Northwest Oklahoma Offers Great Channel Catfish Angling


Leading anglers to excellent fishing is at the heart of recent encouragements from fisheries biologists to head to Great Salt Plains Lake in northwest Oklahoma.

According to John Stahl, northwest region fisheries supervisor for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, channel catfish angling is excellent at the lake right now.

"The weather is hot, and the fishing is smoking hot," Stahl said.

Over the last 10 days, Stahl has himself put away almost 200 lbs. of catfish fillets thanks to his trotlines, and there is plenty more available for anglers to catch. But trotlining isn't the only way to get in on the action.

Water levels at the lake are currently low, and Stahl said bank access is excellent for rod-and-reel anglers who come prepared with crawdads, grasshoppers or cut sad. Anglers also could try Stahl's concoction he calls "garlic hotdogs"-inexpensive franks saturated with garlic powder, then heated, chilled, covered with garlic salt and heated and chilled once more before heading to the freezer to await the perfect day on the water.

"Fish the wind," Stahl said, referring to areas where wind is hitting the bank.

Additionally, Stahl encourages anglers hoping to get in on the catfish angling to be mindful of the summer climate by fishing mornings and evenings.

"Be easy on yourself because of the heat," Stahl said, adding that nighttime fishing appears to be best at this time.

Stahl said the high salt content of Great Salt Plains Lake may play a role in the excellent flavor of the catfish meat from the lake.

If northwest Oklahoma is too far of a drive, anglers can use the Wildlife Department's free weekly fishing report to view the status of lakes in their region. The reports are compiled by Wildlife Department employees and volunteers and cover lakes and other waters throughout every region in the state. Information such as lake levels, water temperatures, species being caught, locations with best fishing action and successful baits is included in the reports. Anglers can receive the fishing report free by subscribing to the Department's weekly news release at //

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