Top Options for February Crappie Fishing in Oklahoma

Let's look at some of the most promising fishing opportunities for coming months on Oklahoma waters. I won't be delving in to fishing for bowfins or eels or anything too unusual, as just covering some of the venues for catching more popular species will fill the allotted space.

Let's take a look at the options available for February Crappie Fishing in Oklahoma.

Here's a sample of some great destinations to help you plan your next fishing trip and be sure to check out the solunar fishing calendar on In-Fisherman!

FEBRUARY

Stripers, Lower Illinois River

Oklahoma's coldest weather often comes in February and it's not unusual to have boat ramps covered with ice and to have ice and slush flowing down the Arkansas River. When that happens, game fish of many species move out of the Arkansas River and into the Lower Illinois River where the water temperatures may be a comparatively balmy 55 or 60 degrees.

That's because the Lower Illinois is a trout fishery and water from the middle depths of Lake Tenkiller is released into the river for the trout. In the summer, that makes the water there much cooler than the Arkansas River. In the winter, it means that the water is warmer, and the result is that bass, crappie, catfish and lots of striped bass and white bass move up into the Lower Illinois.

Some of the guides who work the Lower Illinois use live trout as bait and their clients boat lots of big, 20-pound-plus stripers. Big shiner minnows, live shad and other live baits work there too, but a favorite technique of many striper fishermen on the Lower Illinois is to use light tackle and small jigs.

Both white bass and stripers hit the jigs, and landing a 25-pounder on 8- or 10-pound-test line can be a thrill.

Anywhere from the Tenkiller dam down to the mouth of the Illinois can be productive, but most of the best striper action comes in the stretch between the U.S. 54 Highway bridges (there actually are two river channels where the Illinois passes under Highway 64) and where the Illinois flows into the Arkansas, about a mile upstream from the I-40 bridge.

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Where are your favorite fishing spots in Oklahoma? "Like" us and share your opinions on G&F Facebook!

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