March 12th, 2007

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Report reveals increase in fishing success of bass tournament anglers

       Bass tournament anglers caught more and bigger fish last year according to the most recent Oklahoma Bass Tournaments Report now available at wildlifedepartment.com.

       "The success of competitive bass fishermen can tell us a lot about the quality of angling opportunities across the state, and the newest report shows that bass fishing is getting better and better in Oklahoma." said Gene Gilliland, senior fisheries biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. "The Department has been gathering data on bass fishing tournaments across the state for the last 13 years, and the information we collect helps us manage bass populations."

       In 2006, the overall success rate at tournaments was 65 percent, up three percent over the previous year. Success rates are measured based on anglers or teams who bring at least one bass to the tournament weigh-in.

       "Not only that, but the average winning weight rose once again in 2006 to 10.9 lbs., which is nearly a one-pound gain over the last three years," Gilliland said. "The report summarizes the results of day-long weekend events as well as weekly evening jackpots across the state."

       Additionally, tournament anglers on average caught bigger fish in 2006 than they did during other recent tournament seasons. In 2006, the average angler caught about two fish per day that weighed 2.2 lbs., up slightly from 2.14 lbs. in 2004 and 2005.

       Sardis Lake claimed the number one spot on the list of top tournament lakes, followed by Okemah, Keystone, Thunderbird, Konawa, Arbuckle, Hudson, Texoma, Oologah and McGee Creek. Only lakes that the Department received at least 10 reports from were considered in the rankings. According to Gilliland, information from lakes with fewer reports may not convey their actual fishing quality. To see the rest of the top 20 list as well as other tournament results, download and print the 14-page report for free by logging on to wildlifedepartment.com.

       According to Gilliland, the continued improved fishing can be attributed primarily to favorable water levels and good bass recruitment in the last few years.

        "2001-2003 were very good years for fish reproduction in lakes across Oklahoma, and the fish that were hatched then are now reaching good sizes for anglers to catch," Gilliland said.

       With an estimated 1,200 tournaments held each year in the state, tournament anglers are an important part of the Department's fisheries management team. In the course of their pursuits, they provide biologists with hundreds of thousands of hours of fishing data every year.

       "Since our biologists cannot survey every lake every year, tournament data is vital information in our monitoring program," Gilliland said.

       The Department collects the data on "tournament report cards" that are submitted by tournament directors or through the Internet. Ninety-nine different organizations submitted almost 600 reports from 61 lakes for 2006.


FISHING REPORT FOR APRIL 11, 2007

 

CENTRAL

 

Hefner: Elevation above normal, water 62 and murky. White bass are being caught on jigs and spinners. Channel catfish being caught on cut bait, punch bait and stinkbait. Crappie being caught off the rocks around the dam. Report submitted by Kelly Roberson, game warden stationed in Oklahoma County.

 

Overholser: Elevation above normal, water 58 and murky. Channel catfish are being caught on cut bait and stinkbait. Crappie are being caught around docks and rocky areas along the shoreline. Report submitted by Kelly Roberson, game warden stationed in Oklahoma County.

 

Thunderbird: Elevation 8 ft. below normal and murky. Fishing has slowed, somewhat due to cold fronts. Crappie fair to good on minnows and jigs at 5-7 ft. around structure. Report submitted by Tony Woodruff, game warden stationed in Cleveland County.

 

Wes Watkins: Elevation 3-3 1/2 ft. below normal water 54-61 and murky. White bass fair on crankbaits at 10-12 ft. around points and along north shore. Catfish fair to good on minnows, fresh cut bait, shrimp, chicken liver and worms in timbered areas at the west end of the lake, around boat docks and boat ramp. Crappie are being caught in deep water around brush piles and around the dam. Largemouth bass good on lighter colored spinnerbaits, sinkoes and tubes, brush hogs and assorted soft plastics with many appendages. Report submitted by M.M Fowler, St. Gregory's.

 

NORTHEAST

 

Birch: Elevation 1 ft. below normal and murky. Largemouth bass fair on artificial lures, crankbaits and spinners. White bass and striped bass hybrids fair on spinners on the north end of the flats. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs along creek channels. Report submitted by Paul Welch, game warden stationed in Osage County.

 

Carl Blackwell: Elevation 2 ft. below normal, water 67 and muddy. Crappie good on minnows and jigs. Striped bass hybrids are being caught trolling with crankbaits and grubs. Catfish good on cut bait. Saugeye fair trolling. Report submitted by Jon Cunningham, game warden stationed in Payne County.

 

Eucha: Elevation slightly above normal, water 57 and clear. Crappie fair on jigs and minnows at 8-10 ft. Largemouth bass fair on jigs and spinnerbaits. Catfish fair on trotlines using night crawlers. Catfish good on trotlines using worms. Report submitted by Dwight Moore, City of Tulsa Fisheries.

 

Ft. Gibson: Elevation 1 1/2 ft. above normal. Largemouth bass good on spinners and jig and frog combos off windy points. White bass excellent in the upper end of the lake and in tributaries on inline spinners, twister tails and jigs. Channel catfish fair on whole shad and cut bait at 12 ft. in the flat areas off the main lake channel. Crappie good on minnows and jigs at 6-8 ft. around structure and brush. Report submitted by Don Cole, game warden stationed in Wagoner County.

 

Grand: Elevation normal and clear. Crappie fair to good at 10-15 ft. around brush piles or baited areas using minnows and jigs. Commercial fishing docks reporting some good-sized crappie being caught. Channel catfish fair in Grand Lake river channel. Blue catfish being taken on cut and whole shad. White bass can still be caught around rocky gravel points and near mouth of lake tributaries. Report submitted by Jim Littlefield, game warden stationed in Delaware County.

 

Greenleaf: Elevation normal and clear. Largemouth bass fair on spinners, crankbaits and plastic worms around brush and in creek channels. Channel and blue catfish good on stinkbait, sunfish and cut bait on bottom. Walleye fair on minnows and yellow or green jigs around brush. Report submitted by Lark Wilson, game warden stationed in Muskogee County.

 

Hudson: Largemouth bass good on spinnerbaits and jig and pork rides. White bass fair to good on small jigs and minnows. Crappie fair to good in shallow areas. Paddlefish snagging good in the upper end of the lake. Report submitted by Steve Loveland, game warden stationed in Mayes County.

 

Kaw: Elevation 3 ft. above normal, water 55. White bass fishing has slowed in the upper end of the lake. Crappie excellent above the boat ramp on Beaver Creek. Fishing below dam has been very good for white bass, crappie walleye, blue catfish and channel catfish. Paddlefish snagging very good below Kaw Dam. Report submitted by Larry Green, game warden stationed in Osage County.

 

Keystone: Elevation 1 1/2 ft. above normal, water 55 and murky to muddy. Largemouth bass slow on crankbaits and jig and chunk at 4-8 ft. in creeks and off midway bank in coves. Smallmouth bass slow on crankbaits and jig and chunk at 4-8 ft. around Salt Creek area points. Spotted bass slow on crankbaits and spinnerbaits at 4-8 ft. in main lake coves and pockets. White bass fair on 1/8 oz. grubs and spoons at 3-5 ft. in rivers and creeks up lakes. Striped bass below the dam fair on sassy shad and bucktails at 3-5 ft. during generation. Striped bass in the lake fair on storm swim baits and sassy shad at 4-8 ft. in rivers and creeks in the upper end of the lake. Channel catfish good on worms and shrimp at 4-8 ft. in coves and along riprap areas. Blue catfish good on worms and shrimp at 4-8 ft. in coves and riprap areas. Flathead catfish fair on large minnows and goldfish at 4-8 ft. in covers and along riprap areas. Flathead catfish fair on large minnows and goldfish at 5-10 ft. along rip

 

rap areas and bluffs. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs at 5-10 ft. in Salt Creek area. Report submitted by Larry Sellers, Woody's Bait and Tackle.

 

Oologah: Elevation 5 ft. above normal and falling slowly. Water murky. Water temp in upper 50s to lower 60s. Channel and blue catfish good on shad near the mouth of the Verdigris River. Crappie fair on jigs and minnows around standing timber at 10 ft. Crappie are suspended up off the bottom due to falling water levels. Crappie and white bass fair on jigs below the dam. Channel and blue catfish fair on shad below the dam. Report submitted by Brek Henry, game warden stationed in Rogers County.

 

Spavinaw: Elevation slightly below normal, water 58 and clear. Crappie fair on jigs and minnows around the dam area. Largemouth bass fair on crankbaits. Catfish fair on trotlines using night crawlers. Report submitted by Dwight Moore, City of Tulsa Fisheries.

 

Tenkiller: Elevation 1 ft. above normal, water 56 and clear. Largemouth bass fair on bass jigs at 5-10 ft. Crappie fair in brush at 25 ft. on roadrunner jigs and around docks on minnows or tube jigs. White bass good in the upper end on minnows, spinners, spoons or jigs and fair trolling deep-running lures. Sunfish fair around docks on worm-tipped jigs at 10-15 ft. Report submitted by Monte Brooks, Cookson Village Resort.

 

Webbers Falls: Elevation 1 ft. above normal and murky. Largemouth bass fair on spinners and crankbaits along riprap and in creek channels. Channel catfish good on cut bait on bottom. Blue catfish good on punch bait and sunfish on bottom. Crappie good on minnows and jigs at 1-7 ft. Report submitted by Lark Wilson, game warden stationed in Muskogee County.

 

NORTHWEST

 

Canton: Elevation 5 ft. below normal. Walleye and striped bass hybrids good on night crawlers near beach area. Walleye good along dam early and late on jigs and crankbaits. Channel catfish good on stink bait and cut bait. Report submitted by Mark Walker, game warden stationed in Blaine County.

 

Ft. Supply: Elevation above normal. White bass fair to good on jigs below the dam. Walleye fair to good on jigs below the dam. Report submitted by Mark Reichenberger, game warden stationed in Harper County.

 

SOUTHEAST

 

Arbuckle: Elevation above normal, water 65 and stained in the main lake and muddy up creeks. White bass are up creeks and along dam. Crappie good off docks and brush piles at 12-15 ft. Bass good on spinnerbaits, finesse worms and crankbaits. Report submitted by Jack Melton.

 

Arbuckle: Elevation 4 ft. above normal, water 59 and murky. Largemouth bass being caught on spinnerbaits, worms and crankbaits. Report submitted by Jeremy Brothers, state game warden stationed in Carter County.

 

Blue River: Elevation normal, water 51 and muddy. Smallmouth bass fair on minnows and flies. Channel catfish fair on worms and liver. Trout slow 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: Largemouth bass fair on soft plastics in the mouths of creeks and off points. White bass fair on white or chartreuse grubs with 1/4 oz lead heads. Catfish fair on juglines and trotlines baited with cut bait. Walleye slow. Report submitted by Dru Polk, game warden stationed in McCurtain County.

 

Eufaula: Elevation 1 ft. above normal, water clear to the east and murky to the west. Largemouth bass good on jerk baits and plastic baits at 3-7 ft. around rocky areas. White bass fair on jigs in feeder creeks at 3-5 ft. Crappie fair on minnows or jigs at 2-8 ft. off the bank. Report submitted Ed Rodebush, game warden stationed in McIntosh County.

 

Hugo: Elevation 1/2 ft. below normal, water 60 and murky. Largemouth bass fair on spinnerbaits. Crappie good on live minnows and jigs. Blue catfish fair on cut bait and dead minnows. Report submitted by Wendell Smalling, game warden stationed in Choctaw County.

 

Konawa: Elevation normal, water 66 and clear. Largemouth bass good on plastic worms at 5-8 ft. in weed beds. White bass fair on minnows and jig at 15 ft. in the discharge channel. Striped bas hybrids fair on minnows and jigs at 15 ft. in the discharge channel. Channel catfish good on chicken liver at 10 ft. along points. Report submitted by Daryl Howser, game warden stationed in Seminole County.

 

Lower Mountain Fork River: Trout fair on (small) thread midge patterns, caddis fly patterns (emergers and dry flies), as well as mayfly patterns (again, both emergers and dry flies). There are at least two types of mayflies hatching now as well as caddis and a multitude of midges. Success reported using elk hair caddis, parachute adams, thread midges, and caddis pupae flies and a multitude of other attractor type flies. There has been very light pressure in the more restricted (red) zones, so there are still plenty of fish to catch and release. Report submitted by Sid Ingram, Beavers Bend Fly Shop.

 

McGee Creek: Elevation 1 1/2 ft. above normal, water 58 and clear. Largemouth bass fair on soft plastic lures and spinnerbaits at 6-12 ft. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs over cedar brush off main creek channels. Report submitted by Larry Luman, game warden stationed in Atoka County.

 

Murray: Elevation 2 ft. below normal, water 59 and murky. Bass are being caught on various baits along the shoreline. Report submitted by Jeremy Brothers, state game warden stationed in Carter County.

 

Pine Creek: Elevation normal and clear. Bass fair on baby brush hogs when fished off points. Crappie excellent on minnows at the old bridge and around submerged timber. Catfish good on cut bait on deep-set trotlines. Report submitted by Mark Hannah, game warden stationed in McCurtain County.

 

Robert S. Kerr: Elevation normal, water 63 and stained. Largemouth bass good at 2-5 ft. using plastic baits, spinnerbaits and plastic baits fishing the weed, rock and woody shorelines. Crappie good at 5-6 ft. using minnows fishing for suspended fish next to the spawning areas. White bass fair at 8-10 ft. using jigs fishing below Webbers Falls and Kerr dams. Blue catfish good at 5-10 ft. using fresh cut bait fishing the flats next to the old creek channels and fishing below the dams. Flathead catfish good at 10-20 ft. using live bait on trotlines and juglines in the old creek channels. Report submitted by Rick Olzawski, game warden stationed in Haskell County.

 

Sardis Lake: Bass excellent on spinnerbaits in grass beds. White bass good up creeks on grubs and sassy shad. Blue catfish and flathead catfish fair on trotlines and juglines baited with cut bait. Crappie good on minnows along gravel beds and around bridges. Walleye fair up creeks and around islands on grubs. Report submitted by Allen Couch, game warden stationed in Pushmataha County.

 

Texoma: Elevation 2 ft. above normal, water 61 and murky north and clear south. Largemouth bass and smallmouth bass fair on plastic baits at 5-10 ft. in creeks and coves. Striped and white bass fair on live bait and sassy shad at 15-20 ft. in the south part of lake. Channel and blue catfish fair to good on cut bait and stinkbait at 10-20 ft. in the north part of lake and Washita River. Crappie fair to good on minnows and jigs at 5-15 ft. in Rock and Widow Moore creeks. Report submitted by Danny Clubb, game warden stationed in Bryan County.

 

Wister: Elevation normal and murky. Largemouth bass good on plastic worms and spinnerbaits. Crappie good on minnows and jigs. Channel catfish good on liver and cut shad. Flathead catfish good on live sunfish. Report submitted by Randy Fennell, game warden stationed in LeFlore County.

 

SOUTHWEST

 

Altus-Lugert: Elevation 15 ft. below normal and rising. White bass and striped bass hybrids very good off the main swim beach. Crappie good to very good near the old fish-o-rama. Walleye good but most are not long enough to keep. Walleye must be 18 inches. You may want to check for current depth by going to: http://www.swt-wc.usace.army.mil/ALTU.lakepage.html. Report submitted by Sue Hokanson, Quartz Mountain State Park.

 

Ellsworth: Elevation 5 ft. above normal and murky. Crappie slow due to raised water levels. Catfish fair to good on cut bait around the dam and off rocky points. Report submitted by Mike Carroll, game warden stationed in Comanche County.

 

Foss: Elevation 3 ft. below normal and still rising. Recent rains have kept the river flowing and increasing the level of the lake. Water around 60 degrees and clear. Striped bass hybrids good. Walleye good around rocks. Crappie and catfish good. Report submitted by Eric Puyear, B & K Bait House.

 

Ft. Cobb: Elevation normal and water stained. Crappie slow to fair around docks. Catfish fair on cut baits. Striped bass hybrids slow to fair. Report submitted by James Edwards Jr., game warden station in Caddo County.

 

Tom Steed: Elevation 3 ft. below normal and murky. Crappie good on minnows and jigs at 6-10 ft. along rocks. Report submitted by David Smith, game warden stationed in Kiowa County.

 

Waurika: Elevation normal, water 60 and murky. White bass and striped bass hybrids good on white or pearl sassy shad or on live bait. Channel catfish good on live bait or punch bait. Crappie good on jigs or minnows. Report submitted by Phillip Cottrill, game warden stationed in Jefferson County.

 

 

 

 

 

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