May 12 2010

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El Reno Lake reclaims distinction for state record flathead catfish after 11-month hiatus
            For years El Reno Lake held the distinction of producing the state record flathead catfish, so when the five-year record of 72 lbs., 8 oz., was smashed in 2009 by a 76 lb. fish caught from the Poteau River, the waters of El Reno must have felt the hit. On May 11 — not even a year later — El Reno Lake answered the Poteau River’s challenge when Richard Williams of El Reno landed a 78 lb., 8 oz., flathead while bass fishing with a crankbait.
            “I’m not a catfisherman,” Williams said, but he admitted that claiming the state record flathead catfish was still “pretty cool.”
            Williams’ wife told personnel with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation that her husband had quit fishing and had just started up again this year. The only other fish Williams had landed that morning was a crappie until about 11 a.m. when the 51-inch fish hit his 14 lb. test line rigged with a Strike King crank bait.
            Flathead catfish, channel catfish and blue catfish are readily available in the state’s lakes, ponds and rivers, and they can be caught using a variety of methods, such as by rod and reel and by noodling, but also by trotlining, limblining and juglining.
            Catfish grow especially active when warm weather coincides with rising water levels, and a variety of baits can be used to catch them such as worms, crayfish, cut shad and prepared baits.
            For a complete list of record fish and the procedures regarding certifying state record fish, consult the current “Oklahoma Fishing Guide” or log on to wildlifedepartment.com. Anglers who believe they may have hooked a record fish must weigh the fish on an Oklahoma State Department of Agriculture certified scale, and the weight must be verified by a Wildlife Department employee



FISHING REPORT FOR MAY 12, 2010
 
CENTRAL
 
Arcadia: May 7. Elevation normal. Largemouth bass fair to good on worms at 6-10 ft. along southwest points morning and evening. White bass fair to good on rooster tails at 4-6 ft. on southwest side all day. Channel catfish good on worms just off bottom at docks and southwest points all day. Crappie good to excellent on minnows and jigs at 6-8 ft. along docks morning and evening. Sunfish fair on worms off bottom at the dock in the afternoon. Report submitted by Linnie Mason, gate attendant.
 
Overholser: May 9. Elevation normal, water 63-65 and murky. White bass and striped bass hybrids good to excellent on minnows, jigs, worms and crawdads against the wind. Catfish fair to good on cut shad, liver and night crawlers. Crappie fair. Report submitted by Joey Rushing, game warden stationed in Oklahoma and Canadian counties.
 
Thunderbird: May 11. All nine access points to the lake have been closed and Oklahoma Lake Patrol crews have been dispatched to patrol the water to prevent people from going on the lake that is littered with debris. The Little River Marina, camping facilities, comfort stations and lake huts at the Little Axe Campground and Fisherman’s Point were heavily damaged or destroyed and will be closed indefinitely. The Clear Bay area and access to the South Dam at Lake Thunderbird are closed until power and water can be restored. All facilities on the north side of the lake will be closed until at least May 17, so work crews can finish damage assessments and clean up debris. Leslie Blair, Public Information Officer, Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department.
 
Wes Watkins: May 9. Elevation normal, water 66 and clear. Largemouth bass fair to good on spinnerbaits and plastic worms at 5-10 ft. Channel catfish fair on shrimp and worms in shallow water around riprap. Crappie fair on minnows. Report submitted by Mike France, game warden stationed in Pottawatomie County.
 
NORTHEAST
 
Bell Cow: May 9. Elevation normal, water 67 and murky. Bass good on spinnerbaits. Channel catfish good on chicken liver and doughbaits. Crappie excellent on minnows and jigs at fishing docks. Report submitted by Gary Emmons, game warden stationed in Lincoln County.
 
Birch: May 11. Elevation normal, water 70 and stained. Largemouth bass good on plastic baits. Channel catfish good on chicken liver. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs. Report submitted by David Clay, game warden stationed in Osage County.
 
Carl Blackwell: May 10. Elevation normal, water 70 and murky. Striped bass hybrids good on crankbaits. Catfish good on all baits. Crappie good on minnows at 3-5 ft. Saugeye good on crankbaits or plastic baits. Report submitted by Jon Cunningham, game warden stationed in Payne County.
 
Chandler: May 9. Elevation normal, water 68 and clear. Bass good on spinnerbaits, plastic baits and crankbaits. Channel catfish fair on chicken liver. Crappie good on minnows and jigs at fishing docks. Report submitted by Gary Emmons, game warden stationed in Lincoln County.
 
Copan: May 9. Elevation slightly above normal, water clear. Crappie good on minnows in shallow areas and creeks feeding into the lake. Channel catfish being caught on worms and cut shad below the dam. Report submitted by Joe Alexander, game warden stationed in Washington County.
 
Eucha: May 11. Elevation slightly below normal, water 65 and clear. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs at 10-12 ft. around brush and structure. Largemouth bass fair on jerk baits and spinnerbaits. Report submitted by Dwight Moore, City of Tulsa.
 
Ft Gibson: May 10. Elevation 1 ft. below normal, water clear. White bass good on deep crankbaits trolling in the main river. Crappie good on minnows and jigs in shallow water. Largemouth bass males being caught on crankbaits and spinnerbaits near their nest and females being caught on spinnerbaits and crankbaits a little deeper. Report submitted by Rick Stafford of Wagoner.
 
Grand: May 10. Elevation slightly below normal and rising, water 68 and murky. Largemouth bass good on crankbaits and worms at 7-12 ft. around brush and rocks. White bass excellent on small spinnerbaits, white sparkle tails, Texas slabs, grubs and minnows at 7-15 ft. in open water, bridges, and Elk River. Striped bass hybrids good on small spinnerbaits, slabs and brooders at 10 ft. in Elk River and below the dam. Catfish good on brooders, night crawlers, shad, shrimp, Secret 7 dip bait, Bobby Garland’s, Grandpa’s jigs and tube skirts at 1-10 ft. around brush and rock piles. Sunfish good on worms and crickets along banks and under trees. Report submitted by Grand Lake Sport’s Center.
 
Greenleaf: May 10. Elevation normal, water 67 and clear. Largemouth bass good on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and bill baits along shorelines, creek channels and rocky points. Catfish good on fresh cut bait on bottom. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs in green, yellow and white around fishing docks and brush structure. Report submitted by Lark Wilson, game warden stationed in Muskogee County.
 
Hudson: May 10. Elevation normal, water 60 and murky. Largemouth bass good on spinnerbaits. White bass good on small lures and minnows. Crappie fair to good on jigs in blue and white around brush piles and shallow areas. Paddlefish fair to good in the upper end. Report submitted by Steve Loveland, game warden stationed in Rogers and Mayes counties.
 
Hulah: May 9. Elevation normal, water clear. Crappie being caught on minnows at 6-8 ft. in the lake. Catfish fair below the walk bridge. Report submitted by Joe Alexander, game warden stationed in Washington County.
 
Kaw: May 9. Crappie good on minnows and jigs at 3-8 ft. around Washunga Bay bridge, Copperhead Cove, Beaver, Bear, and Otter Creeks. White bass good on crankbaits and shad colored jigs around Sarge Creek Bridge. Blue and channel catfish being caught on cut shad and stinkbait; they are starting to move shallow and feed for the upcoming spawn. Flathead catfish fair to good on trotlines with goldfish or bluegill. White bass and striped bass hybrids being caught on bucktails and sassy shad below the dam during water release. Paddlefish slow due to low water levels and minimal water releases. Report submitted by Spencer Grace, game warden stationed in Kay County.
 
Lower Illinois: May 10. Elevation normal, water 48 and clear. Largemouth bass fair on sink baits and crankbaits at 1-3 ft. in coves, weed beds and all along the river. White bass fair on jigs at 1-4 ft. all along the river. Crappie fair on jigs at 1-4 ft. all along the river. Sunfish good on worms with cork at 1-2 ft. in back water and all along the river. Trout good on flies at the surface, on rooster tails at 1-2 ft. and on power bait on bottom above Gore Landing. Report submitted by D. Tracy, Town of Gore.
 
Skiatook: May 10. Elevation normal, water 60s and clear. Largemouth bass good on spinnerbaits along windy shorelines and backs of coves and on crankbaits and soft plastic lures along mouths of creeks. White bass good on rooster tails and grubs in Hominy Creek. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs at 10-15 ft. around brush piles. Report submitted by Paul Welch, game warden stationed in Osage County.
 
Sooner: May 10. White bass and striped bass hybrids fair on live shad in the discharge area and the lake. Crappie good on minnows and jigs along Hwy 15. Report submitted by Doug Gottschalk, game warden stationed in Noble County.
 
Spavinaw: May 11. Elevation slightly above normal, water 68 and clear. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs around the dam area. Largemouth bass fair on crankbaits. Report submitted by Dwight Moore, City of Tulsa.
 
Tenkiller: May 11. Elevation steady, water 70 and clear. Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass good on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and soft plastics at 2-6ft. Crappie slow on minnows or jigs at the docks. Sunfish good on worm tipped jigs in or around docks. Report by Monte Brooks Cookson Village Resort.
 
Webbers Falls: May 10. Elevation normal, water 67 and murky. Largemouth bass good on spinnerbaits and crankbaits in riprap and creek channels. Catfish good on fresh cut bait on bottom. Crappie good on minnows and jigs in black and purple around brush structure and bridges. Report submitted by Lark Wilson, game warden stationed in Muskogee County.
 
NORTHWEST
 
Canton: May 9. Elevation normal, water 69 and clear. Walleye good on jigs and crankbaits in upper end of the lake. White bass and striped bass hybrids good trolling crankbaits over submerged islands. Crappie good on minnows and jigs in upper end of the lake. Report submitted by Mark Walker, game warden stationed in Blaine County.
 
Ft. Supply: May 9. Elevation normal. White bass fair on jigs and spinnerbaits all over the lake. Crappie fair on minnows, jigs and spinnerbaits around jetties and shallows. Walleye fair on minnows and jigs along shorelines and trolling sand bars. Report submitted by Mark Reichenberger, game warden stationed in Woodward County.
 
SOUTHEAST
 
Arbuckle: May 8. Elevation 8 inches below normal, water 67 and clear to stained on wind blown banks. Crappie good on jigs in shallows and docks early morning. White bass being caught on wiggle tailed jigs off most windy points. Bass being caught on crankbaits, spinnerbaits and jerk baits. Report submitted by Jack Melton.
 
Blue River: May 11. Elevation normal, water 64 and murky. Bass good on soft plastics around current and sand bars. Channel catfish good on crayfish and minnows fished in deeper pools around structure.  Trout fair on in-line spinnerbaits and flies. Report submitted by Matt Gamble, biologist at the Blue River Public Fishing and Hunting Area.
 
Broken Bow: May 9. Water low to mid 60s and clear. Largemouth and smallmouth bass good on crankbaits, brush hogs and spinnerbaits at 5-10 ft. Catfish good on juglines and trotlines with cut bait and sunfish. Crappie good on minnows and jigs trolling. Report submitted by Dru Polk, game warden stationed in McCurtain County.
 
Eufaula: May 9. Elevation normal, water clear. Largemouth bass good on crankbaits and spinnerbaits around rocky areas and points. White bass good on jigs below the dam when releasing water and around bridges. Catfish good on various baits at 3-6 ft. along deep flats and deep rocky areas. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs at 1-5 ft. around brushy areas along the bank. Report submitted by Ed Rodebush, game warden stationed in McIntosh County.
 
Hugo: May 9. Elevation normal, water 64. Largemouth bass good on crankbaits and soft plastics around the button brush and along creek channels. Catfish fair on trotlines with sunfish and goldfish. White bass and stripers good below the dam on jigs and sassy shad. Report submitted by Jay Harvey, game warden stationed in Choctaw County.
 
Konawa: May 10. Elevation normal, water 71 and clear. Largemouth bass good on plastic worms and spinnerbaits at 2-6 ft. along the weed beds and cattails. Channel catfish good on stinkbait and chicken liver in 5-10 ft. along the points. White bass and striped bass hybrids fair on jigs and shad at 15 ft. in the discharge canal. Report by Daryl Howser, game warden stationed in Seminole County.
 
Lower Mt. Fork: May 6. Fishing great in the entire trout stream in all blue and red zones from the lake spillway down to Presbyterian Falls. Some really great dry-fly fishing at times. Mayfly and caddis imitations have been working well. Report submitted by Sid, www.beaversbendflyshop.com.
 
McGee Creek: May 9. Elevation 3 inches above normal, water 71 and clear. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs at 3-6 ft. along button brush. Largemouth bass good on Sluggos and spinnerbaits in yellow and black at 1-3 ft. Channel catfish fair on juglines and trotlines with live bait. Report submitted by Larry Luman, game warden stationed in Atoka County.
 
Murray: May 11. Elevation normal, water 68 and clear. Largemouth and smallmouth bass good on various baits close to banks and deeper structure. White bass fair on minnows and jigs. Channel catfish good on chicken liver, stinkbait and worms. Crappie fair to good on minnows and jigs at 3-5 ft. around structure close to the bank. Walleye fair on minnows and jigs late evening. Report submitted by Jeremy Brothers, game warden stationed in Carter County.
 
Pine Creek: May 9. Elevation normal, water clear. Bass good on jigs and crankbaits near rocky points. Crappie fair on minnows. Catfish great on worms and moving into shallow water. Saugeye good on spinnerbaits along pockets. White bass good on crankbaits near the river channel. Report submitted by Mark Hannah, game warden stationed in McCurtain County.
 
Robert S. Kerr: May 11. Elevation normal, water 74 and murky. Largemouth bass good on soft baits along shorelines. Catfish fair on juglines and trotlines with fresh shad, cut bait and night crawlers. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs at 2-5 ft. Report submitted by Leland Sockey, game warden stationed in Haskell County.
 
Sardis: May 9. Elevation normal, water 70 and murky. Bass good on spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jigs and plastic baits at 4-6 ft. White bass fair on minnows and jigs. Channel catfish good on cut bait and minnows. Flathead catfish good on live bait. Crappie good on minnows and jigs along the edge of weed beds. Report submitted by Dane Polk, game warden stationed in Pushmataha County.
 
Texoma: May 9. Elevation 1 1/2 ft. above normal, water 68 and mostly clear. Largemouth and smallmouth bass good on plastic combination baits at 5-15 ft. in the creek channels with riprap. Striped and white bass good on live bait, sassy shad, and surface lures at 5-20 ft. in the river channels. Channel and blue catfish good on cut bait, stinkbait and worms at 5-15 ft. from Catfish Bay north. Crappie good at 5-15 ft. deep in little Glasses and Widow more creeks. Sunfish good on worms and small spinnerbaits at 5-10 ft. around the fishing docks. Paddlefish good below the dam. Report submitted by Danny Clubb, game warden stationed in Bryan County.
 
Wister: May 9. Elevation normal, water 67 and murky. Largemouth bass good on spinnerbaits, worms and jigs. Crappie good on minnows and jigs at 2-5 ft. around structure. Channel catfish good on juglines with cut shad and liver. Flathead catfish fair on live sunfish. Report submitted by Randy Fennell, game warden stationed in LeFlore County.
 
SOUTHWEST
 
Altus-Lugert: May 9. Elevation 9 1/3 ft. below normal and rising steadily. Walleye good to very good near Hicks Mountain. Crappie good near the old "fish-o-rama". White bass good off points near the dam. Report submitted by Sue Hokanson, Quartz Mountain State Park.
 
Ellsworth: May 9. Elevation above normal, water murky. Crappie slow on minnows and jigs around brush piles. Catfish fair on cut bait on windy points. Report submitted by Mike Carroll, game warden stationed in Comanche County.
 
Ft. Cobb: May 9. Elevation normal, water 69 and clear. Striped bass hybrids good on jigs and crankbaits along the dam. Crappie good on minnows and jigs near shallow brush. Catfish good on cut bait and stinkbait. Report submitted by Mark Walker, game warden stationed in Blaine County.
 
Tom Steed: May 10. Elevation 3 ft. below normal, water 65 and murky. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs at 5-10 ft. in Glen and Otter creeks. White bass and striped bass hybrids good on minnows off windy points. Report submitted by David Smith, game warden stationed in Kiowa County.
 






Shad stocked at Lake Texoma
Personnel from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation have made efforts to stabilize Lake Texoma threadfin shad populations that substantially declined due to a winter die-off.
“We were able to stock more than 39,000 adult threadfin into Lake Texoma this week,” said Matt Mauck, south-central fisheries supervisor for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “We expect these shad to begin spawning soon and really jumpstart the threadfin population.”
The shad were stocked in numerous areas in the lake and according Mauck, they are a critical part of the food system in the lake.
"The threadfin is an important prey species for stripers and other sportfish in Lake Texoma," said Mauck. "This winter it just got too cold for the shad to survive and the population took a hard hit. They will come back on their own over time, but we felt additional stockings would speed up the recovery process."
The die-off occurred when water temperatures in the lake dropped to 40 degrees or below for several weeks this past winter and dramatically impacted threadfin populations, Mauck added. Fishing guides and anglers have had difficult time collecting bait for trips and have had to rely on collecting gizzard shad or purchasing shiners if they did not wish to fish artificial lures.
Lake Texoma is nationally recognized as a premier striped bass fishing destination. Additionally, numerous other species thrive in the lake including trophy populations of smallmouth bass and blue catfish. This resource offers countless hours of recreational opportunities but is also important economically with many businesses and fishing guides relying on the continued success of the fishery.  While sport fish generally get most of the attention, they are all reliant upon available forage within the lake.  
“While there are many different forage species within the lake, shad are a staple food item for many of the most sought after fish, especially stripers,” Mauck said. “In fact, striped bass eat almost exclusively threadfin and gizzard shad, avoiding other food items in many cases.”
While gizzard shad are a readily available staple in the lake, threadfin remain smaller than the gizzard shad and therefore can offer more forage variety to smaller predator species as well as stripers.
Similar cases of mass die-offs have been reported three other times in Lake Texoma history, the latest being in the winter of 2001. In all cases, the threadfin shad made a successful comeback between the remnant population that survived the winter and supplemental stockings from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD).
 


Oklahoma Spoonbill Fishing

 

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, wildlifedepartment.com, 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 wildlifedepartment.com.
         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 wildlifedepartment.com.
            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.
            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 wildlifedepartment.com.

 

 

 

 

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