J.B. Webb — Plenty of wildlife are out and around the lake

Herald Democrat

Right now is the time to be around the lake. With a good pair of binoculars you can see all sorts of birds, whether driving around or out on a walk. Through and around Hagerman Refuge are many trails that take you to places to stop, look and maybe take a picture.

You are likely to see deer also. All throughout Preston Shores we have some that are often seen. This time of the year a good bird ID book is a big help as there are a lot of birds not native here stopping over as they pass through.

If you find or see a painted bunting give yourself a high five.  While these birds are native to our area, to see one is rare. To get a picture of one gets you another star.

With Christmas coming and people having some days off, the lake calls. Right now, the fishing for stripers, sandbass, catfish, crappie and black bass is good as all are biting. Stripers and sandbass are your best bet If you have a boat — follow the birds.

If bank fishing, do it off points with a weighted cork or live minnows or shad. If you see them surfacing, use Top waters like a salt Water Rebel Pop R, Heddon Super Spook XT which weighs a full ounce or Creek Chub Pencil or Pin Popper.  All of these lures are heavy and you can cast them a long way out. All these lures work better with a seven-foot-or-longer rod and a bigger reel.

If the big water is too much for you to fish, just a short trip to the northwest in Oklahoma is the Blue River. It is kept and maintained for bank fishermen with useful amenities by Oklahoma Fish and Game. They stock it with big trout in the winter.

The Blue River has been running water every time I have been up there. This is a place you can bank fish with ease and use lighter line, rods and reels. Canned Corn Kernels, Commercial Trout Baits, Worms and small spinner type or plastic lures like I/16 and 1/8 Oz. Blakemore Road Runners all work well.

If you are a fly fisherman, waders are a necessity, I hear from talking to people who fish this way with flies and go up there every year in the winter say it works. If nothing else it’s a great short road trip for the scenery.

Now the good news is that Tombstone came out of surgery in prime condition. Her owner is now in shock from paying for her stay. Actually, it was less than I expected. Gary’s Boat Repair on 289 North of Pottsboro is a good place in our area to go to. He works on all sizes and makes.

I have people ask why I don’t get a new boat and get rid of this one. I tell them it’s paid for and I only have to spend money on it now and then. Same way with my truck Sloe Gin. That’s better than having a payment each month. I was raised by my granddads and daddy and they taught me to get all you can out of your equipment before replacing it. We had some old tractors.

Little Dixie Bass Club's December Tournament had 16 boats in it that caught 43 fish. First place was Mark and Cade Bisson with five fish at 12.68 pounds; second was Charlie King and Brad Tolbert with five fish going 11.02 pounds; third was Sid Tolbert and Brandon Lawson with five fish totaling 11.01 pounds; fourth was Payton Stevens and Alex Johnson with five fish at 10.50 pounds and fifth place was Hayden Burket and Tyler Stovaoll with five fish at 10.31 pounds and Burket had the big bass with a 4.87-pounder.

For the last six years I have not missed but one or two Gunter Football Games. This Friday I’ll be listening instead of going to Abilene. Driving to the game, eating, watching and getting back home will be over 8 hours of driving. I don’t like driving at night near as well as I used to. Gunter is playing Lubbock Roosevelt and we have another Eagle to pick. Both teams are unbeaten. This old game picker says Gunter goes on to the next game, 36 to 17.