The hottest bass fishing in Oklahoma this year has been on Arbuckle Lake.
The lake with the emerald waters in south-central Oklahoma near Davis has a reputation for quality smallmouth bass plus numerous largemouth bass with the occasional trophy-size largemouth of 8 pounds are better.
But this year Arbuckle Lake has coughed up several double-digit size largemouth bass, including a 13-pound brute for one angler. Last month during a tournament of the Little Dixie Bass Club of Durant, the seven-fish winning stringer from Arbuckle weighed more than 41 pounds, anchored by an 11 and 1/2 pound fish.
Bob Myers of Pauls Valley, who guides for smallmouth bass on Arbuckle, said he knows of two other 11-plus pound largemouths and another 10-pounder that have been caught there this year.
“The lake has always been good in early spring, but to catch that many good fish is really unusual,” he said. “There’s more this year than I ever heard of before. I don’t why.”
Barry Bolton, acting chief of fisheries for the state Wildlife Department, also was puzzled why Arbuckle was fishing so strong this year.
“We have been hearing about the trophy-size fish this year, but there is not really a good explanation why these fish are showing up now,” he said. “But I think anglers ought to take advantage of it.”
Myers said fishing at Arbuckle Lake is often “hit and miss” but he expects it to be good once again when the water warms up.
Before the recent cold front, the bass fishing had been going strong on several southeastern Oklahoma lakes – McGee Creek, Broken Bow, Pine Creek, Hugo – where anglers were catching 20-plus pound five-fish stringers to win bass tournaments.
And Konawa Lake – which always has quanity but not always quality when it comes to largemouth bass – does have some big bass in it, as evident by the recent electrofishing survey of the state Wildlife Department.
Danny Bowen, in the Holdenville fishery office of the state Wildlife Department, reported shocking up a 7-pound, 11-ounce largemouth during last week’s sampling of Lake Konawa. Also shocked up was a 7 pound, 8 ounces largemouth; a 7 pound, 4 ounce largemouth; and a 6-pounder.
“And lots and lots of smaller bass as usual,” Bowen said.