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Big stripers caught on Red River and Lake Texoma on the same day

by Ed Godfrey Published: April 29, 2009
Scooter Proctor of Norman with 35-pound striper caught on Red River below Lake Texoma dam
Scooter Proctor of Norman with 35-pound striper caught on Red River below Lake Texoma dam
Billy Brooks with a 28-pound striper caught Tuesday on Lake Texoma
Billy Brooks with a 28-pound striper caught Tuesday on Lake Texoma

Man, Tuesday was a good day to be striper fishing.
A Norman man caught a 35-pound, 3 ounce striper on the Red River below Lake Texoma and on the lake itself a 28-pounder was landed by local angler Billy Brooks on a Chug Bug lure.
The Red River has produced some nice stripers this year and anglers on Lake Texoma already are starting to see some surfacing action.
“The good top water action is just a couple of weeks off,” said Matt Mauck, fisheries biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “It gets better when the shad start spawning, bringing those stripers closer to shore.”
Here is a link to the story on the 28-pounder caught Tuesday evening on Lake Texoma. The story and photo was posted on the sixoldgeezers Web site: www.sixoldgeezers.com/discus/
Below the lake, Scooter Proctor, son of former University of Oklahoma assistant football coach Bobby Proctor, landed a 35-pound, 3-ounce striper that morning while fishing with guide Norman O’Neal.
Proctor already had landed a 24-pound striper fishing earlier this year with O’Neal, but Tuesday’s fish was the biggest O’Neal has caught on the river in recent years.
O’Neal has been guiding Red River striper fishermen since 1992 and this is becoming one of his best years ever on the river. Of course, some days are better than others, but O’Neal has been catching 17 to 28 pounders more frequently this year, and he always sends me the photos as proof.
The big Texoma flood of 2007 – where water breached the spillway and the flood gates were opened – sent a lot of fish downstream and likely is one of the reasons for the excellent fishing in the river, Mauck said
“I’m sure the flood put a lot of fish in the river,” Mauck said. “Fishing (in the river) after that flood was tremendous and it continues to be good.”
On Tuesday, O’Neal said Proctor and his group started out early in the morning by catching some nice box fish using small threadfish shad for bait and popping corks.
After using up most of the small bait, they went on the hunt for big fish by drifting down the river, using balloons and 6- to 10-inch gizzard shad suspended in 4-feet of water.
They had some huge blow ups, but never could get one to take the bait, so O’Neal, who uses an airboat on the river – headed to a rock pile and parked on top of it. He started chumming some stunned bait that already had been used.
“It wasn’t but a few minutes, and we were hooking up with big fish,” he said.
Proctor lost the first six fish he tied into, but after baiting up with an 1-inch gizzard shad and dropping it back in the ambush zone, he hooked the big one.
“The fish made several hard bursts up river and finally made its way back towards us,” O’Neal said.
At the same time, another angler hooked into a 17-pound striper.
“I always turn all big fish back, but (Proctor’s) fish took a hook in her upper gill and was bleeding very bad,” O’Neal said. “Unfortunately, we had to keep her. She will go on Scooter’s wall, though.”
To reach O’Neal, who lives in Denison, Texas, call (903) 624-4900 or visit www.striperguidetx.com.

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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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