The Lower Illinois River

Discussion in 'OKLAHOMA RIVERS TALK' started by tkishkape, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. tkishkape

    tkishkape New Member

    Messages:
    782
    State:
    Gore, Okla
    The Lower Illinois River which runs from the Lake Tenkiller Dam to the confluence with the Arkansas River near Gore, Oklahoma is Oklahoma's oldest designated trout stream. A special Trout license is required to fish it from th dam downstream to the US 64 bridge.

    This cold river is also host to seasonal Striped Bass fishing from Early April to September. It is in this setting that I have been humbled by the diminutive rainbow trout.

    Since the Arkansas River has been in flood stage now for over 8 weeks making the blue catfish hard to locate while dodging driftwood logs, I have been relieving my catfishing withdrawal pains by chasing trout and striped bass in the Illinois.

    The trout are not known to be smart... they cannot read the sign that "restricts fishing past this point", but it sure seems that they can tell the difference between a hooked bait and a bait that has been cast off and is simply floating.

    Trout can differentiate between my spinner and one tied to my stepson's line, choosing his to strike rather than mine. I watched a group of trout in a pool of water at my feet as they watched me... the smallest one seemed to be teaching the class that "the creature standing in the air above us is trying to feed you a line of bull... don't eat what he throws to you"!

    I very carefully cast my 1/32oz white Rooster Tail spinner with black spots and a silver blade over their heads tied to nearly invisible 2 pound test line with a 4 foot noodle-like rod. The lure splashes down with hardly a ripple, and begins to spin in front of the group of 200 trout just lounging in the shadows. The spinner quietly works it's way through the pack and emerges totally ignored.

    I'm ready for a CATFISH!:crazy:
     
  2. wiatravis

    wiatravis New Member

    Messages:
    5
    State:
    Oklahoma
    So have you had any luck this year on the stripers there on the river?
     

  3. Larry Collier

    Larry Collier New Member

    Messages:
    149
    State:
    Wagoner, Oklahoma
    I know what ya mean Albert. I have three grandsons in northern Utah that have grown up trout fishing and they make it look so easy. It's been a long time since I fished the Illinois for striper and I doubt it has changed much. Those brutes love to eat trout. We used to paint the largest crankbait we could find so it looked like a trout and chunk them all night searching for a huge striper. Nowadays they make giant swimbaits for black bass that should be great for tricking those Illinois stripers!! Come to think of it we did the same in the river below Ft Gibson dam and landed some monster stripers there also. With all the water running below the dams now it could be good water for striper fishin.
     
  4. xringer3

    xringer3 New Member

    Messages:
    950
    State:
    Oklahoma
    Hey Albert, I fish there alot and still haven't got them figured out! They can really test your nerves. They are alot of fun though. If you're interested, this is what I've found works for me best.

    I'm using a 7ft light or ultra light action spinning rod with an abu garcia cardinal 101 with 4 and 6lb test line. I use the 4lb for bait, and 6lb for artifucial lures. The lures that seem to work the best are the kastmaster spoons in 1/8 oz. and the super duper spoons. I've also used a firetiger colored 1/8 oz. rattle trap. The rattle trap doesn't get as many, but the ones they get are always around 2 to 3lb fish!

    I havn'e fished it since the cats started biting at ft. gibson dam, but it's slowed down now. I'm gonna have to go do some more trout fishing, the freezer is impty of trout now. I'll try to remember to hit ya up and let you know when I'm gonna be there in case you're interested in hooking up for the day.

    Good luck and have fun!:big_smile:
     
  5. tkishkape

    tkishkape New Member

    Messages:
    782
    State:
    Gore, Okla
    I have used the Super Dupers, but never a kastmaster... I'll have to find one that small.

    I use a 3/8 and 1 oz kastmaster for the stripers in the lower part of the river with some success.

    Thanks for the tip!

    By the way, Ft Gibson Sweet corn is now available in several locations... will be gone by next weekend so get yours now.

    I just froze 4 bushels...
     
  6. xringer3

    xringer3 New Member

    Messages:
    950
    State:
    Oklahoma
    Were are you getting the corn from? I need some for grilling the 4th.
     
  7. tkishkape

    tkishkape New Member

    Messages:
    782
    State:
    Gore, Okla
    There is a wagonload in Webbers Falls at 8:30 every morning until it's gone. There's also stands along the highway near Ft Gibson and in Muskogee.

    If you want some, you better hurry... it goes fast. The wagonload usually sells out before noon.

    :smile2:
     
  8. xringer3

    xringer3 New Member

    Messages:
    950
    State:
    Oklahoma
    Thanks Albert, we found some here in Muskogee.
     
  9. Big Sam

    Big Sam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,383
    State:
    Booneville AR
    Name:
    Sam
    Albert.......your obviously HURTING badly:tounge_out:
     
  10. tkishkape

    tkishkape New Member

    Messages:
    782
    State:
    Gore, Okla
    Good to hear from you, Sam!

    It's been so long that I began worrying that your boat sunk...:embarassed:

    I got a problem that maybe you can help with... I'll send you a PM.:crazy: