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Oklahoma lakes among nation's best for bass fishing

Grand, Konawa and Arbuckle among the top 100 best bass fishing lakes in the country, according to Bassmaster Magazine
by Ed Godfrey Published: April 28, 2012

Bassmaster Magazine, arguably the premier authority on bass fishing in the country, for the first time this week compiled a list of its 100 best bass fishing lakes in the United States.

Three Oklahoma lakes made the list: Grand Lake at No. 17, Lake Konawa at No. 29 and Arbuckle Lake at No. 56.

James Hall, editor of Bassmaster Magazine, said the magazine spent more than three months researching its top 100 lakes, getting survey data and angler catch rates from state wildlife departments or natural resources divisions and tournament data from B.A.S.S. Federation tournament organizers, who also offered recommendations.

A panel of outdoor writers and editors, pro anglers, and fishing industry veterans put together the list based on current fishability of each lake, its history, big fish and overall quality potential and aesthetic surroundings.

“Instead of just having opinions, we wanted to put science behind the opinion to rate the 100 best bass lakes,” he said. “The method was as scientific as we could make it.”

I asked Hall on Wednesday what made Grand, Konawa and Arbuckle worthy of being one of the 100 best bass lakes in the country.

Hall said Grand Lake, which has hosted Bassmaster Elite Series tournaments and will be the site of the 2013 Bassmaster Classic, made the list for a variety of reasons, including the population of bass in the lake, according to the state Wildlife Department surveys, and the tournament data provided by local B.A.S.S. Federation members.

“It takes quite a lot of weight to win on Grand, according to those guys,” Hall said. “Coupled with how beautiful it is, it becomes a jewel for bass fishermen to come to.”

Hall said Bassmaster Classic organizers also rave about Grand Lake. The 2013 Bassmaster Classic “is going to be phenomenal event because of the health of that fishery,: he said.

Konawa Lake may surprise some for being in the magazine's top 30. The power plant lake produces lots of bass but not that many wall-hangers.

“Our Federation guys just raved about it (Lake Konawa),” Hall said. “They have quite a few tournaments on a lot of lakes and Konawa was their favorite place to go because everybody would come away with limits of bass.”

Hall said most bass anglers just want something to tug on their line when they go fishing and are less concerned about trophy fish.

“You may go there (Lake Konawa) and not catch and 8- or 9-pound bass, but you will have a fantastic day of bass fishing,” Hall said. “The number of fish you will catch will more than make up for the one bite you did not get.”

View Bassmaster magazine's list of top 100 bass fishing...

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by Ed Godfrey
Copy Editor, Outdoors Editor, Rodeo, River Sports Reporter
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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