Okies are tearing it up on the Bassmaster Elite Series.
Two weeks ago, Kenyon Hill of Norman won the Pride of Georgia event on Clarks Hill Lake in Columbia County, Ga.. This past weekend, Fred Roumbanis of Bixby captured the Carolina Clash on Lake Murray in Columbia, S.C.
Edwin Evers of Talala finished third in both events. All three Oklahoma anglers are now in the top 10 in the Bassmaster “Angler of the Year” points race.
Hill is sixth, Evers is seventh and Roumbanis is ninth.
Canton Lake’s walleye rodeo produced several new lake records over the weekend.
Justin Norton of Wagoner landed a 7.4-pound largemouth bass; Seven-year-old Raylee Tautfest of Canton caught a 1.5 pound sunfish that is the new lake record; and Corey Newer of Enid caught the big prize, a 9.3-pound walleye that was the biggest walleye of the tournament and the new lake record.
Lake Thunderbird also established a new record on Saturday when Delbert Gault of Newalla caught a 7.1-pound largemouth bass on Hog Creek during the Muscular Dystrophy’s Association “Big Catch” tournament.
Today is the final day of spring turkey season and what a sorry one it was. Stormy weather, howling winds and henned up birds made this spring’s hunting season one of the toughest in memory for many hunters.
Some hunters, of course, had success. But just based on the stories I’ve heard and the number of photos I’ve received from turkey hunters this spring, it appears the number of gobblers killed this year will be way down.
Crappie fishing, however, is picking up on some local lakes. On Monday, two anglers on Lake Thunderbird reported the crappie were on the banks and sent me photos of a couple of ice chests of fish as proof.
At Canton Lake, northwest of Oklahoma City, guide Donnie Jinkens said the best crappie fishing should be in the next couple of weeks.
“The crappie are starting to come in,” he said. “We are just a little ways away.”
The sand bass and hybrid fishing remain strong on Canton by trolling and drifting, and the draft fishing for walleye in the flats has been excellent, he said.
Anglers are also catching crappie off the fishing piers on Oklahoma City lakes – Draper, Hefner and Overhosler – on small minnows and jigs.
You will need a boat, since the pedestrian areas below Hefner Dam are closed, but anglers have been catching walleye by drift fihsing with bottom-bouncing sinkers and earthworms near the dam, said Bob Martin, fishery biologist for the City of Oklahoma City.
Trolling with crankbaits, in-line spinners and minnows and worms are also effectivce for Hefner walleye, he said.
And believe it or not, anglers are still catching rainbow trout at Dolese Youth Park Pond in Oklahoma City, NW 50 and Meridian. Bass Pro Shops had a kids day last weekend at Dolese and kids were catching fish, Martin said.
“If they are biting for kids, they will be biting for adults,” he said.
Anglers fishing on Oklahoma City municipal waters need to remember that a city fishing permit is required in addition to a state fishing license.
At Foss Lake, Eric Puyear of the B & K Bait House reports that fishing for walleye is fair with live bait along rocks on the dam. Hybrids are fair with live bait and white or chartreuse jigs. The sand bass fishing is slow but the catfish are biting on Danny King stink bait.
It’s crappie fishing time on Lake Eufaula, but it always is. Crappie are spawning and are in the shallow water and button brush along the banks.
But crappie can be caught regularly after the spawn is over.
Lake Eufaula crappie guide Todd Huckabee says he catches more crappie on Eufaula in May, June and July than any other time of the year.
“My favorite time to fish for them is when it’s a 100 degrees outside,” Huckabee said. “They are just a lot more predictable. They are not scattered out.’’
After the spawn, the crappie move to staging areas and can be found in much smaller areas.
Right now on Eufaula, Huckabee is catching crappie in 8 to 10 feet of water on black and chartreuse jigs and black and pink jigs.
But some anglers put too much stock in jig color, he said.
“To me, 90 percent of the time color does not matter as much as the depth that you are fishing and the presentation you are giving the jig,” he said. “The 10 percent of the time that it does matter, it is very, very important.
“If you are in an area where there is no fish or they are inactive, no matter what jig color you put in front of them, you are not going to catch them.
“I can take the wrong-color jig today and catch more fish than somebody else in my boat that has the right jig color, unless I explain to them how we are fishing. The biggest part is finding actively feeding fish.”
Huckabee said jig colors are very important in two extreme conditions: When the water is super muddy and when the water is crystal clear.
“The reason it matters a lot when the water is real muddy is because those fish can’t see very well in that real, real muddy water and you need a bait that is going to create a silohouette that they can see,” he said.
“When the water is real, real clear, they can see that bait real well so you want to go with a more natual color to get an actual feeding bite as opposed to a reaction bite out of ‘em.”
For gear, Huckabee recommends using a 2-inch Beavertail jig, which is really a big bait for crappie, with a 3/16th ounce jig head.
“Use two of those on 10-pound test,” he said. “Use a real stiff rod and you feel the bite a lot better and you can yank them out of there a lot quicker.”