Fishermen have all the time been a superstitious lot, and a closed lipped teams as nicely. Not many will disclose their secret honey gap, full of lurker bass.
I received the prospect to speak with Clayton Porter, Southwest Regional Biologist with the Oklahoma Division of Wildlife Conservation, and the good factor is – he desires individuals to know the place the fish stay and the place they’re biting!
Porter provides us some perception to the world of fisheries biology, and the place anglers ought to spend their effort and time to search out bass. The final two years has offered some a lot wanted rain and stored our lakes comparatively full. Full lakes are a lot simpler to handle than people who go up and down like a merry-go-round.
On this space, Lakes Lawtonka, Humphreys, Comanche and Ft. Cobb high Porter’s checklist. Lawtonka has been probably the most steady bass lake the final 10-years. It has clear water, good construction and has not been 45-feet beneath regular, like a few of our waters. Hopefully a number of the different space waters will peak on this 12 months’s survey knowledge.
I requested Porter to provide anglers some high picks the place they may attempt their luck. I had him decide one of the best bass lakes for large bass, huge numbers of bass, lakes with potential data, and a few sleeper spots that anglers might do this 12 months.
Lawtonka — It’s no shock that Lawtonka could be close to the highest of the checklist once more for 2021.
“The water degree has remained comparatively steady throughout the 12 months in contrast to lots of our western lakes,” stated Porter. “We’ve got seen good recruitment the final two years for Largemouth bass and reasonable recruitment for smallmouth bass.”
Together with the great bass numbers we’ve seen baitfish species (silversides, sunfish, and so on.) in excessive numbers final fall thus carrying wholesome fish over the winter for the spring chunk and spawning season. With the continuing development of excellent recruitment and wholesome fish we count on Lawtonka stay a best choice for bass fishing in SW Oklahoma.
Lake Lawtonka is a 2,400 acer impoundment of Medication Creek nestled within the Wichita Mountains simply north of Lawton. Whereas its major operate is a water supply for Lawton, Lawtonka has a number of the greatest fishing and boating alternatives within the space. Each state and metropolis permits are required to fish at Lawtonka.
Only a spinnerbait forged from Lawtonka is one other high spot for fishing, Elmer Thomas. This stunning little lake that straddles the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge and Ft. Sill all the time has some nice fishing. We’d not be stunned if somebody weighs in a 10-plus pounder this 12 months from Elmer Thomas.
Lake Humphreys — situated close to Duncan, this lake makes the checklist because it has super noticed bass, and I imply super noticed bass, stated Porter.
“We’ve sampled noticed bass in that 3–4-pound vary. A four-pound noticed bass is one thing you may dangle your hat on in my ebook.”
When in search of these noticed bass, search for deep drops and areas the place topography adjustments quick (west aspect and across the dam for instance). In the event you resolve to make a journey to the Duncan Lakes, don’t overlook the opposite lakes which can be there. These lakes require a metropolis allow however don’t fear about that town has carried out a fantastic job at putting in license kiosks at every lake making it straightforward to get your fishing on.
Comanche and Ft. Cobb — Possibly not as excessive because the earlier two lakes, Comanche and Ft. Cobb Lakes are ones to maintain in your radar for bass. Each lakes have good stories from anglers who’ve had good luck catching each numbers and bigger fish.
“If I’m in search of fast journey to dump the boat for a day with less-than-ideal wind situations, I’d head to Comanche,” stated Porter. “It’s smaller and has an excellent entry space for launching a ship.”
Comanche Lake is a 160-acre impoundment 5-miles east of the city of Comanche. It has a ship ramp and two fishing docks, with a concession stand and bait home close by.
Ft. Cobb is among the bigger lakes in SW Oklahoma and could be a little trickery on windy days.
“I’ve heard some actually good stories final 12 months about Cobb. In the event you make a journey to Cobb, make sure you have an enormous high water bait in your deal with field for hybrid striped bass that may push shad to the floor.”
Another choice, particularly on these windy days, is to easily drift some extent with an evening crawler or curly tailed jig throughout a windy level for saugeye (you received’t be disillusioned for making an attempt).
Spreading out for greater than 4,000 acres, Ft. Cobb is a big lake operated by the Bureau of Reclamation. About an hour north of Lawton, and some miles north of the city of Ft. Cobb, the lake additionally has a State park, with boat ramp entry, docks, and tenting spots.
Sleeper Lakes — This will likely sound somewhat loopy, however Porter suggests a “sleeper” proper in our personal yard, Lake Helen. This lake situated in Elmer Thomas Park was surveyed with electrofishing and hoop netting and there have been good populations of bass within the 12-18-inch vary and a number of other above 22-inches. There may be additionally an excellent inhabitants of crappie in Helen.
Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge — There are 8 nice lakes and quite a few streams round an attractive setting that has one thing for almost everybody. Porter says to take an ultralight rod and a few beetle spins and go have at some good sunfish and bass alternatives whereas having fun with a hike.
“We’ve got fished these lakes with our children over the previous summer season with a bobber and worm and had a heck of a productive time with it.”
A weedless possibility might be key to discovering some bass within the lakes the place a blended bag of vegetation happens. We’ve got kicked the concept round of constructing a fishing enterprise on the Chain Lake trails which might be a 2 mile-ish hike however has untapped potential to search out a few of these good spots.
Drought continues — Sadly, a few of my earlier 12 months’s picks are extraordinarily low resulting from drought situations within the western a part of our state. Altus-Lugert and Doc Hollis are a lot decrease than we want to see them. We all the time hope for the spring rains to return and fill them again to regular.
Whereas we’re all the time involved about potential fish kills resulting from low water, golden algae, or different unfavorable situations, typically a periodic low water state of affairs can enhance fishing sooner or later. When water ranges are low for an prolonged time period (extraordinarily low within the case of Altus Lugert) fish are concentrated in a smaller space. This permits predatory fish to gorge themselves on bait fish that may in any other case been in a position to escape. In different phrases, these bass can get huge and fats rapidly! As well as, when a lake refills we typically expertise what is called a “new lake impact” the place terrestrial vegetation is flooded, vitamins are added to the system and each fish populations and fishermen see the profit. Optimistically, we are going to get the spring rains wanted to fill these lakes and anglers can get again to their regular fishing spots on the market.
Last ideas — Backside line…get out and revel in these hotter temperatures. I don’t find out about you, however I have to get out and spend a while on the lake to recuperate from the winter climate we skilled just a few weeks in the past!