For two Lone Grove anglers, last Sunday was a day like no other.
Marco Valca and Doyle Idleman were fishing in a Future Bass Team Trail tournament on Lake of the Arbuckles and brought to the weigh-in the biggest five fish stringer ever caught in an Oklahoma bass tournament.
Fishing with Alabama Rigs and crankbaits, Valca and Idleman weighed in 42.71 pounds of fish, including two bass weighing more than 10 pounds. The fish were definitely biting at Arbuckle Lake on Sunday as only 14 boats were entered in the tournament, but those anglers caught six fish weighing 10 pounds or more, said Joe Copeland, tournament director.
“It just turned on all over the lake,” Valca said.
In January 2013, Arbuckle Lake produced a 42.04-pound five bass limit for former Elite Series pro angler Jeff Reynolds and his partner, Johnny Thompson, in a Backyard Bassin’ tournament. It was believed to be the best stringer ever produced in an Oklahoma bass tournament.
The next weekend, Valca and Idleman caught 41.96 pounds on Arbuckle in a Future Bass Trails tourney.
Now the same pair has caught Arbuckle’s third 40-plus pound sack in the past 15 months. Arbuckle has been producing big bass for several years now and doesn’t show any signs of slowing.
“It’s just getting better and better,” Copeland said of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area lake near Sulphur. “There is a record there. There is a state record swimming in Arbuckle, probably several of them.”
Arbuckle seemingly has cemented itself as the best bass fishing lake in Oklahoma, at least for big bass.
“There is not even a better lake in Texas right now,” Copeland said.
Copeland said Arbuckle is currently producing bigger fish than the big bass Texas lakes of Amistad and Falcon.
“Arbuckle is beating them both bad,” he said.
The big bass of Sunday’s tournament was 11.69 pounds.
“We didn’t even have big bass,” Valca said. “Sunday is a prime example of what that lake is becoming. If you are there on the day they are biting, it can be an amazing day for anybody.”
The second- and third-place fishing teams on Arbuckle Lake last Sunday had sacks of 34 and 32 pounds. “We all have to feel for those guys,” Copeland said.