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March Trophy Bass
Bob R. Myers - Pro Field Editor
March 2002

Without doubt the month of March here in Oklahoma is the prime time for anglers seeking trophy bass. Depending on how long our winter weather lingers, you might begin catching them the first part of the month in the southern part of the state or it could be the latter part of the month and even up into mid-April.

There are numerous lakes in Oklahoma that produce quality bass each spring, and I am talking bass in the 8 to 9-pound class and larger. Several lakes have good numbers of fish in the 4 to 6-pound size, but when you get up to the big boy size, the list gets smaller. Some of the lakes that come to mind, that I consider true trophy lakes are; McGee Creek, Sardis, Clear Creek, Fuqua, and R. C. Longmire.

Not just because I guide on Longmire or the fact that I am only a few minutes from the lake, but this small city-owned lake gives up lots of big bass each year, and especially in the months of March and April.

R. C. Longmire Lake is located 10 miles east of Pauls Valley and is a water supply lake for the City of Pauls Valley. The lake is small by Oklahoma standards but is considered by many bass anglers to be one of the state's premier lakes for trophy bass.

The lake covers a little less than 1,000 surface acres, but it contains numerous submerged pond dams, roadbeds, creek channels, coontail moss, and lots of standing timber .To many first time anglers, the lake reminds them of a miniature Lake Fork. The lake although relatively young, has already produced several bass in the 10 and 11-pound size.

During most of March bass are caught along the creek channels in water depths from 15 to 20'. The preferred lures during the spring months are the old reliable jig n' pig baits. This lake is a die-hard jig fisherman's paradise because of the water clarity and the amount of cover. When fishing around the timber the Terminator Top Secret Jig works best for me. I like the 3/8-ounce size best and good color choices on this lake are black and blue, black and chartreuse, and black with red flake.

For fishing this heavy cover, you will need some stout equipment. I use 30-pound test Power Pro braided line spooled up on a Shimano Castaic reel on a G-Loomis 7-foot heavy-action rod.

When the bass on Longmire move up out of the creek channels and migrate into the shallows to spawn the preferred bait is a big spinnerbait. A good spinnerbait on this lake is the 3/8-ounce or even a 1/2-ounce Terminator in either solid white or chartreuse/white with a single gold Oklahoma blade. Don't be afraid to fish this spinnerbait in the really nasty stuff, because on this lake, that is where the big bass are usually found.

Another productive bait on Longmire is a crankbait fished off mainlake points or along the rocks on the dam. A series 200 Bandit in firetiger, spring/craw chartreuse, or pearl/black back will often catch bass on this lake when nothing else seems to work.

When the big bass are on the dam, it's not uncommon to catch several 5 and 6-pounders. I have had customers catch bass in excess of 8-pounds simply by crankbaiting the dam for a large part of the day.

Carolina-rigging is also popular on this lake and most anglers like to fish this type of rig off mainlake points after the spawn. Top lures for this type of fishing are the Zoom 6" lizards in pumpkin/chartreuse, green pumpkin, or watermelon seed colors. I have also had excellent results Carolina Rigging the 5" Zipper type RoboWorms, especially in the watermelon seed or the green weenie colors.

When Carolina Rigging on this lake, I have found that the Carolina Slider weights by Mojo seem to come through the heavy cover much better than an egg sinker or a bullet weight. If I am fishing in shallow water or the wind isn't a factor, I use the 1/2 ounce size Mojo. When fishing in the deeper creek channels or when it's windy, I switch to the 3/4 or 1-ounce size.

Longmire gave up some really trophy bass last year. One angler caught two 10-pounders on the same day and another angler caught three bass in one day that weighed better than 8-pounds each. I know of one really big bass taken by an OKC angler that weighed 11-pounds, 4-ounces.

You may not catch large numbers of bass out of this lake, but the ones you catch are usually quality fish, running between 4 and 5 pounds. It's not uncommon to catch five bass in a days fishing that will weigh over 25 pounds.

Since this lake is city-owned, you will need a fishing and boat permit. This lake is designated as a trophy bass fishery and there is a slot-length limit on bass. As of this writing, all bass less than 22-inches in length must be returned to the lake. You are allowed three bass per day over the slot.

Remember to practice catch and release.

 


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