Early spring marks beginning of prime time for angling action

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Oklahoma – It might seem just a little too early to head to a favorite fishing honey hole for some angling action, but this year two anglers have already caught lake record fish, and a look back over the years tells us that now through the next several months is a prime time to catch large fish.
Bodee Halton of Broken Bow caught a 2.6-pound spotted bass Feb. 17 from Broken Bow Lake that became a lake record, and last month the same lake produced a 6.2-pound lake record walleye for Broken Bow angler Frank Parker. As part of the Wildlife Department’s lake record fish program, anglers who catch a fish that might be a record for the lake in which it was caught can have the fish officially weighed and, if they’ve in fact landed a record, the angler can get their fish recognized and their names in the books for all to see.
In addition to fish already caught this year, a lake record and Oklahoma “Top 20” largemouth bass was caught March 14, 2010, when David Kinard caught a 13 lb., 4 oz. bass from Longmire Lake. The fish took the No. 17 spot on the list of bass, of which 13 were caught in March and several others in late February or early April.
Lake record fish of several species are caught regularly now throughout the spring each year, and biologists encourage anglers to get an early start. Everyone from teenage girls to pro anglers to country music stars have landed lake records at lakes across the state.
The lake record fish program was initiated in 2008 to recognize big fish and the anglers who catch them, and it has grown from about a dozen lakes at its inception to more than 40 lakes today. So anglers all over the state can go fishing just for leisure, but they can also go with a sense of competitive drive in hopes of putting their name in a record book.
Species eligible for spots in the lake records book include blue, channel and flathead catfish and largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass in addition to crappie, paddlefish, striped bass, striped bass hybrids, sunfish (combined) walleye/saugeye and white bass. Minimum weights and participating lakes are set for each species and are detailed on the Wildlife Department’s website at www.wildlifedepartment.com
Anglers who catch a potential record from a participating lake should contact designated business locations around the lake that are enrolled as lake record keepers. A listing of official lake record keepers is available on www.wildlifedepartment.com
Once it has been determined that an angler has landed a record fish, the media is notified and the public will be able to view information about the catch on the Wildlife Department’s website at www.wildlifedepartment.com
An easily-operated search feature is available on the website that allows those interested to view a wealth of lake record fish information, ranging from the size of record fish caught to what kind of bait or rod and reel was used to catch them.
All past and current state record fish are registered in the lake record fish program as records for their respective lakes.
For more information about the lake record fish program or fishing in Oklahoma, log on to www.wildlifedepartment.com