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Old 12-10-2006, 10:56 AM
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Default Oklahomas Sooner Lake 12 pound LMB


Daniel Purdom caught this 12 pound, 1ounce largemouth last Sunday at Sooner Lake.
•That a 12-pound largemouth was caught at Sooner Lake will come as no surprise
to bass tournament anglers. Sooner Lake may be the best bass lake in the state.

Winter bass fishing
Sooner Lake produces winter trophy for Enid angler
By Ed Godfrey
Outdoors Editor http://www.newsok.com/article/2983438/

Oklahoma’s two OG&E power plant lakes — Sooner Lake and Lake Konawa — are always good bets for winter fishing. Both impoundments are owned by the company and used as cooling reservoirs for its generating plants.
Public access is more restricted in the discharge areas near the plants than in the past (especially at Konawa) because of security concerns, but there are still good fishing opportunities.
The warm water emanating from the power plants into the lake attract the shad, which in turn attract predators like striped bass hybrids and largemouth bass into the discharge areas.
The fishing is usually good in those heated outlets most of the year. But they can be especially productive in the winter because the water there is so much warmer than in the rest of the lake.
Just ask Daniel Purdom of Enid, a Sooner Lake veteran. He’s walked the "muddy mile” at Sooner Lake at least 100 times, the term used for the mile- for the mile-plus hike most anglers must make to reach the warm water outlet on Sooner Lake.
"I have caught a ton of fish out there in the last 10 years,” Purdom said. "The biggest before (Sunday) was maybe a 9-pound hybrid, a 7-pound striper and 6-pound largemouth. I have had many mornings where every cast lands a hybrid in the 3- to 6-pound range.”
But last Sunday, he got to fish the "rich man’s side” of Sooner’s prime fishing hole as he calls it. Fishing with a co-worker and two of his friends – one being an OG&E employee — Purdom was on the side restricted to OG&E employees. That put him a little closer to pools where big fish will hold.
Purdom targets hybrids and stripers on Sooner Lake with his homemade slabs and minnow and shad imitation lures. While fishing for hybrids, he occasionally catches a largemouth bass. Last Sunday, he caught a whale of a largemouth: 12 pounds, 1 ounce.
The big bass hit on just his second cast of the morning with a Rapala X-Rap Jointed Shad. Purdom first thought it was his fish of preference — a hybrid.
Sooner Lake was the first lake in the state to be stocked with striped bass hybrids, which are very aggressive and fierce fighters.
"If a hybrid’s in there (warm water outlet), he will hit it first,” Purdom said.
But when the fish jumped, Purdom could see it was a largemouth bass and was disappointed. Then it jumped again and Purdom realized it wasn’t just any ol’ largemouth bass.
"Then I wasn’t so disappointed,” he said. "It jumped several times and really had my blood pumping. I finally steered it out of the heavy current and got my hand on its jaw.”
The story doesn’t end there. About an hour later, while casting a slab off of the end of a point, he hooked and landed a 16-pound, 6-ounce striper. It had swallowed the slab and was bleeding pretty bad, so Purdom kept him for a fish fry.
About five casts later, he hooked another big striper. The fish took off on the long run but he was able to land it. He estimated it at 18 pounds and then released it to fight another day.
"Bad part of the trip is that is all that was caught,” he said. "No bait, no birds, no surface activity. Nothing, but I won’t complain.”
Gene Gilliland, fisheries biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, said Purdom’s largemouth bass was probably 10 to 12 years old and would be nearing the end of its life expectancy.
In Oklahoma waters, 12 to 14 pounds is about as big as largemouth bass will get. The state record is 14 pounds, 11 ounces. Purdom is having the Sooner largemouth mounted at Terry’s Taxidermy in Oklahoma City.
"That’s a fish of a lifetime,” Purdom said. "I won’t catch a bigger one than that.”
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