Oklahoma Smallmouth Bass Record Almost Broken Again At Lake Eufaula
March 22, 2007
A Broken Arrow college student caught an eight-pound,
one-and-a-half-ounce smallmouth bass Wednesday at Lake Eufaula
that fell only an ounce and half short of matching the current
|James Elam, with
his 8 lb., 1.5 oz. smallmouth bass. Photo Steve Burge
James Elam, 20 and a sophomore at OSU, was fishing near the Porum
Landing around 2 p.m. March 21 when he reeled in the lunker on a
homemade plastic lure. That was after he had already reeled in a
six-pound smallmouth at 7:45 a.m. that morning.
Elam said he caught the huge bass by fishing deep over ledges.
If the big bass had eaten one more meal that day before being
hooked, it would likely have gone down in the record books. The
fish fell just shy of the state record smallmouth, an eight-pound,
three-ounce fish caught out of Eufaula March 4, 2006 by Steve
McLarty, also from Broken Arrow.
"I'm pretty happy about catching the fish," Elam said, and he
wasn't too worried about it not becoming the new record. "Either
way, it's the biggest smallmouth I have ever caught."
With two of the largest smallmouth bass in state history pulled
from its waters, Eufaula is proving itself as a well-established
trophy fishery. The east-central Oklahoma lake saw its first
stocking of smallmouths in 1992 by the Oklahoma Department of
Wildlife Conservation. Home to a self-sustaining population of
reservoir strain smallmouths that originated in Tennessee, the
lake is also a great destination for white bass and black bass
Other popular state smallmouth fisheries include Texoma, Skiatook,
Lawtonka and Broken Bow lakes. Many of the state's rivers and
streams hold large populations of smallmouth as well, though not
the reservoir strain that reaches record sizes.
State record fish listings and procedures for certifying potential
state record fish are posted on the Department's Web site at
wildlifedepartment.com or in the current "Oklahoma Fishing Guide,"
available at most fishing license vendors across the state.
Potential record fish must be weighed on scales certified by the
Oklahoma State Department of Agriculture and verified by a
Wildlife Department employee before entering the books as a
As for Elam, he will keep on fishing for smallmouths, and he might
just land the next record.
"I've got a lifetime to catch another one," Elam said.