May 24th, 2006

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Top bass pros coming to Grand Lake                
Over the years there have been hundreds of bass tournaments at Grand Lake in northeast Oklahoma, but there has never been one quite like this.
The CITGO Bassmaster Elite 100 Series "Sooner Run" tournament, taking place on June 1 through 4, will be one of the biggest events in the history of Grand Lake. The tournament will feature 106 of the world's top professional BASS fisherman competing for almost $700,000 in prize money, including a $100,000 grand prize.
The Elite Series is comprised of the world's top professional bass fishing pros competing in 11 events between March and September for a total of $7.4 million.
In his second year in the Bassmaster Elite Series, Terry Butcher of Talala, Oklahoma, said fishing at this level of competition is a "dream come true."
"This is what just about every bass fisherman wants - to be able to go fishing for a living," Butcher said.
And Butcher said he is glad to be fishing close to home.
"Its nice to not have to drive a thousand miles to a tournament," he said. "And being on a lake I am familiar with may help a little, although the guys fishing this tournament are really good. It doesn't take them long to find the fish no matter what lake they are on."
With water levels up, the fishing should be good on Grand Lake said Gene Gilliland, senior fisheries biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
"There may be a very few bass on the tail end of the spawn, but most anglers will likely be looking for bass in a post-spawn pattern," Gilliland said. "I expect the fishing to be very competitive and it could take as much as 20 pounds a day to win the tournament."
The fact that a Bassmaster Elite Series tournament is taking place on Grand Lake is not just a coincidence.
"In this series they are trying to put the best anglers on the best lakes at the best times of the year. The selection of Grand Lake is a great testament to the bass fishery and to Oklahoma's reputation as a bass fishing destination," Gilliland said.
Anglers are fishing for more than just the prize money, Elite pros are competing in a points race for the CITGO Bassmaster Classic, the Super Bowl of bass fishing. Halfway through the season, Butcher is in the running for one of the 36 coveted spots in the Classic. He is currently 39th in the points race and a solid showing at Grand could move him up the points ladder.
Oklahoma will be well represented at the Elite tournament. In addition to Butcher, nine other Bassmaster pro anglers call Oklahoma home including Jimmy Houston of Cookson, Edwin Evers of Talala, Jeff Kriet of Ardmore, Kenyon Hill of Norman, Dave Smith of Del City, Bradley Hallman of Norman, Ken Cook of Lawton, Jeff Reynolds of Idabel and Tommy Biffle of Wagoner.
About 8,000 people are expected to attend the family-friendly event. Both the daily launches and weigh-ins are free and open to the public at North Beach Development Area (61201 East 270 Road). Each day the launch begins at 6 a.m. and weigh-ins take place at 3 p.m. Spectators will also have a chance to get angler autographs, participate in a kids casting contest and shop for Bassmaster merchandise. The newly-designed North Beach Development Area is located east of Wolf Creek just north of Grove.
Additionally, fans can catch all the action on ESPN2 the following weekend, Saturday, June 10 at 9 a.m.
With an estimated 1,200 tournaments held each year in the state, Oklahoma offers virtually unlimited fishing opportunities.

FISHING REPORT FOR MAY 24, 2006

CENTRAL

Arcadia: Blue catfish are being caught on worms and cut shad. Crappie being caught on chartreuse and white jigs. Report submitted by Tim Campbell, game warden stationed in Oklahoma County.

Draper: Elevation 2 ft. above normal and clear. Largemouth bass good in coves with structure at 4-6 ft. on plastic worms, medium divers and tandem spinners. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs in 4-6 ft. around structure. Report submitted by Tony Woodruff, game warden stationed in Cleveland County.

Hefner: Elevation 3 ft. below normal, water 74. Channel catfish are being caught around the lake shallow and at 4-8 ft. on crickets, large minnows, punch bait and grasshoppers. They are being caught on the south end of the lake, Lighthouse Point and around east Warf restaurants on bottom tight lining and around the west end of the dam slip corking. Report submitted by Bob Martin, OKC Fisheries.

Overholser: Crappie are being caught on jigs on the south side of the lake. Catfish are being caught on cut shad. Report submitted by Tim Campbell, game warden stationed in Oklahoma County.

Thunderbird: Elevation 5 ft. below normal and clear. Crappie good on minnows and jigs at 4-6 ft. around structure. White bass good on jigs, sassy shad, medium divers and spinners off points at 4-8 ft. wading or trolling. Largemouth bass good on medium divers, tandem spinners and plastic worms in coves with structure at 4-6 ft. Saugeye are hitting on green medium divers, jigs and sassy shad off points early and late day at 4-8 ft. Catfish slow. Report submitted by Tony Woodruff, game warden stationed in Cleveland County.

Wes Watkins: Elevation 2 1/2 ft. below normal, water 74. Channel catfish excellent at 3-4 ft. on cut shad, goldfish and stinkbait. Bass good at 5-8 ft. on spinners and sassy shad. Crappie good at 8 ft. on minnows. White bass very good on rattle traps, slabs and medium-diving crankbaits. Report submitted by Ronnie Arganbright, game warden stationed in Pottawatomie County.

NORTHEAST

Bell Cow: The only fishing method allowed at Bell Cow is rod and reel fishing. Elevation 2-3 ft. below normal, water 75 and murky. Largemouth bass fair on plastics at 5 ft. Catfish slow. Crappie good on minnows and jigs around fishing dock. Report submitted by Gary Emmons, game stationed in Lincoln County.

Birch: Elevation normal and clear. Crappie good off the fishing docks using minnows and jigs. Catfish good near the creek channel on cut fish and shad. Striped bass hybrids good while trolling around the lake on live shad or crankbaits. Largemouth bass fair around the lake using spinnerbaits and plastic baits. Report submitted by Ben Bickerstaff, game warden stationed in Osage County.

Carl Blackwell: Elevation 1 ft. below normal, water 72 and murky. Crappie fair on jigs moving back out to deeper water. Saugeye fair on minnows and jigs. Catfish excellent at night near rock structures on all baits. Report submitted by Jon Cunningham, game warden stationed in Payne County.

Chandler: Elevation 3 ft. below normal, water 75 and clear. Largemouth bass slow to fair on plastics. Catfish slow. Crappie good off dam and around fishing dock on minnows and jigs. Report submitted by Gary Emmons, game warden stationed in Lincoln County.

Copan: Elevation 1 ft. above normal and murky. Crappie fair on live bait at a 6 ft. Catfish and white bass are biting on large minnows, shad, and worms. Report submitted by Jason Cain, Copan Handi Mart.

Eucha: Elevation 6 ft. below normal, water 72 and clear. Crappie good on jigs and minnows around brush and structure at 6-10 ft. Largemouth bass good on spinnerbaits and crankbaits off rocky points. Bluegill good on crickets and worms in coves. Catfish good on shad. Report submitted by Dwight Moore, City of Tulsa Fisheries.

Ft. Gibson: Elevation 3 ft. above normal, water 70 and murky. Largemouth bass good on spinnerbaits in flooded timber and grass. White bass good around structure and trolling points. Catfish good to excellent on shad, worms and cut bait. Reported submitted Marvin Stanley, game warden stationed in Muskogee and Wagoner Counties.

Grand: Elevation normal and clear from dam to Shangri-la while murky Shangri-la north. Bass fishing good. Two tournaments over the weekend took 18-20 lbs.,5 fish limit to win. White bass being caught over most of the lake trolling. Catfish fair. Crappie fair at 12-16 ft. suspended over 20-30 ft. Blue catfish good below Grand Dam. Report submitted by Keith Green, game warden stationed in Craig County.

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

Hudson: Elevation 1 ft. above normal and murky. Largemouth bass good on jig and craw combination and spinnerbaits. White bass fair to good in the upper end of the lake in the river on small lures. Blue catfish good on cut shad. Report submitted by Steve Loveland, game warden stationed in Mayes County.

Hulah: Elevation 6 ft. above normal and murky. Catfish good around the lake on cut fish and shad. Catfish good below the dam. Crappie fair near brush piles using minnows and jigs. Report submitted by Ben Bickerstaff, game warden stationed in Osage County.

Kaw: Elevation 2 ft. above normal and falling, water 76 and stained. Blue catfish good in Coon Creek flats and Arkansas River on juglines baited with whole and cut shad. Channel catfish good in the Coon Creek area around brush piles on stink bait at 3-8 ft. White bass fair in Beaver Creek area on jigs. Crappie good along riprap at 5-10 ft. on minnows. Flathead catfish fair in rocky coves on trotlines and juglines baited with live sunfish. Paddlefish are fair in tailwaters during times of water release. Blue catfish are fair in tailwaters on shad. Report submitted by Marshall Reigh, game warden stationed in Kay and Grant counties.

Keystone: Elevation 3 1/2 ft. above normal, water 70 and murky. Largemouth bass fair on plastics and spinnerbaits at 3-6 ft. in flooded brush in the backs of coves. Smallmouth bass fair on crankbaits and jig and chunk at 5-10 ft. in deep coves. Spotted bass fair on small crankbaits and plastics at 5-10 ft. off points. White bass fair on minnows and sassy shad at 6-12 ft. off points and around bridges. Striped bass fair on live shad and buck tails at 3-6 ft. below the dam. Channel catfish fair on worms and stinkbait at 4-8 ft. in creeks and shallow coves. Blue catfish good on cut shad and shad guts at 5-10 ft. in creek and river channels and in the flats. Flathead catfish fair on live shad at 8-12 ft. off steep rocky banks. Crappie fair on minnows and yellow and white jigs at 6-10 ft. around brush piles and off rocky banks. Report submitted by Larry Sellers, Woody's Bait and Tackle.

Lower Illinois River: Trout are being caught on power baits, flies and worms. Report submitted by Marval Trout Camp.

Oologah: Elevation 6 ft. above normal, water upper 60 and muddy on the north end and murky on the south end. Channel catfish good on worms and dough bait around flooded willows. Largemouth bass fair on soft plastic baits around flooded brush. Blue catfish fair on shad drifting flats at 10-15 ft. Channel and blue catfish also fair on shad below the dam. White bass fair on jigs below the dam. Report submitted by Brek Henry, game warden stationed in Rogers County.

Skiatook: Elevation 4 1/3 ft. below normal, water 73 and stained. Smallmouth and largemouth bass fair, in the shallows, on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and in deeper water around structures, with plastics. Crappie fair to good on small and medium minnows at 10-20 ft. around bridges and other structure, and in the creeks. Striped bass hybrids fair on points and in mouths of creeks. Catfish fair on trotlines with very large minnows.

Sooner: Water 77 and clear. Hybrid striped bass and striped bass excellent in the upper end of the lake on live shad on humps at 15-20 ft. Largemouth bass good on buzzbaits and soft plastic jerk baits around weed beds. Crappie fair at 5-10 ft. around brush next to riprap on minnows. Channel and blue catfish fair around riprap at 10-20 ft. on shad and stinkbait. Report submitted by Marshall Reigh, game warden stationed in Kay and Grant counties.

Spavinaw: Elevation 4 ft. below normal, water 72 and clear. Crappie good on jigs and minnows around dam area. Largemouth bass fair on plastic baits. Catfish good on cut shad. Report submitted by Dwight Moore, City of Tulsa Fisheries.

Tenkiller: Elevation 1 ft. below normal, water 74 and clear. Largemouth bass slow some action shallow on spinners or crankbaits. Crappie fair around brush piles t 10-15 ft. on tube jigs or roadrunners. White bass fair evenings surfacing near Chicken Creek. Catfish fair on cut baits or worms at 10-15 ft. Sunfish good on worms along bluffs or in docks. Report by Monte Brooks, Cookson Village Resort.

Webbers Falls: Elevation normal and murky. Largemouth bass good on spinnerbaits and crankbaits along shoreline and riprap. Catfish good on cut bait on bottom. Crappie good on minnows and jigs around brush structure. Report submitted by Lark Wilson, game warden stationed in Muskogee County.

NORTHWEST

Canton: Elevation normal. Walleye good drifting night crawlers over submerged islands. White bass and striped bass hybrids good trolling crankbaits. Channel catfish good along the dam on minnows, stinkbait and cut shad largemouth bass good in upper end of lake on soft plastics and spinnerbaits. Report submitted by Mark Walker, game warden stationed in Blaine County.

Great Salt Plains: Elevation normal, water 74 and muddy. Channel catfish excellent on trotlines around the island on whole and cut shad. and fair drifting with shrimp and cut shad. Small channel catfish are being caught below the dam in the weirs on stinkbait. Flathead catfish fair below the dam on live sunfish at night. Report submitted by Marshall Reigh, game warden stationed in Kay and Grant counties.

SOUTHEAST

Arbuckle: Elevation normal, water 73 and stained. Crappie slow. White bass are schooling on top and off points. Bass fair on topwaters and good on soft plastics off points. Report submitted by Jack Melton.

Blue River: Elevation normal, water 78 and clear. Largemouth bass fair to good on minnows and flies. Catfish fair to good on liver and worms. Report submitted by Charles Baker, technician at Blue River Public Fishing and Hunting Area.

Broken Bow: Elevation normal, water 71 and clear. Largemouth bass good off rocky points on dark soft plastics. Crappie good in south Holly Creek on minnows and jigs around standing timber. Walleye fair in Egypt Creek south towards main body of lake off rocky points after dark on deep running crankbaits. Report submitted by Dru Polk, game warden stationed in McCurtain County.

Eufaula: Elevation 1 3/4 ft. below normal and clear. Largemouth bass good on plastic baits at 2-8 ft. around brush. White bass very good on jigs at 4-10 ft. around bridges. Blue catfish very good on worms at 2-6 ft. along the rocks. Crappie very good on jigs at 4-10 ft. along bridges. Report submitted Ed Rodebush, game warden stationed in McIntosh County.

Hugo: Elevation 2 ft. above normal, water 71 and murky. Largemouth bass fair on spinnerbaits. Crappie fair on live minnows. Channel catfish fair on cut bait. Report submitted by Wendell Smalling, game warden stationed in Choctaw County.

Konawa: Elevation normal, water 79 and clear. Largemouth bass good on jerk baits and spinner baits in weed beds at 5-8 ft. Channel catfish good on chicken liver and stinkbait along points at 10-12 ft. Report submitted by Daryl Howser, game warden stationed in Seminole County.

McGee Creek: Elevation 1 1/2 ft. above normal, water 70 and clear. Largemouth bass good on soft plastic lures at 2-6 ft. in upper end of lake around standing timber. Channel catfish fair to good on red worms and liver off rip rap, also fair to good on jug lines on live bait. Flathead catfish fair on live bait on trotlines. Report submitted by Larry Luman, game warden stationed in Atoka County.

Lower Mountain Fork River: Trout fair to good and slow in some areas and really hot in others. Zone 3 has been producing lots of fish, but many of them have not been trout mostly bass, bluegills, sunfish and carp. Zone 2 has been very challenging for many anglers. There are two way to approach this problem one being extreme stealth and finesse, the other tactic that sometimes works is to use a (relatively) large and brightly colored streamer. This sometimes generates aggressive strike. Report submitted by Sid Ingram, Beavers Bend Fly Shop.

Murray: Water 72 and clear. Largemouth and smallmouth bass good on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. White bass good on jigs. Channel catfish fair on stinkbaits. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs at 10-15 ft. Report submitted by Jeremy Brothers, game warden stationed in Carter County.

Pine Creek: Elevation above normal and murky. Crappie good on jigs around timber. Bass fair around points on crankbaits. Catfish good on cut shad in creek channels. Report Submitted by Mark Hannah, game warden stationed in McCurtain County.

Robert S. Kerr: Elevation above normal, water 74 and murky. Largemouth bass fair at 4-6 ft. using plastic baits, spinnerbaits and small crankbaits fishing the edge of the deeper water that has some weed, wood or rock structure. Crappie good at 10 ft. using minnows fishing the edge and bends of the old submerged creek channels. White bass good at 8-10 ft. using jigs fishing below Webbers Falls and Kerr dams. Blue catfish good at 3-6 ft. using fresh cut bait and goldfish fishing the rocky areas around the lake. Flathead catfish good at 3-10 ft. using live bait jug line fishing around the rocky areas. Report submitted by Rick Olzawski, game warden stationed in Haskell County.

Sardis Lake: Elevation 1 ft. above normal and murky. Catfish good on cut bait. Bass fair on weed beds. Crappie good around bridges and brush piles. Report submitted by Allen Couch, game warden stationed in Pushmataha County.

Texoma: Elevation 1/2 ft. below normal, water 75 and clear to the south and murky to the north. Largemouth bass fair to good on spinnerbaits at 5-15 ft. around points. Striped bass and white bass fair on sassy shad and live bait at 5-25 ft. off Washita Point. Catfish fair to good on cut bait at 15-25 ft. in the Platter Flats. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs at 15-20 ft. around structure. Report submitted by Danny Clubb, game warden stationed in Bryan County.

Wister: Elevation 1 ft. above normal, water 69 and muddy. Crappie fair up the Poteau River Arm on minnows around standing brush at 3-8 ft. Largemouth bass fair on salt craws at 4-10 ft. Channel and blue catfish good around the shallow flats on shad. Report submitted by D.G. Belcher, game warden stationed in Latimer County.

SOUTHWEST

Altus-Lugert: Elevation 13 ft. below normal and murky. North shore boat ramp is high and dry. Crappie are being caught using minnows. White bass and hybrid striped bass fair to good. Walleye fair to good. Catfish being caught using shad. Report compiled by Quartz Mountain Grocery.

Ellsworth: Elevation 10 ft. below normal, water 74 and murky. Crappie slow. Blue catfish fair to good on rod and reel and jugs with cut bait. Striped bass hybrids and white bass fair to good. Report submitted by Mike Carroll, game warden stationed in Comanche County.

Foss: Elevation 1 1/2 ft. below normal, water 72 and clear. Striped bass hybrids excellent on live bait. Walleye good on live bait. Catfish good on cut bait and stinkbait. Crappie and bass fair in early mornings and late evenings. Report submitted by Eric Puyear, B & K Bait House.

Ft. Cobb: Elevation normal. Catfish fair on cut baits. Saugeye fair drifting night crawlers. Report submitted by James L. Edwards, Jr., game warden station in Caddo County.

Tom Steed: Elevation 4 ft. below normal, water 70 and murky. Catfish are good on worms and cut bait near the islands. 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 slow. Report submitted by Phillip Cottrill, game warden stationed in Jefferson County.

 

 

 

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