February 15, 2012
By Ned Kehde
Jerry Kropff of Afton, Oklahoma, resides on the shores of the Grand Lake of the Cherokees, and he is a talented multispecies angler.
His friend Joe Davis of Tulsa, Oklahoma, tells stories galore about Kropff's angling prowess. One of those stories revolves around Kropff's abilities to catch an impressive array of crappie, white bass and catfish on the same outing and around the same lair.
In-Fisherman's 2012 " Catfish Guide" will feature some of Kropff's methods for locating and catching blue catfish at Grand Lake. In addition, his insights about the state of the white bass fishing at Grand Lake highlighted several of our blogs in 2011.
On St. Valentine's Day, Kropff exhibited his prowess once again. He was guiding Max Buzzard, 86, of Miami, Oklahoma, and they caught a 67-pound blue catfish and several other brutes that weighed more than 25 pounds.
Kropff said that Buzzard landed the big one, which is a new lake record.
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation instituted in 2008 a lake-record program, which notes the biggest specimen that anglers have caught at every lake across the state. Kropff caught the Grand's lake-record blue catfish in April of 2008; it weighed 44 pounds. Then, Ryan Ross of Joplin, Missouri, caught a 54-pounder on February 21, 2009, for a new lake record. Now Buzzard has the record. Before the lake-record program was established, Kropff caught a 74-pounder.
Kropff said that Grand Lake isn't blessed with a significant population of humongous blue catfish. Nevertheless, it is graced with a substantial population of blue catfish. For example, this year he has already tangled with 460 of them, and on average, he catches 25 blue catfish an outing.