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Discussion in 'LOCAL OKLAHOMA TALK' started by TDawgNOk, Apr 24, 2006.
One lake I think you forgot to mention there is Eufalla. That lake has some MONSTERS in it.
You can get some fairly large shad on keystone. One place I know of to get some large shad is on riverside below the pedestrian bridge. You will need like 40 ft of extra rope to get to the water succesfully
I think the state record came out of Lake Ellsworth. Never fished there, though.
I still think the lakes and rivers that recieve the most current yeild larger blues on a more regular basis. I've caught the biggest shad ever at Keystone dam. I thought I had caught some carp when I was pulling my castnet in to find some 15 to 18 inch shad. Keystone IMO has one of the biggest shad populations of any lake I've seen. It's a great lake similar to Grand but it's a popular lake that get's pounded pretty hard on a regular basis. The whole navagation channel including Robert S Kerr all the way up to Keystone and L @ D 18 produce big fish. The section of the Arkansas from three rivers up to Zinc low water dam can hold some very big fish also. The lack of access to this section of river helps keep blues in this part of the Arkansas is good numbers. I believe pretty much all the lakes in Oklahoma didn't recieve any blues until the early 1980's. I think it's getting better and better each year considering that there were none in Oklahoma except for the Navagation Channel and Red river 25 or so years ago.
Here's my complete list of Oklahoma Lakes and Rivers.
Your right the section of the Arkansas between three rivers and Keystone is a "wasteland" What happens on that section of river is when Keystone is letting out tons of water that section of river get the fish moving up the Arkansas. Now when they stop letting out water lot's of those fish I believe just get trapped. I have no idea how deep some of those holes are but I bet you that any sections of that river that are deep enough to hold numbers of fish have a lot of them in there and big one's also. The really only way to scout long sections of the Arkansas is to invest in a airboat.
I don't know if I buy into the theory that lakes with the biggest shad will have the biggest fish. I think what matters is lot's of forage and current. It also helps if it's not a popular lake that recieves lot's of pressure.
I think Robert S Kerr is a lake that has all these features. This lake recieves more current than any other lake because when all the rivers upstream are dumping into the Arkansas it's the last one on the way out of Oklahoma. It's not uncommon for 100,000 cfs to be coming into Kerr. This lake mainly because of location doesn't have the pressure of many other big lakes in Oklahoma. There's also LOTS of boating hazards and shallow water that keeps many people off or away from certain area's of the lake.
i think its because of the sewage and stuff in tulsa as to the reason for the freakishly big shad and carp at zinc dam. the bottom line is the arkansas river in tulsa is where some of the biggest baitfish are. but in terms of catfish the arkansas river harbors the biggest blues and numbers of them. im talking lower arkansas river. ive said it before, but here it is again. whatever dam is running the most water is going to draw those hawgs from down south to the dams. last year it was the upper arkansas and i caught with extreme consistency fish over 30 pounds. got 3 or 4 in the 40's and one at 55. now i know what a big fish feels like and there was 2 times last year that i didnt have a chance unless i went swimming after the freight train that bit my line. this year however it takes the name the "wastelands". there have been some nice resident flatheads (31 pounds) taken but not near the blue action as we have seen. since none of the dams are running i think they are gonna be very spread out during this years spawning run. my theory at the moment is the verdigris and neosho still maintain depth while no current is present so they are gonna mosey up that way. im not sure what it is but the arkansas is just a catfish factory.
Jeff ever since my trip with Chris I have wondered the same thing. Those shad on the James are huge. The funny thing is I took a couple of BOC members fishing yesterday and they had a frozen shad from a small lake or pond that weighed a pound(I didn't see it but they told me about it). I have spoken to people who have on occasion caught shad that large on Truman lake and the Missouri river. I believe I mentioned to you when we went fishing last spring that I have had my best luck on large cats here on LOZ on bait other than shad. I lost the biggest Blue I have personally ever seen on a large(10") strip of carp. This year so far I have caught a number of Blues over 30lbs all on bait other than shad. If the shad aren't large in a lake perhaps we need to use something other than shad to catch larger Blues. Its just my 2 cents but I prefer some alternative cut bait when I go now.
By the way I have a high quality video of you catching a 20lber and holding up both the one I caught and the one you caught on dvd. An LOZ double I'd be glad to send it to you for your web site. I managed to get your phone number and some of your sponsors in it as well. Good luck now and in the future Jeff.
Those smaller shad you see in most reservoirs are Threadfin Shad, they usually get up to about 3-6 inches long. Those are the shad that most people in Oklahoma know. But there are some bigger Gizzard Shad around too which get upto 14-18 inches long. Two totally different types of shad. Like previously said there are some very large Gizzard Shad in Keystone and a few more lakes around the state, But there alot harder to find than the smaller threadfin shad. We use alot of gizzard shad for flathead fishing and find that the flatheads relate well with them. Our chances of catching flatheads on large cutbait increase dramatically in waters with a good supply of these shad. I mean it makes a perfect food source for large flatheads. I also read an article one time which was saying they were trying to keep the flatheads from eating other fish in a reservoir so they put gizzard shad in there. The gizzard shad spawn in shallow water about a foot deep and when they do it you can see them all over, just splashing and darting back in forth. They make quite a scene splashing water everywhere. When we find them spawning we'll set up on shore right in front of them and throw out right behind them and catch some nice flatheads right behind them waiting for one to stray out a little to far! If flatheads relate so well to gizzard shad you would think large blues would as well! But we really don't know much about "BIG" blues!
You've probably noticed a pattern here. Most blues are going to be found in the Red River and Arkansas River water systems. That is their historic range unless they've been stocked somewhere. It interesting that shad was mentioned. Ive had the opposite problem as of late. I cannot find those small threadfins but have been gettting loads of HUGE gizzard shad.
ding ding ding, you hit it right on the nose mtrimble... jeff, those were below the lowwater dam in tulsa and below. access sucks and theres very limited holes but if you choose to make the ridiculous walks you can reap some serious rewards. just look for riverpark trails and you can usually find a way down to the river. keep in mind im talking about oklahoma only when im talking about the lower arkansas. im gonna say where the three forks come together in muskogee is where the dividing line between the lower and upper arkansas. the dams up stream are zinc dam to keystone dam on the arkansas, lock 17 and 18 and oologah on the verdigris and fort gibson on the neosho or grand river. i dont think many fish make it above the lowwater dam to keystone unless theres so much current that the can make it over, wich is very rare. on the verdigris they can get through all the dams up to oologahs dam. fort gibson stops them even worst than zinc does. this year i think most the blues have started their runs so i really dont think the arkansas is gonna produce above the three forks because its all sandbars right now. last year they had at least 40 000 cfps running out of keystone 24 hours a day. but mtrimble hit it on the nose, the red and arkansas river systems is historically where its at..
The catfish do make it though the locks all the time. When were jugging on the Navagation Channel I've had to lock though to the other side to find jugs that have gone downstream. Both sides of the locks are really never closed unless somebody is locking though the dam. The doors will be open either on the downstream or upstream side of the lock. When a barge is going downstream and lock though 18 for example the lock doors stay open on the downstream side and if there's good current drawing the fish upstream they will enter the lock and come out on the other side when another boat locks back upstream. I've gone all the way down to the locks before to see two or three jugs running around inside the lock. We will enter the lock and take the fish and always ask the guy running the locks if he has seen any jugs making it though the lock. If were are short a jug or two we will lock through and find them downstream.
All the lakes I go here in Oklahoma the biggest shad I've ever get are those 8 inchers. The only time I find bigger shad are below a large dam that's running lots of water. I'd like to find them more often but I can only seem to find them at Keystone Dam. I'm a firm believer that big bait does catch big fish but mainly because it keeps the little fish away from your bait. A 80 pound blue still eats his share of 2 to 6 inch shad all the time. What I would really like to find is a consistant source of small 6 to 12 inch carp and buffalo. I think these are super baits for both big flathead and blues.
The upper section of the Arkansas from 3 forks to the Zink Dam is my home stretch of water. I have been studying it and fishing it on a weekly basis for about 5 years. As noted before it produces some huge shad and skipjack herring. The biggest gizzards I've seen were 18 inches, and I did take pictures of them. The biggest skipjack I've seen was 3 pounds, i neglected to get his length before turning him into a meal for some blue cats.
I think part of the reason that this section of the arkansas is so fertile is that it recieves a ton of agricultural runoff. Most of the city of Tulsa, Bixby, Sapulpa, Sand Springs...ect drains into the river. All those lawns sprayed by lawn services get rained on and nitrates are flushed into the river. There are also a lot of sod farms next to the river which similarly release nitrates into the river. Nitrogen feeds algae blooms, and phytoplankton (plant plankton). Zooplankton (animal plankton) feed on the abundant phytoplankton, and shad feed on the very abundant zooplankton, and the numbers and size of shad in this portion of the river is remakable. There are also shockingly large populations of big spoonbill in the river, they also feed on zooplankton, and I think this is why they also are very abundant.
Capt Theory knows a thing or 2 anout the Arkansas, and he was right about the rewards to be had by learning about this urban "wasteland" that is brimming with life of all species. From sandies, to stripers, walleye, sauger, bald eagles, and even quite a few city slicker red foxes, the river suppots its own little unique eco system. I am very reluctant to disclose all I know about the rivers blue catfish, because it would only take a handful of people consistently harvesting the big fish to really hurt the populations in this upper section of the Arkansas. Please release those big blues, there are plenty of eaters to be had.
Yes we need to let them biguns go back thy are the baby maker's.I through everything over 10 lbs back C.P.R.:big_smile: But what the hey since I had Gastric Bypass a small one go's a long way for me...oooh:
wow man, i thought id never see you in the digital world again zach. now this dude can testify on how much crap we went through to find access and succesfull fishing on this river. for a while fishing always resulted in the feeling that we had been beatin up. thats why i tend to be tightlipped about my specific holes on this stretch of river because there is just so few of them and one should earn them like we did with countless hours of scouting and observence. as for harvesting cats on the upper arkansas, i think everyone should respect trophy cats anyways, but on this river your likely to grow a third arm or something by eating those things. i see people at the pedestrian bridge all the time taking cats and carp home. the way i see it if the health department puts up signs about "contact" with that nasty water then you probably shouldnt eat anything out of it. i think anyone whos seen how much sewage they discharge would agree..
im gonna make one correction, im refering to the arkansas between keystone dam to the three forks. if you go above keystone up through kaw theres some really nice clean areas to be pulling fish from. its just when it gets to tulsa is where its gets treated like absolute crap by the cities and corporations that border the river. but hey if the jogging trails are placed just right you cant tell how bad of shape the rivers are in from a distance, and apparantly thats what counts.
yea along the jogging trails the river is nasty nasty nasty
ah no worries. keep in mind all the fish we deal with in tulsa on a seasonal basis come from webbers falls lake. we just fish that area because its convienent and we dont have boats. ive said it before but if i had your setup and equipment id work the webbers falls area down through kerr. bigger waters equal bigger fish.. theres a little more to work with versus miles of sandbars and just a couple of holes. also alot of the people ive met down there are rural and alot of times poor. the internet simply isnt an option for them so thats probably why you keep hearing from us urban folk and never the folks that live down there. good luck at texoma man.