Arbuckle Lake again produced an eye-popping tournament weigh-in and set another state record for a five-bass limit of 42.71 pounds — and the anglers with that winning bag didn't even catch big bass on the day.
Lone Grove anglers Marco Vaca and Doyle Idleman loaded their boat with the monsters during a Future Bass Team Trail event on a cold, windy March 23. "It was cold and miserable, but when you're catching fish like that it's OK," Vaca said.
Bass were suspended, about 12 feet deep, at the mouths of coves in water conditions that were colder than normal for that time of year, about 48 degrees, he said. A 10-pounder hit the line early in the morning and others came throughout the day. Three of the bass were caught on Yumbrella rigs outfitted with Yum Money Minnows and two hit an older model Wiggle Wart, Vaca said.
Big Bass in the event was 11.56 pounds and went to the second-place team of Terry Alsup and Brad Hill. Their five-fish bag weighed 34.16. With only 15 boats in the tournament, only the first two places were paid. The third-place bag weighed 32 pounds, according to tournament director Mike Oxford.
No strangers to big bags on Arbuckle, Vaca and Idleman won the Future Bass season opener in January 2013 with 41.92 just shy of the record 42.04 pounds set a week earlier at a Backyard Bassin' club event by former BASS Elite angler Jeff Reynolds and partner Johnny Thompson, both of Texas.
Vaca fishes the lake often and says big fish are common during prime fishing times, although he had just won Thursday's jackpot on the lake with just 15 pounds.
"When it's hot it's hot, when it turns off it can be tough," he said. "But there are big fish in this lake and I'm sure the next state record (the current record is 14 pounds, 13.7 ounces) is swimming around in here somewhere, I'm sure of that."
Arbuckle Lake is located in the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, roughly 30 miles north of Ardmore in south-central Oklahoma.
For more information on the trail see futurebasstrails.com