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Outdoors notebook: Grand Lake named Oklahoma's best bass waters

Oklahoman Published: May 4, 2014
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Bassmaster Magazine has released its third annual rankings of the 100 best bass fishing lakes in the country, and once again three Oklahoma lakes made the list.

However, Konawa Lake is no longer on it, and Fort Gibson has been added. Grand Lake is again the top Oklahoma bass fishing lake, according to the magazine, although it fell from 15th to 19th overall this year.

The magazine called Grand Lake “the best jerkbait lake in the country.” Arbuckle Lake, which the magazine calls the best big bass lake in the state, is ranked 49th in the country.

Fort Gibson Lake is Oklahoma’s new entry on the list, ranked No. 65. Konawa Lake was ranked No. 70 last year, but didn’t make the cut this year.

Lake Michigan’s Sturgeon Bay claimed the top spot.

“Sturgeon Bay is absolutely on fire right now,” said Bassmaster Editor James Hall. “It is beautiful. The smallmouth here are giant — nobody even blinks at 6-pounders. And it’s not unusual for an angler to catch 60 bass per day.”

Texas’ Lake Amistad, once ranked in the top 10, no longer makes the cut.

“We aren’t sure what’s to blame for Amistad’s poor production lately, but this typically awesome fishery is struggling right now,” Hall said.

Fishing should improve as temperatures rise

The warm weather forecast in the next few days should trigger better fishing around the state.

Generally, the best fishing will be later than usual this spring due to colder than normal temperatures. In northeast Oklahoma, the paddlefishing on Grand Lake has been very slow due to lack of rain and water inflow, which prompts spawning runs up the rivers.

“With the weather getting warmer, I think things should really take off in the next few weeks,” said Ken Cunningham, assistant chief of fisheries for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “We are starting to see good reports of black bass fishing in the smaller reservoirs.

“We are getting excellent reports about crappie even though the water temperatures are hovering around 60 degrees. With crappie, the good fishing is primarily east. With the warmer weather, the crappie should take off as well in places like Thunderbird and other fisheries in the central part of the state.”

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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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