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Lake Murray Smallmouth
Bob R. Myers - Pro Field Editor
May 2002

Most anglers that have ever hung into a good sized smallmouth bass would readily agree that pound for pound, it's the strongest bass that
swims. Although smallmouth bass don't often get into the double-digit size, their furious tenacity more than makes up for their size.

We are really fortunate here in Oklahoma to have some great smallmouth fishing opportunities. Smallmouth are now found in several of our major lakes including; Texoma, Keystone, Eufaula, Broken Bow, Tenkiller, and several smaller reservoirs. Most of the larger lakes now have the reservoir or lake smallmouth which grow much larger a lot quicker than the stream strain. While the reservoir strain is much more desirable, it has been my experience that they are also much harder to pattern and catch.

The stream strain that we have in Lake Murray for example are home bodies, that is you can catch them in the same areas of the lake throughout the year while on the other hand the reservoir strain found in most larger lakes are always on the move and in order to catch them, you have to move around a lot.

Although we don't catch many really big smallmouth out of Lake
Murray, I don't think there's a lake in Oklahoma that produces the
number of brownies that this lake does.

It is one of the few lakes that you can go fish almost any month of
the year and realistically expect to catch a limit on each and every

The smallmouth at Murray are on the beds now and you can catch them up shallow on almost any rock structure found on the south end of the lake.

On a guide trip last week, myself and two other guide boats took
out six anglers for two consecutive days. On the first day between the three boats, we had close to 150 smallmouth bass. The next day even though the weather changed, we still managed to catch well over 100 smallmouth. On recent trips we have been averaging 25-30 smallmouth per day and that's pretty fun fishing!

The key to catching smallmouth on Murray in the early spring, is
finding the right water temperature. When the surface temperature
reaches 60 + degrees, the brownies move up into the shallow water in big numbers. The spawn should last up into the first week of May and then when the bass finish the spawn, the main pattern will be finesse worms fished in deeper water around mainlake points.

I would start out fishing the mainlake points, and work back
towards the end of major coves, concentrating on the areas that have the most rock structure. There are rock ledges all over this lake, especially on the south end. Some of the ledges in this lake are not marked, so if you are not familiar with Murray, I suggest you give all of the points a wide berth unless you want to lose a lower unit.

During the first part of the month, smallmouth can be caught
shallow on the rock ledges by throwing jerkbaits. At times they will
literally inhale a soft jerkbait, such as the Zoom Super Fluke. I
primarily use two colors, pearl or white ice, although at times I have
done well with a bubble gum color on cloudy or rainy days.

Because smallmouth have an extremely tough mouth, you should use super sharp hooks. I like the XPoint X Gap hooks in a 4/0 size for the flukes. If the bass short strike the Super Flukes, try switching over to a hard jerkbait like the Storm Jr. Thunderstick, or Rapala Husky Jerk in Tenesse shad or shad colors.

A good place to start on Murray are the rocky points around the old
quarter-mile dock area which is close to the Rock Tower Campground. Another area you should try is the mainlake west bank near Tipps Point.

On days when the wind is blowing to strong to fish jerkbaits or
plastic, I like to cover the water with either a crankbait or a
spinnerbait. When fishing a crankbait this time of the year my favorite is a Bandit 100 series in either pearl/black back, Louisiana Shad, or the rootbeer colors. Fish this shallow running crankbait over the tops of rock ledges and around mainlake points. Another good bait on Murray is the Terminator Tiny-T spinnerbait. I like the Terminator in the white color and modify it by changing out the blades. I use a copper kicker blade up front and a white mag willow on the back. When they get on this little bait, it's not uncommon to catch smallmouth the entire day by putting down the trolling motor and covering lots of water.

After the smallmouth have spawned and have moved off the banks and back into deeper water, my choice of lures is the Robo Worm. You can fish this small finesse worm on either a drop-shot or split-shot rig.

When fishing the Robo Worm the best colors on Murray are Aaron's
Magic, Fuschia Thunder, or Purple Weenie.

We don't catch a lot of trophy smallmouth out of Murray although
there have been several over five pounds taken in recent years. The lake is more noted for its sheer numbers of brownies, and it's not uncommon to catch between 25 and 30 a day. On a good day we have caught between 50 and 70 numerous times.

If you haven't really tried fishing for smallmouth you need to only
catch a few of these bronze battlers to get hooked on this ever growing popular species.

Bass regards,

Phyllis (BASNGRL)


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