Locals Likely to Dominate Arkansas River

Locals Likely to Dominate Arkansas River
Locals Likely to Dominate Arkansas River

MUSKOGEE, Okla. — The Arkansas River is where many Elite Series pros cut their angling teeth, and they’re better off for it. The river can provide a bounty of bass just as quickly as it can seem barren. The second Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open should lie somewhere in the middle of these extremes, says Talala, Okla., native and Elite Series pro Terry Butcher.

“It can produce 25-pound bags in the spring, but for now, I think that 15 or 16 pounds a day will be pretty good,” Butcher said. “I think that it’ll fish pretty decent. Also, I think it can be won from anywhere.”

Butcher is referring to the lock and dam system that regulates much of the Arkansas River. The entire river is available to anglers, but Tournament Director Chris Bowes believes most of the field will only utilize the first lock upriver of the launch and the first lock below. “To lock any more than one in any direction can be very time-consuming and risky,” he says.

Butcher guesses that the field will be evenly spread around the river. Occasionally, the Arkansas River fishes very small, meaning there are lots of anglers in a few places. Anglers also need to be mindful of the traffic on the river and lock schedules, which — if miscalculated — can be disastrous. During the 2011 Elite Series event on the Arkansas River out of Little Rock, Ark., much of the field was in jeopardy of being locked out and suffering late penalties at one time or another.


Most of the fishing will be done in shallow water as there isn’t much deep structure. Many anglers will be tossing baits to the bank and the cover that lines it, namely stumps, laydown trees and weeds. Expect lots of flipping and pitching, and spinnerbaits and square-billed crankbaits to be thrown. This same cover — along with logjams — will also present its share of hazards to boaters.


“If you get off of the main channel, it can be a dangerous place,” he said. “There are some creeks that may not look bad and they’re not, but the next one may look the same and be a minefield.”

There are 140 pro anglers vying for a top prize of a berth in the 2012 Bassmaster Classic in Shreveport-Bossier City, La., next February. Along with the berth will come some cash and a boat and motor package. The top co-angler after the three-day event will also take home a boat and motor.

Daily launches will be held at Three Forks Harbor, 5201 Three Forks Rd., Muskogee, Okla., 74403, at 6:46 a.m. CT. Weigh-ins for Day 1 and 2 will be held at Three Forks as well at 2:45 p.m. CT. On Day 3, the weigh-in will move to the Bass Pro Shops at 101 Bass Pro Dr., Broken Arrow, Okla., 74012, at 3:45 p.m. CT. All events are free and open to the public.

For more information about the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens, visit www.bassmaster.com.


2011 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Official Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Mercury, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha

2011 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Supporting Sponsors: Humminbird, Luck “E” Strike, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats

About B.A.S.S.


For more than 40 years, B.A.S.S. has served as the authority on bass fishing. The organization advances the sport through advocacy, outreach and an expansive tournament structure while connecting directly with the passionate community of bass anglers through its Bassmaster media vehicles.

The Bassmaster brand and its multimedia platforms are guided by a mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry-leading publications — Bassmaster Magazine and B.A.S.S. Times — comprehensive website Bassmaster.com, ESPN2 and Outdoor Channel television programming, Bassmaster provides rich, leading-edge content true to the lifestyle.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, B.A.S.S. Federation Nation events presented by Yamaha and Skeeter Boats and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Bassmaster Classic.

B.A.S.S. offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members and remains focused on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Costa Ferg Sunglasses

Costa Ferg Sunglasses

Costa's Todd Barker reveals the features of the new Costa Ferg sunglasses, a best-of-category winner at ICAST 2020.

Lew

Lew's Kevin VanDam Fishing Tools

The bass-fishing legend talks about Lew's new tools with In-Fisherman's Todd Ceisner as part of the 2020 ICAST New Fishing Gear Guide.

Shimano Vanford Spinning Reel

Shimano Vanford Spinning Reel

In-Fisherman's Managing Editor, Rob Neuman, sits down with bass pro Josh Douglas, to get insight on the all-new ShimanoVanford spinning reel. It features a LongStroke Spool for long-distance casting. The Vanford spinning reel will be available in 7 sizes: 500-5000. MSRP: $299.99 - $239.99.

RIO Slickcast Fly Lines

RIO Slickcast Fly Lines

Chris Walker, with RIO Products, talks with Editor/Publisher Ross Purnell of Fly Fisherman magazine about the new SlickCast lineup of fly lines for 2020.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

From jigs to swimbaits, there are lots of great new choices unveiled at virtual fishing trade show. ICAST

New Freshwater Soft Lures from ICAST 2020

Game & Fish Staff - July 20, 2020

From jigs to swimbaits, there are lots of great new choices unveiled at virtual fishing trade...

Celebrate with great food for your backyard BBQ or picnic with these outdoor recipes. Wild Game

10 Recipes for Your Backyard Get Together

Game & Fish Online Staff

Celebrate with great food for your backyard BBQ or picnic with these outdoor recipes.

Perspective from the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Conservation & Politics

NSSF: Moms Demand Action Wants No Cops and No Guns

Game & Fish Staff - July 17, 2020

Perspective from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

See what made the Old Town Sportsman Autopilot kayak the show's top pick. ICAST

Who Won ICAST 2020 Best of Show?

Game & Fish Staff - July 17, 2020

See what made the Old Town Sportsman Autopilot kayak the show's top pick.

See More Trending Articles

More Stories

Could the northern stretches of the Lone Star State one day rival the south for big-buck supremacy? Whitetail

The Next ‘Big Tex' for Trophy Bucks?

Jordan Michaels - October 18, 2019

Could the northern stretches of the Lone Star State one day rival the south for big-buck...

Where and how some of the state's best archery bucks were killed last season. Whitetail

Oklahoma's Big Archery Bucks of 2018

Kelly Bostian

Where and how some of the state's best archery bucks were killed last season.

Various companies show appreciation to frontline defense – healthcare professionals – against the pandemic with special giveaway. News

Outdoors Industry Honoring Healthcare Heroes: COVID-19

April 27, 2020

Various companies show appreciation to frontline defense – healthcare professionals – against...

The The eastern Georgia lake may be best known for its bass, but anglers will find more trophies in these waters than just largemouths. Georgia lake may be best known for its bass, but anglers will find more trophies in these waters than just largemouths. Fishing

Chase a Mixed-Bag Bite at Lake Oconee

Larry Larsen - April 28, 2020

The The eastern Georgia lake may be best known for its bass, but anglers will find more...

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now