May 10th, 2006

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Draper: Elevation 2 ft. above normal and clear. Largemouth bass good on plastic worms and spinners in cove areas with structure. Crappie fair to good on structure at 2-5 ft. of water on minnows and jigs. Report submitted by Tony Woodruff, game warden stationed in Cleveland County.

Thunderbird: Elevation 4 1/2 ft. below normal and clear. Crappie and white bass good on minnows and jigs near structure at 2-5 ft. Largemouth bass good around structure with spinners and plastic worms. Saugeye fair to good on green jigs and medium divers off points. Report submitted by Tony Woodruff, game warden stationed in Cleveland County.

Wes Watkins: Elevation 2 1/2 ft. below normal and muddy in feeder creeks and clearing in the main lake. Catfish fair to good on minnows, chicken livers, fresh cut bait, shrimp and worms. White bass fair to good trolling using crankbaits. Crappie fair to good on minnows and jigs deep with some action on topwaters early in the morning and evening hours. Report submitted by M.M. Fowler.


Bell Cow: The only fishing method allowed at Bell Cow is rod and reel fishing.  Elevation normal.  Crappie good on minnows. Catfish fair on the east side of the islands on dough baits. Report submitted by lake ranger.

Birch: Elevation 1 ft. below normal and murky. Largemouth bass fair on plastic worms and spinnerbaits in shallow water near the bank. Crappie  fair using minnows and jigs around brush piles. Striped bass hybrids good while trolling around the lake using live shad. Report submitted by Ben Bickerstaff, game warden stationed in Osage County.

Chandler: Elevation normal. Crappie good on minnows and jigs. Report submitted by lake ranger.

Eucha: Elevation 10 ft. below normal, water 63 and murky. Crappie good on jigs and minnows around brush and structure at 6-8 ft.  Largemouth bass good on jerk baits off rocky points.  Catfish fair on night crawlers. Bluegill being caught on crickets and worms. Report submitted by Dwight Moore, City of Tulsa Fisheries.

Greenleaf: Elevation normal and clear.  Largemouth bass good on crankbaits and spinnerbaits along shoreline. Catfish good on cut bait and sunfish on bottom. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs around fishing dock and brush structure. Report submitted by Lark Wilson, game warden stationed in Muskogee County.

Kaw: Elevation 5 1/2 ft. above normal and stained. Blue and channel catfish good in upper end of the lake in Arkansas arm on cut shad, stinkbait and worms at 5-15 ft. Blue catfish fair in tailwaters on shad. White bass are good in tailwaters on minnows and fair on jigs. Crappie fair at 5-10 ft. on minnows.  Report submitted by Marshall Reigh, game warden stationed in Kay and Grant counties.

Keystone:  Elevation 7 ft. above normal, water 70 and murky. Largemouth bass good on spinnerbaits and crankbaits at 2-8 ft. in the flats and flooded buck brush. Smallmouth bass fair on crankbaits and jig and chunk at 4-10 ft. along rocky banks in coves. White bass fair on minnows and small jigs at 3-6 ft. below the dam. Striped bass excellent on buck tails at 8 ft. below the dam.  Channel catfish good on worms and minnows at 4-8 ft. shallow in coves. Blue catfish good on large minnows and cut shad at 5-10 ft. shallow in coves. Flathead catfish good on large minnows and shad at 6-12 ft. off steep banks in coves. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs at 4-8 ft. in deep coves.  Report submitted by Larry Sellers, Woody's Bait and Tackle.

Oologah: Elevation 3 ft. above normal, water 60 and muddy in the upper half and clear in the lower half of the lake. Channel catfish good on shad and worms in the upper areas of the lake around flooded vegetation. Blue catfish good on shad in the river above the lake. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs around submerged structure at 4-8 ft. Largemouth bass fair on spinnerbaits and bass tubes around flooded brush. Channel and blue catfish also fair below the dam on shad.  Report submitted by Brek Henry, game warden stationed in Rogers County.

Skiatook: Elevation 4 1/2 ft. below normal, water 65 and murky. Smallmouth and largemouth bass fair to good, in the shallows, on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and some plastics at 4-6 ft. in the creeks. Crappie fair to good on small and medium minnows at 15-25 ft. around bridges and other structure, and in the creeks. Striped bass hybrids fair in creeks. Catfish fair on trotlines with very large minnows. Report submitted by Greenwood Fishing Center.

Sooner: Elevation 1 ft. below normal, water 64 and clear. Striped bass and striped bass hybrids good on live shad on mid-lake humps at 27-40 ft. Crappie fair using minnows along highways. White bass good trolling crank baits and using jigs or slabs.  Report submitted by Paul Tennies, Pete's Place.

Spavinaw:  Elevation 4 ft. below normal, water 63 and murky. Crappie fair on jigs and minnows around dam area.  Largemouth bass fair on spinnerbaits. Catfish good on chicken livers. Report submitted by Dwight Moore, City of Tulsa Fisheries.

Tenkiller: Elevation 3 ft. below normal, water 70 and clear. Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass slow with some action on soft plastic baits at 10-15 ft. off points. Crappie fair trolling the main channel with deep runners and around docks or brush at 10-15 ft. on minnows or jigs. White bass fair trolling the main channel on deep runners and good at night under lights on minnows at 10-15 ft. Catfish slow with some action on minnows in coves at 5-10 ft. near bottom. Report submitted by Monte Brooks, Cookson Village Resort.

Webbers Falls: Elevation normal and murky. Largemouth bass good on spinnerbaits and crankbaits along riprap and creek channel. Channel catfish good on cut bait and sunfish on bottom in the mud flats. Crappie good around brush structure and bridges.  Report submitted by Lark Wilson, game warden stationed in Muskogee County.


Canton: Elevation slightly above normal. White bass and striped bass hybrids excellent along the dam on jigs and crankbaits. Walleye fair in the upper end of the lake on crankbaits. Crappie good in the upper end of the lake on minnows and jigs. Report submitted by Mark Walker, game warden stationed in Blaine County.

Ft. Supply:  Elevation below normal. Crappie fair on jigs and spinners. Walleye fair on minnows and jigs.  Report submitted by Mark Reichenberger,  game warden stationed in Harper County.

Great Salt Plains: Channel catfish fair to good on trotlines baited with shad, slow to fair around the spillway on shad and stinkbait. Report submitted by R.C Nickols, Great Plains State Park.


Blue River: Elevation slightly below normal, water 65 and muddy. Largemouth bass fair on minnows and flies. Catfish fair on liver and worms. Report submitted by Charles Baker, technician at Blue River Public Fishing and Hunting Area.

Eufaula: Elevation 2 1/2 ft. below normal and clear. Largemouth bass good on plastic baits flipping the shallows. White bass good on crankbaits trolling the flats. Blue catfish good on shad at 10-20 ft. on the flats. Crappie good on jigs at 3-8 ft. along the banks. Report submitted Ed Rodebush, game warden stationed in McIntosh County.

Hugo: Elevation 2 1/2 ft. above normal, water 64 and murky. Largemouth bass fair on spinnerbaits. Crappie good on minnows. Channel catfish fair on cut bait.  Report submitted by Wendell Smalling, game warden stationed in Choctaw County.

Konawa:  Elevation normal, water 72 and clear. Largemouth bass good on crankbaits at 4-6 ft. along points. Channel catfish good on chicken liver at 10 ft. along the dam and in coves. Report submitted by Daryl Howser, game warden stationed in Seminole County.

McGee Creek: Elevation 3 ft. below normal, water 67 and murky. Largemouth bass fair on soft plastic lures at 2-6 ft. in flooded timber. Channel catfish good on earth worms in flooded timber.   Report submitted by Larry Luman, game warden stationed in Atoka County.

Pine Creek:  Elevation above normal and murky.  Bass fair on spinnerbaits around points and creek channels. 
Crappie fair on pink, red, and yellow jigs around timber.  Catfish good on liver in upper end of lake. Report submitted by Mark Hannah, game warden stationed in McCurtain County.

Robert S. Kerr:  Elevation normal, water 72 and stained. Largemouth bass good at 2-4 ft. using plastic baits and spinnerbaits fishing the rock, weed and woody shorelines.   Crappie good at 8-10 ft. using minnows fishing the edge of the old creek channels.  White bass good at 8-10 ft. using jigs fishing below Webbers Falls and Kerr dams.  Blue catfish good at 3-10 ft. using fresh cut bait and goldfish fishing the edges of the current in the upper part of the lake.  Flathead catfish good at 10-20 ft. using live bait on trotlines and juglines.  Report submitted by Rick Olzawski, game warden stationed in Haskell County.

Texoma: Elevation 1 1/2 ft. below normal, water 64 and clear to the south and murky to the north. Largemouth bass good on plastic baits at 5-15 ft. around structure. White bass and striped bass good on cut shad and slabs at 15-25 ft. in Platter Flats.  Catfish good on cut baits at 5-10 ft. in Washita River. Crappie fair to good on minnows and jigs at 10-20 ft. around structure. Report submitted by Danny Clubb, game warden stationed in Bryan County. 

Wister: Elevation 3 ft. above normal, water 68 and muddy. Channel catfish good in the flooded areas on worms or shad at 3-10 ft. Crappie good on minnows around standing brush at 3-6 ft. Largemouth bass good at 2- 8 ft. on wide variety of lures especially  spinnerbaits. Report submitted by D.G. Belcher, game warden stationed in Latimer County.


Altus-Lugert: Elevation 14 ft. below normal and murky. North shore boat ramp is high and dry. Fishing in the lake is slowing down. Crappie have been biting on minnows. Striped bass hybrids and white bass good. Walleye fair to good. Report compiled by Quartz Mountain Grocery.

Ellsworth: Elevation 10 ft. below normal and murky. Crappie good in shallow water on minnows and jigs. Catfish fair on cut bait off rocky points.   Report submitted by Mike Carroll, game warden stationed in Comanche County.

Foss: Elevation 1/2 ft. below normal, water 73 and clear. Walleye and saugeye good on live bait along dam. Crappie, catfish and white bass good. Striped bass hybrids fair.  Report submitted by Eric Puyear, B & K Bait House.

Ft. Cobb: Elevation 1/4 ft. above elevation and murky. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs in shallow water.  Catfish fair on cut baits.  White bass fair on jigs and minnows. Saugeye fair on night crawlers and jigs or sassy shad drifting or trolling.   Report submitted by James L. Edwards, Jr., game warden station in Caddo County.

Tom Steed: Elevation 5 ft. below normal, water 64 and murky. White bass good on minnows and trolling with crankbaits. Channel catfish fair on cut bait in Otter and Glen creeks.   Report submitted by David Smith, game warden stationed in Kiowa County.

Waurika: Elevation below normal, water 70 and murky. White bass good on jigs and shad off windy points. Catfish good on juglines or trotlines baited with shad and goldfish. Crappie good on minnows and jigs at Washita Bridge.  Report submitted by Phillip Cottrill, game warden stationed in Jefferson County.

The Black Bass..... The  Most Sought After Female in Oklahoma!

Ole' OkieFish with a Sooner Spring Bass


DESCRIPTION:   In Oklahoma, we have what is called the Native Largemouth, which is classified as a sunfish rather than a true bass. In 1969, the Wildlife Department introduced the Florida strain largemouth (known as the F1..The True Florida Largemouth) in Oklahoma waters.  The F1 grows to a larger size, and is more aggressive, this is why we are seeing 14, almost 15lb Largemouths.  After a several years of the F1's being in Oklahoma waters, they have spawned with the native bass. Most of the lakes where F1's were introduced we now have F3's. OkieFish Calls 'em  OLE'  BUCKETMOUTHThe Largemouth is often confused with smallmouth and spotted bass, it is easily distinguishable because the upper jaw extends to or beyond the posterior edge of the eye socket. The largemouth's deeply notched dorsal fin will distinguish it from the spotted bass. Also, the spotting below the lateral band is weakly developed, whereas it is plainly in evidence in the spotted bass.
Largemouth Bass: Are stocked in most streams, ponds and lakes in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Wildlife Department has programs for stocking Largemouths, they restock our major lakes when needed, and their pond-stocking program is one of the best in the nation. Check out their website for more info.
Habits:  Spawning activities begin as water temperatures reach 62 to 65 degrees (April and May in Oklahoma.) Characteristic of sunfish, the male scours out a nest, which may be two feet in diameter and six inches deep. Nests are usually within 10 feet of the shoreline. The female is coaxed repeatedly to the nest where 2,000 to 7,000 eggs per pound of body weight are deposited and fertilized at the rate of a few hundred per visit. The male then repels the female and all intruders. He diligently guards and fans the eggs to keep them clean during the five-to-ten day incubation period. After hatching, the fry swim in tight schools disbanding when the small fish reach a length of approximately one inch. Largemouths thrive in a shallow, weedy habitat where food and cover are available. Natural food includes crustaceans, insects, crayfish, frogs and fish.
Oklahoma's most sought after game fish, Largemouths will strike at almost anything that enters their domain. Artificial are commonly used including plugs, spinners, spoons, streamers, and plastic worms in all shapes, weights and colors.
A bass has a very acute sense of site (or vision) and can see very well in just about any watercolor condition as well as being able to see at night. How well can a bass see at night? For example, sometimes on a full moon when it really gets bright from the light of the moon to where you can almost read a newspaper outside, a bass can see that good in the darkest of pitch. How is this possible?
The eyes of a bass have rods and cones, which naturally adjust under different, light conditions (the cones and rods will retract and extend making a natural adjustment for their vision.) Another factor is that a bass doesn't have any eyelids like you or I and because of a bass not having eyelids overlong exposure to the suns rays will cause a bass eventually to develop cataracts and go blind. (One reason why cover is so important to a bass during bright sunny days or (Bluebird Sky conditions!) A bass can see in most all color of water (clear, semi-stained, stained, murky, and even muddy colors) but when the vision of a bass is restricted the other senses will take over.
A bass's hearing and feeling are synonymous with each other, in other words I guess you might say that they hear and feel at the same time. Unlike you or I where we may hold a conversation with another person understanding what is being said, a bass hears and feels the vibration from the different sounds and movements in the water. Now, different sounds will cause different pitches that send vibrations and a bass will get familiar with certain sounds such as pitches and vibrations made from natural living forage, as well being able to feel any displacement of water within a close proximity of a bass caused by even the slightest movement.
I'll give you an example: Let's take a "Carolina Rig" for instance. The Carolina Rig has several different purposes as far as pattern and technique goes but the most crucial part of this rig is the sound! (The TICKER!) That's on the rig.  When a Crawfish moves in the water it will cause a clicking sound (vibration) from the cartilage in its tail. This clicking sound sends a vibration through the water and alerts a bass that a natural food source is in the area, the bass moves closer to this sound, then if the presentation of the bait is just right you can probably catch the bass. A bass has a natural radar system built within it and can zero in on just about any movement or sound made within the water. Now, when you work a Carolina Rig in the water, the slightest movement of the ticker made by either: "Glass & Brass Beads", "B-B Chambers", "Two Glass Beads" Etc.... this sound is designed to replicate the movement (vibration) of a natural live Crawfish and will alert a bass that a natural forage bait is in it's area.
As far as noise (or sound) baits go, like (Rat-L-Traps, Cordell Spots, Rattled Spinnerbaits, etc.) Sound travels further in the water than a displacement of water caused by a bait without any sound added to it. The reason noise baits work so well is that a bass can hear them at greater distances and can travel further to investigate the sounds made from these types of baits, then when close enough to the bait, the sight and taste senses will take precedence over the feeling or hearing senses.....
A bass has taste buds outside its mouth as well as inside of it. Now just think a minute!.... that means that a bass can taste an object before it even gets in its mouth. The taste and smell of a bass are once again synonymous with each other and that a bass smells and tastes at the same time. Now, how acute is a bass's sense of taste and or smell?
A few years back a study was conducted of the taste and smell of a bass in a tank of 100 gallons of water. In this study the bass was found to be able to taste (or smell) 1-200th of a drop of a substance in the 100 gallon water tank (what an amazing sense of taste and smell.) Well, what does this have to do with bass? If you want to be a successful angler it means a great deal. Now let's put this in anglers terms okay? If a bass can scent a bait that is not a pleasing or acceptable taste or smell, if it does put it in it's mouth it will spit it right back out within 1 to 3 seconds (not much time to set a hook right?) but, if the bass accepts the taste or smell and puts it in it's mouth it can hold it up to as long as 30 seconds before spitting it out (much more time to set the hook!)
To sum up the taste and smell segment, here are a few hints to help you understand why you may be getting those quick hits and not catching any fish:
1. Always wash your hands before you go fishing.....
2. Fill up your boat with gas and oil the night before you go fishing.....
3. Use natural forage formulas or a formula that has been tested and proven to work.....
4. Try to use an odor free soap or a scent neutralizer.....
Just these steps can make a world of difference when it comes to catching more bass. I have had many Fisherman who have fished tournaments with me and they see me use these steps above and can't believe the difference it can make.
Understanding a bass is just as important to an angler as having his or her fishing rod in their hand. So many anglers seem to have a rough time not knowing how to fish under different conditions, how to use baits properly, what to buy and what not to buy, how to locate bass, what type of equipment is really necessary, and on and on! Find that ole successful bass fisherman and pick his brain. It is worth an education in bass angling, especially if one wants to become more successful at it.  Most anybody at any given time can catch a bass but they usually can't tell you why!
    Waters further south don't necessarily get colder than 39 degrees. In this situation the surface water can be either warmer or slightly colder than the deeper water. Changes in air temperature effect surface waters faster than deeper water. Deep-water temperatures change only as surface water mixes downward due to wind mixing or the slow sinking of colder water, and tend to be more stable. Bass seek the warmest "stable " water they can find within their normal, habitual, instinctive ranges. If slightly warmer surface water is reasonably stable throughout much of the winter, many bass will opt to hold there. If weather changes are large and dramatic, the changes will upset the metabolism of any fish that stay in the unstable water layers, forcing them deeper or to be inactive.
The result is that deep fish are often more predictably active and catch able than shallow fish throughout the winter. But, shallow fish are more likely to react with activity if a long period of stable or warming conditions occurs. In unstable weather, the deep fish are often the high-percentage target for anglers. But, after about four days of consistent and steady warming or steady air temperatures, the shallow fish may be the high percentage target. The number of active fish is more important to angling success than the total number of fish present, which is usually greater in deep water in bass fisheries where water temperatures typically drop into the 40s.
When you think about warming or stable weather, don't focus on the periods with warming afternoons or bright sunshine. Often these conditions also have the coldest nights. Water temperatures respond slowly to air temperatures, and it is the average air temperature over a 24- hour period that determines whether most of the water is warming or cooling. In winter a day or two of sun only briefly heats a few inches below the surface, and cold nights chill it rapidly. The onl7 surface3 waters that warm significantly on sunny winter days are the very shallow, black-bottom bays, that most of the bass have abandoned as being too unstable in the late fall..
Consider whether the average 24-hour temperature is higher or lower than the water temperature to assess whether or not the weather is cooling or warming the surface layers. If it is averaging the same or higher temperature, shallow options tend to increase.
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