April in Oklahoma is the time for casting and blasting

First full month of spring offers great fishing and a promising turkey season
by Ed Godfrey Published: March 30, 2013
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Their annual migration draws anglers to the banks of the creeks where they can fill ice chests full of fish. The white bass will hit jigs, spinners, minnows or anything else resembling a small bait fish.

Among the most popular destinations for white bass runs are Flat Rock and Mill Creek on Lake Eufaula, the Mountain Fork River north of Broken Bow Lake, Horseshoe Bend north of Lake Tenkiller and Pennington Creek on Lake Texoma.

Crappie

Oklahoma has some outstanding crappie fishing. In fact, Fishound.com recently released a list of the best crappie lakes in the country for big slabs and Lake Eufaula was ranked No. 17 and Oologah Lake was No. 19.

Crappie fishing hits its peak in April as the big females move into shallow water to spawn. Anglers target crappie around rip-rap, coves and brush.

Live minnows and crappie jigs are the most popular bait.

Paddlefish

Oklahoma's marlin, the paddlefish, will soon be shooting up the tributaries in the Grand River system to spawn.

Anglers use surf rods and treble hooks to snag the prehistoric looking fish, also called spoonbills.

Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and Fort Gibson are all part of the Grand River system that produces some of the best paddlefishing in the world.

Anglers typically snag paddlefish weighing 30 to 70 pounds but the state record is 125 pounds.

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation offers a paddlefish cleaning station at Twin Bridges State Park on Grand Lake.

State wildlife officials will clean an angler's paddlefish and package the meat for free in exchange for the eggs, which they use to make caviar and sell to a wholesaler.

The money earned is used for paddlefish management and research.

Anglers can keep one paddlefish per day, but must stop snagging once they keep a fish. Mondays and Fridays are catch and release days only.

Walleye

April also is one of the best months to catch walleye as they move into the rocky shorelines to spawn.

They prefer to spawn along dams and bridges on big lakes. Try catching walleye on jigs tipped with large red worms or lures resembling shad.

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by Ed Godfrey
Reporter Sr.
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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