Grand Lake (OK) Spoonies

Discussion in 'ALL OTHER FISH' started by Tulcat, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. Tulcat

    Tulcat New Member

    Well I'm headed out Sunday for my second Spoonie trip of the year, and with a high forcasted of 28 degrees it should be great weather to enjoy the lake with few others.

    My question is are the Spoonies north or south of Sailboat bridge? I know some people who have been catching Spoonies over the last month or so in that area, but with such nasty weather I'm hoping to narrow things down to north or south of the launch point.

    Anyone have any first hand knowledge?
     
  2. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

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    I've talked with a fellow last week that did pretty good catching spoonbill up by sailboat bridge but I have no idea whether he was South or North of sailboat bridge. I personally don't have that much luck myself this time of year snagging because there are usally in deeper holes waiting for the spring rains and current to send them farther upstream. I get too dang tried trying to snag this time of year. Do you ever snag below the low water dam at Chouteau Bend above Ft. Gibson. When the water is running at least 15,000 cfs out of Hudson the spoonbill fishing is probably the best in Oklahoma.
     

  3. Tulcat

    Tulcat New Member

    This is my first year chasing the spoonies at midlake in deep water, as usually we don't start until March/April and are fishing around Grand Lake head waters (Sycamore Creek and north) to Miami Dam. But we got the FEVER too bad this year and am going out Sunday, even though the forecast high is 28 degrees with a 60% chance of snow/ice. We plan on fishing 6-7 hours if we can tough it out.

    While I've heard stories about it, I have never snagged at Chouteau Bend (but I do have in my notes section that it is prime when water is 15,000 cfs from reading your posts last year :cool: )

    While it might not be as good, you can hit prime conditions too at the Miami Dam. Last year on my nephews first ever Spoonie trip (after begging the previous years) we took them out on a beautiful Spring day to where by 10AM we were down to t-shirts and by the end of the day the 4 of us had boated 1009 pounds of Spoonbills until the grown ups were too tired and we quit early. Smallest fish was about 20# and the largest we caught was 53#. While we didn't hit any of the real big ones, it was nonstop constant action to the point of exhaustion.
     
  4. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

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    Good luck out there tomorrow, I wouldn't be breaking out the shorts on Sunday.:crying: When you are targeting those deep water spoonbill are you trolling at a very slow speed to cover a lot of ground or are you just using the fishfinder looking for deep holes and big fish on the screen. I tried snagging last year before the water really got running. We targeted some deeper holes downstream where we knew there were spoonbill but after 4 hours of throwing lead and no fish we gave up until the water got flowing good again.

    I do have great luck at Chouteau Bend but I know there just as many if not more spoonbill in Grand. I think I read an article one time that they estimated that Grand Lake does have the largest population of spoonbill in the country. It's been over 15 years since I snagged at the low water dam in Miami and I did do well, but standing shoulder to shoulder with some of those jerks can be dangerous. I much prefer snagging by boat these days. Catching a 1000 pounds of fish in a day sure is a great way to be tired at the end of the day. I've never weighed each fish we took into the boat but I know that three people in our boat all snagging can catch a 100 spoonbill in a day if your not too tired. Those spoonbill guts are very oiley and do make great cutbait on your jugs also.;)
     
  5. Tulcat

    Tulcat New Member

    Chris,

    2 weeks ago was my first attempt at midlake deep spoonies, and we were trolling with 1# lead. We could see fish on the sonar suspended between 30-35 ft of water (50 ft deep), but couldn't hook any. We are going to try varying the methods a bit more this week, as some people swear that we are wasting our time with less than 3 #s lead, while others claim 1# is the max :confused:

    If we can spot them thick on the SONAR, we are also going to try just casting into the hole to see what we can hook. Another thing we are going to try is to slow our trolling speed some, as mentioned this week on the fishing reports for Grand Lake.

    The Spoonie numbers should be really getting better for Grand, as it has been 3 years since there was enough rain to get the fish up to Chetopa Dam, where they get slayed again almost as bad as Miami. And as you mentioned, the bank fishing conditions at Miami when they are running is horrendous, but if you are early enough there is a spot where you can park your boat (we found it by chance last year) just 20 yards north of the dam on the east side. There is a tree on the east bank, that keeps you from being in the way of the people casting from the dams edge, and you are too close to the east bank to be in the way of those fishing from the west side. We anchored in the spot, and fished there all day almost bringing in a fish with every cast.
     
  6. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

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    I know people snag them by trolling but I haven't had much luck at it. I don't know if I'm running enough lead or need to slow the boat down even more. The only problem is 2 stroke motor's just can't slow down as much as the 4 cycle's. I've got two drift socks that I'm thinking about using to slow my speed down a little more that the lowest speed on my boat. I've trolled the Neosho at Chouteau bend for many miles and never snagged one while trolling. Good luck they sure are fun to catch, especially when you snag or bump one each time you cast. I can't wait to start snagging again.
     
  7. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

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    I'm really wanting to break 70 pounds this year. Ive caught tons of fifties a few sixties, but the biggest I've caught so far went 68 pounds. I love to snag one over 80 pounds this year.
     
  8. Tulcat

    Tulcat New Member

    My biggest so far is just a touch over 50#. I too am hoping to hit 80# or so this year.

    Hopefully we'll get some rain this year more than once and get the spoonies running good. We'll have to try and hook-up and swap some pointers.

    As far as the trolling goes, it didn't take long to figure out why most do it with that method this time of the year... after swooping the pole dragging 1# of lead you understand pretty quick :p
     
  9. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

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    Eight ounces of lead gets you pretty darn tired also. After throwing for four hours straight my arm said "NO MAS" trying to snag them in deep water. I love to pull right up to the low water dam within 15 feet of the water rushing over. You can watch the spoonbill jump up over the lower dam within just a few feet if there running around 25,000 cfs. It's so much fun.
     
  10. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

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    I catch all of my spoonbill in the boat while motoring or trolling as it where. What I do is idle about as slow as the motor takes me, now the trick is different boats move at different speeds and motors idle at diff. speeds. I adjust the boat speed to winds and depths where when I pull back on the rod to snag and drop my rod back forward (while keeping a tight line) I can just feel my weight hit the bottom. If your motor wont idle along at very low speed it wont work unless your draging buckets, tires or something to slow you down. Ive allways had 2 strokes,90 to 135 horse motors and can get them to idle where I barley move if needed.
    I usally run 12 to 16 ounce weights here but it all depends on the winds and current.
    Use the depth finder to let you know when to snag, it saves a hole lot of muscles.
     
  11. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

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    Hey spoon,

    I remember in some of our old posts on snagging that you run three trebles on your line. When you are trolling are you keeping that weight dragging the bottom the whole time and how far apart are your hooks on your line. I need to break out the drift socks this year. My old 75 horse yamaha has probably 10,000 hrs on it and it sound like crap trying to troll at slow speeds. It never dies but I think if I get those two drift socks running I'll be slowing down enough to snag them while trolling.
     
  12. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

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    3,780
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    Warsaw, Mo.
    Chris Ive never had much luck draging stuff, just find a good mechanic and have your carbs adjusted if it wont idle down. I use three 10/0 treble hooks every two foot up from the weight. I do keep the weight right around the bottom but also you most watch the screen for snags as well as fish at all times. If I see a snag comeing up I raise my rod tips up and hold them up until it has passed, saves a lot of gear.
     
  13. Tulcat

    Tulcat New Member

    Spoonfish,

    What is your technique/rig when the water is about 50 ft deep and the fish are at 30-35 ft deep? That was the senario 2 weeks ago.

    When I am snagging at the lake head waters and rivers we have 4-5 oz of lead tied at 3-4 feet below an 8/0 treble. For the deep water snagging we were tying on 1 # of lead 5-6 feet below an 8/0 treble.

    But we were wondering how the heck you could consistantly try to get your treble dragging through the zone where the fish were, in this case 15-20 feet above the bottom. My guess that having your weight bounce off the bottom with 5-6 lead from the hook will not hook fish 15 feet above the bottom (hence we came home empty handed that day except for the blue cat we caught on a jug line).

    Thanks for any pointers!
     
  14. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

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    The carbs are super clean and linked fine, it's just the motor has a ton of hours on it. Compression is equal in all cylinders but it's only about 85 psi. should be over 100. It runs fine at rpms over 1000 and still gets the boat over 40mph but slow trolling speeds are hard to come by. I'd love to slap on a 90 horse e tec or a 4 stroke in a couple of years, until then I'll I have old faithful.
     
  15. Tulcat

    Tulcat New Member

    Well we got "iced out" on Sunday. Since I was staying the weekend with family in KS, my brother in-law and I drove down to Grand Lake early Sunday to go after the spoonies. Just about the time we hit the OK border, we noticed there was a lot more snow and ice on the ground then what KS had received.

    Well we got the ramp to launch and it was a no-go, as it was covered with an inch of solid ice. So we dumped off the boat and started hitting all the ramps, and finally after almost 2 hours found one that although it was several miles off the main channel, it was not a ice sheet. So we turned around, retrieved the boat, and drove back to the ramp. By the time we got back with the boat, a new ice storm moved in was quickly turning our "semi-clear" ramp into a sheet of ice like all the others.

    We were confident we could get the boat in, but were unsure of what it would be like after hours of fishing. So then we did the logical thing and flipped a coin, and the coin said to go home. So at that point we ate lunch and waited out, only to give up 30 minutes later.

    Off again this Saturday to try.
     
  16. Tulcat

    Tulcat New Member

    Well I finally managed to land a Spoonie this trip, weighing in at 29#s.

    It was caught in about 37 ft of water, in the channel, just south of Paradise Point, Grand Lake.

    We say maybe 10 boats all day, and not even half of those had managed to land a fish, and no boats had landed more than one.
     

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  17. Believer

    Believer New Member

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    Good job!
    We have 2 1/2 weeks yet before we can start. Man i'm itching! :)

    Eric
     
  18. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

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    Hey there's a spoonbill, I haven't seen one since last April. I'm ready to do some snagging myself. Did you guys end up trolling for them or just slinging lead?
     
  19. Tulcat

    Tulcat New Member

    I guess we did a combination. We had the boat constantly moving at a trolling speed, but were still snagging (swooping) with the rods. I'm not confident in trolling with the rod in the rod holder yet.

    Boy did my arms get tired, as I was using 24 ounces of lead to stay on bottom, as the wind was pretty stiff.