Stillwater News Press


April 26, 2014

Cross Timbers Outdoor Report: Best time to fish is now

STILLWATER, Okla. — I have not heard a bad fishing report in the last week. It doesn’t matter what species you’re after, they are all biting. Water temperatures are on the rise and the only thing that can stop them is a large influx of runoff.

For local anglers, there is no waiting around for the spawning season to progress. Each body of water is different, and relying on reports can be helpful. That being said, some lake reports have crappie in two feet of water. Some report they have not left staging depths.

According to a local angler that regularly fishes tournaments, largemouth in some bodies of water can currently be found in shallow water over beds. Fish are spawning but finding the best locations depends on water temperatures.

Main lake fish are still waiting. The latest report from Kaw Lake has main lake sand bass waiting for runoff to bring them into upper creek and river arms. Below the damn fishing is good for sand bass and fair for paddle fish, with almost all good fishing coming when power is being generated. Generation seems to be most predictable during week days.

The report of fair paddle fish catching below Kaw indicates the lack of rainfall and water release has prevented the majority of paddle fish from making the trip all the way up the Arkansas River. I took advantage of this last weekend and stumbled into some good fishing.

Cutting the distance between Keystone Lake and Kaw Lake in half I fished a hole that was holding a lot of gar and paddle fish. I had a vision of catching several big females stuck in this lonesome spot because the water needed to migrate upstream has not come. 

After several minutes and several unsuccessful bumps I finally hooked a nice sized paddle fish. The fight was complicated by stripped gears in the reel that prevented me from, well, reeling. I thought for part of the fight I was going to have to hand line the fish in like the Old Man and the Sea, but things worked out and I put my first tag of the year of a 40 pound spoon bill.

The paddle fish was a male, and the loss of my reel ment that the females stuck in the hole would be spared from my hook that day and allowed to move up stream and spawn.

Fishing for saugeye, a cross between a walleye and a sauger, is picking up. Saugeye are sterile due to their cross breeding but some go through the motions each year. This week they have left those feeling behind and hit the open water. First hand reports of catching have been good.

Banks anglers can find them hanging around transition areas where rock structure meets open water flats. Look for areas with the wind blowing into them and expect to find them feeding. Anglers with boats can find good action on wind swept points and main lake structure that bait can be corralled against. Just keep in mind these fish like low light conditions and fishing after dark should be part of the plan.

The only bad fishing report in our area from the states weekly mail came from Lake Cark Blackwell where the trout fishing is poor to nonexistent. But it was never ment to last because trout cannot survive in water temperatures over 72 degrees.

Turkey Season Winds Down

Next weekend is the last weekend of the 2014 spring turkey season. I haven’t harvested a turkey yet, but I have tried. Turns out they are just a little smarter and more unpredictable than I had figured. It also turned out the guy across the road shot one opening morning and not me.

This weekend may just be the best time of the season to turkey hunt. The gobblers are starting to get lonely because the females have started to incubate eggs. What more does a hunter want than a lonely turkey roaming the woods?

Their enthusiasm is also starting to wind down which means that finding a stpot gobblers are known to frequent is the plan for the upcoming weekend. Don’t wear yourself out chasing them because they are on the hunt. I saw a bird last week that was covering ground with a purpose. You could see the frustration in the attitude and gate he carried himself with.

Jon Kocan is an outdoor columnist for the Stillwater News Press. Kocan is a long-time local hunter. Email Kocan at

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