A great combo of Oklahoma Striper and Trout fishing!

I love the lower Illinois River because it can be a great place to fish and a great adventure as well. The river boasts an impressive tail water trout fishery and has a very solid population of seasonal stripers as well. The fishing is good all year but really picks up in the spring and early summer as the Striper begin making their spawning run up the river along with good numbers of hybrid striped bass, which don't actually spawn but still make a "mock" spawning run every year.  


After the fish spawn they hang around for several months, usually enjoying the cool water during the summer heat and the abundant food supply composed of shad, skipjack herring and trout which the Oklahoma Wildlife Department stocks. It can make for some great action and having different varieties of game fish present gives you several ways to make the fishing day a success.


Additionally, spring and early summer boasts some of the best trout fishing of the year. The bait fisherman that were harvesting all the fish in the summer and fall haven't depleted the numbers as much in several months, the fish are thinking about spawning so they are stocking up on energy by gorging themselves on food all day and there are some mayfly hatches in the spring that can provide for some great dry fly action. All in all it adds up to create a target rich environment for the fisherman.  


The prime season continues into August for striper and the trout still bite in the summer as well but you have a very small window of about 4 hours in the morning to fish, past about 10 am the sun beats down on the river and makes it too uncomfortable for the fish. That's why I like to do combo trips in the summer which involve two half days of fishing one being in the morning and one in the evening.  Imagine yourself starting the morning out catching some feisty trout. You finish your morning around 10am and you have the rest of the day off to rest up to catch some evening striper. Well you don’t have to imagine, that’s my combo trip which adds some real variety to an Oklahoma striper fishing trip.


I also do night time striper trips and I can honestly say that at this point in my life there are very few experiences that still make my hands shake, but chasing monster striper while night fishing on this river still gives me "buck fever". Not being able to see the fish that is peeling off your drag is a real heart stopper. It could weigh 2 lbs or 20 lbs, you just don't know at first.  


So to sum it all up, the lower illinois can provide plenty of options. Whether it is size, numbers or variety that you are after, this river has it all! Please view my trips and rates page to see my avaibility calandar and call soon to book your trip!


Important Lower Illinois River Links

Places to Stay

The Blue Doors at Tenkiller - Check out this new place! These cabins are newly remodeled and some are still under construction. They are not officially not open yet except to friends and family but just tell the owners Pat and Janie that you are friends of the Rusty Hook Guide Service to reserve your stay. I have always felt a warm welcome and love their comfortable beds. If you want to avoid a commercial setting and are looking for something more cozy, this is the place! For more information on the Blue Door. CLICK HERE


Marval Resort - If you are looking for a place to accomidate the whole family, Marval is definitely the place. With amenities such as a swimming pool, arcade, games for the kids, family activities and an outdoor movie theatre, Marval Resort can keep the whole family entertained (while you slip away for a guided fishing trip ;-) Marval does have some very nice cabins and if you book early enough you can get one right on the river! Marval does require that you bring your own bedding so be sure to remember this important detail. For more info. CLICK HERE