Wednesday, May 7, 2014

May: White Bass in the OK and MO streams

Illinois River near Tahlequah OK
May 1, 2014 (Thursday): I had the opportunity to attend the Small-mouth Rendezvous (SMR) in Tahlequah Oklahoma. This was my fourth trip to this event in as many years. I met Jim Knight from Tulsa at Fish’s BBQ for lunch in Tahlequah. After lunch, we drove to the Illinois River to fish. Last year we fished the Barren Fork, which is in the same general area. We caught a few short small-mouth bass and fifteen white bass on a fly. Jim left at 3 PM and I stayed until 6:30 PM before calling it a day.
Jim Knight looking for a good spot on the Illinois River
May 2, 2014 (Friday): I met Jim, Chuck Harrison and Walter Davis for breakfast at Del Rio. I heard news of the white bass run in the area, trips to near by rivers, and misadventures. I had the opportunity to visit with Leonard Brown and Harvey Ragsdale. After, spending a full day at the SMR. Jim suggested going back to the Illinois River for an evening of fishing. We covered the same water the night before with fewer hookups. We fished to 7:30 PM before calling it a day. We decided on pizza for dinner. There was a suggestion by locals to try “salmonella” pizza down by the college. I questioned the name thinking, of poorly cooked chicken and turkey. Jim knew where the place was and we pulled up to “Sam & Ella’s”. Now, I am not sure if that is a play on word or Sam and Ella are the owners. I did check the Internet with no history of the restaurant found. It caught my attention. The pizza was good with slow service. I did stay another day and returned to the SMR on Saturday. I did help a few people with casting and spent time talking with others about fishing.
Small mouth bass taken out of the Illinois River

May 4, 2014 (Sunday evening): I returned to the Little Sac River late in the afternoon. I picked up Dr. Wm Taylor and we took off for Morrisville. Bill and I paddled up to the power lines from Taylor Bridge. 
Little Sac River late afternoon
The conditions have not changed much with the exception the water has become more dingy with warmer days or the fishermen up stream kicking up the bottom. We managed to catch white bass in the range 13-17 inches. The spawn was in full mode and I suspect it is near the end for this stream, maybe to Mother’s Day before the fish return to the lake. We catch 20-25 fish with 14 fish stored in a cooler. I have plans for one more trip this week before moving on the other waters.
Dr Taylor taking another white bass on a fly
May 8, 2014 (Thursday): Joe Simecek and I took a trip to the little Sac River. I called the night before to move the time from 2 PM to 8 AM. The weatherman forecast of thunderstorms in the afternoon made us uneasy so we decided to get an early start before the rains hit. There were less people; the water was turbid with a bright sun at 9 AM as we made our way upstream. There was no one else fishing this day, with the white bass spawn nearly over. I went up past the s-curve before making my way back to the power lines with carp breaching but very few white bass moving in the water. Joe and I caught small-mouth bass, line bass, drum, and sunfish with eleven white bass. Five or those white bass were short and returned to the water. I watched the line of thunder storms on the phone and decided to return to the truck at 1:30 PM, just as some heavy clouds started to come in. The storm did not have the impact as predicted with little lightning or hail, but better safe than fishing foolish. The next day rain was a little over an inch but had little runoff; the little sac only had a bump in the gage height 0.15 of a foot. My guess is the white bass run/spawn is over for the little sac river. I will probably look at other streams or go back to the Pot hole for my next trip.

Joe Simecek providing floating service on the Little Sac River