Kreit Lands Lake Murray Record Largemouth
Professional angler and Oklahoma resident Jeff Kriet caught both a personal best and a lake record largemouth bass this month at Lake Murray when he reeled in a 12.1 lb. fish from the south end of the dam.
Kriet, who lives in Ardmore, was fishing for smallmouth, and though his party landed more than 50 that day, it was the largemouth that put him in the record books.
“That’s the biggest bass I’d ever caught,” said Kriet, who has been bass fishing full time for the past 15 years. “I’ve fished all over the place.”
Kriet has been fishing Lake Murray for about 35 years, and the lake has not only produced his best largemouth, but he also caught his best smallmouth out of the lake as well. However, unlike the smallmouth, which he said weighed 6 lbs. 12 oz., the largemouth was officially weighed and put in the books for good.
“I think it’s a great deal,” Kriet said about the lake record fish program.
When fishing a lake, he said he often finds himself curious to know what the record for that body of water might be, which is one reason he likes the lake record fish program. Endless stories are told about big fish from various lakes – and there is undoubtedly some truth to many of them – but with no official record, there is an element of legend to it that leaves room for skeptics.
But with the lake record fish program, fish get the recognition they deserve and prove to other anglers just what kind of fish Oklahoma lakes can produce, and Kriet’s Lake Murray largemouth is no exception.
Kriet said the lake record program gives anglers an incentive to have big fish officially weighed, drawing attention to fish that deserve to be recognized and removing any doubt about what kind of fish swim in Oklahoma waters.
“It’s on paper and it was let go,” said Kriet about his fish. “It’s not a rumor anymore.”
The information from Kriet’s bass is in the record books, but the actual fish is back in Lake Murray, only to grow and perhaps break its own record under the name of a future angler.
“It’s a great lake,” said Kriet about Lake Murray. “It’s just full of fish.”
The day Kriet caught his lake record largemouth, he went to a honey-hole on the lake where he knew fish spawned early, and it was there he landed his lake record.
The fish measured 26 inches in length and 20.5 inches in girth.
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s lake record fish program was initiated in 2008 to recognize big fish from certain lakes and the anglers who catch them.
The program has grown from about a dozen lakes at its inception to more than 40 lakes today. So anglers all over the state can go fishing just for leisure, but they can also go with a sense of competitive drive in hopes of putting their name in a record book.
Species eligible for spots in the lake records book include blue, channel and flathead catfish and largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass in addition to crappie, paddlefish, striped bass, striped bass hybrids, sunfish (combined) walleye/saugeye and white bass. Minimum weights are set for each species and are detailed on the Wildlife Department’s Web site at wildlifedepartment.com.
Anglers who catch a potential record from a participating lake should contact designated business locations around the lake that are enrolled as lake record keepers. A listing of official lake record keepers is available on wildlifedepartment.com.
Once it has been determined that an angler has landed a record fish, the media is notified and the public will be able to view information about the catch on the Wildlife Department’s Web site at wildlifedepartment.com.
An easily-operated search feature is available on the website that allows those interested to view a wealth of lake record fish information, ranging from the size of record fish caught to what kind of bait or rod and reel was used to catch them.
All past and current state record fish are registered in the lake record fish program as records for their respective lakes.
For more information about the lake record fish program, or for more on bass fishing in Oklahoma, log on to wildlifedepartment.com.