J.B. Webb — Things are perfect for great fishing or a monster die-off

Herald Democrat

I’m not guessing which way our winter will go. I can say that this is one of the best autumns for shad in a long time. They are big schools just swimming around in our cove. Everywhere I have gone lately the surface of the water was moving.

The water is cooling slower so far this year. If we don’t get any of those cold days like last year and the lake level stays where it is, everything should come through all right.

Gulls are still feeding early and later in the day. To improve your chances of catching stripers and sandbass and if you don’t like deep water fishing, look for gulls working the banks. You can just about bet they are on a shallow shelf eating shad that have been driven up on them.

This time of the year and through winter you need to keep a pair of binoculars in your boat. You can save a lot of gas by scanning for the gulls rather than riding around looking for them.

Well once again Goober wasn’t with me when I needed him. Monday I went out for a while. On the way back I noticed my tilt and trim wasn’t working. Old Tombstone had handed me a pre-Christmas present.

I came on in and tied up at our dock, took the cowling off and tried switching the fuses. Nothing happened but you could hear a clicking sound when you mashed a button. I came to the conclusion that my trim motor was gone; I had to be very careful loading the boat because my lower unit is a long one and as I slowly pulled out of the water it began scraping the ramp.

I went back and used the manual release to let the motor kick up. Then I slowly got it off the ramp. Once on semi-level ground, I went back and was going to lift up the motor and put it on the motor supports. There were a few things I overlooked.

First, it weighed more than I did; second, I could only get it so high; third, I discovered I needed a third hand to tighten up the manual release screw or flip the motor supports.

As I was fading fast holding the motor up, Tombstone won. I pulled slowly to the gate and got outside and of course no one ever came by that I might have got help from. I had a friend call Gary’s Boat Repair and asked him to come down and give me a hand. He sent down his latest and, in my opinion, best, worker who was also a friend of mine.

He agreed with me and then he picked the motor up with no problem. Another friend tightened up the manual screw while I flipped over the motor supports. I took it to Gary, he looked up what motor I needed but said he was booked solid for this week. Tombstone is now in pre-op in my garage while waiting to go in for surgery Monday.

This cooling water has got crappie on the move. The fish market finally got through the chain hold up and I’m catching a meal for Susan and I about every day I want to go down and fish for them. It’s only going to get better as the water cools. I can suggest that you give your fishermen some Blakemore Road Runners for stocking stuffers.

Winter is when you need to really slow down your retrieves and this lure was designed to be worked slow. I like to just get the Road Runner heads that let me fish about every kind of plastic I want. I only use two plastics 90 percent of the time fishing for crappie.

Blakemore Crappie plastics include one that comes weedless pre-rigged with a Plastic bait. My other go-to is Pradco’s Bobby Garland Plastics. Both of these companies make the best crappie plastics out there as far as I’m concerned. Jeff Foreman in Pottsboro also makes some mean crappie baits.

Now if you haven’t visited Lurenet.com lately, give it a look; you just might find some lures your fisherman would like to have. They have bought out some more fishing companies and their paint shop line is awesome. But it only makes 300 lures at one time; then they are gone. They are running some bargains on different baits before Christmas.

Monday before Tombstone took me off the lake, I got to fish some of my winter holes. The fish weren’t there — it’s still too warm. At one stop I did catch a Fat Kentucky and two big Sandbass strolling a creek channel with a 1/4 Oz. Blakemore Road Runner with a 3.5 inch YUM Pulse Swimbait.

Before I loaded up in our cove, I got another big sandie on a Bomber Shad Crankbait working a bank. This is the time of year I’ll catch and eat a striper or sandbass. The meat gets firmer and cooks better.

This Saturday and Sunday from 7a .m. to 3 p.m., Little Dixie Bass Club will hold their December Tournament on Texoma out of Catfish Bay. They have also selected their next year Club tournaments. They are closer to home with seven of them on Texoma. They are a good club if you would like to try your hand in competitive fishing.

This Friday I’m looking for Gunter to move one step away from going to Jerry World again for a state championship game. This should be a good game as both teams are undefeated. I haven’t added up the for and against of Holliday but in 14 games Gunter has scored 822 points and given up 52. Susan and I hope to see you there. 40-14 Gunter.