Oklahoma Top Bluecat Waters

Discussion in 'LOCAL OKLAHOMA TALK' started by catfishcentral, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK
    Well I thought it would be cool to see everybody’s opinion on Oklahoma’s top blue cat waters. I know most people have there local waters as their favorites but there are so many dang good places to catch them these days. I don’t think there’s any bad lakes or rivers at least in eastern Oklahoma that you can’t catch a bunch of bluecats any time of the year. Since the ODWC starting stocking them in our lakes some 25 to 30 years ago they have really taken off. Most lakes and rivers I fish now that have bluecats, I hardly ever catch a channel. I'm defiantly not complaining I’ll take a bluecat any day over a channel. They taste great, fight hard and get huge. So what is your top picks for Blue cats? I divided my list between large lakes and our smaller lakes and rivers.

    Blues thrive in big water. You can catch them anywhere but the bigger the bodies of waters seem to grow them more quickly.

    1. Texoma. Everybody knows the world record blue and our state record blue came from Texoma. This lake always produces big fish. I have many friends that have either rod and reel this lake or jug it from time to time. Everyone always seems to catch at least one forty pounder. Most people don’t take notice if your blue cat isn’t over 60 pounds.

    2. Grand Lake. This lake is catching more and more forty and fifty pounders on a regular basis. I rarely fish is lake because of heavy boat traffic but see lots of big cats being caught all the time.

    3. Keystone. This lake in my opinion is a very close second to Grand. Keystone probably has about the best shad population of any of our lakes. They grow big and fat and do it very quickly. I read recently that In-Fisherman rank Keystone as one of the Top Ten blue cat lakes in the U.S. Stating that many sixty and seventy pounders are caught on a regular basis. I never seen those size fish come from Keystone but seen lots of 20, 30 and 40 pounders come out of Keystone. The upper ends lake on the Arkansas and Cimarron river get very shallow and navigation by boat can get hairy but I know there’s some big fish in there.

    4. Ft. Gibson. I love this lake and just like many of our other lakes has no shortage of blues. I haven’t heard of any monsters taken out of there but whenever I fish the upper ends of Ft. Gibson in the spring I have to cull out the small fish because well catch too many.

    5. Lake Hudson. This lies between Grand and Ft. Gibson on the Grand (Neosho) river chain. All three of these lakes produce large blue cats year round.

    6. Eufaula. Being Oklahoma’s biggest lake at 103,000 acres it defiantly bigger than any other lake. I know there’s plenty of fish in this lake but I never hear any reports of huge fish being taken from Eufaula. I’m sure there are I just never hear of them.

    7. Robert S Kerr. This is a very big lake and one that few people really fish. The only time I’ve personally fished it has been below the dam at Lock and Dam 15. I’ve talked to many long-term catfishermen who tell me of plenty of big blues taken from the lake and below the dam. Kerr is pretty far out of the way for most people in Oklahoma. This is especially true when there are plenty of lakes closer, this lake doesn’t have much fishing pressure on it. The lake is also known to be somewhat dangerous because of shallow waters, barge traffic and other hazards. I think if a person spends the time on this lake will be rewarded with plenty of big fish in part because of low pressure on the lake.

    Smaller Blue Cat lakes

    Well there’s my list of top big waters in Oklahoma but there’s a lot of great smaller lakes that have plenty of fish and I believe have state record size fish in there waters.

    1. Sooner Lake. Many people on this board probably don’t know much about this lake but it has lots of big fish. OG&E owns Sooner Lake and the hot water discharge is a favorite to catch all kinds of fish year round. While I was going to school at OSU we would always make the ¼ mile walk from our cars to the hot water outlet. You never know what you will catch there but I caught my first twenty pounder at this lake. Another thing going for Sooner is this is ROD and REEL only. This keeps more fish from being harvested and I’ve seen the pictures of the seventy pounders that come out of this lake. I wouldn’t be surprised if a record didn’t come from Sooner.

    2. Waurika. There’s not too many great blue cat lakes west of I-35 but this is one of
    them. Before our last two state records that have been broken in the last two years this lake held the record at 85 pounds. When this fish was caught the lake received a lot of fishing pressure but has rebounded and big fish are being caught again.

    3. Ft Cobb. This is the only other good lake west of I-35 and until two years ago had never
    heard a thing about. I’ve have a buddy of my that I hooked on jug fishing a couple
    of years ago that lives in OKC and now goes to fish Ft. Cobb in the winter. I didn’t
    believe him at first about all of the twenty and thirty pounders he caught until he
    showed me the pictures.

    3. Copan. Since I fish this lake all the time I know it pretty well. My biggest blue from Copan is only 22 pounds but I catch my limit almost all the time. The upper end of the lake is nothing but a forest of trees but that’s where the big boys are hiding. Last March an 85 pounder was caught on a trotline and I know of many others in the sixty-pound range now being caught. I recently found a dead blue cat on one of the islands that live weight would have gone 80 pounds easy. This is also a great Flathead lake. The only fish survey I’ve ever seen on Copan was in 1997. They ranked Copan as the best population of flatheads of any Oklahoma Lake. If you ever drive around this lake you will see plenty of 20 to 60 pound flatheads heads sitting on fence posts.

    4. Kaw Lake. This is the first lake that the Arkansas dumps into coming into
    Oklahoma. It’s really not a small lake but it has plenty of big fish. I never heard
    of monster blues but again I’m sure they are in there.
    .
    5. Pumpback Lake. This sits right next two Lake Hudson and is a deep lake. Since
    Motorboats are not allowed on this lake pressure remains very low. I’ve heard of reports from this board and from others of lots of 40 pounders coming from this lake.

    6. Skiatook is probably one of the prettiest lakes in Oklahoma. If you never been on it your missing out on a great lake. Whenever I go here I spend more time pulling a ski tube behind the boat but there’s lots of structure in the lake. Most of the pressure is on the hybrids but there some big fish also.

    7. There are a few other small lakes I’ve fished like Birch Lake, which looks like a mini version of Skiatook. It’s close to my house and I fish it several times a years. It doesn’t get much pressure but I’ve also never caught anything over 5 pounds either. The far upper end of the lake may hold some bigger fish.

    Oklahoma Rivers.

    There is some of the best blue cat fishing on our local rivers. I really don’t know what order to put them in because they are all great.

    1. Arkansas River. The Arkansas is almost like two different rivers in Oklahoma. The first is the sections between Kaw lake and Keystone Lake and the section from below Keystone to where it merges with the Grand (Neosho) river and the Verdigris. These two parts of the Arkansas are very shallow most times of the year. There’s really no boat ramps except for right below Kaw and Keystone where you can navigate only a short distance by regular boat. All of the big fish caught below these two dams come from these shallow waters. Those who are brave enough to walk long miles or have a canoe to find the deeper holes will catch the big boys.

    2. Verdigris River. The last two sections of the Navigation Channel Lock and Dams
    17 and 18 has lots of big fish and my personal favorite. Since moving back to Oklahoma almost five years ago I’ve spent a LOT of time on this 50-mile section of river. My personal best blue of 45 pounds and biggest flathead of 52.5 pounds have come from Lock and Dam 18. My buddy had a blue cat several years ago that got away after it broke a 6/0 hook off one of our jugs. I know it would have gone 80 pounds easy. Every spring is my favorite time on this river. Sometimes as many as half our jugs has doubles on each jug. There’s nothing better that pulling up a jug and having a twenty pounder on it and then another big fish on the bottom hook.


    2. Webbers Falls. This is really more a lake than a section of river but I put it hear with the rest of the rivers. After the three great rivers of the Arkansas, Neosho and Verdigris come together at Muskogee the Channel really gets big. Lots and lots and Lots of great fish are taken from this section of the Navigation Channel. The last two sections of the Channel that I fish are pretty narrow compared to where these three rivers meet. Lots of wing dikes and other great structure for catfish.

    3. Neosho. Not much of this river isn’t impounded by some lake before it dumps into the Arkansas. The eight miles from below Ft. Gibson always has great fishing. The section between Lake Hudson and Ft Gibson is one of my personal favorites in the springtime. Also the section from the twin bridges above Grand till it reaches the state line hold tremendous amounts of fish that go upstream from Grand each year.


    Well there’s some of my picks. I know I left some other good lakes out of this post. Let's here about big fish from your home waters.
     
  2. Okccatman

    Okccatman New Member

    Messages:
    323
    State:
    Norman,Ok
    Thanks Chris. Great post.
     

  3. willisjj

    willisjj Guest

    That was a great post and very informative too. Thanks. If we don't get some rain, Lake Eufala is going to dry up before I get to fish it! I think I read that its down 8 feet. I guess all these lakes are the same way. We need some rain bad.
     
  4. Okccatman

    Okccatman New Member

    Messages:
    323
    State:
    Norman,Ok
    Chris, Do you get the chance to fish Ft. Cobb often? My wife and I have gone there many, many times. We fish from shore and do alright but we see the boats out drifting and they kill them. My boat has become a project but when it is done I will be heading there to do some drifting and juggin. I think this lake is very underrated.

    -edit- sorry to stray from topic
     
  5. Aquacat

    Aquacat New Member

    Messages:
    346
    State:
    Sherman, Texas
    Catfishcentral, I agree! Folks of you want to fish in oklahoma for blues this is some great information. I have fished all of these locations and I would agree. There is a lot of great bluecat fishing in oklahoma.
     
  6. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK
    David,
    I sent you a PM
     
  7. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

    Messages:
    3,780
    State:
    Warsaw, Mo.
    Very good post Chris. :thumbsup: I need to get over there and try some of your waters. I have been wanting to do some spoonbill fishing there also and hope to do so this spring.
     
  8. Fordman

    Fordman New Member

    Messages:
    90
    State:
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    Outstanding post Chris. After reading your reports on some of those waters, I 'm going to have to hit some of those areas when I get the boat running.
     
  9. okie_kat

    okie_kat New Member

    Messages:
    37
    State:
    Eufaula, Ok
    Chris you can bet there are some monster blues in Eufaula but don't tell anyone.
     
  10. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK
    Rick, I promise not to tell anyone about big blues in Eufaula. ;) That lake at 103,000 acres is so dang big that's too much area to explore for me at least. Heck L @ D 18 is only like 1200 total acres but at 23 miles long has plenty to explore for me.

    Spoonfish, There's a couple great spoonbill area's in Oklahoma. I know I'm not telling you anything you don't know already about snagging but the best time here is when we really get the heavy rains and they get stacked below the low water dams. When there's not enough current it's too much work for me. I plan on posting at least where I snag them, when they start getting stacked up and hopefully break my 70 pound mark this year.
     
  11. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK
    Let's here about any big blue's caught in your area. Hopefully my post didn't come across as "I'm a know it all". I drive about 60,000 miles a year for work and always keeps three rods in the trunk of the car for those overnights on the road. I'll stop in about any local bait shop and check out who catching what and how big. I usually end up coming out with a package of overpriced hooks but some decent local knowledge of a lake and check out those trophy pictures on the walls from locals. Hope you enjoyed the post.
     
  12. capt theory

    capt theory New Member

    Messages:
    180
    State:
    oklahoma
    man thats it in a nut shell. almost everything you named has a chance at a record catch. i know keystone lake has potential for some wicked cats but i havent had much time on that lake yet. but im gonna have to say my favorite river is the 1st part of the arkansas river. i will admit the top end of the fish there isnt as high as the navigation channel but thats a seasonal thing. every spring the cats further down south on the nav channel head up either the arkansas to the lowwater dam, the verdigris to the lock and dams, or the neosho to fortgibson dam and further south the canadian to eufaulas dam. it just depends on wich one runs the most water as to wich river gets the most migrating fish such as cats and stripers. when they go up the arkansas its the easiest to catch them because the amount of water for them to hide in is very limited. thats why when the river goes down there will be holes that it just sucks to be baitfish in.. the nav channel has way more space for them to work with and that helps them tremendously. one thing i think we can all agree on is the nav channel is what brings most of the great fishing to oklahoma. if it wasnt for it the blue populations wouldnt be near as plentiful and spread out. it gives us a chance at some of those beast from the mississippi river..
     
  13. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK
    Josh,

    I very much agree with you about which ever river has the most current. Those blues, stripers and spoonbills will be choosing the river in most cases with the most current. I watch current flows almost every day in the spring in order to choose which lake or river I will fish. If the Lake Husdon is letting out at least 15,000 cfs in the spring I'll be there in a minute to fish the low water dam above Ft. Gibson. Anything less can be a waste of time, same thing with the Navagation Channel or above and below any Dam. Keep a close eye on current realeases to judge which body of water to fish on a given day during the spring prespawn.
     
  14. Cutshad

    Cutshad New Member

    Messages:
    283
    State:
    Newalla, Oklahoma (Shawnee)
    Chris, great post. And please don't think you are coming across as a "know it all". If more guys posted information like you do we would have a lot to talk about! I have talked to you before about the rivers in northeast and north Oklahoma. I plan on hitting them hard over the next 10 or 20 years! One of these days I would like to pick your brain a little more in detail. Again, the post was great and I agree with you. There are some great Blues in Oklahoma. We see some every year and keep hopin' for the Biggy! Thanks again.
     
  15. TDawgNOk

    TDawgNOk Gathering Monitor (Instigator)

    Messages:
    3,365
    State:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Man, thanks for the great info Chris.

    One thing I am looking forward to this spring is getting out there on the channel and hopefully finally catching myself a blue on either rod/reel or jug.

    Hopefully 2006 will be the year!!
     
  16. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    Chris, I know you are not particularly fond of fishing below Kaw Dam, but, if I lived in the area of the state you live in, I probably wouldn't bother with it either. However, being from central Oklahoma, this is about the closest place I have found which has the potential for some large fish. My only problem is I am still fishing this year... haven't gave it up yet. But they stopped the release of water from Kaw because, now can you get this... the duck hunters wants the lake stabelized for their hunting pleasure. I hope I am a sportsman, but I can't see why both needs cannot be met at the same time. Far as I am concerned, the duck hunters can go to Canada to hunt. Just don't mess with my fishing.
     
  17. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK
    AwShucks,

    I end up fishing below Kaw Dam about three or four times a year. I know big blues will be there because there are coming up from Keystone during the prespawn. I've snagged for Spoonbill a couple times there but my catfishing is below par when I go. The main reason because, I seem to go down there later in the summer, when there's not much water being realeased. Man I swear there are more gar and big gar below Kaw than anywhere else. I setup on the bank with my two poles and end up catching a couple dozen gar each time I go. I need to go there with the mindset that I want to catch a bunch of gar, then I'll catch the catfish. LOL :p I've been wanting to take my boat down below the dam this spring with they letting out a ton of water. The blues will be stack up there for sure if we get the rains at the right time of year. There's been several springs where we have been pretty dry and the dams end up not letting much water out. When that happens a lot of the fish don't make it all the way up to the dam. Sure there always will be some but the right amount of flow at the right time can really make a big difference.
     
  18. coyote

    coyote New Member

    Messages:
    84
    State:
    Verdigris, Ok
    Great post Chris! We will have to meet up on the water some time. I think I'll stay in this weekend though. Brrrrrrrrrrr. I have been trying to find someone to go but fortunately they have all said no. Of course I call them all wimps. ;)
     
  19. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK
    Tommorow high will be a balmy 25 degees. Will you be ready to hit water in the morning when it's 5 degee's. :eek: :eek: :eek: I'll have the boat ready. ;)
     
  20. okiecop

    okiecop New Member

    Messages:
    265
    State:
    Grove, OK
    Chris great post and lots of great info. I think there will be a lot more pressure and less boat traffic this coming yr. here on grand. After the huge bass kill from a tourn. The state is going to limit the number of tourn. those bass boys can have here.

    This is great since i won't be getting woke up early in the mornings to the sounds of 200+ HP outboards ripping thru the area. But i think the cats will get more pressure because there should be less boats w/o all the tourn. Not going to say this is a bad thing. Heck may even see a new state record come outta the deal.

    And by the way when the lake gets back up and they start gerating again you can bet that I'll be down below pensecola dam on the grand river.