McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

January 26, 2014

Not too cold for fish

By John Yates
Special Correspondent

McALESTER — My newest rod and reel may be about to file suit against me for putting them in the back of my pickup for the last week or so, in case I had the chance to get in some cold-weather fishing on my way to cover McAlester basketball.

You know it has been brutally cold. The low in McAlester on Friday was 1 degree — not — counting the wind chill factor. That was the coldest for what I call the “straight” temperature (not formulated to include heat index or wind chill) for McAlester since we hit minus 4 degrees on February 10th, 2011.

I have gone out and fished a bit at Lake Thunderbird while waiting on a McAlester High School Buffalo game at the Norman Invitational Tournament, when the wind chill was no more than about 3 degrees above zero. All I caught was a chill.

I did not make it out for January fishing this week, though Monday would have been fine, temperature-wise, with a high of 67 degrees. That made a 66-degree difference in the five-day period, from a Monday high of 67 to a Friday low of 1 degree.

I stayed a couple of nights this past week in a cabin at Robbers Cave State Park. While there I heard from park personnel that there had been some trout fishing success going on, but no news of any other good fishing at the moment.

Seasonal trout fishing at Robbers Cave in the Fourche Maline section of the park’s waterways is under way and will continue through March 15th.

The overall state park is home to three lakes, plus the river path where trout fishing is done.

Stretching back years in memory, I recall being told that one of the Robbers Cave State Park lakes, Carlton to be specific, had produced two or three 10-pound class bass in February fishing. That was fishing with a crappie rig, I recall being told.

Back to trout, Roman Nose State Park, where a new state record trout was caught earlier in the season, has given up another nice rainbow. That was a 5-pound rainbow taken by Gene Hause of Lomega.

In the southeast section of the wildlife department waterfowl report for this past week, duck numbers were “good” at Red Slough and “moderate” at Wister. Duck and goose numbers were low at both Texoma and Hugo, and goose numbers were low at Red Slough and Wister.

A lot of hunter activity was reported at Wister, with “fair” success. If I were going to hunt in that area, I’d suggest also going over to the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge.

Until next week, stay warm, and happy outdoors!

John Yates is the news director at McAlester Radio. Contact him at valstarr_hawkwind@yahoo.