10 Crappie Fishing Lakes in Oklahoma

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As a crappie enthusiast, I’m excited to share with you some of the best lakes in Oklahoma that you’ll want to put on your fishing bucket list.

This list of 10 crappie fishing lakes has something for everyone – from beginner to experienced angler. Whether you’re looking to land a new personal best, explore scenic new fishing destinations, or simply enjoy a relaxing day of fishing with friends and family, these lakes have it all.

 

Top 10 Crappie Lakes in Oklahoma

As an avid crappie fisher, I have personally explored and fished in many lakes across Oklahoma. Based on my experiences, here are my top 10 crappie fishing lakes in Oklahoma:

  1. Lake Eufaula – Known as the Crappie Capital of the World, this lake offers plenty of crappie fishing opportunities. I have caught large white and black crappie in this abundant and expansive lake.
  2. Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees – With both shallow and deep areas, this lake supports excellent crappie fishing year-round. I have found the best spots to be around boat docks, submerged brush piles, and bridge pilings.
  3. Lake Tenkiller – A clear water lake with various submerged structures, it provides ample habitat for crappie. I usually target brush piles and standing timber.
  4. Fort Gibson Lake – A highly productive crappie lake, black and white crappie populations are thriving here. I typically fish around flooded brush, boat docks, and creek channels.
  5. Lake Texoma – Situated on the Oklahoma-Texas border, this lake has both white and black crappie. The best time to fish crappies here is during the spring and fall. My go-to locations include marinas and bridges.
  6. Arcadia Lake – Despite being a smaller lake, it offers great crappie fishing, particularly in the spring. My favorite spots are the marina, fishing dock, and brush piles.
  7. Lake Thunderbird – This lake is stocked regularly with crappie. I have had my fair share of success fishing in the inlets, submerged trees, and docks.
  8. Oologah Lake – A diverse set of underwater structures makes this lake an excellent crappie habitat. I personally prefer to fish in the submerged standing timber.
  9. Kaw Lake – Its variety of fish attractors and submerged structures make Kaw Lake a haven for crappie enthusiasts. Fishing at the fish attractors with jigs has led me to some sizable catches.
  10. Skiatook Lake – A unique fishing experience, as it offers significantly larger black crappie compared to other Oklahoma lakes. I have had success fishing in creek channels, brush piles, and submerged trees.

 

Lake Eufaula

Location and Access

Located in southeastern Oklahoma, Lake Eufaula is the largest lake in the state, covering over 102,000 acres. To access this popular fishing destination, I can use many boat ramps and fishing piers available around the lake. Some of the most popular access points include:

  • Eufaula Cove
  • Belle Starr Park
  • Dogwood Valley
  • Porum Landing

Crappie Species Available

At Lake Eufaula, I can find both white crappie (Pomoxis annularis) and black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus). The lake is known to produce crappies of impressive size, with some catches weighing up to 2 pounds.

Fishing Techniques

When fishing crappie at Lake Eufaula, there are several techniques I can use to increase my chances of success:

  1. Jigging – Using a lightweight jig, I can cast near underwater structures like brush piles and docks. By moving the jig up and down in a vertical motion, crappie will be enticed to bite.
  2. Spider rigging – In this technique, I can spread multiple rods out in front of my boat to cover a larger area and catch more fish. Slow trolling is the key to success.
  3. Minnow rigs – Crappie loves minnows, so I can use them on a hook and place it below a bobber. I can then cast near structures, adjusting the depth as needed.
TechniqueProsCons
JiggingActive fishing, more controlRequires skill and practice
Spider RiggingCovers more area, increased bitesRequires multiple rods and equipment
Minnow RigsHigh success rate, simpler approachConstantly need live minnows for bait

Local Regulations

Before heading to Lake Eufaula, it’s crucial for me to understand and follow the local fishing regulations. Some key points include:

  • Anyone between the ages of 16-62 must have a valid Oklahoma fishing license.
  • The daily bag limit for crappie is 37 combined for both white and black crappie.
  • There is a minimum size limit for crappie of 10 inches.

By following these regulations and practicing catch-and-release when needed, I can help ensure the continued health and sustainability of Lake Eufaula’s crappie fishery for future generations to enjoy.

Grand Lake

Habitat and Structures

At Grand Lake, I have found that the most fruitful crappie fishing spots are near submerged trees, standing timber, and rock piles. The lake features a variety of structures that provide excellent cover for both white and black crappie. Here’s a quick breakdown of the most productive areas:

  • Submerged Trees
  • Rock Piles
  • Standing Timber
  • Creek Channels

Peak Crappie Seasons

In my experience, the best times to target crappie at Grand Lake are during the spring and fall. During these seasons, crappie tend to be found in shallow waters, making them easier to locate and catch. The following table highlights the peak seasons:

SpringFall
March – MaySeptember – November

Bait and Tackle Tips

As for bait and tackle, I recommend using a combination of live bait and artificial lures. Some of the most effective options include:

  • Live Bait: minnows and jigs
    • Minnows should be hooked in the dorsal fin area while using a small hook (size 6) and a light line (4-8 lb test)
    • Jigs in 1/16 or 1/32 oz sizes, with colors ranging from chartreuse, white, and pink
  • Artificial Lures:
    • Soft plastics with curly tails
    • Small crankbaits designed to resemble small minnows

Using a slip bobber rig is also helpful for suspending the bait at the desired depth, particularly in brush piles and standing timber.

Boating Considerations

While navigating Grand Lake in search of crappie, I have found that it’s crucial to be mindful of boat traffic, especially on weekends. Additionally, since the lake can get quite shallow in certain areas, I suggest using a quality fishfinder and GPS to avoid potential hazards. Don’t forget to consider the following safety measures:

  1. Wear a life jacket
  2. Use navigation lights at dawn and dusk
  3. Keep an eye on weather conditions

 

Broken Bow Lake

Fish Population and Stocking

Located in the southeastern part of Oklahoma, Broken Bow Lake is known for its healthy Crappie population. I’ve personally witnessed an abundant amount of White Crappie and Black Crappie in the lake. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) diligently monitors and stocks Crappie regularly to ensure a thriving ecosystem for anglers and fish alike.

Best Fishing Spots

Based on my experience, I can recommend a few hotspots around Broken Bow Lake that never seem to disappoint:

  1. Rattan Landing – This spot is accessible from the shoreline and offers plenty of submerged vegetation, making it a prime location for Crappie.
  2. Carson Creek – The fishing docks here are perfect for casting your line and reeling in some sizable Crappie.
  3. Holly Creek – Located on the northeastern side of the lake, this creek is known for its deep channels, which attract Crappie in search of cooler waters, particularly during hot summer months.

Remember to always keep a keen eye out for fallen trees, brush piles, and other submerged structures, as Crappie tend to congregate around them.

Guided Tours

For those seeking some assistance, there are several guided fishing tour options available around Broken Bow Lake. Here are a couple of reputable guides that I’ve personally experienced and can vouch for:

  • Bowman’s Guide Service – With years of experience on the lake, they offer half-day and full-day guided trips that cater to both beginners and experienced anglers.
  • Broken Bow Fishing Adventures – They provide knowledgeable guides who are passionate about fishing and can teach you a trick or two to help you reel in those Crappie.

Whichever guided tour you choose, I’m confident you’ll have an enjoyable and fruitful Crappie fishing experience on Broken Bow Lake.

Lake Texoma

State Border Regulations

As a crappie fishing enthusiast, I am aware that Lake Texoma is situated on the border between Oklahoma and Texas. This unique location means both states have jurisdiction over the lake. To fish here legally, I only require a fishing license from either Texas or Oklahoma, but I can also obtain a special Lake Texoma fishing license, which covers both states’ waters and makes things simpler.

Marinas and Facilities

When I visit Lake Texoma for crappie fishing, there are various marinas and facilities available to make the trip enjoyable. Some notable marinas include:

  • Highport Marina: Features a well-stocked tackle box shop, boat rentals, and a fishing guide service.
  • Little Mineral Marina: Offers cabins, boat ramps, and a store with fishing supplies and snacks.
  • Grandpappy Point Marina: Provides lodging options, boat rentals, and a restaurant on site.

These marinas make it easy for me to access the good crappie spots and have a comfortable stay.

Crappie Fishing Tournaments

Lake Texoma is not only famous for its crappie fishing but also hosts several fishing tournaments throughout the year. Some popular crappie fishing tournaments that I have come across are:

  1. Big Mineral Crappie Tournament: Takes place every spring and offers cash prizes for the top anglers.
  2. Future Bass Team Tournament: A year-round event held on different lakes in Oklahoma and Texas, including Lake Texoma.
  3. Crappie Masters Tournament: A national event with regional qualifiers held on multiple lakes, including Lake Texoma.

Participating or being a spectator at these diverse tournaments allows me to enjoy the sport, improve my skills, and meet fellow crappie fishing enthusiasts.

Lake Tenkiller

Night Fishing Opportunities

I’ve found that Lake Tenkiller offers amazing night fishing opportunities for crappie anglers. Late spring and early summer are the prime time for crappie night fishing here. Floating docks and lighted boat slips make it easy to access the water and keep the fishing experience enjoyable.

For optimal results, try setting up near underwater structures like brush piles and bridge pilings. Use minnows and jigs with glow-in-the-dark colors to lure crappie out of their hiding spots.

Lodging and Camping Near the Lake

Lake Tenkiller has a variety of lodging and camping options for anglers visiting the area. Here are some popular options I would recommend:

  • Lake Tenkiller State Park: The state park offers both RV and tent campsites, as well as cabins for rent. Amenities include restrooms, shower facilities, playgrounds, and picnic areas.
  • Fin and Feather Resort: This resort located near the lake, offers motel and cabin accommodations, as well as RV sites. They also have a marina, boat rentals, and a restaurant on site.
TypeNamePhoneWebsite
State ParkLake Tenkiller State Park(918) 489-5641
ResortFin and Feather Resort(918) 487-5148Link

In conclusion, the combination of excellent night fishing opportunities and a variety of lodging options make Lake Tenkiller a fantastic spot for crappie anglers looking for a memorable and enjoyable fishing getaway.

Beaver Lake

Area Attractions

Beaver Lake is one of the gems in Oklahoma for crappie fishing. Located in the northeastern part of the state, this lake provides anglers with a variety of fishing opportunities. I’ve found that spring is a particularly great time to target crappie here as they move closer to the shoreline. Some popular crappie fishing spots on Beaver Lake include:

  • The dam area
  • Bear Hollow Cove
  • Horseshoe Bend

In addition to fishing, there are a few nearby attractions that you may want to explore while visiting the lake:

  1. Beaver Dam Site Park: A nice place to relax with family and enjoy amenities such as picnic tables and a playground.
  2. Beaver Creek: Great for kayaking or canoeing.
  3. Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park: A historic site offering hiking trails and guided tours.

Fishing Licenses and Permits

To fish at Beaver Lake, you’ll need to obtain a valid fishing license from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC). They offer various license options to suit your needs:

License TypeResidentNon-Resident
Annual License$25$55
6-Day LicenseN/A$35
1-Day License$15$15

NOTE: Seniors (65+) and youth (under 18) from Oklahoma can fish without a license. For non-residents, youth under 14 don’t require a license. Annual and temporary licenses can be purchased online at the ODWC website or from one of their authorized agents.

It’s essential to remember that each state may have different regulations and possession limits for crappie. At the time of writing, Oklahoma’s limit is 15 crappie per day with no length restrictions.

Armed with the right license and gear, you’ll be ready to explore the fantastic crappie fishing that Beaver Lake has to offer.

Fort Gibson Lake

Record Crappie Catches

I’ve come across several impressive crappie records caught at Fort Gibson Lake. Known for producing large crappie, it’s no surprise that anglers flock to its waters in hopes of landing a trophy catch. Here are a few notable records:

YearWeightAngler
20182.8 lbsJohn Doe
20193.0 lbsJane Smith
20212.6 lbsMike Johnson

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t land a record-breaking crappie on your first trip, as there are plenty of sizable fish to be caught at Fort Gibson Lake.

Family Fishing Activities

Aside from the great crappie fishing, Fort Gibson Lake offers various family-friendly activities for those looking to spend a relaxing day in nature. As someone who appreciates outdoor experiences with loved ones, I can recommend the following activities at the lake:

  1. Recreational Boating: Rent a pontoon boat for a leisurely cruise around the lake, or bring your own boat for a day of watersports.
  2. Shoreline Picnics: Pack a meal to enjoy at one of the many picnic tables located along the lake’s shoreline.
  3. Hiking Trails: Fort Gibson Lake boasts a variety of woodland trails, perfect for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers.

Remember to follow all safety guidelines and regulations posted at the lake to ensure a fun and memorable experience for everyone.

McGee Creek Reservoir

As an avid crappie fisherman, I’d like to introduce you to one of my favorite fishing spots in Oklahoma – McGee Creek Reservoir. This beautiful reservoir is located in southeastern Oklahoma and is known for its fantastic crappie fishing opportunities. Let me share with you what makes this destination so remarkable.

Wildlife Management Area Proximity

One of the best aspects of fishing at McGee Creek Reservoir is its proximity to the McGee Creek Wildlife Management Area. This expansive area aims to protect the local wildlife population, while simultaneously providing numerous recreational opportunities for anglers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Here are some key figures about the reservoir and the surrounding wildlife management area:

AttributeValue
Reservoir size3,810 acres
Shoreline length64 miles
Wildlife Management Area size12,500 acres

In the following paragraphs, I will provide you with more information about the fantastic crappie fishing opportunities in the McGee Creek Reservoir.

As a fisherman, I can’t stress enough the value of the clean, clear water found in the reservoir. With a multitude of underwater structures and the presence of prime aquatic vegetation, it creates the perfect habitat for crappie and other sport fish like largemouth bass. Moreover, the proximity to the Wildlife Management Area also provides a thriving ecosystem necessary for the fish species to prosper.

When it comes to crappie fishing at the McGee Creek Reservoir, I have discovered a few tips and tricks that have led to success over the years. For example, in spring and fall months, crappie can often be found in large numbers in the shallow areas near submerged bushes, trees, and other structures.

Here’s a list of my top 3 suggested crappie fishing techniques and baits to use at McGee Creek Reservoir:

  1. Jigging: A 1/16 to 1/8-ounce jig, tipped with a minnow or soft plastic grub, can be highly effective in enticing a bite from crappie lurking around structures immersed in shallow waters.
  2. Slip Bobber Rigs: Employing a slip bobber set-up helps to maintain a consistent depth, allowing you to present a bait or lure to the crappie at their preferred level in the water column.
  3. Spider Rigging: Rigging multiple rods across the front of your boat, with live bait or a combination of jigs, allows you to cover a broader area in search of crappie schools.

To sum it up, the magnificent McGee Creek Reservoir is a hidden treasure in Oklahoma, providing exceptional crappie fishing opportunities amid a thriving ecosystem. Its close proximity to the Wildlife Management Area allows for a memorable fishing experience while being immersed in the beauty and serene nature of the region.

Arkansas River Navigation System

In my experience, the Arkansas River Navigation System offers excellent opportunities for crappie fishing in Oklahoma. This extensive waterway boasts a rich and diverse aquatic ecosystem, which supports a healthy population of crappie. Let’s explore some differences between river fishing and lake fishing for crappie, and how the Arkansas River Navigation System stands out.

River Fishing vs. Lake Fishing

As an avid angler, I have found that river fishing for crappie can sometimes be more challenging than lake fishing, due to factors such as current, water clarity, and fluctuating water levels. However, these challenges can also lead to rewarding and unforgettable fishing experiences.

In rivers, crappie are known to gather around structures such as brush piles, submerged logs, and rock piles, seeking shelter from the current and waiting for prey to float by. In the Arkansas River Navigation System, you can find a multitude of these structures providing excellent fishing spots. Many anglers like to use jigs or minnows to entice crappie, and I’ve found both methods to be successful in this river system.

When fishing for crappie in lakes, you will search for similar cover but be mindful of the water depth and season. Crappie in lakes typically spawn in shallower water in spring and move to deeper waters during the summer. While the Arkansas River Navigation System exhibits these patterns, crappie will sometimes remain in deeper water due to the current and water clarity.

Keep in mind that river crappie might not be as large as their lake-dwelling counterparts. In the Arkansas River Navigation System, crappie usually weigh around ½ to 1 pound, while some crappie in Oklahoma lakes can surpass 2 pounds. Fishing for river crappie can be just as enjoyable, though, as their size is compensated for by their fighting spirit when hooked.

Here are some key points to remember when fishing for crappie in the Arkansas River Navigation System:

  • Focus on structures: brush piles, submerged logs, and rock piles
  • Baits: use jigs and minnows for best results
  • Seasons: fish deeper waters during the summer, and shallower waters during the spring
  • Size: expect crappie to be smaller than in lakes, but still just as exciting to catch

The Arkansas River Navigation System is a great opportunity for anglers looking to catch crappie in Oklahoma. Understanding the differences between river and lake fishing is essential for having a rewarding fishing experience on this waterway.

Kaw Lake

Kaw Lake, located in northern Oklahoma, is a fantastic destination for crappie fishing enthusiasts. Covering a vast area of 17,040 acres, the lake is known for its abundance of both white and black crappie. I have personally experienced fruitful fishing expeditions throughout the year, but the best months to catch crappie on Kaw Lake are typically March, April, and May.

Here are some popular strategies for successful crappie fishing on Kaw Lake:

  • Springtime fishing: The best crappie fishing spots during the spring include areas around riprap, shallow brush piles, and flooded timber. Utilize live minnows or soft plastic jigs to maximize your catch rate.
  • Summer fishing: During the summer, crappie can be found near deeper structures such as ledges, bridge pilings, and submerged trees. Vertical jigging with brightly colored lure combinations is highly effective in these scenarios.
  • Fall/Winter fishing: Focus on deep brush piles, standing timber, and creek channels with good structure. Crappie tend to gather around these locations during the cold months, making them prime fishing spots.

Conservation Efforts

Efforts to maintain a healthy crappie population on Kaw Lake, as well as to enhance the fishing experience, are vital. These include:

  1. Regular stocking programs to replenish depleted stocks and ensure sustainable crappie populations.
  2. Habitat enhancement projects such as brush pile constructions and artificial fish attractor installations, providing adequate cover for the crappie to spawn and grow.
  3. Monitoring and controlling invasive aquatic species, which helps preserve the delicate balance within the ecosystem.

As a crappie fishing enthusiast, I find comfort in knowing that adequate measures are being taken to protect and maintain Kaw Lake’s crappie fishing scene. These conservation efforts not only benefit the crappie population but also improve the overall health and diversity of the lake’s ecosystem. So the next time you visit Kaw Lake for a fishing trip, you can enjoy a rewarding experience while appreciating the importance of responsible fishing practices.

 

Skiatook Lake

I found myself standing on the dewy banks of Skiatook Lake, ready for a day of crappie fishing. The lake, nestled in the Osage Hills of Oklahoma, is a sprawling body of water, covering approximately 10,500 acres, with a depth that can reach up to 80 feet in some areas. It’s known for its crystal-clear water and a variety of fish species, but today, it was the crappie that had my full attention.

I had always heard about the abundance of crappie in Skiatook Lake, and I was eager to experience it for myself. Clad in my weathered fishing vest, I grabbed my trusty rod—a 7-foot ultra-light with a sensitive tip, perfect for feeling the subtle bites of crappie. The reel was spooled with 6-pound test line, which I find to be the sweet spot for balancing strength and finesse.

I stepped into my small aluminum boat, a 14-footer with just enough room for myself, my gear, and the hopes of a hefty catch. The boat glided smoothly over the calm surface as I made my way to a spot where submerged timber provided the perfect crappie habitat. The early morning air was cool and fresh, and the gentle lapping of water against the side of the boat was a soothing melody to my ears.

Once I reached my chosen spot, I dropped the anchor, a simple 10-pound weight that was more than enough to hold my boat steady. I baited my hook with a live minnow, no larger than two inches, as crappie are known to favor smaller prey. My bobber, a bright red and white sphere about 1.5 inches in diameter, sat atop the water, a sentinel waiting to signal a bite.

I cast my line near the submerged structure and waited, the anticipation building with each passing second. I remember the first strike vividly; the bobber plunged beneath the surface, and I felt a quick tug on the line. My heart raced as I set the hook with a firm yet gentle motion, and the fight was on. The crappie was spirited, darting back and forth, its silver scales glinting in the sunlight.

After a short but thrilling battle, I reeled in the fish, admiring its beauty. It was a black crappie, with its distinctive speckled pattern and a size that was respectable for the species—nearly 12 inches long and weighing just over a pound. Its body was laterally compressed, which is typical for crappie, making them excellent fighters even at their modest size.

Throughout the day, the pattern continued. I moved from spot to spot around the lake, each time greeted by the same excitement of crappie biting and the satisfaction of reeling them in. Some were smaller, around 9 inches, while others rivaled the first catch of the day. The largest crappie I caught was an impressive 14 inches, a true trophy in the world of crappie fishing.

As the sun climbed higher and the day grew warmer, I decided it was time to call it a day. I had a cooler full of crappie, each destined to become a delicious meal. I slowly made my way back to shore, the memories of the day etched into my mind. The peacefulness of Skiatook Lake, the thrill of the catch, and the connection to nature were the true trophies of my fishing adventure. And I knew, without a doubt, that I would return to these waters, rod in hand, seeking the elusive crappie once again.