Cast a Line (and Your Cares)

Life still happens in the middle of a global pandemic: cars still get flat tires, spouses still have disagreements, groceries still burst out of the flimsy plastic bag and spill all over the pavement. 


When you’ve had a bad day and you need space to unwind, it helps to have an activity to do that can boost your mood. For hobbyist fishers, there are several fresh-water lakes, rivers, and streams to cast a line 𑁋 and plenty of crappie, bass catfish, and trout to catch with the right bait.


SHELL LAKE Accessible from dawn to dusk, Shell Lake is just six miles west of Sand Springs and features catfish sturgeon, crappie, and black bass. Permits are required for fishing (including shore fishing) and boating on Shell Lake, plus all anglers between the ages of 16 and 65 must have a valid Oklahoma fishing license. Birds, butterflies, and deer have been spotted throughout the area, too.


KEYSTONE DAM Designed for flood control and hydroelectric power generation, Keystone Dam features largemouth and smallmouth bass, white bass, striped bass, blue catfish, and bullhead. Though this fishing spot is old hat for many locals, it’s still revered among anglers. Fishermen report the most active time for the species found here is around 10 o’clock in the morning, and they say using soft bait tubes, chartreuse-colored jigs, spinning reels, and monofilament line yielded the best results. To get there, enter the 36.150082 latitude, and -96.253616 longitude coordinates into your GPS. 


BERRYHILL CREEK Located at 36.1378682 latitude and -96.0555554 longitude, Berryhill Creek, which empties into theArkansas River, is a babbling stream teeming with largemouth bass, channel catfish, and blue catfish. 


SAND SPRINGS LAKE A 14-acre urban fishing lake located at Lake Drive and Park Road, Sand Springs Lake is a popular spot to bait a hook and spend the morning. The lake is stocked every three to five years with largemouth bass, catfish, and green sunfish. Other facilities include a walking trail and gazebo, plus a parking lot for easy access to the water.


For many, heading out with a companion, a couple rods and reels, and some cold drinks is a salve. And in and around Sand Springs, there are plenty of places to trawl for fish.


Thankfully, life does still go on during the COVID-19 outbreak. Friends will still meet you in your secret (or not-so-secret) fishing spot with their rod and reel. The bass still bite. And the sun, glinting on the water, still rises.