Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Reminder: Renew Fishing Licenses

Oklahoma anglers are reminded to renew their annual fishing licenses. All licenses expire December 31st unless exempt.

Anglers heading to one of Oklahoma’s designated trout streams around the state should remember to purchase a new trout license.

Complete license requirements and exemptions are outlined in the 2007 Oklahoma Fishing Guide.

All annual licenses and even a subscription to Outdoor Oklahoma magazine can be purchased at any license vendor statewide or online at www.wildlifedepartment.com.

OKC Trout Starts Jan. 1st

January 1 will mark the first day of trout season at Dolese Youth Park Pond in Oklahoma City. The sixth annual trout season is made possible through a cooperative partnership between the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and the City of Oklahoma City as part of the ‘Close to Home’ fishing program. According to Gene Gilliland, senior fisheries biologist with the Wildlife Department, there will be no shortage of fish for anglers to catch.

Over the course of the season, (Jan. 1-Feb. 28), about 10,000 rainbow trout will be stocked in the pond, located north of NW 50th and a half block west of Meridian Ave. Fish will be stocked every two weeks during the two-month season. Stocking dates are Jan. 4, Jan. 18, Feb. 1 and Feb. 15.

Anglers should have success catching Dolese trout on 4- to 6- pound test line equipped with a slip sinker and small hook. Choice baits include salmon eggs, power baits, corn, worms, spinners, Panther Martins, and small crappie jigs.

View more information and a map to the park at: www.wildlifedepartment.com/storyofweek.htm

Friday, December 08, 2006

Lake Texoma Cold, Stripers Hot!


Lake of the Arbuckles Fishing Guide Frank Hanna recently sent in this report:

Frank and his cousin went to
Lake Texoma on Wednesday and reports the fishing was a little slow. But then he said they caught their limit in 35 minutes - that's right - 20 fish in the box in 35 minutes! So he wants to remind everybody that if someone needs out of the house, although it's cold, it's time to GO!!

Editor's Note: Gee Frank - the fishing was slow? You are kidding right?? Thanks for the report!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Texoma Monster Catfish Biting

Monster catfish are biting at Lake Texoma.  Go fishing with guide GW Chisholm, Trails Guide Service, Alberta Creek Marina, Oklahoma
Fishing Guide GW Chisholm sent in this report and picture of a 57lb catfish recently caught at Lake Texoma:

The sripers and the catfish are really on the bite the last few days and this trend will continue till the water temp gets below 40 degrees.

Till then, we're gonna enjoy the great winter bite that Texoma is famous for...


Editor's Note:
A bit of an understandment, wouldn't you say GW? What a monster!!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Lake Sooner Monster Catfish

Fishing Guide David Clark and his 82 lb monster catfish at Lake Sooner Oklahoma
Professional Fishing Guide David Clark sent in this report from Lake Sooner:

11/27/06 - What a day! After catching 30 to 35 nice Hybrids, this big boy came along. Of course at first I thought I was hung up. The line had slowly tightened, and the boat was moving quite a bit, so I didn't think much of it. I decided to set the hook. Not much moved. Then it slowly came up a little bit. I still thought I had a log. But then it started to move a little bit faster and away from the boat. That's when Tony and I both said, "It's no log!"


About 25 minutes later, with all of the poles that were out now in, this monster cat surfaced. With one swift scoop, Tony attemped to get it in the net, but it was too big! I reached down and kinda stuffed it in. Once we got it in the boat and quit high fiving, we attempted to weigh it. The problem was my scale only goes to 50lbs and it was reading 32lbs (digital).


We just knew it was heavier than that, so we took measurements. And what I now know is this - it was 50 plus 32lbs. After Tony found the formula and we multiplyed it out, this cat weighed 82.68 lbs. After making sure it wasn't some record we released it for someone else to have the pleasure of High Fiving!!!!!!

Editor's Note: Thanks for the report and picture David. Wow! What a great day at the lake!! Thanks for leaving him there for me to catch too!!! If you would like to go fishing with David, call him at 918-724-6786 or 918-272-4441 or visit his site at: www.FishOnOK.com

Tom Steed Bass

Lake Tom Steed Oklahoma Largemouth Bass Fishing Report
Aspiring Pro Mike Diehl sends us this largemouth bass report from Lake Tom Steed:

Went out on the lake Friday and what a great day it was - the weather that is - not the fishing. Fishing is slow right now although cat fishing is fare. I did see a nice walleye caught from the bank though, not sure who it was but nice fish! No crappie to report but watch for the catfish attacking your minnows.

I only caught one bass all day. Here is the picture and look close at his tail - it's forked and has been that way for some time. Most likely damaged and never healed properly. I'm guessing it was 5+lbs...waiting on my new digital scale from santa!

Practice CPR Fishing.. Catch, Photo and Release!

Editor's Note: Thanks for the report Mike. And yes, everybody, practice CPR fishing. Somebody pleezze get this man a scale!!!

Tom Steed Hybrid Report

Hybrid bass and largemouth bass on Lake Tom Steed Oklahoma
Aspiring Pro Mike Diehl sent in this report from Lake Tom Steed:

Got out of the house this weekend and hit the lake. Fishing slow right now - slow on bass and hybrid. I can't even seem to find crappie??? Seems as though all the fish are scattered right now and you just have to cover lots of ground.

I did catch one nice hybrid yesterday while crappie fishing. I pulled it in after a 6 minute fight using a micro reel and 4lb test line. Took so long I even had time to get the camera out and take pics of the fight.

I am looking to trade a bass fishing trip for a cat fishing trip on tom steed if you know of anyone? Also willing to try other lakes as well if anyone wants to team up?

Editor's Note: Thanks for the report Mike. Anybody want to trade trips or team up with him on other lakes? Mike certainly knows how to catch the nice ones. Sounds like a lot of fun!!!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Lake Skiatook Smallmouth Report

Lake Skiatook Oklahoma Smallmouth Bass Fishing Report
Keith reports that he caught a 7 lb, 23 inch smallie at Lake Skiatook yesterday.

He says it's the biggest smallmouth he has caught there so far, with most recent trips yielding nice size smallies in the 4 to 5 lb range (as pictured) using a Bomber model A (6 to 8 ft) diver in shad
pattern.

In his opinion, Lake Skiatook is turning into a great smallmouth fishery.


Editor's Note: Thanks for the report Keith. You got close to the state record with the 7lber!

Great Salt Plains Lake Catfish Stocking

Last week Wildlife Department fisheries personnel stocked more than 100,000 channel catfish into Great Salt Plains Lake in northcentral Oklahoma. The stocking comes after high temperatures and prolonged drought led to a major fish kill at the lake this summer.

“We conducted several gill net surveys last month and we found out the fish kill was very significant,” said John Stahl, northwest region fisheries supervisor for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “The good news is that this has always been a productive lake and we expect the fish populations to bounce back over the next few years. In the meantime, we’re going to do everything we can to help Mother Nature along.”

In coming weeks biologists are planning on stocking an additional 40,000 channel catfish, each about 5 ½” long. The catfish should grow to catchable size by next year. Next summer, if water levels are favorable, Department officials will stock both blue and flathead catfish in the lake.

“We’re going to monitor fish populations in the lake very closely over the next few years and make management decisions to ensure this fishery is as healthy as it can be,” Stahl said.

Editor's Note: Story compliments of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

Oklahoma Caviar Coming Soon?

An innovative concept to turn a commodity that is typically thrown away by anglers into dollars is currently under consideration by the Wildlife Conservation Commission. The idea involves collecting, processing and selling paddlefish eggs as caviar on the international market.

Historically, caviar has come from sturgeon in the Caspian Sea, however that fishery has essentially collapsed and will not be able to produce sturgeon caviar for at least 25 years. Caviar made from paddlefish eggs has proven to be a comparable, if not equal, substitute for sturgeon caviar. As the supply of caviar has decreased, the demand, and price, for a caviar substitute has increased.

Paddlefish are found in several river drainages in the state, but the population in the Grand River system has been studied for the past 25 years. Each spring thousands of paddlefish move upstream to spawn. This fishery, arguably the healthiest paddlefish population in the United States, draws anglers from across the state and the nation for the chance to reel in one of the huge fish, which can exceed 100 pounds.

Many of these anglers choose to clean their fish and take home the meat, however, the eggs are often discarded. The Wildlife Department proposed to the Wildlife Conservation Commission that the eggs be voluntarily collected from sport anglers so they could be sold to fund paddlefish research, management and law enforcement. Similar operations have been in place in Montana and North Dakota since 1989.

After discussion the Wildlife Conservation Commission voted to finance a feasibility study and business plan for the project to determine if the proposal would be financially feasible in Oklahoma.

Editor's Note: What are your thoughts on Oklahoma Caviar - a good idea? Story compliments of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

SE OK Trout Fishing Expanded

Oklahoma trout stream improvements report.  Click on image to enlarge.
Not only has the trout fishing been improved in southeast Oklahoma, there is also a brand new area to try your luck.

Fisheries personnel with the Wildlife Department told the Wildlife Conservation Commission at their November meeting about ¾ of a mile of trout stream which has been added or improved at the Lower Mountain Fork River.


With bulldozers, backhoes and a good deal of imagination, streams biologists created a brand new ¼-mile trout stream, dubbed Lost Creek. Water was diverted into an ancient stream channel through dense woods and boulders creating a unique area for anglers to try to fool wary trout.

A separate ½-mile stretch of the Lower Mountain Fork River, known as the Evening Hole, once had a poor reputation among trout anglers. The warm, slow-moving, muddy water in the area was not favored by the rainbow and brown trout stocked by the Wildlife Department. However, streams biologists saw the potential in the area and felt if they could narrow the channel and provide more habitat, the trout, followed by trout anglers, would quickly begin using the area.

Biologists used 600 dump truck loads of gravel to narrow the river channel, causing the water to remain cooler and move through the Evening Hole faster. With the addition of large rocks, logs and islands, fisheries personnel transformed once sub-par trout habitat into a first class fishing area.

The Commission voted to establish special trout fishing regulations on the Evening Hole and Lost Creek areas. Upon gubernatorial approval, anglers must use only artificial lures with barbless hooks and may harvest only one rainbow trout and one brown trout 20-inches or longer per day. When the proposed regulations were opened to public input recently, the Department received overwhelming support of the new regulations which are geared toward providing a high quality trout fishery.

Editor's Note: Story compliments of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Lake Tenkiller Smallies

Lake Tenkiller smallmouth bass fishing report submitted by Darris Smith
Avid Lake Tenkiller smallie fisherman Darris Smith sent in this picture and report:

This is a nice smallmouth in the 3lb range. I took the picture and then released it. I didn't want to keep it out of the water any longer to put it on the scales. I have been cathing some nice smallmouth & spotted bass in deep water using jigs.


It's funny, I used to only fish for largemouth bass but have found myself fishing mainly for the deep bite lately. All thru this fall season I haven't yet run a buzzbait on the bank. Yeah, I'm hooked on these smallies.

Editor's Note: Thanks for the report Darris. What a nice bass and beautiful spot on the lake. No wonder you are hooked on Lake Tenkiller and smallmouth fishing!

Lake Tenkiller Flathead Catfish

Lake Tenkiller Oklahoma fishing report from Darris Smith
Avid Lake Tenkiller fisherman Darris Smith sent in these pictures and report from his summer spent on his new houseboat:

This is the 14.5lb flathead I caught on a live shad from the back of my houseboat while I was trying to take a nap.

And speaking of naps, my fishin' buddies soak up that warm sun while out smallie fishing.

Editor's note: Thanks for the report Darris. Don't you hate it when a big ol' catfish wakes you up from a perfect summer's nap on the boat? ;-)

BTW - what are your fishin' buddies names?

(Click image to enlarge)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Oklahoma Trout Stocking Season In Play

On April 10, 2005, Jason Archie of Broken Bow, Oklahoma caught a brown trout that not only surpassed the old record, it nearly doubled it with a catch of 17-pound, 4.64-ounces
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation has begun the fall stocking schedule of Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout . The lakes and rivers included in the program are;

Lake Altus Lugert, Blue River, Lake Clayton, Lake Carl Etling, Illinois River, Mountain Fork River, Lake Pawhuska, Robbers Cave and Lake Watonga.

View the entire stocking schedule at: www.wildlifedepartment.com/trtstok.htm

Editor's Note: The photo above is the current record for Oklahoma Brown Trout set last year by Jason Archie of Broken Bow, Oklahoma. He nearly doubled the weight of the old record with this 17-pound, 4.64-ounce catch. Read the entire story at: www.wildlifedepartment.com/brownshattered.htm. The lunkers are out there...Get Fishing!!!

Lake Tom Steed Largemouths

Lake Tom Steed Largemouth Bass Fishing Report
Aspiring Pro Mike Giehl sends in this report from Lake Tom Steed:

"I managed to get out on the lake after two weeks of not being able to fish due to weather and dad/grandpa duties. Tom Steed seems slow right now - all the cold fronts and wind have had some effect. The five I did managed to pull in during my "one man tournament" seem to have been feeding on crawdads. The moon is full right now so night fishing world probably be good."

Editor's Note: Thanks for the report Mike. That looks like a mighty nice size largemouth bass. How big is it?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Stay Warm Fishing This Fall

Lake of the Arbuckles Fishing Guide Frank Hanna sent in this tip on how to stay warm when fishing in the fall and winter:

"Instead of wearing those old long johns, try wearing good comfortable sweat's top and bottoms. You can wear two pair if it is really cold, 20 degrees or so, and the sweats will keep you warmer than any other underclothing. One thing I like about wearing sweats is I can still move around."

Editor's Note: Thanks for the tip Frank. It will be nice not having to listen to my wife complain about the holes in my sweats out on the boat!

Fall/Winter Record Fish

Oklahoma Record Blue Catfish caught on Lake Texoma, November 11th, 2004 by Billy Nabors
Although we are into the Fall/Winter season and there's lots of football to watch on the weekend, I would like to remind everyone that 12% of the record fish registered in Oklahoma ocurred in the months of October, November & December. View the Oklahoma Fishing Records at: www.wildlifedepartment.com/listing.htm

So remember, the weather only bothers the fisherman! Dress warm and get out there...the big fish are still biting!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Lake Broken Bow Bass Report

Lake Broken Bow bass fishing report from Broken Bow Fishing Guide Bryce Archey
Broken Bow Fishing Guide Bryce Archey sent in this great photo of late fall bass fishing on Lake Broken Bow. His client caught these largemouth bass plus a couple of smallmouth bass in the 3 to 4 lb range.

The smallmouth bass fishing is getting good now with quality fish being caught on a consistent basis. In fact, all fishing is really good now with Bryce and his clients catching around 25 to 30 fish on average per day.

Editor's Note: Thanks for the report Bryce. Book your next fishing trip with Bryce Archey by visiting his website at www.BrokenBowLakeGuide.com or by calling him at 580-494-6447.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Tips for Winterizing your Boat

Aspiring Pro Mike Diehl sent in the following tips on how to winterize your boat:

1. Fill your gas tank(s) and add gas stabilizer. (Follow the instructions on the stabilizer bottle as far as quantity. If in doubt, more is better.)

**Most manufacturers will advise to store the tanks full to ensure that there's no condensation. Some of the smaller motors can have their fuel lines disconnected and run dry; this doesn't eliminate all gas from the motor and can lead to gummed up carbs, etc., come Spring. Having stabilized gas throughout the motor ensures that gaskets don't dry out and there's no chance of the gas turning to varnish.


2. Run the motor for 10-15 minutes to ensure that stabilized gas is in all of the lines, carbs, etc. (I take mine for a run after stabilizing the gas; I want to make sure that I've used up all of the un-stabilized gas that was in the fuel line, etc., and that only stabilized gas is in the system.)

3. Before shutting the motor off, you will want to fog the engine by spraying a fogging oil (storage seal) into all of the carbs (or the EFI system).

**
Check your owner's manual for specific instructions on how to fog your particular engine. (Some of the newer engines are not to be fogged.) Follow the instructions on the can; you will want to have the motor smoking "big time", this ensures that you have the engine properly fogged.

**Fogging oil puts a coating of oil on all of the cylinder walls and throughout the engine; it prevents rust from occuring during the winter storage months.


4. Remove the spark plugs and spray fogging oil into each of the plug holes. (About a 3-4 second spray in each.) Replace the spark plugs and disconnect your kill switch. Turn the motor over 3-4 times to distribute the oil into the cylinders.
**Not everyone does this step, but I figure that it's extra insurance that the entire engine is well fogged. After the first run in the Spring you might want to consider putting in new spark plugs, don't put in new ones in the Fall, they will just get "messed up" with the fogging oil.


5. Remove the prop and check for fishing line behind it. Grease the shaft and replace the prop.

**If you have any nicks or dings on the prop you might want to have it repaired during the winter when the "prop guys" aren't too busy, rather than waiting until Spring.


6. Change the lower unit lube, (or at least check to ensure that there is no water present in the oil to ensure that it can't freeze during the winter. If there's water in the oil, it will be at the bottom and will come out first, or the lube will be a milky color which indicates water present.

7. Grease all fittings and lubricate all points shown in your owner's manual.

8. Fill the oil tank(s) to the top to prevent condensation during the winter.

9. Remove all batteries and store them inside. Charge them about every 6 weeks or so to keep them "topped up".

**You might want take the wires from each battery and put a cable tie (or piece of wire) through them to keep them in "sets" so that you know which ones go where come Spring. Label them as well, if need be.


10. Check to ensure that you don't have any water in your livewells, bilge pumps, etc. If in doubt you might want to add some RV antifreeze to them.

11. To make sure that the water in your water pressure line doesn't freeze during the winter and damage your gauge, you might want to disconnect the line and drain the water out.

12. Check your trailer tires to ensure that they are at the maximum tire pressure (probably 50#). Depending on where you store your trailer you might want to consider putting the trailer on blocks to keep it from sitting on the tires all winter.

13. Check the trailer hubs to see if they need grease added.

14. You might want to prop all of your compartments open slightly with pieces of styrofoam (or something similar), to ensure that air can circulate everywhere to prevent any condensation.

15. Remove basically everything from the boat.

16. Make sure that you store your motor in the "down" position to ensure that all water has drained out.

17. Wash the boat,and put a coat of wax on it (and the motor), if it needs it.

That's it..........you're done!!

Editor's Note: Wheu! Thanks Mike. I'm sweaty and tired just thinking about it! Maybe I'll just keep fishing through the winter and just wear heavier clothing.

Lake Tom Steed Report

Aspiring Pro Mike Diehl sends us this Lake Tom Steed Fishing Report:

Fishing is a little slow right now and with the cold fronts and wind pounding us at the moment. Bass are still being caught but the bite is slow. Try fishing spinner baits in about 8 foot of water. Hybrid are scattered and can be caught drifting jigs or on small spinners and crank bait. Crappie seems slow right now as they have not grouped up near brush piles or points yet. Not sure about the cat fishing, but I have not seen any jugs bouncing while on the lake.

Stay safe on the wind blown lakes - wear your life preserver!

Editor's Note: Thanks for the report Mike! Great advice about the life preservers too...

Monday, October 23, 2006

Lake Texoma Topwater Action

Lake of the Arbuckles Fishing Guide Frank Hanna took the weekend off, went fishing at Lake Texoma and sent in this fishing report:

For the last 3 weeks the birds have been all over the lake and the only thing you could catch was small fish. Well the fall blast has just began, at the mouth of Washita Point and Platter Flats the 4 to 6 pounders started surfacing under the birds. There was only one problem - 4 to 6 foot waves; we were soaked to the bone!

Try a rattle traps; blue and chrome, 1/2oz, and hang on! Now is a great time to take someone that has never seen fish feeding on the top.

Editor's Note: Thanks for the report Frank. Sounds like you had loads of fun. And Frank is right. Hold on to your pole! Those topwater stripers hit so hard they can pull the rod right out of your hand!!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Mean Mouth Bass at Tom Steed

Mean Mouth Bass fishing at Lake Tom Steed Oklahoma with aspiring fishing pro Mike Diehl
Aspiring Pro Mike Diehl went fishing this last weekend at Lake Tom Steed in the rain and reports that although the fishing was slow, he cast a thousand times to catch these two and boy was it worth it. He caught this huge smallmouth where there aren't supposed to be smallmouths, pitching a frog under a boulder ledge. The next thing you know the fight was on!

He also says that it's very possible this is a Mean Mouth Bass - a hybrid mix of largemouth and smallmouth or spotted bass. His Meannie weighed in at 5.5 lb. and the largemouth at 5 lb.

Editor's Note: Thank for the picture and report Mike. I haven't ever heard of a Mean Mouth Bass before. Hope I catch one someday! If you would like to become Mike's sponsor on the bass tour, please contact him at: diehlfam65@yahoo.com

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Free Lodging Fishing Trip Offer

The monster catfish bite is excellent at Lake Texoma in the fall and winter months
Lake Texoma Fishing Guide G.W. Chisholm of Trails Guide Service sent us the following information on an unbelievable Free Lodging Fishing Trip Offer at Lake Texoma.

From November 15th through February 15th, 4 person groups (or more) booking a fishing trip with G.W. will receive free lodging at Alberta Creek Resort & Marina!

The striper fishing at Lake Texoma is excellent year round, and in the fall & winter months, the monster catfish are great too. In January, G.W. caught a 62 lb cat!

To book this fantastic Free Lodging Fishing Trip Offer, call G.W. directly on his cell at 580-564-5398 or toll free at 877-277-4350.

Editor's Note: WHAT A DEAL! Don't let this one pass you by!!!!!! Fishing with G.W. is a hoot!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Lake Tom Steed Hybrids

Lake Tom Steed Oklahoma Hybrid Bass Fishing Report
Aspiring Pro Mike Diehl reports that the hybrids were biting well this last weekend at Lake Tom Steed.

He says, "Did some hybrid fishing yesterday for the first time. I had a blast, the wind was blowing 2 foot swells on tom steed but I stuck it out and it paid off.

He also asks, "Please excuse the hair Bad Hair Day."


Editor's Note: Thanks for the report Mike! No problem with the bad hair day. As you said, it was very windy. Just goes to show you that the old saying is right - The weather only bothers the fisherman!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Lake Broken Bow Bass Report

Smallmouth bass caught with Lake Broken Bow Fishing Guide Bryce Archey
Lake Broken Bow Professional Fishing Guide Bryce Archey reports the bass fishing is getting better every day now the the heat is gone and fall is here.

He has been catching mostly slot largemouth bass and decent sized spotted bass.

He also says that smallmouth fishing is hit and miss right now but will improve with cooler weather.


Editor's Note: Thanks for the report Bryce! Check out Bryce's site at: www.brokenbowlakeguide.com

Thursday, September 21, 2006

To Tip or Not to Tip Comment

We received this comment on our "To Tip or Not to Tip" posting:

"I think it's just plain wrong for a guide service to expect a tip. They charge for the service they provide and that's what the customer pays for. I haven't ever heard of a guide service offering refunds for bad fishing days. When the catch and service is good I would feel I got what I paid for and that's it. If they feel they don't make enough money for what they do then raise the price and let the consumer decide whether the true cost of the trip is worth it to them." - Mike

Editor's Note: Thanks for the input Mike. We would like to hear your comments. Email us at info@oklahomafishingguides.com

Monday, September 11, 2006

Tom Steed Fishing Report


Mike Diehl went out this weekend for a day of fishing with his daughter Samantha on Lake Tom Steed. There they caught a 6.0lb bass that his daughter helped him land.

He reports that the water temps have dropped but the sunlight is still keeping the fish deep. Fishing has been slow to fair depending on the weather so resistance is key. Striper fishing has been good off points with crank baits and rattle traps of the right color. Bass and cat fishing have been hit and miss as well but with the right time of day and lots of casting, your luck will increase. Crappie fishing has been slow due to a lack of structure in deeper water.

Editor's Note: Thanks for the report Mike. Nice bass too! Looks like you have a future Bassmaster champ on your hands there.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

To Tip or Not to Tip?

We receive this question quite a bit and wanted to share it:

Q: What is the "policy" on tipping a guide? We have had a guide in the past who strongly hinted for us to tip and we did. Others have said nothing. But is this a standard policy, or expected? If so, what is the correct amount or percentage? This is very confusing and causes much discomfort. Why don't they just charge what they want to charge and forget about tips?

A: You pose an interesting question that I have struggled with myself. There is no real "policy" and it can be confusing. We all know that it is customary to tip wait staff because their hourly wage is different and well below the current minimum wage. We all also read about how it's appropriate to tip certain service people during the holidays; i.e. postman, hair dresser and others.

But is this expected when we go fishing? To go fishing with a guide at $125 per person is on the expensive side for most folks let alone adding a tip. It's certainly more than you would spend renting a boat, but well worth it when you haul in your limit and/or catch some of the biggest lunkers of your life.

The flip side is the guide not only has a significant amount of money invested in his boat, equipment & tackle, but there's also insurance, maintenance, slip fees, licenses, CPR training, advertising and other expenses. Has the guide calculated this into his standard per person rate? Certainly, but there are things that a guide does that can be considered equivalent to being a "waiter" on his own boat; i.e., getting up 3 hours early to net live bait from the lake, tying & baiting the hooks, fishing training, first aid (sometimes) and probably most important, cleaning & bagging your catch.

If a guide did all this (and not all do) then a tip in the 15% range would be appropriate. Especially if the guide was quite professional and you truly enjoyed being on his boat & all the things he did that day to make it a great day for you. If you hire a guide to simply be a lake guide and not require that he wait on you hand-and-foot and clean your fish, then a tip would probably not be in order.

My final thought is this: no one should outright ask (or hint) for a tip. What would your reaction be at a restaurant if your waiter did that? You would probably reduce the amount of the tip significantly or not tip at all. Asking for a tip is inappropriate, makes everyone uncomfortable and will only result in the customer not coming back and give the guiding profession a bad name.

Editor's Note: We invite your comments on this post whether you are a guide or somebody who has hired a guide. Email me your opinion at:
info@oklahomafishingguides.com

Lake Skiatook Labor Day Action



Lake Skiatook Guide David Clark reports excellent hybrid striper action over the Labor Day weekend. He reports that his clients caught 15 fish with 11 of them being nice size using small shad in about 32ft of water fishing them 20ft deep. The biggest was close to 5lbs. with most in the 3 to 4lb range. The lake temperature has fallen to about 82 degrees.

Editor's Note: Thanks for the report David! David guides on 4 lakes in Oklahoma; Lake Birch, Lake Skiatook, Lake Sooner and
Lake Waurika. Check out David's site at: www.FishOnOk.com

Monday, August 28, 2006

Wes Watkins Bass Report

Lake of the Arbuckles fishing guide Frank Hanna took the day off on Sunday to take his step-son fishing and reports catching some nice largemouth bass at Lake Wes Watkins. His step-son caught one that was real close to 5lbs and all Frank caught were the little ones. He says that’s ok though, because it was worth every minute watching his step-son smile as he beat him fishing - worth a million dollars! The big bass was caught on a Baby minus-1 fire tiger moving slowly across the moss.

Editor's Note: Thanks for the report Frank. You may have just inspired a future Bassmaster champion! For those who haven't fished at Lake Wes Watkins - please note - largemouth bass are catch-n-release only. If you would like to fish with Frank at Lake of the Arbuckles, email him at: basskickinhanna@yahoo.com

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Arbuckle Mountains Wildfire Update


While driving back from the Wildlife Expo (see article below), I stopped in the Arbuckle Mountains to survey the recent wildfire damage. Although the fire entered a portion of Turner Falls Park, all businesses and the park remains open. Lake of the Arbuckles, Veteran's Lake (record black bass lake) and Guy Sandy were also uneffected, so go on and plan a trip to this beautiful area!

OK Wildlife Exposition 2006


I just returned from the Oklahoma Wildlife Department's annual Wildlife Expo at the Lazy E Arena in Edmond, Oklahoma. What a fantastic event! Designed for children of all ages, the many booths, exhibits and hands-on activities educate those interested in all things outdoors. You can learn how to make a campfire without matches, hone your kayak skills, avoid poison ivy and many, many more things about the great outdoors.

I highly encourage you to attend this event AND take your children. Your future outdoor adventures will be much safer and enjoyable with everything you learn from the super-friendly folks that work at the Wildlife Department and other Oklahoma governmental agencies.

To view more information, go to: www.wildlifedepartment.com/wildlifeexpo.com

Friday, August 25, 2006

Beautiful Broken Bow/Beaver's Bend


My wife and I spent the weekend at Lake Broken Bow and the Beaver's Bend Resort area. For those of you who haven't been there - you need to get there!


Located in the Ouachita National Forest, this area offers virtually EVERYTHING outdoors; fishing, boating, hunting, canoeing, hiking, horseback riding, ATV trails, hang gliding, golf, go-karts, dining and much, much more.

We met many hard-working and super friendly people who are dedicated to preserving AND enjoying everything the area has to offer. It doesn't take that long to get there (2.5 hours from Dallas) and I highly recommend the area to anyone at anytime of the year. Stay a week or more - you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Great Salt Plains Lake Fish Kill

High temperatures and prolonged drought led to a major fish kill at Great Salt Plains Lake in northcentral Oklahoma this week. Biologists with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation estimate 10,000 fish have died due to low dissolved oxygen levels in the lake.

“This is a major fish kill and it reflects how this abnormal weather not only affects farmers and ranchers, but it also affects our lakes and our fisheries resources,” said Barry Bolton, assistant chief of fisheries for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “We are monitoring the situation closely. Unfortunately, there is simply not anything we can do to remedy high heat and lack of rain.”

According to Bolton, Great Salt Plains is a relatively shallow reservoir making it particularly susceptible to warm water temperatures.

“What we really need is some rain, cooler temperatures or strong winds - unfortunately none of these conditions are in the short-term forecast and there is a real concern that this situation could get worse before it gets better,” Bolton said. “However, nature is very resilient and long term outlook remains positive. We will continue to monitor the situation and we will adjust our management efforts, such as stocking, in the future if that is appropriate.”
There have been no other fish kills reported in other state reservoirs.

For more information about fishing in Oklahoma log on to www.wildlifedepartment.com

Friday, August 18, 2006

Big Stripers at Lake Texoma


Lake Texoma Guide GW Chisholm of Trails Guide Service reports that although it's hot, the big stripers are biting, coming in over 10lbs and many in the teens. He also reports that the topwater action is getting better, especially on the cloudier days, very early in the morning with chrome colors working well, especially chrome and blue.

Editor's Note: Thanks for the report GW! Remember to drink lots of water out there in the heat! As they say, the weather only bothers the fisherman!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Fall Fishing at Broken Bow


Lake Broken Bow fishing guide Bryce Archey reports that now is the time to book your fall fishing trip for excellent opportunities to catch smallmouth, largemouth and spotted bass. He caught this 5.8lb lunker smallie using a Sammy 85 top water lure. Bryce also notes to book in advance for the best possible dates.

Editor's Note: Thanks Bryce -- nice smallie! Visit Bryce's site at: www.BrokenBowLakeGuide.com

Lake Texoma Crappie


While visiting with GW Chisholm, fishing guide at Lake Texoma the other day, he asked that I post this picture of a crappie I caught while fishing with him several summers ago. What is interesting about this crappie is not only it's size (~3lbs.) but the beautiful emerald green tint that it has. GW says that's this particular species is what makes crappie fishing at Texoma so fun. They are big, beautiful and very tasty!

Editor's Note: Thanks for reminding me of that photo GW. We had a great time on that trip. It was my birthday, the weather was perfect and we caught a ton of fish!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Hybrids Excellent at Lake Skiatook


Lake Skiatook Guide David Clark reports excellent hybrid striper action. He reports that 40 fish were recently caught with 30 of them being nice hybrids ranging from 3 to 6lbs using downlines in 20 to 35ft.

Editor's Note: Thanks for the report David! David guides on 4 lakes in Oklahoma; Lake Birch, Lake Skiatook, Lake Sooner and Lake Waurika. Check out David's site at www.FishOnOk.com

Online Knot Tying Animations


If you have ever had trouble tying effective knots or wished there were animated demonstrations to help learn specific knots, then fret no more. Check out www.animatedknots.com and never lose a monster hawg to a bad knot again!

Editor's Note: Lake Texoma Guide GW Chisholm suggested this site. Thanks GW!

Game Wardens Like to Fish Too


This just in...Lake Texoma game wardens like to fish too! Did the game warden actually forget to turn off his lights between stops OR is he trying to pull over a topwater striper?!?


Editor's note: Maybe he forgot his electroshock equipment and had to use a rod for the fish survey...

Friday, August 04, 2006

Nice Bass & Crappie at Lake Tom Steed



Fisherman Mike D reports excellent bass and crappie fishing at Lake Tom Steed. The other day Mike caught three bass weighing 6.0, 4.0, and 2.25 lbs (pictured) and he also caught a nice 2.0 lbs crappie.
He caught the bass on buzz bait and the crappie on a yellow head white body jig.

Editor's Note: Thanks for the report Mike! Mike is an aspiring to become a professional bass fisherman and is looking for sponsors...

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Lake Texoma Striper Action is Hot!


Guide GW Chisholm of Trails Guide Service reports that the striper fishing is still very good for as hot as it is. He notes that usually by now the fishing starts to slack off but this year, Lake Texoma has had just enough rain and a slight cool off last week, which is keeping the bite very good. His clients are catching daily limits with fish up to the 8-10 lb. range. And if top water action is your thing, he recommends bringing your favorite casting rod.

Editor's Note: Thanks for the report GW. Check out GW's Lake Texoma fishing reports and monster fish pictures at: www.oklahomafishingguides.com/Lake-Texoma/GW-Chisholm/index.html

Monday, July 24, 2006

Lake Skiatook Fishing Report


Lake Skiatook fishing Guide David Clark reports that he and his clients caught about 40 fish on a recent outting - 25 were real nice Hybrids. All were caught on downlines except for a few that they caught while downrigging. Most fish were in 30 ft and the water temp was 88. Overall it was a very good day.

Editor's Note: Thanks for the report David! Check out David's site at www.FishOnOK.com

Friday, July 21, 2006

Lake Konawa #1 - 8 years in a row!

For the eighth year in a row Lake Konawa ranked number one in the number of bass caught per hour in reservoirs over 1,000 acres according to the 2006 spring electrofishing data recently released by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. Covering 1,300 acres in Seminole County, Konawa produced 132 bass per hour of electrofishing during this year's surveys.

"It’s really no surprise Konawa is number one again – it is simply a great bass lake. Not only does Konawa have good numbers of bass, the population is also well balanced – it ranked first in the number of larger bass (over 14 inches) among lakes over 1,000 acres in the survey,” said Kim Erickson, fisheries chief for the Wildlife Department.

Coming in second was Lake Ft. Gibson, which produced 114 bass per hour during this year's electrofishing bass surveys. Lake Sooner, north of Stillwater, ranked third with 101 bass per hour. Ranking fourth was Lake McGee Creek (86 bass per hour), with Lake Tenkiller (69 bass per hour) rounding out the top five.

In lakes under 1,000 acres, Lake Okmulgee came in first place with an impressive 149 bass per hour. Coon Creek Lake, near Wilburton, came in a very close second with 148 bass per hour. American Horse Lake, a Wildlife Department lake near Geary, took third place with 133 bass per hour. Located south of Lawton near the Wichita Mountains, Lake Elmer Thomas claimed fourth place with 119 bass per hour. Carlton Lake, located in Robbers Cave State Park in southeast Oklahoma took fifth place with 107 bass per hour.

Editor's Note: Read the entire 2006 spring electrofishing story at: www.wildlifedepartment.com/storyofweek2.htm

Friday, July 14, 2006

Bass Biting at Lake Hudson

Avid fisherman Terry Evans reports the fishing at Lake Hudson has been excellent. He went fishing on Saturday the 8th around 7pm and caught 4 bass around 3lbs each in a 30 minute span using an electric blue worm around brush piles in a cove on the north end of the lake in the shade.

Editor's Note: Thanks for the report Terry! Got any pictures you want to share with us?

More News from Lake Tenkiller


Our friend Darris, who sends us notes on smallmouth bass fishing at Lake Tenkiller, has just purchased a boat there and promises even more smallie reports! He's at Pine Cove Marina and says the owners are extremely nice and accommodating. He also says stop by and say "Hi" the next time you are at Lake Tenkiller.


Editor's Note: Way to go Darris! Buying a boat is a big decision and yours looks like a lot of fun! Can the staff of OKFG hang out and fish with you sometime?