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Big Fish Biting

Early spring can be the prime time to catch big bass, just ask Jim Nunnally who caught a 10.91 pound largemouth bass on Sunday, March 24, out of Lake Keystone.

"Over the years, our largest bass have always been caught around this time of year," said Gene Gilliland, fisheries biologist with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. "With the warming water temperatures and lengthening days, this can be a great time of year to catch some nice fish."

The months of March and April have produced 15 of the top 20 largemouth bass in the state.

Nunnally, along with his partner Jim Turner turned in a three-fish 17-pound stringer to win a bass tournament being held on Keystone Lake, located in northeastern Oklahoma. From statistics compiled by Department biologists, Keystone was in the top ten of the best tournament lakes in 2001. Over the past year fisheries biologists cooperated with bass clubs around the state to gather thousands of hours of fishing data from more than 700 tournaments on almost 50 different lakes. Biologists analyzed the information and compiled an overall lake ranking based on five fishing quality factors. Factors included average first place weight, number of bass over five pounds, average pounds per tournament and percent of successful anglers.

For more information about the Oklahoma's best tournament lakes consult the "2002 Anglers Guide" in the March/April issue of Outdoor Oklahoma or log on to wildlifedepartment.com/basstourn.htm<.

Excerpt from the ODWC weekly newsletter.