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Broken Bow Lake
Jerry Corbett

Broken Bow Lake in southeastern Oklahoma, located in McCurtain County, stretches 22 miles back into the Ouachita mountain country. Surrounded by towering timbers, clear waters and mountainous terrain, its unusual beauty and scenic appeal form one of the most spectacular destinations for a tournament event. The lake is formed by the Mountain Fork River, a tributary of the Little River, and contains approximately 14,000 lake acres, with over 180 miles of shoreline. The lake has become a favorite early season tournament destination because of the relatively mild winter weather. The climate at Broken Bow Lake offers outdoor sportsmen excellent opportunities for year-round angling.

In the next few weeks’ two major tournament trails plan to make a stop at this pristine location. On February 22nd the Jimmy Houston Outdoor Oklahoma Team Trail will make its first stop of the year, with anglers taking off out of the Carson Creek (Grasshopper) area, and of course you can catch the weigh-in action at the same spot later Sunday afternoon. For additional information concerning this event you may contact Kelly Cooper at (918) 647-0514 or by email at jhott@jimmyhouston.com. In addition, the following week, on February 28th the Okie Division of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League will start the 2004 season on the lake with a $32,850 event. The tournament, which is the first of five regular-season Okie Division events, will feature as many as 200 boaters and 200 co-anglers competing for their share of the prize money as well as points that will count toward postseason competition. Anglers will take off from Beavers Bend Resort Park at 7 a.m. Weigh-in will also be held at the marina beginning at 3 p.m. The community is encouraged to attend the takeoff and weigh-in. For more information regarding the pre-tournament or post-tournament activities you can contact Beaver’s Bend Park at (580) 494-6452 or for more information about the BFL or to enter a tournament, call (270) 252-1000 or visit FLWOutdoors.com. The tournament registration will be February 27th from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Wal-Mart store located at 501 South Park Drive, Broken Bow OK 74728 (580) 584-3324.

In the first Jimmy Houston Outdoors Team trail of 2003, it was considered a success in terms of the number of teams entered, being the max field and it was a success so far as the weather was concerned. After days of cold, terrible weather, during the event it was 60 degrees, with almost no wind and lots of sun. Everything worked well, except the fish just didn't cooperate. According to last years tournament director Carl Woods, “the main strain of black bass on Broken Bow are the Florida strain, which have always seemed to be effected more by colder water and weather than their native cousins. Only 111 teams were able to catch a fish and weigh, with 189 teams blanking. That's not very common for Broken Bow with their large fish population. With a full field of 300 boats, the boat launching went very well with everyone being able to use five different ramps. Parking is different down there. The parking as well as the ramps are not at all close together by road, but not too far apart by water.”  Allen Head and Gary Carrier won the event with 14.10 lbs and told the crowd how they had caught their fish on jigs and were already "culling" early that morning. Both have fished in bigger tournaments and been very successful, so you can be sure to count on stiff competition in this year’s event.

According to Glen Hudson, who runs Glens Guide Service, and specializing on Broken Bow lake, he expects, “with improving weather and should the water temperature get into the 50 degree range or more about 18 lbs to win and big bass could be around 8 lbs for both the Jimmy Houston and BFL tournaments.” He went on to stress that, “lodging could be hard to get for there is a lot of construction work going on and these people have a lot of the rooms and cabins rented long term. Some of the people might want to share cost of lodging for cabins at the lake. Having talked to some of the cabin rental people they are filling up fast.” He also shared some tips on what to look for when putting together a plan for the event and how the fishing has been. “Fishing as of now is slow but should improve with the normal lake level. Should we have a few days of warmer weather fishing should improve, it should move some good fish shallow. Most fish now are being caught on spoons in deep water. This method can produce some good fish if you have the patience, use your electronics to find the fish. Sometimes on Broken Bow the fish will stack in good numbers, you can catch a limit of over the slot fish with this method. As most people know that have been here before Broken Bow is a deep-water structure lake, the lower end of the lake is clear, the upper end is stained to muddy. When we speak of shallow water, we mean 15ft. or less, there is no weed beds, just rocky banks, bluffs, points, submerged timber and underwater islands. Should the weather take a turn for the worse (colder), shallow water fishermen might consider making an adjustment and fish deeper in the 35-45ft range.” For more information or if would like to book a trip with Glen Hudson you can contact him by phone at (580) 494-6047 or email at glen12@pine-net.com.

Helpful links:

Guide Service:

Current lake levels:

Beavers Bend Marina:

Tulsa District Lake Info: http://www.swt.usace.army.mil/recreat/OPSField.CFM?tblOPSField__LakeName=Broken%20Bow%20Lake<





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