The State Tourism Board Has Introduced The Oklahoma Fishing Trail
Believe it or not, but Oklahoma is a big fishing destination for the outdoorsmen of America. It's even harder to believe when you realize Oklahoma doesn't have a single native lake. Every substantial body of water in this state is man-made. We've dammed up just about every flowing river to create reservoirs big and small. Not only the monster lakes like Eufala and Grand, but this includes even small ponds like those in the Wichita Mountains. They're calling it the Oklahoma Fishing Trail.
So how did Oklahoma become a fishing destination? Our state employed biologists have worked hard to identify, breed, and release the type of fish that would do well here. These include two main strains of largemouth bass in most bodies of water, smallies in a handful of lakes, hybrid bass spread every place they could pack em, sand bass, stripers, saugeye, panfish, trout, and even a whole mess of trashfish like catfish, carp, and gar that do their part in the ecosystem. It really is a testament to the science they've done.
Sure, Florida is #1 on the list of states with big bass in their waters. That's where your highest odds are. Texas somehow made the #2 spot even though they've only got four lakes proven to produce big fish. Louisiana shares a body of top producing water with Texas, so they are assigned #3. Alabama, California, and then Oklahoma specifically for big bass. While you can pop up to Tablerock Lake in Missouri to catch a hundred bass a day, odds are they've average two pounds per... Whereas if you only catch ten fish on Grand Lake in NEOK, you might average eight pounds. It's a quality vs quantity argument.
Not all of the lakes on the Oklahoma Fishing Trail are producers of largemouth bass, most will give you good odds at various species. Most notably featured across the state are our hybrid striped bass. It's what you get when you cross-breed huge striped bass with fast growing sandies - AKA - white bass. Most lakes hold tons of quality trophy hybrids, you just have to know how to fish for them.
Crappie are also spread pretty much throughout the state in almost every body of water, though the odds of catching something worth posting online are slim because they're pretty over-fished. As they are a delicious little chunk of protein, most buttheads will take home anything they can slide a knife into, no matter how small they are.
Fishing is traditionally slow in the heat of Summer, so if you get the chance this Fall, you might take on the Oklahoma Fishing Trail challenge and fish some of the most bountiful waters we have inside our borders. Just take some advice sportsman to sportsman...
1 - Gear isn't everything. While it's nice to have a thousand dollar rod and reel, you can get on the water with a $30 setup from WalMart.
2 - Don't get sucked into using just one bait. You never know what a fish will eat, throw everything at em.
3 - Stop eating large and smallmouth bass. Those are sport fish, not keepers. I know it's an argument that every angler has an opinion on, that's just mine. You may say that they taste really good, but that's just the meth talking. Let em go. Even if you catch a trophy, snag a picture, get a measurement, and have a replica made to hang on your wall. Fish taxidermy doesn't last, and you wouldn't want to deny nature those genetics.