Sooner Lake/Navigation Channel Lock #18

Discussion in 'OKLAHOMA LAKES / RESERVOIRS' started by capt theory, Apr 12, 2006.

  1. capt theory

    capt theory New Member

    Messages:
    180
    State:
    oklahoma
    hey jeff, welcome. yeah the area above lock and dam 18 to where the port and bird creek is an awesome area if you have a boat. id guarantee some record fish are running in that area. catfish central frequents that area alot more than me so he'll be able to give some more specifics. when the current gets going on that river id advise hitting it hard. also are you the guide that works grand and some missourri lakes? if so ive seen you in several of the catfish insiders. if not, well your still allright by me. anyways good luck out there.
     
  2. capt theory

    capt theory New Member

    Messages:
    180
    State:
    oklahoma
    jeff, check in the river section of oklahoma. theres a whole lot of info on the nav channel that would probably be useful to you.
     

  3. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK
    Welcome Jeff !!!
    I fished Sooner but not on a regular basis. I mainly fished it from shore while going to OSU. We would fish the discharge channel, which is a nice hike off highway 177. My first big blue came from fishing the discharge during the winter but I haven't walked to the discharge area by foot since college. Now you can take your boat and tie up to the bouy cable but it doesn't get you very close to the area where the shore anglers have access. The last time I fished Sooner was last summer but only for Hybrids and Sandies. It's one of the top lakes for them in Oklahoma but there are some big blues in there. I think there's a couple of reasons why Sooner is becoming a great catfish lake. First it's Rod and Reel only so nasty setliners (like me) are not taking many fish off trotlines, limblines and juglines. Now there still some people trying to take fish off trotlines but they get cut pretty quick. Also not too many people target catfish on Sooner. Everyone seems to go there for the Sandies, Hybrids and Bass. There's a channel called greasy creek the runs from the top Northeast portion of the lake down to the Southwest. This is a good place to start looking for cats. Also where highway 15 crosses the lake on the South end is full of submered timber that I know has produced quite a few blues in the forties and fifties. The lake can get pretty windy and spending time on those wind blown points I'm sure will pay off also.


    Now Lock and Dam 18, I spend a lot of time there. :) I've been fishing this section of river pretty hard for about five years. I don't fish the very upper end where Bird Creek flows into the Channel but I go there from time to time. The only access to Bird Creek is just putting in at Rogers Point and it's just a little North of the oxbow at Rogers. I've never been more than a mile up into Bird but there's lots of snags and shallow area's in this section of river. There's lots of good flathead fishing in bird and when the water is flowing really good on the Verdigris the blue cats can be good also. The Verdigris also gets very shallow just North of the Port. There is a huge section of rocky riffles that you cannot pass by boat, even in a jet boat. Now if the water is flowing big time you might be able to get over the riffles but the rest of the time you need a canoe, or small jon that you can pick up and carry across that section. You can also put in below Oolagah but there's lots of shallow area's and riffles not too far down river.

    Now about 80% of my fishing is done about a mile North of Dog Creek down to the Lock and Dam. The biggest Flathead that I ever took out of the Verdigris was out of Dog about four years ago. He went 52.5 pounds and there's a lot of fleathead in this creek. All of the oxbows are also great for big blues and flatheads. There's lots of undercut banks that have produced a lot of big fish. Now between Dog Creek and Rogers point there's a section with lots of big boulders. There's some very good fishing right in this area. Right now the fishing should be great on the Channel. We are right into the prespawn and it's nothing to limit out on Blues from now until the middle to end of May. The only problem is we had no stinking rain and I'm sure you know how blues like when there's decent current on the river. Hopefully we will get some rain soon, if not the fishing is still always decent there and not very many people on the Channel. I put in at 33 landing which is right in the middle of the river. It's not the best ramp as far as safety is concerned but the only problems we have had is when left our trucks there's for several days and camped back in the river oxbows. Bluff Landing which is at the very end of the Channel offers some nice safe campgrounds and you can go upstream or take your boat though the Lock and fish L @ D 17 which also has some great fishing. Just north of 33 Landing there a several oxbows and one island and they can all produce lots of big fish. South of 33 landing has Salt Creek, Commodore Creek which are good also. There's a closed campground call Rocky Point and also where the old beggingings of black fox nuclear plant that was being built all great places to check out. There's also the deepest hole on the whole channel about 4 miles South of 33 Landing. It's over 40 feet deep and holds LOTS of fish. There's some nice bends in the river that holds lots of logs and other crap that flows down during heavy current. The biggest blue that I've taken from L @ D 18 was 45 pounds but there's lots of blues in the twenty's and thirty's. There's bigger blues in there but like any other place in Oklahoma there pretty rare. Now when I fish the Channel I do a lot of jugfishing all year long. Some of our best days have been in the middle of winter while breaking ice in the oxbows. I rod and reel fish also but mainly between running jugs or sometimes limblines. There's lots of great places to fish on the channel no matter what method you use. Now just don't start guiding on MY stinking river. :p Just kidding is a great section of water that really doesn't get fished that much, everyone would rather be on a lake. Hope this helps.
     
  4. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK
    Jeff,

    If your looking for big fish and not numbers, I personally would spend a majority of my time in the creeks and oxbows. Also big bends where debris will gather and even right at the lock and dam. There's a ton of crap that flows down the river in strong current and makes for great cover. Many of the bridges gather debris also. Also just south of 412 bridge is where the old bridge use to be located. There's lots of big broken pieces of bridge about 30 feet down which makes nice hidey holes. There's not a lot of submered cover in the main channel like in other's rivers since the barge traffic is always there.
    My two kids love to fish also but can't sit still for long periods waiting for the big one's. Jug fishing is a way to keep the kids entertained and still be able to do some fishing. 95% of the fish I harvest is under ten pounds but I still take a few larger flathead from time to time. I realize along with most people that constant taking of trophy does not help the fishery and I'm pretty selective when I do take larger fish. I heard about that study that the ODWC was doing and look forward to hearing more about it. I know they were asking some folks who harvest to keep the heads and other vital info to know the age of the fish. Some lakes grow them quite a bit bigger than others.
     
  5. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK

    I had a lot of days with quite a few twenty pounders, but think I've only had one day where we had mulitpy 30 pounders. The biggest blue I've taken was 45 pounds but that's been four years ago. I did have one that would have gone 80 pounds but lost him while trying to get the net.:sad: There's good numbers of fish in the river and still decent twenty to thirty pounders but the monsters are tough to catch, but enough time on the water anything can happen. I still think the biggest lakes in our state produce the largest % of bigger fish. My little local lake Copan though has always been a great fleathead lake with lots of smaller blues but there's been several fish taken this year in the 60 to 80 pound range. I was also deer hunting this past winter on Copan and was walking on one of the islands. I found a dead bluecat that live weight would have gone close to 90 pounds. I'll be there tightling for his brother soon.
     
  6. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK

    Fishing below the lock is something I haven't done enough of but I would like to change that. There's not alot of pressure below the dam since you have to either put in at Afton Landing which is about 10 miles downstream or take your boat though the lock. I've been wanting to fish below L @ D 18 this spring after a good week or so of good current. Last year we had tons of rain this year is sparse to say the least. I'm not going to take the time to lock through until there's good current flowing and if it comes too late in the year the cats will spawn farther downstream and not work their way in big numbers to the dam. Dog creek is where the big bend in the river is about four miles upstream of 33 landing. I've caught big fish during the day but night still a good time to be out there. Also if the current is slow or nothing the turtles and fiddlers are working your baits more often.
     

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  7. bj78

    bj78 New Member

    Messages:
    27
    State:
    Oklahoma
    What's the biggest blue you ever caught in Grand? I don't ever seem to catch many over 25lbs. Are there many trophy blues in there?
     
  8. bj78

    bj78 New Member

    Messages:
    27
    State:
    Oklahoma
    I hope it gets better up there. A lake like that should be full of giant blues.
     
  9. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK

    Jeff, I don't think there's a corps owned lake in Oklahoma that doesn't have blue's in there water. When you look to see what types of fish are listed in these waters most don't list bluecats. They were all introduced after the lake was impounded and the info never seemed to be updated. I wrote the ODWC asking for infomation on when bluecats where introduced to all of our lakes but never got a response. That 85 pound bluecat was taken off a trotline last May and the biggest taken that I know of. Since that time I know of at least two other 65 pounders taken one by rod and reel. Copan has LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of timber. The crappie are all in there and the blues and flats are eating them. The South end of the lake is open and free of submerged timber but the other two thirds is a Forest. There are tons of trees above and just below the water line. I will lose my lower unit someday on the lake but the big boys are in the worst places. Copan was impounded in 1983 and I'm not quite sure when the blues were introduced.
     
  10. bj78

    bj78 New Member

    Messages:
    27
    State:
    Oklahoma
    Most of the fish I catch there are in the 4-25lb range. Hopefully the study that is being done will give us some good info. I spoke with a biologist that was gathering data on the blues in the lake, and if I remember correctly he said you helping them with some info. Good luck with your move. You ever fish with Gary Van Pielt up there?
     
  11. bj78

    bj78 New Member

    Messages:
    27
    State:
    Oklahoma
    Is that pretty common everywhere in Oklahoma or just at Grand? When I visited with the bio (two summers ago) he seemed to think that the fish up there were not growing as fast as blue cats elsewhere. I am very interested to see the results of his study.
     
  12. TDawgNOk

    TDawgNOk Gathering Monitor (Instigator)

    Messages:
    3,365
    State:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Jeff,

    I'd like to Welcome you to the best site on the web. It's not just a catfishing site, but a true brotherhood. I also want to invite you to come and attend the Oklahoma Gathering at Keystone this year. This link Will take you to the page explaining more about it. It is the first weekend of June and we have over 100 people signed up so far.

    Would love for you to be able to make it.
     
  13. capt theory

    capt theory New Member

    Messages:
    180
    State:
    oklahoma
    jeff, ive gotten as big as 48 out of the pool behind 18. when we has the sonar on scouting id see some real big fish around the schools of shad in the holes. im talking real big fish. ive got a good freind of my dads that says hes pulled a 90 pound blue off of jugs in that area. theres plenty of habitat to grow some bigguns. im gonna have to say though, the further south you get on the channel the bigger there gonna get. anywhere from webbers on down is gonna hold the biggest hawgs if you ask me. i also agree on trophy fishing. every time i hit the water my goal is to catch the biggest fish ive seen. good luck.
     
  14. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK
    L @ D 18 is about 24 miles long. Bluff landing off 71st has nice campgrounds and good ramps right on the top side of the lock. L @ D 17 is about 18 miles long and the closest ramp downstream is at Afton Landing. The boat ride is about 10 miles uptstream from afton landing. This has nice campgrounds and good boat ramps. There used to be a ramp just below L @ D 18 but it was torn out many years ago. Several campgrounds and ramps were having some bad things happening at them and less funding closed many areas. Rocky point on L @ D 18 is a really pretty area but too many drugs and murders closed the park.
     
  15. capt theory

    capt theory New Member

    Messages:
    180
    State:
    oklahoma
    they were behind dam 18. its tough to tell you where cause those blues are always on the move. one spot will produce one day and be dead the next because they saw something else they like and moved on. if you go below 18 it stays deep for a moment but is pretty shallow from afton landing all the way past 17 to about okay oklahoma. great flathead habitat though. its where all three rivers come together and below that gives you something to work with. but up here id advise putting in at bluff landing and scout it out. with your trained eye i guarantee youll see what you want to see. i used to live right by 18 for 12 years or so and fished below the dam with surf rods all the time. the amount of payoff for the amount of time spent was not worth the effort. im not sure if its the pressure or what, but in theory that should be a outstanding spot. especially the first bend below.