Lake Arcadia, Edmond Oklahoma



Arcadia Lake is a young body of water. Initiated in October 1980, Arcadia Reservoir was impounded on the Deep Fork River approximately five miles east of Edmond. The lake was completed in 1986 at a total cost of $90,400,000, and was officially opened in 1987. The lake was constructed as a cooperative effort between the U.S. Army corps of Engineers and the City of Edmond.

Arcadia Lake was designed for a variety of functions. The four major functions are: 1. to supply the city of Edmond with water; 2. to control floods for the Deep Fork River Basin; 3. to provide recreational and educational opportunities for the community; and 4. to provide habitat for fish and wildlife.

Arcadia was stocked with fish during its construction. Stocking began with the earliest stages of the lake. The first stage was the stocking of an inundated 1.5 acre abandoned quarry located within the lake’s basin. This was done during the pre-impoundment stage, and included populations of channel catfish and bluegill sunfish. The next stage took place while the lake was filling. During this period, blue catfish were introduced. In the final stage, populations of florida bass were introduced once the lake reached conservation pool elevation.

During the daylight hours of summer this lake has a lot of ski activity – speedboats zipping around everywhere. Fishing in the open can be a bit rough until the sun goes down and the party boaters leave. This lake does however have a LOT of good fishing.  Lake Arcadia was formed in 1987, so the lake itself is relatively young at around 25 years old. But.. before the lake was there the area was spotted with dozens of seldom fished year round ponds. The story goes that these ponds had monster catfish in them, and had been there for over a hundred years. When the lake was formed these ponds, and the fish in them, were absorbed into the main lake. That means even though the lake itself is only about 25 years old, the monster cats in it could be truly ancient monsters. I’ve personally seen a picture of the unofficial Arcadia record – a 74lbs blue cat, available for viewing at the bait shop on 2nd & Coltrane. There is supposedly one in there twice that size that no angler has been able to reel in, the bait shop owners refer to him as “Big Blue.” Be sure to read about the Acadia lake monster: Here

The lake also has a very large Purple Martin colony on the south west portion of the lake during summer. They take up roost in the petrified forest coming up out of the water near the skull & crossbones area on the map. The lake has a very healthy population of frighteningly large beavers. I’m talking like the size of cattle. They’re scary. If you have a kayak stroll over to the “catfish goldmine” area and watch the shorelines, there are several beaver homes in that spot.

Summer fishing is fantastic for all species of fish in the lake, especially the big cats. They love shad, cut shad, live shad, whole dead shad, shad heads, shad tails, doesn’t matter they’ll eat it. Arcadia has  a HUGE shad population. During summer shortly after the sun goes down they swarm at the surface of the lake for about 30 minutes. If you shake your spot light in front of the boat while you drive they will literally jump into your boat.   During winter you can find most of the shad 20-30ft deep over by the dam.

Winter fishing is possible, but slow. This 2011-2012 winter Skylar pulled in a 19” large mouth bass and I’ve been killin the crappie off the fishing dock, no cats since the weather turned icy.

The map is drawn from my own observations & depth measurements from my fish finder.

Click image for full size

Water Quality during winter in lake Arcadia is very poor. The fishing is horrible from Nov-April, visibility is extremely low as well.

Arcadia Large Mouth Bass:

Arcadia Channel Cat

Arcadia Flathead Cat
(Caught By Chuck Riney)

Arcadia Blue Cat

(unknown blue cat source below):img_1433

Arcadia Crappie

Arcadia White Bass

Arcadia Drum

Arcadia Carp

159 thoughts on “Arcadia

  1. I went to the “Catfish Goldmine” location and fished for about 7 hours straight using fresh shad, spoonbill belly, worms and liver and never got one bite. 😦 Guess it may just be too hot out but know of any other places close to OKC?


    • well thats no good, you’re welcome to join me on the boat some time. been working on a blacksmith shop most of my free time the last couple of weeks, prolly wont go fishing again till near the end of the month.

    • this week has been kinda stressful at work. very good chance i’ll be hittin the lake friday. betting skylar will too. should be a good night to lawn chair it up on one of the sandy beaches i like to fish at. welcome to join in. what part of the city are you in?

  2. If I’m fishing from the shore and going fishing in the morning, where is better: Wes Watkins or Arcadia? Or is there somewhere else? I fished Hefner but it’s too crowded and too many “strange” folks hanging out. I fished Konawa last week, but shore fishing is tough since there’s so few places you can get to the shore.

    I’d like somewhere relatively quiet and decent from the shore. I’d love to get your thoughts!

    • depends on what your fishing for. butt crack of dawn shore fishing for crappie is pretty good over by the pump station by the dam right up against the concrete of it. i’ve caught a lot of good sized crappie there between 5am-10am.
      for catfish my favorite shore fishing spot is here,-97.39576&hl=en&geocode=&sll=35.647178,-97.39555&sspn=0.002672,0.004128&vpsrc=6&t=h&mra=mift&mrsp=1&sz=19&ie=UTF8&z=18&iwloc=ddw1>

      theres a deeper channel right off the bank about 12-15 feet deep depending on the water level, usually a little current in it and good catfish action. only place on the lake i’ve caught flathead. boats cant get up in there most of the time, and they definately cant go zipping around so they wont wake ya to death. post pics of results!

      • How’s the fishing around the deep fork area of the lake? Aka skull an crossbones area. My buddy and I are taking the canoe there soon, would like to know if it’d be worth it

      • that area is pretty shallow, but there is a deep trench running through it thats about 10-15 feet starting as you near the first bridge. it continues all the way to the highway but you have to take the right turn just after the first bridge. i’ve seen a lot of bass jump and caught a few cats down in that area, its usually very muddy. gotta warn you about something in that area though, there are giant.. and i mean like doberman sized beavers that are very territorial. even in my bass boat they’ll come up pretty close and slap the water with their tails, they’re very fast swimmers. be ready to get spooked and dont flip the canoe.

  3. Dave,
    I am looking to fish arcadia by bank fishing, wading, or by float tube for anything but catfish. Any thoughts. I have fished deep fork just north of 122nd and had moderate luck fly fishing and baitcasting but since lack of boat and said money to buy boat elude me, I haven’t fished Arcadia much at all. Any thoughts would be great. I moved up here recently and jonesing for some good close to my house (Edmond) fishing.

    • You prolly wont catch much of anything this time of year but bass and crappie are pretty good off the bank by the pump tower in the NE corner of the dam. Go east on 2nd st, youll pass two arcadia park entrances on your right. The 3rd one is the ranger station where you can park for free. Its a bit of a walk down to the dam but its good fishin. When crappie are spawning you can catch a LOT down there. Theres a rocky point near the north end of the dam where its about 25ft deep just off the bank. Caught a lot of sandbass, crappie and once in a while a large mouth. Email me pics of your catches and ill post em up on the fish wall on this site.

  4. Hey there! I have been wanting to take a kayak to the lake and fish for some largemouth. where do you believe some goods spots are at?

    • The only safe place to do that is the north eastern tip of the lake. Its very shallow over there and you won’t get killed by speedboats. I’ve caught a lot of sand bass in those shallows too. On the northern shore line there’s a channel that runs about 15 feet deep, very good if you’re looking for any catfish as well. The main feeder channel for the lake is on the south shore line in this area, I’ve not been able to get there with my bass boat, often times it will be less than a foot deep where the flats start. Paste this into google maps: 35° 38.801′, -97° 23.784′

    • this summer has been bizzare so far. i have a suspicion that there was a fish kill event that affected the shad. was out this last weekend and couldnt get a single shad. usually good numbers along the east coast of the lake at all times of the day, but huge numbers round sundown right on the surface all over. bout 9:30 during june-aug you can shake a spotlight over the water and theyll jump like crazy

    • oh yea, crappie going nuts. use minnows about 4 feet deep in about 7 or 8 feet of water during the day. at night move in closer to the shore line and set about 1-2 feet deep.

      if you have a boat i highly suggest here. If not this and this and this is also very good, but you won’t get as many big ones. Avoid the entire north and north eastern shore line, its completely fished out and you’ll just be frustrated by runts picking your minnows apart all evening.

  5. What is going on with this lake right now? I’ve been out 6 or 7 times and haven’t got so much as a bite! We have a pontoon and run up and down the shoreline of the fishing area just southwest of the dam. We’ve anchored up in the coves on the north side of the lake, and a cove or two on the northeast side. A lot of the times, we just throw out minnows on bobbers at about 2 ft. Other times I’ll slip cork down to 4-5 ft. We’ve used stink bait at times, but haven’t got any hits. I’ve drifted the main lake throwing out crankbaits, plastic worms on a slip cork, plastic jigs…you name it, it didn’t work. We usually get to the lake around 7 am and hang out until 1-2. Any ideas?

    • well the one great news i can give you is that the shad have bounced back. channel cat and a rare blue once in a while are biting good on the tinker creek cove (far south east cove) on cut shad from 2 to 6 feet down. not much action on the bottom right now. I’m fixin on goin fishin here in a little bit this evening, if you happen to check i can show ya some spots this evening. send me an email with your phone number to if you want to go i’ll check before i head out. if catfish isnt your thing crappie are still biting good but you’ll have to fish the south east section for keepers. up around the north coves i’ve only found palm size in the last few weeks. i actually went fishing on wed evening in the rain with my brother for about an hour before the lightning ran us off, LOTS of fish movement.

      • Thanks for the tips. I don’t have a trolling motor on the toon yet, so I don’t think I can get back in the southeast corner. Unless of course you are thinking of somewhere besides the area where all the trees pop up? I’ll have to get in touch with you some other time. We had a dinner to go to tonight. Maybe next weekend sometime.

      • you can fish anywhere in that cove, the area thick with trees is good, but with the water being up so much most of the feeding cats are going to be close to the shoreline.

  6. Well, I figured I would give you a quick update. We went out to the lake this morning; got there around 8:30. I needed some extra sleep today :). Anyway, the bait store was closed when we stopped by so I couldn’t get any minnows or worms :(. We went out to the fishing area on the southern side of the lake immediately south of the dam. There is a subtle cove right as you come into that area on the west side. We anchored up about 15 yards offshore near a small channel that empties out. The water was glass. It was amazing. Fish activity was high until around 11 then it fell off. We fished plastic jigs of all shapes and colors and they were simply not interested. We had a line out there with stink bait (all I had with me). Something ate it, but I misjudged it for the boat drifting around a bit…Then it happened. I used a small spinner, threw it into the brush, and was reeling it in when I noticed a small bass chasing it. He turned away when he got close to the boat. I didn’t catch a fish, but I saw one! First stinking fish I have seen in the lake interested in a lure. I am certain we could have caught something had we had some minnows.

  7. Dave, is east of party beach still good for crappie fishing right now? If so, can I get there legally and fish from the bank?

    • i was out there for about 8 hours friday didnt see anyone catching crappie. fishing was super slow all over. one guy at the ramp was there about the same time as me working the banks around the lake and came out with 3 bass, i got one good hit on rotton frozen shad, not the best bait but the net was coming up empty. water temp was 70F all over. saw a few clusters of shad about 20 feet down out in the middle, they havent spread out yet and they’re still deep. i figure about one more week of warm weather and the lake will come to life.

  8. Hey David, I’m new to Edmond and love to fish. I used to fish a lot of farm ponds where i’m from but dont have any around here. I have been wanting to take my 2 small boys out fishing and was thinking about going to Arcadia. Can you suggest an easier spot to fish from the bank for crappie. I know they are biting pretty good this time of they year. Thanks.

    • the north side of the dam has a rocky point next to the pump tower. its about 20 feet deep 5 feet from the bank. before i had boats i did all my lure crappie fishing over there. when the spawn is on you can fill a stringer pretty quick casting out toward the tower and back. minnow/worm on a cork does real good next to the rocks along the point. free parking over there by the ranger station. its a little bit of a walk to the dam but not bad. used to ride a bike down to the south end of the dam and do the same thing.

  9. Went out today to fish from the shore for the first time this year. I dind’t want to get the boat out. What’s the deal with the crappie? Why do they swarm to the fishing dock, but you can’t seem to find them anywhere else? I found several brush piles a couple of weeks ago, but they weren’t holding any fish. Most bodies of water in oklahoma are covered in crappie right now. What gives?

    Also, (this may answer my previous questions to some degree), but it is really depressing how many people fish arcadia. Every spot that you could get access to from the roads had somebody sitting on it. Definitely not going without my boat again.

    • yea if you have a boat and a whole weekend to kill its much better to go down to keystone or kaw. arcadia is weird with temps, i’ve always thought it was due to most of the lake being shallow. in the dead of winter i’ve found massive balls of fish over by the dam, do dense that the sonar thinks its the bottom of the lake till you toss a shad net down and it opens up like the ground is alive.

      as for other lakes and crappie though, did keystone last weekend with my father in law and they werent biting there either. had like 10 poles in the water with minnows and the only thing we caught was catfish.

  10. Seems like it could be a really good lake with a lot of habitat if they can keep the water up. I’m surprised nobody has tried to plant lily pads and grass beds especially on the south and eastern sides of the lake. Maybe the water is too turbid there too. I feel like I’m figuring the lake out, but I do agree with you in that it would be nice to go to keystone or kaw. I just get nervous towing the toon that far with such small trailer tires. I bet Keystone is a nice fishing lake!

  11. Dave really like your site live 5 miles north of arcadia.never really have caught anything in the lake.I want to hit it hard this year I have a boat this time an would like to catch catfish. where would be the best place to catch shad on the lake.? an the best place to catch catfish on the Lake.

    • the shad haven’t bounced back yet from the winter. pretty hard to find em till it warms up for a few weeks. end of may you should be able to get em anywhere on the lake just after dark super easy, during the day you can find em pretty much on any sandy shoreline. only seen them swarm on arcadia once a couple years ago. . they swarm the surface, i’ve had em jump into the boat while moving by rocking a spot light back and forth in front of the boat. caught em all over, north side south side out in the middle. got nothing last weekend though but i’ll keep tryin. tinker creek area has good catfish action when it warms up a bit more/longer.

      i usually stockpile fresh frozen shad from the verdigris river to last me through the winter. you can haul in literally a bucket full per cast when they’re swarming. be sure to sing the stinky shad song for luck.

      from verdigris shad swarm:

  12. Will do man I’ll be out there for sure a lot catfishing is all I do really. Need to hang out catch so big ones. Do you live close by the lake? I live off of Charter Oak in Westminster in Guthrie. Thx a lot for the info..

  13. I was out a bit on saturday, and I saw 3 maybe 4 big bait balls when cruising. I circled back around on one of them and noticed I took a couple of them out with the prop. They were about 3-4 inches long.

    Anyway, I’m noticing a horizontal line on my fish finder somewhere around 10 ft or so. It kind of reminds me of the thermocline in the summer. Right now, the water temp is around 65 degrees, but our fishfinders are mounted inches below the surface. I suspect that with the Deep Fork feeding this small lake, it is dumping a ton of cold water into the lake from the rains. This cold water is dense and stays deep. I wonder if that is what I’m seeing, and I wonder if that is why it seems like it takes so long for this lake to kick on. If the bass are hanging out in the deeper part of the lake, it could take them a while for them to sense the water temp rising especially if the river input is keeping the deepwater temperatures low. I wonder if anybody has measured the temperature with depth this time of year?

  14. Dave, thank you for the information you posted on your site! I went fishing this morning in the bass goldmine. I walked from Deep Fork Park. After starting off with a spinner bait, I switched to a red and white Zara Spook. I went up the cove from the back side and cast towards rear edge of the tree line and started walking the dog. Third cast at about 9 am got a hit and caught an 18” 3 1/2 lbs largemouth. First fish I caught on three trips to Arcadia. Thank you. Unfortunately, a few minutes later, when I moved toward the mouth of the cove, a speed boat raced by washing my spook up into a fallen tree. Still, glad to catch one today.

  15. Hey David I want to make the attempt to get my wife into fishing, she’ll only get into it if she catches. Could you let me know of a decent location at Arcadia that she should have some luck? Any fish is a good fish.

    • its 7 feet high right now, im betting the cats are gorging themselves on the now sunken flats over by the turnpike. im definately going out sometime this weekend but its gonna be rough water. dont go fast either gonna be logs everywhere. before the big rains the blues were biting real good on cut shad.

      • David, planning on going out this weekend between 6am and 8pm. Looking to catch anything honestly. Crappie, bass, hybrids, catfish, anything. I have a buddy who has been out there 10 times and not caught a thing. Where would you suggest we fish and what lures or bait should we use? We do have a boat. In case we can’t get it to start (haha) could you also give ideas for on bank. Appreciate the help.

      • That’s a good days worth of fishing. I was out last night and the lake really came alive along the dam at about 8:30PM-10PM. Buncha surf rod cat fishermen out right now taking advantage of the high water. Shad are in FULL swarm mode and can be caught 24/7 along the dam in about 7-5 feet of water on the bottom of the steps. They feed off the algae on the concrete. Pulled in way more than I needed in one throw (18 foot wide) of my net last night & donated about a half bucket full to some old timers by the boat ramp.

        As for lures right now I’d suggest solely going after crappie as they’re pretty consistent right now. – I’ve been using a little plastic silver swimming jig with a couple crappie scent mini-marshmallows in a can stuck on the hook on a stick bobber about 3 feet down near banks. The longer the bobber the better so you when you tug the line a bit it induces a lot of vertical movement on the jig so you don’t have to reel in as much.

        Biggest one’s I’ve caught so far have been here at about 8-10PM. If you go out there with the boat watch out for the rocks, if you don’t have the area memorized during normal water elevation just take it slow and get up close to the point until you’re in about 10 feet of water. There’s a steep slope that can be hard to anchor to there, but once you get past it there’s a little flat spot close to the bank. I usually put a few cat poles out in the deep area around the buoy and jig fish for crappie near the bank while I wait. I’m mainly there for the cats, crappie are bonus for me.

        If you’re fishing from the shore and don’t mind walking a bit park over at the main ranger office parkinglot and walk over to the north corner of the dam. Cast right up next to the pump tower and jig from the tower to the steps just walking that corner. I used to murder em pretty good doing that before I got the boat.

  16. Dave that would be awesome. I am off this wednesday and I’ll have some time off again in the middle of June. Feel free to e-mail me of time and place. I went out to the South end today and the waters was very high and muddy. I didn’t catch anything or saw much action.

    • going out to Arcadia tonight for some catfish. So you’re saying the Dam and the southeast corner is were the cats are most likely to be?

      • i caught 2 little blues and a channel right there last night from bout 7-9pm. if the weather isnt garbage ill be out again. the big ones have been hitting from 10pm to 4am.

      • wave at me if you want some shad i always have plenty of fresh ones. im the guy in the black/gold nitro z6 full of rod holders wearing overalls with bare feet

  17. Hey, I’m new to the area from Texoma area. My wife and I are avid catfishers, and will be having our first trip to Arcadia this Saturday. We will be fishing from land, and I’m bringing my cast net for to get some shad. Any current hotspots for cats that you know of right now with all this rain? Also, Shad are still swarming there too right?

    • shad are easy to catch along the dam bout 5 feet out. park at the ranger office 3rd turn off on 2nd st. can catch cats off the dam all over too. bring a buncha poles. might tornado tonorrow be careful.

  18. I’m out here today. Didn’t come yesterday. I’m on the corner of the dam next to the tower part that says “Arcadia.” Lost two Carolina rigs gething caught on the steps. Switched to floating rig and the waves are strong as fuck. Any suggestions?

    • thats a good spot to catch crappie, not so much catfish. whatcha want to do is work your way down the dam throwing a cast net out about 5-10 feet until you have a good amount of shad to last the night. Then go down here and cast as far due west as you can (cut shad with float rig toward that point right across due west. They’ve been hitting good in that area from bout 9-1AM.

  19. Then I need to get a casting net soon lol. Save me some money.I may head out around 3. Kinda chilly but will be good to get out and take a break from work.

  20. Hey dave, where on the lake do you go to catch your shad? I was at the dam yesterday and didn’t catch anything in my cast net. Any place you would recommend that I can get to by land?

  21. Well, since the ramps are still closed for arcadia and every good lake around, I’ve been doing a lot of reading this spring. Looks like they have stocked hybrids in arcadia, and continue to do so every other year. Have you had any luck chasing them out here? I figure that is what I’m going to go after this summer of I can.

    • they seem to be kind of scarce. i catch one now and then on a minnow or worm, but for the most part I’m usually fishin for big blues. most i’ve ever seen them caught is over by the dam just past the shad feeding area, bout 20 feet out when the water is normal elevation.

  22. Ive been fishing for catfish in the spring creek area since the rest of the lake was closed earlier last week. I only had a few bites but didnt catch any. I was using stink bait and on other poles using dead shad. Where do you think would be the best place to go right now and what should I use. Also I usually can only go during the evening hours and some mornings. Thanks.

    • i have had time to scout the high water yet, i’d say all the usual spots i’ve mentioned in posts prior to this one but theres a good chance they’ve moved around a LOT with all the vegetation that’s under water right now.

  23. Hi David appreciate your blog good information on here. Trying to go out tomorrow night and drop some lights for crappie fishing. Any help on where to go. Had good luck last fall but this will be my first time fishing it at night.

  24. Wanting to take my boat out to catch some crappie at Arcadia, I am just curious to see how they have been hitting lately and the depth/area I should target in the evening hours.

    Thank You for all the information you have put up on here it has really helped.

    • i havent fished in bout a month neen too busy with work. dunno if the crappie run is still on, can prolly get em anywhere near banks on minnows tho theres biilllions of em in arcadia.

  25. I took a grand tour of the lake today (something I haven’t done in a while), and I noticed that I was imaging a lot of fish piled in the channels. I noticed them mostly in the deep fork channel east of the island and in one of the tributaries south of the dam. Any idea what fish would stack in there like that and be confined to the channels?

    • depends on if there was any current in it. the blues hit pretty good on the current that comes up from the bottom of the tinker creek cove. go in there on a windless day and you’ll see the current on the surface of the water coming from nowhere…

  26. Hey I’ve only been to Arcadia a couple times and haven’t had much luck. I decided sometime in the next week my girlfriend and I are going to head out there to fish. Our boat is broken right now so I was wondering if you had some good ideas on where to fish from the shore. I’m interested in largemouths crappie and cats. If you could give me some good locations and bait advice I’d really appreciate it

    • Crappie is great over by the dam around the pump tower, but this time of year the spawn is way over. You may catch a few but nothing like 100 in one evening. I’ve seen guys fill several buckets in like an hour over there. They were passing them out to people to get back down to their daily limit.

  27. Wow David – Great set of info!

    I was out at arcadia fishing from that point with the dropoff at the northwest part of the lake on Sunday. Guy there was catching crapping almost every other cast. i bet he caught 30 while i was there for 2 hours. Most were small but a few decent ones. Catching on jigs cast out as far as he could off the east-southeast of that point. I caught a few but was focussed on catfish with my other rods – didn’t do any good though.

    Anyway, i’m trying to unlock catfishing on the lake – had some fun with drifting live bluegill when i had a little boat (which i sold). Looking to find somebody who is looking for somebody to join them fishing. I’m able-bodied and experienced and happy to pay for gas/bait etc and i am up for fishing for anything. Anyway, if anybody on here is looking for a nice guy to help them with their boat or just a fishing buddy, hit me up. I live in edmond and work from home so i can go most any day with a bit of notice.

    Tight lines!

  28. I noticed a new buoy over on the north side of the lake be the point by the overlook. It says “no boats.” What gives? I used to anchor over there all the time and go swimming. Why did they put that in?

  29. Just found your site and enjoy it very much. Sold my boat a few years ago and just bought one yesterday. Hope to hit Arcadia for the crappie spawn and cats later on. Greatly appreciate your insight!

  30. I’m from Texas and want to do some largemouth bass fishing this week. I’m staying in OKC. Do you recommend Arcadia for some shoreline bass fishing? Are they pre-span or spawn yet? Do you know the water clarity and the water temp?

    • arcadia is about the heaviest fished lake in the city. the shore line is crawling with trolling bass casters in the mornings. you might try the spring creek arm where its too shallow for boaters, I used to catch a lot of sand bass in that area. sometimes when the water is shallow you can walk out on the flats a little bit if you dont mind getting your ankles wet and cast into the 2-4ft areas.

      the water is usually pretty murky. keystone was unusually clear this weekend. havent fished arcadia in about 2 weeks.

  31. Just Moved to Edmond about 6 months ago. Looking to go crappie fishing tomorrow at Arcadia with my wife to see if crappie are biting on the banks with jigs, and shiners. So far I’m going to fish on the bank close to the pump house and dam and also I am going to try out the heated dock. Do you think it is still to early? Also what times do you suggest like 7am or earlier or 7pm or later? and any other advice on where I should try to find some crappie? Thank you..

    • sorry for the late reply, was super sick with fever, ear/eye infections last week.
      arcadia is a really good lake for crappie, billions of those little guys in that lake. as it warms up in the evenings and the sun gets low pretty much any shoreline can be promising. i’ve seen guys pull in full buckets of still flopping around crappie from the damn bank area. I’ve had good luck on minnows more than jigs. the heated dock is a decent place to fish but so overfished that the population is low and the fish are small in that area.

      i suggest a lesser used spot – park here and walk up to the fishing dock and fan out a few poles with bobbers set about 2 feet deep. it’s about 1 foot deep around that dock out for about 10 feet so use 2 or 3 good sinkers and a good sized bobber to get out a ways.

      send me some pics and i’ll post em up on the 2016 fishing page, happy huntin

      • Thanks David! Where is a good place to buy some minnows? Looking like rain this weekend so I’ll plan to go after the rain. Also for that spot you just showed me, I just go down memorial rd to get to it and do you have to pay? Thanks!

      • Bait Shop
        I’ve fished around that spot I pointed out from my boat but never had to walk in. There isn’t any kind of gate that would charge you money but I can’t say for certain that there isn’t a self pay mailbox. I don’t see one looking at it with google street view.

  32. Dave,
    I live in the area and have enjoyed reading the information on your site. Would like to go to Arcadia this weekend and pull in some cats off the shore. I was thinking about using punch bait or similar. Do you recommend this or other baits and where have you seen action recently?


    • I love my love interest with tub baits many many years ago. these days i use nothing but fresh shad and an occasional live smallish fish with the sharp fins cut off. There’s a high probability that i’ll be out this weekend catfishin as well. if you want to meet up i’ll show you cast net basics and top you off on shad. i’ll send you an email so you can reply to it.

  33. Dave, sorry for the basic questions, but I would like to take my boat out to do some cat fishing, could you give me an idea of the best areas on the lake for that, and possibly the better time of day? Thanks.

    • you’ll need to put put around and find them on sonar. dont use downscan imaging, use old school 200hrz plain jane sonar. look for the hard echos that have the same hardness level as the bottom of the lake.
      i havent hit up arcadia in a few weeks so i dont know what the temp is or what their pattern is right now. i’ll be out there likely friday and saturday evening/night if you want to meet up i’ll show ya how i track catfish. gotta be able to tell cats apart from bass/crappie. I’ll send you an email so you can reply.

      • Thanks Dave for the info I will be trying the crappie out this weekend at Arcadia and I will try the dam and that spot off Memorial road on the dock that you showed me! I’ll send pics if we catch some.

  34. Hi David,
    I might be heading out to Arcadia this weekend to break in a johnboat. Sorry if these questions are redundant but I had been planning to go catfishing with my uncle and cousin and I needed to know a couple things. Would the johnboat be safe to take in the area marked “catfish goldmine” and if so where is the best place to launch? I can catch perch and use those as bait I guess but if you could provide some hints on where to find shad close to the bank I’d appreciate it.

    • Well the whole lake is safe on windless days, you probably don’t want to be out if the wind is over 12MPH. I’ve had waves come up and over the side of my boat when the wind is bad. This December my buddy Skylar and I took 3rd place in a catfish tourney on arcadia and it was WINDY, could barely stand up right to cast a shad net. But on a calm day you should be able to put put around anywhere. That catfish goldmine area is pretty forgiving on windy days but you’ll have to cross some choppier areas to get there. john boats will need to be launched from one of the 3 park accessible boat ramps. they’ll charge ya for it and will require that the boat has all safety lights and current tax stamps. the closest ramp to that cove is the one off 15th. if you head due east from i-35 and 15th in edmond you’ll run right into the park, ramp is on your left as you go in. during the summer you can get shad in there no problem. they were swarming tuesday evening was able to get 30+ per cast when i hit the shad ball on the head. this time of year you can pretty much throw anywhere and get a few shad. youll want to use an 8 foot net at least though, small ones only work well on tightly clustered shad balls. you wont see activity like that till is around 100F outside. i use an 18 foot net from academy. if you’ve never thrown one that big i’d be happy to meet up with yall sometime and show you my method. i should take a video of it and post it up.

    • Very happy I was able to help in some way. If you ever want to take him out fishing on a boat I’d be happy to take you all on an arcadia outing. I have a little 4 yr old girl that likes to come hang out with other kids on the boat as well.

  35. Hi David, any news on the crappie yet. Ive been fishing by the pump house at the dam but no luck so far. I suspect the water may be to cold? Any ideas? Thank you.

    • there are so many crappie this year they’re like shad. i havent seen the usual crappie rush at the lake yet so im inclined to say no. seen a few guys catching them tho here and there.

      catfish bite has been very slow this week.

  36. Hey, David. I’m in a bit of a situation. Spent the last 9 years in the Army away from home, and now I’m here with the wife on a medical retirement. Just signed a check for a new Lowe pontoon at Cabela’s, waiting for them to prep it. Unfortunately, I don’t know Arcadia at all, but staying with inlaws just across I-35. Any chance we could link up sometime and discuss where to utilize my boat out here (danger spots, etc)?

  37. Hi Dave, I am here for 6 weeks and would just like to do some catch and release on the catfish from the shore. Any suggestions for places and type of bait. Any help would be appreciated.

  38. David…Been fishing for cats along the bank near the 15th Street open fishing pier for past two weeks, have caught nothing except turtles (mostly fishing with chicken livers or punch bait). Trying to find a better spot from the park entrances off of 66. Is the google maps (35.6472940, -97.3957600) you plotted last year still good? Also, if I park at the rangers station and walk in near the dam, which area is best for cats, looks like a pretty long walk and a large area so want to get to the best spot. Really appreciate you help, gittin pretty frustrated with the turtles!

  39. Dave – went Sunday evening but it was a bust, followed your map and entered the park at scissor tail.. Got the boot by the caretaker, was told it’s ONLY for campers and off limits to day people and campers. Went to the hq and walked down to the west side of the cove accross from the Dam, not a single bite in Three hours, tried punch bait, chicken livers, cut shad, worms… Argggggggggg!

    • dood that sucks sorry about that. i’ve never been in that area outside of my boat i just see people there all the time. buddy of mine only caught two all night on draper sunday. buddy of mine and myself fished for like 9 hours on overholster saturday and only caught 1 blue. seems slow all over right now.

  40. worries, and I DO appreciate the tips (despite my whining). Have been after the catfish for three weeks now with only a handful of eatin size catches for the effort. My fishing report: Hefner East Wharf Riprap -lots of turtles Hefner Inlet – A few blues from around the canal and shallows a few weeks ago, nothing but turtles since the heat wave arrived. Hefner Dam riprap near oulet – nothing, but might give it another try, its the deepest water available from shore that I have found so far. Overholser Inlet -a few very small blues, tossed them back. Arcadia – 15th St uncovered dock – nothing, and you know my report on the cove near the dam. I might try the south side of Overholser (near the pier) this weekend. Most of the other fisherman I have talked to haven’t had much success either, but ill keep at it.

  41. Hey David,
    Me and a buddy are going catfishing all night this weekend. Any recommended spots for catching as much as possible from shore? We got skunked last weekend over by the Cimarron River and need some good fishing!

  42. I’m not from the area and I’m starting to nose around Lake Arcadia looking for Large Mouth. I’m bank fishing. I thought I’d try the damn tonight. Any pointers as to good spots would be appreciated.

  43. Planning to head out to Arcadia this weekend or maybe next. I’ve never fished there before. I fish from the bank. Where do you think I’d have the best chance of catching some catfish? And also what time would be the best? And I’m guessing cut shad is your preferred bait? And do you usually fish off the bottom or do you slip cork? The size of the catfish doesn’t really matter, I would just really like to find a good catfishing lake for once.

    • We fished here for about 45 minutes and got a couple nibbles, but didnt stay long. Was the last spot we moseyed over to. Had pretty good sized fish on the sonar though. Dont cast out too far or you’ll hit deeper water. After dark all the fish are about 15ft and up. saw a lot of large signatures between 5 and 10 feet swimmin around. take a strong light and shine it over the water. where you see shad boil up is a big’ol bait ball being clustered together by predatory fish. cast up near it with either a bobber set 8 feet down or a santee rig with bobber about 10 feet from the bottom.'58.0%22N+97%C2%B021'55.1%22W/@35.6494487,-97.3671525,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d35.649445!4d-97.365312

      between 2 boats and 8 guys total last night we only caught 3 channels, 1 big drum and a turtle. blues must be stuffed fat and eatin slow right now. its not a super great lake for catfish but there are flathead and blues in there in the 50+ range. heard a report from a guy fishin off the bank that someone pulled in a 17 pound hybrid last week.

  44. Alright, thanks for the tips! Would you recommend me fishing Arcadia or is there another better lake to bank fish for catfish from around the Oklahoma City area? I actually live about 25 miles west of El Reno but wouldn’t mind driving somewhere around the OKC area to catfish.

  45. hi dave-
    i am enjoying your great blog, it’s so full of info! we’re transplants to norman from tulsa where we fished grand lake all our lives. we haven’t had much luck in central oklahoma, but we’re considering trying arcadia. can you tell me please, where is the covered dock?
    also, as crappie are our primary target (we wouldn’t turn down small cats), can you tell me please if the spawn has begun in this ridiculously warm weather?
    thanks so much! i’ll be a regular here.

  46. thanks so much for that info! i appreciate it. do you know of other lakes in central oklahoma that offer good crappie or cat fishing? we don’t have a boat, so we rely on docks or easily accessed banks. again, thank you!

    • well the one good thing arcadia has going for it is the crappie population. thick as flies. i’ve had more crappie in a shad net (released) than shad at times. overholster has some good sized cats in there but personally i wouldnt eat the ones out of that lake. seen some very sickly looking fish and some mutations come out of that lake. bought a yearly pass for it last year that i wont be renewing. hefner is pretty clean but is hit pretty heavy for catfish. if you want absurd amounts of catfish goto oologah.

  47. Went to south side of memorial bridge this morning for a few hours. Saw lots of fish jumping but nothing was interested 3″ shad. Any more suggestions for someone without a boat?

  48. I haven’t made it to the dam yet, but just looking on google earth I can’t tell where best place to park would be. Where could I park and walk in (keeping in mind 9 year old fishing partner)

    • ranger station off 2nd street. its past the 2 park entrances. free parking, trail and mowed grass down to the spot. do not leave the trail and walk through any high grass or play on rocks or the woods on the way to the dam. unfathomably huge population of ticks in that area.

  49. hi dave
    trying to follow your instruction for the spot on the north end of dam and near the pump station by walking. The trails seems only lead to west side of the bank. will you take the service road to the dam first and then go down to the rocky spot close to the pump?

  50. I’m going to be fishing at Arcadia this Saturday for the whole day (probably 9am to 10 pm). My family is having a birthday bash and I’m going to teach some kids how to fish. I have booked idea where we are going to be fishing but it’s going to be from the bank. What tactics or tips would you recommend for me to let the kids have an awesome day at the lake? The have never caught anything but I’ve fished Hefner and overholser with my dad before and caught 2 drum and a couple dinks at route 66 pond. The only live bait I’ll be using would be worms and some pans that I hope to catch. I will also be using chicken liver and stink bait. Theres also going to be an experimental section with a can of corn, dog food, and dough balls. What would you recommend for anything to bite? I’m kind of desperate here because any fish that we will catch would be super awesome. Not sure where we will be fishing but it’s definitely from bank. I only have one cat rod, 2 spinning and 2 closed face (which are kinda old though). I have a tackle box with an assortment of plastics like finesse worms, 1′ baby shad imitations, curly tails of different sizes, lizards, prop bait, spinners and a couple buzz baits. Again anything that bites would be awesome I just never fished here before and would love some tips!! Thank you!!!!! If you could email me at I would greatly appreciate it!!

  51. Reading through this has been an absolute goldmine for some one just getting started fishing Arcadia. Thank you David and everyone else that has contributed.

Comments for Dave?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s