Why do I drive to Grand, McGee Creek or Arbuckle when apparently there is good bass fishing in my backyard?
I would have never guessed a 10-pound largemouth bass would come out of Oklahoma City’s Lake Hefner, but it happened Tuesday.
Kevin Barnicoat of Oklahoma City landed the 10-pound, 6-ounce largemouth from a spawning bed, one of the biggest black bass ever caught from Hefner.
Bob Martin, fisheries biologist for Oklahoma City since 1982, said he can’t remember the last time a 10-pound largemouth was caught at Hefner.
“It’s been several years,” he said. “That’s a good fish for Hefner Lake. That’s a good fish for any lake.”
Hefner is known as a walleye, crappie and catfish lake. It’s not normally a destination for bass anglers.
Barnicoat, a member of the North Oklahoma City Bassmasters and other bass fishing clubs, fishes Hefner frequently because it is close to his home and he doesn’t have to pay a vehicle or launch fee there like at other lakes, such as Arcadia and Wes Watkins.
He admits he was shocked by the size of the fish.
“I’ve caught several fish in the 5 and 6 pound range in the last five years (at Hefner), but I have never heard of anything that big coming out of there,” he said.
Barnicoat was fishing with a homemade brown and green jig with green pumpkin trailer, a lure that he’s had success with at Hefner and Grand.
“They chew it up there (Grand) pretty good, too,” he said.
Barnicoat has fished Hefner every day since April 19 and caught more than 30 bass in the 5-pound range before landing the big one Tuesday evening.
He had seen the fish on the spawning bed the day before but couldn’t get a bite. He caught the fish the next day, then weighed her on the scales in his boat (he admits the weight might be a half-pound off either way), took photos then released her to spawn.
He thinks the fish has since laid its eggs because she wasn’t back on the spawning bed Wednesday.
Barnicoat’s personal best is a 12-pound, 6-ounce bass caught at Mountain Lake five years ago.
He thinks Hefner is an under-rated lake for bass fishing.
“It’s a good lake and it’s close,” Barnicoat said. “If guys would actually get out there and get to fishing on it a little bit, they would see how good a lake it is.”