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Outdoors notebook: Fishing industry mourns a pioneer

Gary Cox of Sallisaw landed a 14 pound, 13 ounce largemouth bass while fishing Friday on Broken Bow Lake. [PHOTO PROVIDED/ODWC]
Gary Cox of Sallisaw landed a 14 pound, 13 ounce largemouth bass while fishing Friday on Broken Bow Lake. [PHOTO PROVIDED/ODWC]

Fishing industry mourns a pioneer

Darrell Lowrance, the founder of the legendary Lowrance Electronics in Tulsa, died March 23 after suffering a stroke. He was 80 years old.

Lowrance Electronics developed the world's first recreational sonar for anglers, the Fish-Lo-K-Tor, commonly called the Little Green Box.

A pilot, Lowrance told people he conceived of the idea for fish finders after flying an airplane over Grand Lake in Oklahoma in the 1950s. The water was clear and he could see schools of fish and wondered if a sonar developed to locate submarines could be used to find schools of fish.

He developed the first fish finder along with his father, Carl, and brother, Arlen. The product was introduced in 1959 and revolutionized fishing. Lowrance Electronics would become a world leader in GPS products with more innovations.

Darrell Lowrance was president and CEO of Lowrance Electronics from 1964, shortly before the company relocated to Tulsa, until it was sold to Navico in 2006. In 2013, he was inducted into the International Game Fish Association Hall of Fame and the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame.

He was retired and living in Plano, Texas, at the time of his death.

Sallisaw angler catches near state record

Gary Cox of Sallisaw came less than an ounce Friday of catching the state record largemouth bass.

Fishing at Broken Bow Lake, Cox hooked a bass that weighed 14 pounds, 13 ounces. The fish was released back into the lake.

Dale Miller of Panama caught the state record — 14 pounds, 13.7 ounces — in 2013 on tiny Cedar Lake in Le Flore County in eastern Oklahoma. Cox's fish now is the second-biggest largemouth ever caught in the state, according to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

Cedar Lake and Broken Bow Lake each have produced two of the top four largemouth bass in the state.

Ed Godfrey

Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more... Read more ›

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