July 24, 2008

Oklahomans Etch Names in Record Books

By Sam Powell, Tulsa World, Okla.

Jul. 24--Summer dog days weather is here, but Oklahoma anglers continue to catch lake-record fish. Note, once again, that these are records just for certain lakes, not a state record.

Since the Wildlife Department created this new lake-record program last spring, it has met with wide acceptance by state anglers, and the number of fish being entered into the program has continued to grow.

The noodlers finally got in the record book. Lake Thunderbird, a really pretty, fish-filled body of water just east of Norman, has produced several record fish in recent weeks. Edward Miller of Hollis used just his two strong hands to noodle a 44.9-pound flathead catfish to become the first "handsfisherman" to get his name in the record book.

Randall Farley of Norman boated an 8-pound largemouth bass there a few days ago, and what made that feat a little more notable is the fact he was crappie fishing with light tackle and live minnows. It sure still counts though.

And David Belvin of Norman entered a 3-pound white bass he pulled from the 8,000-surface-acre lake, which has excellent water quality.

Mike Hacker of Oologah was fishing that Skeeter Tour bass tournament two weeks ago on Grand Lake when he brought in an 8.3-pound

largemouth, which is now the official lake-record for that extremely hard-fished and popular lake. The lunker was caught on a crankbait, kept alive in good shape, and released back into the lake.

Over the years, I have heard reports of 9- and 10-pound bass being caught in Grand -- but those have all strictly been rumors and second- and third-hand reports. This one is official, and will be hard to beat, although the majestic, old lake continues to produce good numbers of 5- and 6-pound and even some 7-pound bass.

The lake-record program is open in 13 state lakes, and for 13 different species of fish. Complete details are available at tulsaworld.com/wildlife.

Learn to shoot: Saturday is a big day for shooting enthusiasts and all who would like to learn how to shoot a shotgun.

The Wildlife Department, assisted by Green Country chapter of Quail Forever, will host a free STEP (Shotgun Training & Education) Program from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Tulsa Gun Club, with lunch and cold drinks provided. Participants also will get the chance to shoot a bow and .22-caliber rifle.

Tulsa Gun Club is at 8802 Mohawk Blvd., just east of Mohawk Park. For more information, call Mark Randell at (918) 633-9554.

Big reward: Muskogee's Sheri Glasgow is driving a new Toyota Tundra Crewmax 4x4 Limited, with all the bells and whistles.

That is her reward for being 2007 angler of the year on the Women's Bassmaster Tour. She picked up her dream ride a few days ago at Toyota of Muskogee. The truck was specially built to her specifications, including ostrich leather insets in the doors, a built-in GPS navigation system, backup camera, moonroof, power-adjustable tow mirrors and 12-speaker sound system.

The 2008 Women's Bassmaster Tour has one regular season meet, and the championship remaining, and Glasgow is in third place in this year's angler race.

Current fishing: Sand bass action on almost any big area lake now. But that is all boat fishing, in big, open water. In Sunday's outdoors page we will have some tips on spots -- maybe just around the corner from where you live -- where you and the kids could enjoy bank fishing before school bells ring again.


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Copyright (c) 2008, Tulsa World, Okla.

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