White bass ID

The white bass is a fan favorite of springtime anglers. These prolific spawning fish make their annual migration runs in the thousands giving anglers the opportunity to catch fish in bulk. White bass require very basic fishing equipment making them an easy target for anglers of all experience levels!

White bass typically start their spawning routine before the other spring spawning fishes in the state. Longtime white bass anglers claim that the white bass spawning run begins when the redbud trees begin to bloom. 

Moderate rainfall and water temperatures between 55°-60°F are key to a prolific river or creek white bass run on a given body of water. 

White bass prefer to spawn up inflowing creeks and rivers on a given body of water, but many lakes only have small tributaries necessitating modest rainfall to push the fish upstream. Fish will move as far upstream as water flow allows until satisfactory spawning habitat is found.

During springs with low water levels or lack of rain, spawning schools will be sporadic making for inconsistent fishing days in primetime spots. It's best during these times to stick to staging areas at the mouths of inflows or physical barriers that prevent upstream migration.

Once water temperatures in the lake hit 50˚F, public access sites along creeks and rivers are great places for bank anglers to target white bass. 

For boat anglers, start fishing efforts at the mouths of inflowing tributaries and follow the white bass upstream. On a given body of water, there's typically a one to three week window when white bass fishing is excellent. Game Wardens can provide the most up-to-date information on spawning white bass runs in their county.


WHITE BASS SPECIES PROFILE

Oklahoma Distribution

Although native to Oklahoma, white bass were not found in great numbers until large reservoirs were constructed. Now they are found statewide.

Description

White bass are a member of the temperate bass family, which includes the striped bass, hybrid striped bass, yellow bass, and white perch. White bass are a migratory open‐water fish. They spend most of their lives chasing schools of shad, which are their favorite food. White bass are most active during dawn and dusk. White bass can be identified by the distinctive arched back just behind its head. It also has only one tongue patch (round or heart-shaped). Most white bass average between a half-pound and pound-and-a-half, with potential growth up to five pounds, but rarely exceed three-and-a-half-pounds.

Habitat

These fish usually travel in large schools. Adults prefer open water during the day and shallow sandy shoals at night. Their reliance on shad as a primary food source neccesitates a transient lifestyle. Unlike other popular game fish species in Oklahoma like bass and crappie that can be predicably found in particular underwater habitat, white bass are always on the move. Anglers should focus on locating shad schools. Focus efforts on wind driven sides of a lake around points, rip rap and coves where shad are likely to be found, especially areas that have rapid depth change or easy access to open water.

Natural Food Sources

  • Shad
  • Minnows
  • Crustaceans
  • Insects

Spawning

White bass are very prolific. One female can produce up to one million eggs. Reproductive activities are triggered once water temperatures reach 50°F, with peak activity seen around 55°F. Spawning is at random over weeds, debris, shoals, riffles and rocks. When tributary streams are available, this species prefers upstream migration for spawning. When tributary streams are not available, white bass may spawn on top of rocky shoals in a lake or reservoir. No parental care is provided to eggs or young. 

They do not build nests or form mating pairs. A female white bass will be followed by a group of male bass that will attempt to fertilize her eggs with their milt immediately after she extrudes them from her body.

Once the eggs are fertilized, adult white bass will normally return to deeper water. Fertilized white bass eggs will hatch in about two days. Juvenile white bass may grow into adulthood within two years.

Facts

The white bass is Oklahoma's state fish. They are referred to locally as sand bass. An estimated one and a half million pounds of white bass are harvested annually from Oklahoma waters by sport fishermen. Due to their short life span and high reproductive capacity, creel limits are not imposed on most water bodies in Oklahoma. Anglers learn to watch for circling and diving gulls and/or surface disturbances as sure signs of schooling shad. Where there are shad, white bass are usually nearby.

FISHING TIPS

Watch Ask an Angler: Virtual Fishing Course (White Bass Fishing Tips) on YouTube.

When water temperatures hit 50°F focus your efforts at the mouths of inflowing creeks and rivers on a water body. Mid-March through early-May typically provides the best fishing window for white bass. Key factors to look for during the peak of the spawning run are water temperatures around 55°F and measurable rainfall. 

Curly tail grubs, baby shad, paddletail swimbaits, inline spinners, spoons, slabs, Super Dupers, blades, lipless crankbaits, diving crankbaits, jerkbaits and hair jigs in shades of white, silver and/or chartreuse are all effective lures.

The biggest thing with catching termperate bass, such as white bass, that rely so heavily on shad as forage is finding the right size lure. It doesn't matter the type of lure as long as it mimics a shad. More often than not white bass are munching on 1-2" shad, even the bigger fish. Starting off as small as you feel comfortable throwing will put you on more fish more often. It's easy to size up when you're already catching fish, but you can lose confidence quickly when you're not getting bites and you may have the right lure on, just a little too big.

In clear water try white and silver colored lures with dark backs, like black, green and blue if the lure is dual-colored. In stained or muddy water try chartreuse and red patterns.

When fishing with artificial lures, keep a steady retrieve speed, unless vertically jigging. Vertical jigging requires casting or letting line out directly under the boat allowing the spoon or slab to fall to the bottom and pulling the rod tip from a 3 o'clock position to a 12 o'clock position repeatedly, after each pull allowing the spoon or slab to erratically flutter back to the bottom (most bites come during the fall back to the bottom).

You can also use a live worm, minnow or shad on a small- to medium-sized bait holding hook attached to a 12-inch leader line below a barrel swivel and 1/4th up to 1-ounce egg weight depending on wind and current (the more wind and current, the heavier the weight). Let the line off of the reel directly below the boat to your desired depth. If fishing from the bank, you can use the same setup with a slip-bobber float. Try to get your bait within a couple feet of the bottom.

If surface feeding occurs and all you have is live bait, use a fixed-bobber float a foot or two above your hook (remove weight and swivel). Otherwise, switch to artifical topwater lures like walking dogs or poppers.

Fly anglers can find success stripping jig and beadhead flies such as Clouser Minnows and Woolly Buggers in white, chartreuse and shad patterns.

In lakes that do not have inflowing water, try the bait selections described above around coves, points and rip rap areas, especially during morning and evening hours on the wind blown side of the water body.

Follow the fish upstream during the spawn and target brushy areas along the bank, riffles, shoals and mouths of connecting tributaries.

White bass are a schooling fish, so if you’re not getting bites using these types of lures/baits change locations often until you find them (typically by finding the shad).

When white bass are not surface feeding, they can usually be found near the bottom. Try to keep your lure or bait near the bottom during the retrieve.

During the pre-spawn and summer patterns, white bass anglers have success vertically jigging spoons and slabs off the bottom over ledges, channel breaks or deep water flats where white bass are congregated. An Oklahoma classic jigging spoon for white bass is the 1/2 ounce Fle-Fly Bendable Minnow in white, red or chartreuse.

Watch SONAR FISHING TIPS * Catching White Bass with spoons! on YouTube.

Rod/Reel Setup

  • Medium-light to medium action rod
  • Spinning, spincasting or casting reel
  • 4lb test up to 10lb test line (if the area your fishing is known to have larger hybrid striped bass or striped bass you might go up to 12lb or 14lb test) 

Popular Baits

Lipless Crankbait

1/16th to 1/2 ounce lipless crankbait in a shad or crayfish coloration 

3" 1/2 ounce Bill Lewis Original Rat-L-Trap in Electric Silver, Sexy Chrome or Tennessee Shad Chrome
Road Runner

1/16th - 1/8th ounce Road Runner

Road Runner Original Marabou Jig White
Curly Tail Grub

2"-3" Curly tail grub in white or chartreuse on a 1/16th to 1/4th ounce jighead 

  • Editor's pick/Bargain buy: 3" Mister Twister Curly Tail Grub in White Pearl or Chartreuse with a 1/16th ounce jighead in water 1'-6' deep, 1/8th ounce jighead in water 6'-12' deep and 1/4th ounce jighead in water deeper than 12' ($5.29 - 50 pack)

 

Curly Tail Grub White
Lipped Crankbait

Shallow- to medium-diving lipped crankbait in a shad or crayfish coloration 

Rapala Shad Rap
Hair Jig

1/16th to 1/4th ounce marabou jig in white or chartreuse 

Maribou Jig White
      Swimbait

      2"-3" paddletail swimbait in white or chartreuse on a 1/16th to 1/4 ounce jighead 

      • Editor's pick/Bargain buy: 2-1/2" Mister Twister Sassy Shad in Pearl White, White or Chartreuse Flake with a 1/16th ounce jighead in water 1'-6' deep, 1/8th ounce jighead in water 6'-12' deep and 1/4th ounce jighead in water deeper than 12' ($3.49 - 10 pack)

       

      Sassy Shad White
      Inline Spinnerbait

      1/16th to 1/4th ounce inline spinnerbait in white or chartreuse 

       

      Rooster Tail White
      Topwater

      2"-4" topwater lure in a shad coloration 

      • Bargain buy: 3-1/8" 1/3 ounce Offshore Angler Inshore Special Popper in Green Back/White Belly ($2.69)
      • Editor's pick: 3" 1/4th ounce Heddon Zara Spook Puppy in Flitter Shad (for an extra touch tie a 1 foot 6lb up to 10lb test line leader to the rear treble hook and tie on a 1/32nd or 1/16th ounce marabou jig to the end of the leader, known in the fly fishing world as a "dry-dropper" or "hopper-dropper") ($7.99)

       

      Heddon Zara Spook Puppy Topwater Lure
      Live Bait

      Small- to medium-size thick wire bait holding hook paired with a live worm, minnow or shad fished directly below a boat with a 12" leader, swivel, and 1/4th to 1/2 ounce egg weight or below a fixed-bobber or slip-bobber float from the bank or boat 

       

      Threadfin Shad Bait

       

        Try on the Fly!

        Interested in fly fishing for white bass in Oklahoma? Check out Native Waters Outfitters for guided opportunities this spring. Native Waters Outfitters are proud partners of ODWC's Stars and Stripes Program as well as Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, a non-profit organization serving wounded military service members at Walter Reed Army Medical Center returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

        Rod/Reel Setup

        • 4-weight up to 7-weight fly rod with floating fly line in creeks/rivers and sinking fly line in lakes/reservoirs with a 7.5' 2x up to 0x leader and 1 to 2 feet of 4x up to 0x tippet. If specifically targeting stripers or large hybrid striped bass use a 7-weight up to 9-weight fly rod.

        Popular Flies

        Chocklett's Finesse Changer in Shad
        Clouser Minnow in Olive/White 
        Bead Head Woolly Bugger White

        REGION REPORT

        Northwest

        Submitted by Fisheries Biologist Luke Taylor

        Fort Supply
        Fort Supply Lake

        Ft. Supply Lake

        This lake is a great fishing destination and is widely known for its abundant white bass numbers. Anglers can enjoy catching white bass throughout the year on wind blown banks of the lake, but the best time of year to target these fish is in the spring. When water temps reach 50°F, the sand bass start to move into shallow water and up Wolf Creek, congregating in great numbers, making them an easy catch. Usually this occurs from mid- to late-March into May, depending on the year. During this time, anglers of all skill levels will be able to sack up these bass using marabou jigs, lipless crankbaits, roadrunners, and anything else that mimics a minnow. There are a few walk-in spots along Wolf Creek (Spot 1, Spot 2, Spot 3, Spot 4) to access through Ft. Supply WMA (WMA Map). 

        Fishing Contact: (580) 474-2668
        Game Warden: (580) 334-0353

        MAP OF LAKE OKLAHOMA FISHING TRAIL

        Operator: U.S. Corps of Engineers

        Location: Ft. Supply Lake (Google Map) is located 1 mile south of Ft. Supply and 12 miles northwest of Woodward.

        Drive Time:

        • From OKC - 2.75 hours
        • From Tulsa - 3.75 hours
        • From Woodward - 25 minutes

        Management Practices: Fall gillnetting every other year to evaluate fish population. Cedar trees are added to refurbish existing habitats.

        Ft. Supply Lake Level Data: USACE Current Lake Level

        • Volume - 13,900 ac.ft
        • Average depth - 6 ft.    

        Physical Description: 

        Surface Area - 1,800 ac.

        Recreational Facilities: U.S. Corps of Engineers manages campgrounds with full RV hookups, boat ramps and swimming beaches.

        Find a Fishing Campground: Ft. Supply

        Other Fish Species of Interest: WalleyeChannel CatfishBlack CrappieWhite Crappie

        Bait & Tackle Nearby:

         Walmart Supercenter (3215 Williams Ave, Woodward, OK 73801)

         

        Canton Lake
        Anglers on the rocks at Canton Lake.

        Canton Lake

        Canton Lake is located 2 miles north of Canton in Northwest Oklahoma. Although this lake is widely known for its walleye fishing, it is also a great destination for white bass. These fish can be caught in the lake throughout the year, schooling up with the hybrid striped bass, chasing shad. When temps reach 50°F, the white bass begin running up the North Canadian River to spawn. From March through May, these fish will congregate in the river in high numbers, making them an easy target for anglers. A variety of jigs and lures can be used to catch these fish including curly tail jigs, lipless crankbaits, marabou jigs, and about anything else in your tackle box that looks like a minnow. Canton WMA offers a few primitive access points along the river (N2380, N2400 North, N2400 South, N2430, N2440) to unload small boats, canoes, and kayaks, but walking the banks may be tough due to thick vegetation.

        During times of high water discharge through the dam, white bass can be found stacked up in the stilling basin. Bank access to the stilling basin can be found here. Bonus bycatch can be walleye, hybrid striped bass, crappie and catfish.

        Fishing Contact: (580) 474-2668
        Game Warden: (580) 623-0206(580) 623-3255

        MAP OF LAKE  DEPTH LINES OKLAHOMA FISHING TRAIL

        Operator: U.S Corps of Engineers

        Location: Canton Lake (Google Map) is located 2 miles north of Canton and 18 miles southwest of Fairview on Highway 58.

        Drive Time:

        • From OKC - 1.75 hours
        • From Tulsa - 3 hours
        • From Weatherford - 50 minutes

        Recreational Facilities: U.S. Corps of Engineers manages campgrounds with full RV hookups, boat ramps and swimming beaches. Canton WMA offers primitive access to the North Canadian River.

        Find a Fishing Campground: Canton

        Other Fish Species of Interest: WalleyeChannel CatfishWhite CrappieBlack CrappieHybrid Striped BassLargemouth Bass

        Bait & Tackle Nearby:

        Physical Description:

        • Surface area - 7,910 ac.   
        • Volume - 111,310 ac.ft
        • Average depth - 14 ft.

        Management Practices: Fall gillnetting every year to evaluate fish population. Cedar trees are added to refurbish existing habitats.

        North Canadian River CFS Data: USGS Current Conditions

        Canton Lake Level Data: USACE Current Lake Level

        Southwest

        Submitted by Fisheries Biologist Clayton Porter

        Lake Humphreys
        Bird on post at Lake Humphreys.  Photo by Josh Harris/RPS 2020
        Josh Harris/RPS 2020

        Lake Humphreys

        This is one of our best lakes; it has very sizable fish for the size of the body of water and probably our best white bass lake, in my opinion. We have sampled this lake several times over the past two years and have always found good fish along the dam and along the main road that goes to the fishing dock and makes a jetty out into the lake. Locals usually don’t fish for them so it’s an untapped resource. We have found fish on the rocks all times of the year and most of the lake is very easy access for the public and one must have a City of Duncan fishing permit, which can be purchased at the credit/debit card kiosk located at Duncan Lake between the restrooms and pavilion. Permits are also sold at Duncan City Hall, Duncan Police Department and from Lake Patrol.

        We have seen the biggest fish in the spring on the rocks of the dam when water temps are between 60°-75°F in water 3'-10’ deep. This lake houses really great spotted bass and saugeye so the bycatch for anglers can be rewarding as well. If I had tips to give, I would try to fish the feeder creeks that enter the lake when the water is rising (anytime of the year, specifically during spring and summer) using some sort of grub or swimbait. The southern boundary of the lake off Gatlin Road has good access to some areas with drops and flat combinations around the dam that white bass may use year round.

        Fishing Contact: (580) 529-2795
        Game Warden: (580) 512-4704

        MAP OF LAKE  DEPTH LINES OKLAHOMA FISHING TRAIL

        Operator: City of Duncan

        Location: Lake Humphreys (Google Map) is located 6.5 miles southeast of Marlow on State HWY 29 and Scott Rd.

        Drive Time:

        • From OKC - 1.5 hours
        • From Tulsa - 2.75 hours
        • From Lawton - 40 minutes

         

        Recreational Facilities: City of Duncan manages campgrounds w/ full RV hookup, boat ramps and fishing pier.

        Find a Fishing Campground: City of Duncan

        Other Fish Species of Interest: Largemouth Bass, Spotted Bass, Saugeye

        Bait & Tackle Nearby:

        Physical Description: 

        • Surface Area - 882 ac. 
        • Shoreline length - 16.1 mi.
        • Maximum depth - 40.4 ft.
        Lake Altus-Lugert
        Altus Lugert, photo by Darrin Hill

        Lake Altus-Lugert

        This fluctuating lake is good for white bass due to the constant up and down water levels allowing the fish to have good forage year round. There is good access to the lake in most areas along with a beautiful setting and state park there. The locals catch most fish while trolling but many have luck from casting jigs from the bank and around the dam. We ran gill nets there this fall and did find some really nice white bass in our samples. Like most lakes in the state when targeting white bass, I would target areas of gradual sand flats such as Hicks Mountain and all shoreline access points throughout Quartz Mountain State Park around the dam during any period of the year. There are plentiful sand flats here and can be accessed almost anywhere around the lake. A good option would be crankbaits and swimbaits due to not much structure to get caught on and allowing for the bonus walleye or largemouth bass.

        Fishing Contact: (580) 529-2795
        Game Warden: (580) 450-7706(580) 450-7703

        MAP OF LAKE DEPTH LINES OKLAHOMA FISHING TRAIL

        Operator: Bureau of Reclamation

        Location: Altus-Lugert Lake (Google Map) is located 6 miles southeast of Granite on State HWY 44.

        Drive Time:

        • From OKC - 2.25 hours
        • From Tulsa - 3.75 hours
        • From Lawton - 1.5 hours
        • From Elk City - 45 minutes

        Management Practices: Lake is stocked with channel catfish and walleye.

        Lake Altus-Lugert Level Data: USACE Current Lake Level

        Physical Description: 

        Surface Area - 6,600 ac.  Shoreline length - 49 mi. Average depth - 21 ft. Maximum depth - 49 ft.

        Recreational Facilities: Quartz Mountain State Park manages campgrounds, lodge, boat ramp, fishing pier and a designated swimming area.

        Find a Fishing Campground: Quartz Mountain State Park

        Other Fish Species of Interest: WalleyeSmallmouth BassLargemouth BassBluegill SunfishChannel CatfishBlack CrappieWhite Crappie

        Bait & Tackle Nearby:

        Physical Description: 

        • Surface Area - 6,600 ac. 
        • Shoreline length - 49 mi.
        • Average depth - 21 ft.
        • Maximum depth - 49 ft.

        Management Practices: Lake is stocked with channel catfish and walleye.

        Lake Altus-Lugert Level Data: USACE Current Lake Level

        Lake Lawtonka
        Lake Lawtonka, photo by Darrin Hill

        Lake Lawtonka

        Always a hot spot for white bass, specifically in the spring when the bass head up Medicine Creek and Canyon Creek to spawn is when most anglers target Lawtonka. There are a few folks that will fish for them in the winter around the boat ramps and docks. The most enjoyable aspect about Lawtonka and white bass is the summer time top water action; late evenings are a blast with small poppers and Mann's The Little George spoons. Most of the top water action in the summer will be along the south bank of the lake around the dam and school house slough area. My favorite baits here are bright colored sassy shad and grubs. During the summer months a local favorite spot is on the east side of the lake at the inlet structure where the city of Lawton pumps in water from Lake Ellsworth. Like Altus Lugert, the west bank of Lawtonka is a large gradual sand flat they will cruise looking for shad. There is a good population of smallmouth and largemouth bass here as well, so those bonus fish can be caught in most areas when targeting white bass. There is good bank access around most of the lake and anglers need to purchase a city of Lawton license at Bubbas Gas and Shop or School House Slough. A City of Lawton permit is required fishing and boating. Click here for costs and where to purchase locations.

        Fishing Contact: (580) 529-2795
        Game Warden: (580) 695-7535

        MAP OF LAKE DEPTH LINES OKLAHOMA FISHING TRAIL

        Operator: City of Lawton

        Location: Lake Lawtonka (Google Map) is located just north of Medicine Park on SH 58.

        Drive Time:

        • From OKC - 1.25 hours
        • From Tulsa - 2.75 hours
        • From Lawton - 20 minutes

        Recreational Facilities: City of Lawton manages campgrounds, a boat ramp and designated swimming areas.

        Find a Fishing Campground: Lawtonka

        Other Fish Species of Interest: Largemouth BassSmallmouth BassBlue CatfishChannel CatfishSaugeye

        Bait & Tackle Neaby:

        Physical Description:

        • Surface area - 2,400 ac.
        • Shoreline length - 19 mi.
        • Average depth - 12 ft.
        • Maximum depth - 58 ft.

        Management Practices: Lake is stocked with Florida strain largemouth bass and saugeye.

        Lake Lawtonka Level Data: USACE Current Lake Level

        North-Central

        Submitted by Fisheries Biologist Jeremy Duck

        Kaw Lake
        Boy and girl show the white bass caught at Kaw Lake.  Photo by Wade Free

        Kaw Lake

        Little Beaver Creek offers a couple good public bank access locations (Spot 1 & Spot 2) as well as a boat ramp. Spawning runs typical take place when water tempertaures are between 58°-62°F, usually around the last week of March. The Newkirk Bridge offers public access on both sides (West Side & East Side) of the Arkansas River, these are primitive weather affected dirt roads, 4-wheel drive and caution needed to access both. There is also an old boat ramp up the road. Productive lures include white curly tail grubs, white or chartreuse baby shad and white inline spinners. If you're in a boat, Kaw Lake elevation needs to be at least 1012 to get above the first riffle on Little Beaver Creek.

        Fishing Contact: (580) 762-2248
        Game Warden: (580) 761-4097(918) 331-5798(918) 440-9880(918) 381-4099

        MAP OF LAKE DEPTH LINES OKLAHOMA FISHING TRAIL

        Operator: U.S. Corp of Engineers

        Location: Kaw Lake (Google Map) is located 11 miles east of Ponca City on SH 11.

        Drive Time:

        • From OKC - 2 hours
        • From Tulsa - 1.75 hours
        • From Stillwater - 1.25 hours
        • From Ponca City - 20 minutes

        Recreational Facilities: U.S. Corps of Engineers manages campgrounds and boat ramps.

        Find a Fishing Campground: Kaw

        Other Fish Species of Interest: Black CrappieWhite CrappieBlue CatfishFlathead CatfishChannel CatfishWalleyeStriped BassHybrid Striped BassPaddlefish

        Bait & Tackle Nearby:

        Physical Description: 

        • Surface area - 23,610 ac.
        • Shoreline length - 149 mi.
        • Volume - 428,600 ac.ft
        • Maximum depth - 74.5 ft.

        Management Practices: Walleye are stocked and brush piles are put into the lake for fish habitat.

        Arkansas River CFS Data: USGS Current Conditions

        Kaw Lake Level Data: USACE Current Lake Level

         

        Central

        Submitted by Aquatic Education/R3 Fishing Coordinator Skylar St.Yves

        Lake Arcadia
        Arcadia lake sunset.  Photo by Steve Ancik/RPS 2020
        Steve Ancik/RPS 2020

        Lake Arcadia

        Lake Arcadia is Oklahoma City metro's peaceful retreat. Located conveniently off of I-35 in Edmond, Arcadia boasts lake-wide public access. The layouts of all the public access areas offer opporunities for anglers of all skill levels. There's covered docks and sandy beaches near restrooms for those with young kids or physical disabilities. Rocky outcroppings along the banks allow for more adventurous exploration. The lake itself is utilized primarily for boating, watersports and swimming May through September, so it does not get the same fishing pressure as other lakes in the area. It has a great shad population and lots of other ingredients for a successful fishery. Walking trails around the lake allow anglers to take advantage of the entire shoreline when water levels are below full pool, but the most maintained (and fished) bank access remains within the parks. Most, if not all, access to fishing requires some form of payment, whether it be park entrance, trail use, etc. All day use fees can be found by clicking here. For all information concerning Lake Arcadia's parks and facilities click here. The Wildlife Department has public access on the south end of the lake that requires either a fishing or hunting license for those over 16, or a conservation passport for those 18 and older, unlesss exempt (click here for license exemption information), but does not require day use fees.

        Fishing Tips: Lake Arcadia has two inflows, Spring Creek on the northwest end and Deep Fork River on the southern end. With moderate rains and the right water tempertaure, paddling a kayak up Spring Creek to here is well worth the trip if white bass are in the creek. It's not recommended to try to navigate any outboard motor up Spring Creek. The coves and points below the lake overlook at Lake Arcadia Central St Park always have a ton of white bass, most of which are under 10-inches. You can get a lot farther up the Deep Fork in a kayak or boat when water is flowing. When fish choose to use the Deep Fork for spawning migration, the Memorial Bridge access is the place to be. Taking a kayak to the I-44 bridge can be very rewarding if you don't mind the natural ambience of 18-wheelers.

        I go really small with my offerings when I start (lures less than 2" or 1/16th ounce and smaller) until I find a steady stream of fish over 12-inches then I may size up my bait if it makes casting or getting to a certain depth more convenient. Curly tail grubs, baby shad, paddletail swimbaits, inline spinners, spoons, slabs, Super Dupers, blades, lipless crankbaits, diving crankbaits, jerkbaits and hair jigs in shades of white, silver and/or chartreuse are all effective lures. The biggest thing with catching termperate bass, such as white bass, that rely so heavily on shad as forage is finding the right size lure. It doesn't matter the type of lure as long as it mimics a shad. More often than not white bass are munching on 1-2" shad, even the bigger fish. Starting off as small as you feel comfortable throwing will put you on more fish more often. It's easy to size up when you're already catching fish, but you can lose confidence quickly when you're not getting bites and you may have the right lure on, just a little too big.

        Fishing Contact: (405) 325-7288
        Game Warden: (405) 203-3176(405) 343-5489(405) 203-3178

        SPECIAL AREA REGULATIONS MAP OF LAKE DEPTH LINES OKLAHOMA FISHING TRAIL

        Operator: U.S. Corps of Engineers / City of Edmond

        Location: Lake Arcadia (Google Map) is located in between US 66 to the north, Memorial Road to the south, Post Road to the east and I-35 to the west.

        Drive Time:

        • From OKC - 20 minutes
        • From Tulsa - 1.5 hours
        • From Edmond - 15 minutes

        Recreational Facilities: The City of Edmond manages campgrounds with full RV hookups, boat ramps, fishing piers and swimming beaches.

        Find a Fishing Campground: Arcadia

        Other Fish Species of Interest: White CrappieSaugeyeBlue CatfishHybrid Striped BassLargemouth Bass

        Bait & Tackle Nearby:

        Physical Description:

        • Surface area - 1,676 ac.
        • Shoreline length - 5.6 mi.
        • Maximum depth - 47.8 ft.

        Management Practices: Fish surveys are conducted every five years. Brush piles are put in the lake for fish habitat in addition to stocking saugeye and hybrid striped bass.

        Lake Arcadia Level Data: USACE Current Lake Level

        Lake Thunderbird
        Boy fishing at Thunderbird lake.  Photo by Michael Bryan/RPS 2021
        Michael Bryan/RPS 2021

        Lake Thunderbird

        Lake Thunderbird is a sneaky good fishery. It has great sizeable populations of just about every sought after game species, but for whatever reason doesn't get the same press when it comes to fishing information. There is great public access lake-wide with plenty of places to find white bass from the banks year-round, but Little River is the place to be when the white bass run is on. You can make it miles upstream in a kayak or small boat, which can lead to big catch rate days. Don't overlook Rock Creek if you make it to the mouth. Once water temperatures around Alameda Bridge hit 50°F it's time to start exploring the river mouth. Bank anglers can get in on the action from North Sentinel Park and East Sentinel Park. The shallow sandy coves at all of the public access areas will have white bass to catch around dawn and dusk, occassionally in good numbers. Some public access areas may have fees associated with entrance or facilities. Click here for Lake Thunderbird State Park information.

        Fishing Tips: Lake Thunderbird has a pretty well defined river channel on the south end of the lake with connecting points to rocky and sandy shoals. White bass use these points and ledges along the river channel like a highway between shallow shoals and open water, click the depth lines link below to explore those. When white bass are not migrating upstream for spawning, these are the types of areas to focus on. The Hog Creek drainage on the north end is less defined and can be more difficult to locate concentrated fish, but with all of the flooded timber it's a great crappie area. The five coves around Little River State Park are the most consistent public fishing areas, but when the white bass are spawning all efforts should be shifted to the Sentinel parks and the Little River.

        If the river is flowing pretty fast I stick to hard baits like lipless crankbaits, diving crankbaits, jerkbaits, blades, slabs and spoons. If it's more of a mild flow where you can pick apart bank structure without the current constantly snagging you up, I will work sassy shad, baby shad, and grubs on a 1/32nd - 1/8th ounce jighead depending on depth and current in a particular location. I have more success with red patterns at Lake Thunderbird then I do in other area lakes, so it's always a good secondary option to white, silver or chartreuse.

        Fishing Contact: (405) 325-7288
        Game Warden: (405) 850-9757(405) 323-7863

        SPECIAL AREA REGULATIONS MAP OF LAKE DEPTH LINES OKLAHOMA FISHING TRAIL

        Operator: Bureau of Reclamation / Oklahoma State Parks

        Location: Lake Thunderbird (Google Map) is located 12 miles east of Norman on SH 9.

        Drive Time:

        • From OKC - 40 minutes
        • From Tulsa - 1.75 hours
        • From Norman - 25 minutes

        Recreational Facilities: Oklahoma State Parks manages campgrounds with full RV hookups, fishing docks, fishing jetties, boat ramps, picnic areas, an archery range and two marinas.

        Find a Fishing Campground: Thunderbird

        Other Fish Species of Interest: SaugeyeLargemouth BassBlack CrappieWhite CrappieChannel CatfishBlue Catfish

        Bait & Tackle Nearby:

        Physical Description:

        • Surface area - 5,377 ac.
        • Shoreline length - 59.6 mi.
        • Volume - 106,670 ac.ft
        • Maximum depth - 58 ft.

        Management Practices: Fish surveys are conducted every five years. Brush piles are put in the lake for fish habitat in addition to fish stockings.

        Lake Thunderbird Level Data: USACE Current Lake Level

        South-Central

        Submitted by Fisheries Biologist Cliff Sager

        Lake Texoma

        Lake Texoma

        Pennington Creek near Tishomingo can be very good in some years. It has good bank access which makes it somewhat unique in our part of the state. The mouth of Pennington Creek dumps into the Murray 23 Pool in the Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge. The Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge offers walk-in access to the creek as well as a concrete boat ramp. There is a low head dam just west of Murray State College that prevents upstream migration at lower water levels. This barrier can provide excellent fishing when white bass stack up just downstream waiting for higher flows. There is a road and public parking available at this area. Additional bank access occurs upstream off of Mickle St and at the Pennington Creek Park. Just upstream of Main St (Hwy 22) is another low head dam that restricts upstream migration and stockpiles white bass during their run.  

        Popular lures would be standard for most white bass runs and include inline spinners, road runners in marabou and soft plastic, and 3" swimbaits or grubs. Bright colors (white, chartreuse, pink) are most commonly used.  

        Timing is the biggest unknown and most important factor in successfully fishing the white bass run. As we all know, this is highly variable and based on water temps and flow rates.

        Fishing Contact: (580) 924-4087
        Game Warden: (580) 320-2956(580) 320-2957(580) 320-2948(580) 320-2950(580) 276-7193(580) 320-2951(580) 320-2959

        SPECIAL AREA REGULATIONS MAP OF LAKE DEPTH LINES OKLAHOMA FISHING TRAIL

        Operator: U.S. Corps of Engineers

        Location: Lake Texoma (Google Map) is located 5 miles east of Kingston on US 70.

        Drive Time:

        • From OKC - 2.25 hours
        • From Tulsa - 3 hours
        • From Ardmore - 40 minutes
        • From Durant - 20 minutes

        Recreational Facilities: U.S. Corps of Engineers and Oklahoma State Parks manage campgrounds with full RV hookups, boat ramps and fishing docks.

        Find a Fishing Campground: TexomaLake Texoma State Park

        Other Species of Interest: Striped BassBlue CatfishChannel CatfishFlathead CatfishLargemouth BassSmallmouth BassSpotted BassBlack CrappieWhite CrappieAlligator Gar

        Bait & Tackle Nearby:

        Management Practices: Annual stocking of Florida strain largemouth bass.

        Visit South-Central Region Fisheries Management on Facebook

        Pennington Creek CFS Data: USGS Current Conditions

        Lake Texoma Level Data: USACE Current Lake Level

         

        Northeast

        Submitted by Fisheries Supervisor Josh Johnston, Fisheries Biologist Brad Johnston, Fisheries Biologist Chris Wisenhunt and Fisheries Technician Kendall Robbins

        Arkansas River
        Keystone Lake Dam

        Arkansas River

        The hard part about this task is not identifying good white bass fisheries, but those with public bank access. Here around Tulsa, there is very little public stream access, however, folks can access the Arkansas River from river parks property and trails. The Arkansas River is a great place to catch white bass, as well as sauger and striped bass throughout much of the spring. When water temperatures reach 50°F, grab a rod and reel and an assortment of swimbaits, and you are sure to catch something. The best places to start are around bridges, channel bends, and where riffles are present.

        Fishing Contact: (918) 299-2334
        Game Warden: (918) 625-6801(918) 625-6363(918) 645-6116(918) 381-4099(918) 640-0316(918) 857-5557(918) 440-9880

        MAP OF LAKE  DEPTH LINES OKLAHOMA FISHING TRAIL

        Operator: U.S. Corps of Engineers

        Location: The Arkansas River in Tulsa (Google Map) begins at the base of Keystone Lake dam and has public access points for several miles downstream to the city of Jenks.

        Drive Time:

        • From OKC -1.75 hours
        • From Tulsa - 10 minutes
        • From Stillwater - 1 hour

        Recreational Facilities: U.S. Corps of Engineers and Oklahoma State Parks manages campgrounds with full RV hookups, boat ramps and designated swimming areas around Keystone Lake.

        Find a Fishing Campground: KeystoneKeystone Lake State Park

        Other Fish Species of Interest: PaddlefishStriped BassChannel CatfishBlue CatfishFlathead Catfish, Sauger

        Bait & Tackle Nearby:

        Arkansas River CFS Data: USGS Current Conditions

        Keystone Lake Level Data: USACE Current Lake Level

        Hudson Lake
        Hudson Lake.

        Hudson Lake

        Hudson Lake has a great white bass population, with the most popular spot for catching them being all the way upstream at Pensacola dam. Pensacola dam is a hydro power dam used by GRDA, so there is often generation occurring. This inflow of water brings white bass up to the dam from early March through June in a normal year. The peak numbers are generally in April, but it can be great fishing for a much longer period than other tributaries that rely strictly on spring rains to pull the white bass upstream.

        There are many different lures you can catch them on, and this area seems to do well with natural shad colors. Some good choices to start with are soft plastics such as sassy shad and curly tail grub, lipless crankbaits, shallow diving crankbaits, marabou jigs, bucktail jigs, and inline spinners. Keep in mind that these fish are drawn to this point because of the water flow so it can lead to some great fights with the water current. It’s a lot of fun to land these fish on light tackle, but be prepared for the fight of your life when it’s a 10+ pound hybrid striped bass on the end of your line (these ARE NOT uncommon and might call for a slightly heavier setup to land regularly). This location boasts some of the only public bank access in the area. You can fish the bank (some banks are steep and eroded) on the east side of the river from the cable just below the dam downstream for about 1 1/3 mile.

        There are several spots along the gravel access road that have good access to the bank. If you have access to a boat it opens up a lot more area to fish in that stretch of the river downstream of the dam. Having a boat will also open up options for a couple other tributaries of Hudson Lake such as Big Cabin Creek and Rock Creek. These creeks will be reliant upon those spring rains to pull those spawning fish up into the tributaries.

        Peak times in these areas are generally mid-March through mid-April. The water in the creek will generally be more turbid so keep that in mind when choosing a lure color (chartreuse, white, black and blue are solid options).

        Pro tip: blue/white or pink/white bucktail jigs drifted below a bobber catch hybrid striped bass and white bass well when the bite is tough.

        Fishing Contact: (918) 542-9422
        Game Warden: (918) 373-0767(918) 857-4802

        SPECIAL AREA REGULATIONS MAP OF LAKE DEPTH LINES OKLAHOMA FISHING TRAIL

        Operator: Grand River Dam Authority

        Location: Lake Hudson (Google Map) is located just west of Salina on SH 20.

        Drive Time:

        • From OKC - 2.5 hours
        • From Tulsa - 1 hour
        • From Muskogee - 1 hour

        Recreational Facilities: Grand River Dam Authority manages boat ramps.

        Other Fish Species of Interest: Largemouth BassBlack CrappieWhite CrappiePaddlefishHybrid Striped BassChannel CatfishBlue CatfishFlathead Catfish

        Bait & Tackle Nearby:

        Physical Description:

        • Surface area - 11,029 ac.
        • Shoreline length - 143.3 mi.
        • Volume - 200,185 ac.ft
        • Maximum depth - 65 ft.

        Management Practices: Hybrid striped bass are regularly stocked.

        Hudson Lake Level Data: USACE Current Lake Level

        Grand Lake
        Grand Lake.  Photo by Tom Whipple/RPS 2018
        Tom Whipple/RPS 2018

        Grand Lake

        Grand Lake is a must stop destination when it comes to chasing white bass in the spring months. March through late-April are usually the peak months for chasing the spring time white bass during their spawning runs. There are several tributaries in the Grand Lake watershed that would be good during these months.

        There are two major rivers that come together at Twin Bridges State Park, the Spring River and Neosho River. The white bass utilize both of these rivers during their spawning runs, although the Spring River tends to be the springtime hotspot. There are a few access points on the bank that can be accessed on both rivers.

        On the Neosho River, you can access the fishery at Connors Bridge and Miami Park (West & East). Both of these places are hot spots for Paddlefish during the same months.

        The Spring River has public bank access points at Highway 10 and Devils Promenade, both of which have boat ramps. Baby shad, curly tail grubs, hair jigs and shallow- to medium-diving crankbaits are the way to go. You can also throw an Alabama Rig if you’re into catching them two or three at a time. Depending on water clarity, usual go to colors are white, chartreuse and black.

        Pro tip: Bomber Model A crankbaits with blue, yellow and/or orange are a local expert’s favorite. It's called Chartreuse Blues and it is exceedingly hard to find on the market.

        Fishing Contact: (918) 542-9422
        Game Warden: (918) 244-2035(918) 857-8597(918) 533-2678(918) 373-0767(918) 857-4802(918) 533-2679

        SPECIAL AREA REGULATIONS MAP OF LAKE DEPTH LINES OKLAHOMA FISHING TRAIL

        Operator: Grand River Dam Authority

        Location: Grand Lake (Google Map) is located 15 miles east of I-44 in between US 60, SH 82, SH 28, SH 10 and US 59.

        Drive Time:

        • From OKC - 3 hours
        • From Tulsa - 1.25 hours
        • From Miami - 15 minutes

        Recreational Facilities: Grand River Dam Authority and Oklahoma State Parks manage campgrounds with full RV hookups, boat ramps, fishing docks and designated swimming areas.

        Find a Fishing Campground: Grand Lake (Bernice)Grand Lake (Cherokee)Grand Lake (Disney)Grand Lake (Honey Creek)Grand Lake (Little Blue)Grand Lake (Twin Bridges)

        Other Fish Species of Interest: Largemouth BassBlack CrappieWhite CrappiePaddlefishHybrid Striped BassChannel CatfishBlue CatfishFlathead Catfish

        Bait & Tackle Nearby:

        Physical Description:

        • Surface area - 41,749
        • Shoreline length - 460 mi.
        • Volume - 1,515,414 ac.ft
        • Maximum depth - 133 ft.

        Management Practices: Hybrid striped bass are regularly stocked.

        Spring River CFS Data: USGS Current Conditions

        Neosho River CFS Data: USGS Current Conditions

        Grand Lake Level Data: USACE Current Lake Level

        East-Central

        Submitted by Fisheries Biologist Jon West

        Ft. Gibson Lake
        Fort Gibson Lake/Dam.  USACE
        USACE

        Ft. Gibson Lake

        Long known as a top white bass destination, the upper end of Ft. Gibson Lake and its larger feeder creeks is host to the mass migration of white bass making their annual spawning run. The mouths of Spring Creek, Chouteau Creek and Pryor Creek offer good fishing from March through May.

        Fishing Tips: Trolling is a good way to locate schools of white bass. Once you catch a fish or two trolling then you can concentrate your fishing in the area where you hooked up. Also, looking for surface action of fish feeding or spawning can help to locate schools of white bass. Spawning white bass often stack up at the low water dam when the water level makes it impassable to them. Always carry an extra rod and reel tied up and ready to fish so when the action is hot you can quickly get back to catching fish if you break your first line. 

        Top Option Bait: Curly tail grub

        • Having 1/8 oz jigheads and 3” curly tail grubs in a variety of colors is an essential bait for spring white bass fishing. To help increase your odds you can tie a double jig rig and be fishing two different depths simultaneously. It also allows for the possibility of a double hook up!

        Secondary Option Bait: Lipless crankbait

        • Lipless crankbaits can be very effective in catching white bass. The vibrating motion and internal rattle help attract nearby fish and can increase their aggression and cajole them into biting. You’ll want to favor baitfish patterns and chartreuse is always an effective color. Other popular lure options that can bring success include in-line spinners such as rooster tails or mepps, spoons, crankbaits and jerkbaits.

        Fishing Contact: (918) 683-1031
        Game Warden: (918) 431-2552(918) 431-2562(918) 373-0767(918) 857-4802(918) 625-5085(918) 625-5796

        SPECIAL AREA REGULATIONS MAP OF LAKE DEPTH LINES OKLAHOMA FISHING TRAIL

        Operator: U.S. Corps of Engineers

        Location: Fort Gibson Lake (Google Map) is located 7 miles east of Wagoner on SH 51.

        Drive Time:

        • From OKC - 2.5 hours
        • From Tulsa - 1 hour
        • From Muskogee - 40 minutes

        Recreational Facilities: U.S. Corps of Engineers and Oklahoma State Parks manage campgrounds with full RV hookups, boat ramps and designated swimming areas.

        Find a Fishing Campground: Fort GibsonSequoyah State ParkSequoyah Bay State Park

        Other Fish Species of Interest: Largemouth BassBlack CrappieWhite CrappiePaddlefishBlue CatfishFlathead CatfishChannel CatfishHybrid Striped BassBluegill SunfishRedear SunfishGreen Sunfish

        Bait & Tackle Nearby:

        Management Practices: Crappie have a 10" minimum and daily limit of 15.

        Neosho River CFS Data: USGS Current Conditions

        Ft. Gibson Lake Level Data: USACE Current Lake Level

        Corps of Engineers Map: Ft.Gibson

        Tenkiller Lake
        Tenkiller Lake, photo by Steve Webber

        Tenkiller Lake

        An Ozark lake nestled in the Boston mountains region, it is fed primarily by the Illinois River and is known for it’s rocky bluffs and deep, clear water. It is approximately 12,900 surface acres at the normal pool of 632 ft above sea level and has numerous public access areas for boat and bank anglers alike. Anglers can target white bass as they stage for their spawning run near Cherokee Landing and the mouths of Caney Creek and Dry Creek. Once spawning is in full swing bank anglers have easy access to white bass along the Illinois River at Horseshoe Bend Public Use Area.

        There are several public access points on the upper end of Tenkiller Lake. The following are good access points for fishing from the bank and/or launching a boat:

        Fishing Tips: Trolling is a good way to locate schools of white bass. Once you catch a fish or two trolling then you can concentrate your fishing in the area where you hooked up. Also, looking for surface action of fish feeding or spawning can help to locate schools of white bass. Always carry an extra rod and reel tied up and ready to fish so when the action is hot you can quickly get back to catching fish if you break your first line. 

        Top Option Bait: Curly tail grub

        • Having 1/8 oz jig heads and 3” curly tail grubs in a variety of colors is an essential bait for spring white bass fishing. To help increase your odds you can tie a double jig rig and be fishing two different depths simultaneously. It also allows for the possibility of a double hook up!

        Secondary Option Bait: Lipless Crankbait

        • Lipless crankbaits can be very effective in catching white bass. The vibrating motion and internal rattle help attract nearby fish and can increase their aggression and cajole them into biting. You’ll want to favor baitfish patterns and anything with chartreuse is always an effective color. Other popular lure options that can bring success include in-line spinners such as rooster tails or mepps, spoons, crankbaits and jerkbaits.

        Fishing Contact: (918) 683-1031
        Game Warden: (918) 431-2552(918) 431-2562(918) 431-2544(918) 431-2550

        SPECIAL AREA REGULATIONS MAP OF LAKE DEPTH LINES OKLAHOMA FISHING TRAIL

        Operator: U.S. Corps of Engineers

        Location: Lake Tenkiller (Google Map) is located 10 miles south of Tahlequah on US 82 and S Indian Rd.

        Drive Time:

        • From OKC - 2.5 hours
        • From Tulsa - 1.5 hours
        • From Tahlequah - 20 minutes

        Recreational Facilities: U.S. Corps of Engineers and Oklahoma State Parks manages campgrounds with full RV hookups, boat ramps and designated swimming areas.

        Find a Fishing Campground: TenkillerTenkiller State Park

        Other Fish Species of Interest: Largemouth BassSmallmouth BassSpotted BassBlack CrappieWhite CrappieBlue CatfishFlathead CatfishChannel CatfishWalleyeBluegill SunfishGreen SunfishRedear Sunfish

        Bait & Tackle Nearby:

        Physical Description:

        • Surface area - 12,900 ac.
        • Shoreline length - 170 mi.
        • Volume - 654,100 ac.ft
        • Maximum depth - 132.7 ft.

        Management Practices: Largemouth and smallmouth bass are subject to a 13-16" no harvest slot limit. Crappie must be a minimum of 10-inches and have a daily limit of 15.

        Illinois River CFS Data: USGS Current Conditions

        Corps of Engineers Map: Tenkiller Lake

         

        Southeast

        Submitted by Fisheries Biologist Michael Hollie and Fisheries Biologist David Bogner

        Eufaula Lake
        Eufaula Lake, photo by Shi Annlngalls/RPS 2019
        Shi Annlngalls/RPS 2019

        Eufaula Lake

        Our best year-round white bass fishing destination in the Central Region Management Area and one of the top destinations in the state, schools of white bass can be found throughout the lake. At 105,500 surface acres, 800 plus miles of shoreline, numerous boat ramps and bank fishing locations including 16 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers managed recreation areas, six wildlife management areas, and two state parks.   

        The sheer number of tributaries that feed Eufaula make it difficult to nail down the spring running locations. White bass will start getting active at 50°F and will spawn around 55°F. Target the tributaries that have increased inflow from spring rains. The southern end of the lake will warm up faster than the north, so start efforts in the Gaines Creek Recreation Area and move north as water temperatures increase. 

        Targeting the staging white bass can be another fishing opportunity. White bass can be found in the mouths of creeks and rivers during the pre and post-spawn. Pre-spawn white bass will be schooled up in deep water waiting for water temps to reach 50°-55°F. 

        Top Baits

        • Silver 1/2 ounce jigging spoons
        • Silver slabs
        • 3" white plastic body bait on a 3/16 jig head. Dead sticking

        Look for gulls and loons which target bait fish. Where bait fish are schooling white bass are likely nearby. 

        The six Eufaula Wildlife Management Areas all contain walk in access to tributaries of Eufaula Lake. When conditions are right one might find spawning white bass. 

        Fishing Contact: (405) 379-5408
        Game Warden: (918) 617-0326(918) 617-0126(918) 625-5971(918) 625-6013(918) 429-3908(918) 470-5097

        SPECIAL AREA REGULATIONS MAP OF LAKE DEPTH LINES OKLAHOMA FISHING TRAIL

        Operator: U.S. Corps of Engineers 

        Location: Lake Eufaula (Google Map) is located 10 miles south of I-40 on US 69.   

        Drive Time:

        • From OKC - 2 hours
        • From Tulsa - 1.5 hours
        • From Henryetta - 40 minutes
        • From McAlester - 20 minutes

        Recreational Facilities: U.S. Corps of Engineers and Oklahoma State Parks manage campgrounds with full RV hookups, boat ramps, marinas, designated swimming areas and trails for hiking, biking, equestrian and ATVs.

        Find a Fishing Campground: EufaulaLake Eufaula State ParkLake Eufaula State Park (Arrowhead Area)

        Other Fish Species of Interest: Black CrappieWhite CrappieLargemouth BassSmallmouth BassHybrid Striped BassStriped BassBlue CatfishFlathead CatfishChannel CatfishBluegill SunfishRedear SunfishGreen Sunfish

        *Striped Bass & Hybrid Striped Bass are found mainly in the tailwaters.

        Bait & Tackle Nearby:

        Physical Description:

        • Surface area 105,500 ac.
        • Shoreline length - 833.9 mi.
        • Volume - 2,330,000 ac.ft
        • Maximum depth - 90.2 ft.

        Management Practices: Florida strain largemouth bass are stocked frequently.

        Eufaula Lake Level Data: USACE Current Lake Level

        Hugo Lake
        Hugo Lake, photo by Kelly Adams

        Hugo Lake

        Camping and lodging is available in the state park or USACE park on the south side of the lake. Most of the best spring fishing will be up in the Kiamichi River. Many of the staging areas for white bass will require a boat to reach. 

        Fishing Tips: Best boat ramps would be Rattan Landing on the upper end of Hugo/Kiamichi river and the WMA boat ramp on the lower end of the river just down from the highway bridge. 

        Top Option Bait: Artificial lures

        • I recommend Kastmaster spoons, Super Dupers, inline spinners or hard plastics like a shad rap. Jigs can also be effective. Silver is the preferred color for spoons and spinners as they mimic shad. If using a jig use something with some flash.

        Secondary Option Bait: Live Bait

        • Success can be had utilizing worms or minnows beneath a bobber.

        Fishing Contact: (918) 297-0153
        Game Warden: (580) 317-5000

        MAP OF LAKE DEPTH LINES OKLAHOMA FISHING TRAIL

        Operator: U.S. Corps of Engineers

        Location: Hugo Lake (Google Map) is located 7 miles east of Hugo on US 70.

        Drive Time:

        • From OKC - 3.25 hours
        • From Tulsa - 2.75 hours
        • From McAlester - 1.5 hours
        • From Durant - 1.25 hours

        Recreational Facilities: U.S. Corps of Engineers and Little Dixie Community manage campgrounds with full RV hookups, cabins, boat ramps, designated swimming areas and trails for hiking, biking, and equestrian.

        Find a Fishing Campground: HugoHugo Lake State Park

        Other Fish Species of Interest: Largemouth BassSpotted BassHybrid Striped BassBlue CatfishChannel CatfishFlathead CatfishBlack CrappieWhite CrappieBluegill Sunfish

        Bait & Tackle Nearby:

        Physical Description:

        • Surface area - 11,592 ac.
        • Shoreline length - 98.6 mi.
        • Volume - 126,741 ac.ft
        • Maximum depth - 51.5 ft.

        Kiamichi River CFS Data: USGS Current Conditions

        Hugo Lake Level Data: USACE Current Lake Level

        Broken Bow Lake
        Broken Bow Lake, photo by Darrin Hill

        Broken Bow Lake

        Carved into the steep hillsides of the Ouachita Mountains, Broken Bow reservoir offers stunning views and white bass fishing. The best fishing for the spring run is on the Mountain Fork River at the shoals and at the narrows both of which offer bank access. The narrows via the low water crossing, and the shoals via HWY 259 & 54300 Rd (NOTE: must park on side of road, the 2 mile forest service road, located on the left hand side of 54300 Rd 0.1 mile from HWY 259, down to the river is closed to vehicle traffic and is walk in only). Boats can be launched at an unofficial boat ramp at Panther Creek or at the concrete ramp at the McCurtain County Wilderness Area for easy water access to the shoals. 

        Fishing Tips: Cover water until you find a school. Don’t be afraid to change it up or move on if you cant get a bite. Fisheries staff sampled 80 fish in 10 minutes but only 3 fish on hook and line between 3 anglers in 20 minutes, you can't make them bite. Use sufficiently heavy line as hybrid striped bass run up with the white bass as do walleye, with a 7-pound walleye and 10-pound hybrid striped bass showing up in our sample. 

        Top Option Bait: Artificial lures

        • I recommend Kastmaster spoons, Super Dupers, inline spinners or hard plastics like a shad rap. Jigs can also be effective. Silver is the preferred color for spoons and spinners as they mimic shad. If using a jig use something with some flash.

        Secondary Option Bait: Live Bait

        • Success can be had utilizing worms or minnows beneath a bobber.

        Fishing Contact: (918) 297-0153
        Game Warden: (580) 513-6866(580) 513-4963(580) 513-4651

        MAP OF LAKE DEPTH LINES OKLAHOMA FISHING TRAIL

        Operator: U.S. Corps of Engineers

        Location: Broken Bow Lake (Google Map) is located 9 miles northeast of Broken Bow off of US 259.

        Drive Time:

        • From OKC - 4 hours
        • From Tulsa - 3.75 hours
        • From McAlester - 2.25 minutes
        • From Durant - 2.25 minutes

        Recreational Facilities: U.S. Corps of Engineers and Oklahoma State Parks manage campgrounds with full RV hookups, boat ramps, state park cabins, hiking trails and designated swimming areas. 

        Find a Fishing Campground: Broken BowBeavers Bend State Park

        Other Fish Species of Interest: Largemouth BassSmallmouth BassSpotted BassHybrid Striped BassChannel CatfishFlathead CatfishWalleyeBlack CrappieWhite CrappieBluegill SunfishRedear Sunfish

        Bait & Tackle Nearby:

        Mountain Fork River CFS Data: USGS Current Conditions

        Broken Bow Lake Level Data: USACE Current Lake Level

        Sardis Lake
        Sardis Lake two guys fishing.  Photo by Steve Webber

        Sardis Lake 

        North Jack Creek is the place to go when the white bass are running, boat required. Launch out of the Narrows Boat Ramp

        Fishing Tips: Fishing the white bass run is a boat affair on Sardis with no public bank access, however a few white bass can be picked up fishing around the Narrows Boat Ramp.  

        Top Option Bait: Artificial lures

        • I recommend Kastmaster spoons, Super Dupers, inline spinners or hard plastics like a shad rap. Jigs can also be effective. Silver is the preferred color for spoons and spinners as they mimic shad. If using a jig use something with some flash.

        Secondary Option Bait: Live Bait

        • Success can be had utilizing worms or minnows beneath a bobber.

        Fishing Contact: (918) 297-0153
        Game Warden: (918) 471-9447(580) 271-0808(580) 513-5014

        MAP OF LAKE DEPTH LINES OKLAHOMA FISHING TRAIL

        Operator: U.S. Corps of Engineers

        Location: Sardis Lake (Google Map) is located 3.5 miles north of Clayton on Sardis Lake Rd.

        Drive Time:

        • From OKC - 2.75 hours
        • From Tulsa - 2.5 hours
        • From McAlester - 1 hour
        • From Durant - 1.5 hours

        Recreational Facilities: U.S. Corps of Engineers manages three campgrounds located around the lake offering various facilities including general hookups, restrooms, showering facilities, a swim beach and fishing docks. The lake also has facilities for group camping and picnic shelters equipped with tables, electricity and large outdoor cooking grills.

        Find a Fishing Campground: Sardis

        Other Fish Species of Interest: Largemouth BassSpotted BassBlue CatfishChannel CatfishWhite CrappieBluegill SunfishWalleye

        Bait & Tackle Nearby:

        Physical Description:

        • Surface area - 13,589 ac.
        • Shoreline length - 86.4 mi.
        • Volume - 233,053 ac.ft
        • Maximum depth - 55.2 ft.

        Sardis Lake Level Data: USACE Current Lake Level

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