbaits and small crankbaits at 6-10 ft.
off main lake cove points. White bass good on 1/8 oz grubs white or
chartreuse in color at 4-8 ft. in rivers and creeks. Striped bass below the
dam are fair on buck tails and jerk baits at 2-4 ft. during discharge.
Striped bass in the lake fair on swim baits and live shad at 4-8 ft. and can
be found mixed in with the white bass. Channel catfish good on worms and
shrimp at 4-8 ft. in coves and creek. Blue catfish good on worms and shad at
8-15 ft. off points of shallow coves. Flathead catfish fair on goldfish and
live shad at 8-15 ft. along riprap and bluffs. Crappie good on jigs and
minnows at 10-20 ft. around docks and brush piles. Report submitted by Larry
Sellers, Woody's Bait and Tackle.
Oologah: Elevation normal, water
near 50 on the south end and upper 50s on the north end and clear. White
bass good on white and yellow jigs in the Verdigris River above the lake.
Occasional crappie and walleye also being caught in the river. Crappie fair
in the creeks around standing timber 12-15 ft. Largemouth basso fair on bass
jigs along south facing rocky banks at 10 ft. Report submitted by Brek
Henry, game warden stationed in Rogers County.
Skiatook: Elevation 12 ft. below
normal, water low 50s and clear. Largemouth bass improving on jigs and
crankbaits at 8-20 ft. Smallmouth bass fair to poor, suspended over deeper
water, on stick baits and crankbaits. Crappie fair to good on jigs and
minnows, in creek channels and at docks. Catfish fair in creeks and on the
flats at upper end of lake. Report submitted by Greenwood Fishing Center.
Sooner: White bass and striped
bass hybrids fair on shad in the discharge channel on topwater lures and
sassy shad and in the lake off points, trolling at 10-14 ft. Blue catfish
fair on live and cut bait around Hwy 15.Crappie fair on minnows and jigs
around brush piles. Report submitted by Doug Gottschalk, game warden
stationed in Noble County.
Spavinaw: Elevation slightly
below normal, water 49 and clear. Crappie fair on jigs and minnows around
the dam area. Largemouth bass fair using spinnerbaits. Report submitted by
Dwight Moore, City of Tulsa Fisheries.
Tenkiller: Elevation normal,
water 59-60 and clear. Largemouth bass slow with some action in brush or
drop-offs on bass jigs. White bass fair in the upper end trolling deep
runners in the mornings. Crappie slow with some action around docks or brush
piles on minnows or jigs. Catfish slow with some action on flip-flops with
cut baits at 30-40 ft. Report submitted by Monte Brooks, Cookson Village
Webbers Falls: Elevation normal
and murky. Largemouth bass fair on jig and worms. Channel catfish fair on
cut bait on bottom. Crappie fair on jigs and minnows at 12 ft. around brush
structure. Report submitted by Lark Wilson, game warden stationed in
Canton: Elevation 7 ft. below
normal. Walleye good along dam just before and after sundown. Channel
catfish good along red bluffs on shad. Crappie good around brush piles.
Report submitted by Mark Walker, game warden stationed in Blaine County.
Ft. Supply: Elevation below
normal. White bass good around the dam and stilling basin. Crappie fair
around stilling basin. Report submitted by Paul Cornett, game warden
stationed in Woodward County.
Blue River: Elevation normal,
water 60 and clear. Largemouth bass slow on minnows and flies. Catfish fair
on liver and worms. Trout good on power bait, super dupers, rooster tails
and meal worms. Report submitted by Charles Baker, technician at Blue River
Public Fishing and Hunting Area.
Broken Bow: Elevation normal and
clear. Walleye good along the Narrows and upstream from Panther Creek on
Witches Brew grubs and 1/4 ounce jig heads or rogues. White bass staging and
starting their annual run up the Mt. Fork being caught on an assortment of
different colored grubs depending on the day. Largemouth bass and smallmouth
bass good on crankbaits off points and mouths of creeks with crawdad being
the preferred color. Crappie beginning to bite along standing timber on the
upper end of the lake around standing timber on minnows and jigs. Catfish
are pepping up and being caught on juglines and trotlines baited with
sunfish. Report submitted by Dru Polk, game warden stationed in McCurtain
Eufaula: Elevation 1/2 ft. above
normal and clear. Largemouth bass fair on jerk baits at 3-10 ft. White bass
fair on jigs at 4-6 ft. in creeks. Blue catfish fair on shad at 4-10 ft. on
the flats. Crappie fair on minnows or jigs at 4-12 ft. around boat docks and
along I-40 riprap Report submitted Ed Rodebush, game warden stationed in
Hugo: Elevation 1 ft. above
normal, water 51 and murky. Largemouth bass fair on spinnerbaits and soft
plastic lures. Crappie fair on live minnows. Blue catfish fair on stink bait
and dead minnows. White bass good on jigs and beetle spins. Report submitted
by Wendell Smalling, game warden stationed in Choctaw County.
Konawa: Elevation normal, water
58 and clear. Largemouth bass good on crankbaits off points and in creek
channels at 8-15 ft. White bass and striped bass hybrids fair on minnows and
jigs in the discharge channel at 15 ft. Report submitted by Daryl Howser,
game warden stationed in Seminole County.
McGee Creek: Elevation normal,
water 51 and clear. Largemouth bass fair on soft plastic lures fished over
submerged humps. White Bass fair on grubs fished along windy points. Crappie
fair to good on minnows fished in submerged cedar trees off main creek
channels. Report submitted by Larry Luman, game warden stationed in Atoka
Lower Mountain Fork River: Trout
good in the pools. Folks have been catching lots of fish using every method
known in Zone 1 and Zone 2 in the very early in the morning. Report
submitted by Sid Ingram, Beavers Bend Fly Shop.
Murray: Water clear. White bass
good on minnows and crankbaits. Crappie fair at 10 ft. on minnows around
brush. Walleye good on jigs. Report submitted by Jeremy Brothers, state game
warden stationed in Carter County.
Pine Creek: Elevation normal
water clear. Bass excellent on soft plastics at 2-10 ft. Crappie good on
black and blue jigs. Catfish good when trotlining with cut shad. White bass
good in the upper river channel on white roadrunners. Report submitted by
Mark Hannah, game warden stationed in McCurtain County.
Robert S. Kerr: Elevation below
normal, water 52 and murky. Largemouth bass fair at 4-6 ft. using plastic
baits fishing the weed rock and woody cover next to deeper water. Crappie
good at 6-8 ft. using small minnows. Fish are suspended over deeper water
next to the spawning areas. White bass good at 5-8 ft. using shad imitation
lures. Fish are moving up the spawning tributaries. Blue catfish fair at
15-20 ft. using fresh cut shad fishing the old creeks and river channel.
Report submitted by Rick Olzawski, game warden stationed in Haskell County.
Sardis Lake: Largemouth bass
fair in creeks and around islands. White bass good on grubs and sassy shad
in Jack Fork Creek. Blue catfish fair on cut bait. Crappie good on minnows
around bridges and tower and in creeks on grubs. Report submitted by Allen
Couch, game warden stationed in Pushmataha County.
Texoma: Elevation normal, water
51 and mostly clear. Largemouth bass and smallmouth bass fair to good on
crankbaits at 10-20 ft. in the creeks. Striped bass and white bass fair to
good on live bait and sassy shad at 10-20 ft. in the coves. Channel and blue
catfish fair to good on cut shad at 15-20 ft. above the Hwy 70 bridge.
Crappie fair to good on minnows and jigs at 5-15 ft. in Kansas and Widow
Moore creeks. Report submitted by Danny Clubb, game warden stationed in
Wister: Elevation normal and
murky. Largemouth bass good on shad-colored crankbaits. Crappie good on
minnows and jigs at 8 ft. Channel catfish good on cut shad. Report submitted
by Randy Fennell, game warden stationed in LeFlore County.
Foss: Elevation 5 ft. below
normal and clear. Striped bass hybrids and walleye slow moving in by the
rocks. Catfish and crappie fair. Bass slow. Report submitted by Eric Puyear,
B & K Bait House.
Ft. Cobb: Elevation 1 3/4 ft.
below normal. Crappie slow around marina and boat slips. Catfish slow.
Saugeye slow along east end of dam. Report submitted by James Edwards Jr.,
game warden station in Caddo County.
Tom Steed: Crappie and saugeye
fair on jigs at 10-15 ft. off the rocks. Report submitted by David Smith,
game warden stationed in Kiowa County.
Waurika: Elevation below normal,
water 54 and murky. White bass and striped bass hybrids slow to fair around
the dam. Blue catfish fair on live bait and punch bait. Crappie fair to good
on jigs and minnows around the marina and boat docks. Report submitted by
Phillip Cottrill, game warden stationed in Jefferson County.