J.B. Webb — Summer fishing's easy but catching can be hard

Herald Democrat

This heat we are having is keeping a lot of people off the water. Some guides are still fighting it but they start early and come in well before lunch. Stripers are still the ones most fishermen are chasing, although sandbass are also biting pretty good.

The open water and Oklahoma shores seem to be some of the better spots. Sandbass fishing seems to be better west from Mill Creek. Bass fishing, on the other hand, is not so good. If you were on the lake last weekend you probably saw a lot of bass boats. It was Team Trail Outdoors-Pro Trail. It was a two-day event and won by a team with 30-plus pounds. There were several local teams fishing and some did okay money-wise but there was a lot of remarks about how hard it was to catch a fish. I agree with them.

Some of my fishing friends have started catching sandbass on the Highport side. I haven’t been on that side of the lake since Highport fenced it off and won’t take cash money — you have to use a credit card. I heard one story of the arm coming down and roughing up a nice big coast style boat because the owner took too long to get it through.

Now if you ever want to find something to do after you retire, take over and maintain a boat ramp. There is something to do every time you go down. Lately we have installed solar lights, re-did the parking lot, put in a new gate and cleaned a ditch and we are getting it mowed and weed-eated for the upcoming holiday weekend.

This has kept me off the lake and Tombstone in the shop. Not being able to chase bass in my boat, I’ve started spending some time in the fish market. If I start early, around 7 a.m. or a little earlier, I can catch anywhere from 2-7 crappie.

I keep a basket down there and it might take two mornings to catch enough fish for Susan and me. I haven’t had a fish die in the basket yet but I won’t leave it in the water longer than one day. All the fish I’m catching are in deep water. The 1/8 oz Blakemore Road Runners with Bobby Garland Plastics, topped with a Crappie Nibble, are working the best for me. I can’t fish too long in the market because it’s like an oven as the sun gets higher.

One other thing I think will keep a lot of fishermen off the lake is dove season opened Wednesday. I’ve got the boat ramp ready for this holiday so I can get back on the water. Make sure you have your new Texas 2021 Hunting and Fishing licenses in your billfold.

I’m 78 and now and then things I did growing up come to mind. I have a friend who is a writer who tells me I should write a book about my life. I’ve thought about it but then I think no one will believe the troubles I got in. I have written about roping a pig with me on the bicycle; I escaped alive from it but was near beaten to death by my dad and we never saw that pig again.

Catching the cow with my fishing pole, getting jerked off the fence into the corral where her and her friends were. There must have been a sale somewhere as the cows stampeded right over me and I never got hurt as they flatten the fence leaving in a cloud of dust and cow chips. They didn’t run far before stopping for lunch.

When Dad got home, I met the check rein again. We had a mean, old rooster and we lived out in the boondocks and I was around 6 or 7, everything that didn’t need to be fenced in roamed free. That rooster hated me and would try to flog me every time I got outside. I was scared of him. Most of the time I could get away.

One day though he caught me in a bad place and I ran and got in the dog house. The rooster was trying to get in and I was crying at the top of my lungs. Mother heard me, came out and saw what was going on. She grabbed a chicken hook and where this story ends, is we had chicken for supper.

One last thing in these memories. We had a big black walnut tree in the yard. Both my brother and I had BB guns. One day we were playing something: army, cowboys and Indians or something else. I had climbed way up or it looked like to me in that walnut tree. Even back then my big mouth got me near killed. I told Larry to shoot me out of the tree. He did and I came out of the tree like a shot squirrel grabbing on to any branch I could grab until I ran out of limbs and fell about eight feet into a junk pile.

When Daddy got home the BB was still in my side. He squeezed it out, accompanied by screaming and tears, from under my Skin. Who needs a doctor? The old times were the best times, I think most of my readers who lived in those times would agree and do it again all over if we could.

Football prediction I hit it on the head last week. This week sees a flock of Pottsboro Cardinals flying down the road for a visit to Tiger Stadium. I predict there will be Cardinal feathers flying as Gunter’s speed blows by them. 30 to 10 Gunter.