J.B. Webb — Texoma looked like old days for July 4th

Herald Democrat

Starting Friday night, Lake Texoma was a mass of boats. The beaches were also full. What beaches? There were some, ours included where due to the highwater pop-ups tanning was done on the grass.

There were some ruffled parking feathers on both sides as the county won’t do anything out here about the random parking that people think they have the right to. This year was busier than usual as they lifted the no-more-than-10 rule.

Everyone seemed to have a good time and I don’t think we had one upscuddle any of the three days.

The Fishing was and is still excellent. Guides had a little trouble at times rounding up their clients but they were gone and back in with limits before the beach bunch got here. Several ways that are working for the stripers are also working on catfish and sandbass. Live bait or sliced dead bait is probably your best chance of catching any of those fish.

Trolling is also working but the heavy fun boat traffic is a little of a problem. Slabs and heavy swimbaits work also but take a little more effort than the live bait.

Saturday night Highport and about every other place close to the water had fireworks shows. You couldn’t count the number of boats that were watching the displays. Sunday night the fireworks moved into the neighborhoods. Sleep was a little late coming. All in all, it was a good time after a long wait.

Tuesday Charlie and I hit the lake ourselves and we were on the water at 6:30 a.m. Making a run to a flooded buck brush area we just knew it was going to be a good day.

Well, you can be wrong — especially if you are only fishing for bass. We hit two or three of our good spots before Charlie chunked a Yellow Shore Chugger tied into a bass in the brush that used a handy tree to pull Charlie in and made him think he had a big fish.

I was going for the net when he got the fish loose and put a pound and a half largemouth in the boat. He made sure he touched it so he was one-up on me. We fished that bank a while longer then moved; no fish there either. We kept moving around but finding fish was getting to be a chore.

At one of our next stops, he caught another Kentucky, touched it and was up two. I couldn’t buy a bite but some friendly stripers surfaced all around us. I got into them with a White Streamer on a weighted cork. I caught a quick four. Charlie has been trying to up his image on fishing by taking up fly-fishing.

When he started his back-and-fourths sounded like a 20-mule team's bullwhip. He is much better than when he started and he got to catching stripers also. While they aren’t our favorite fish to catch, when it had been as long between bites, they saved the day.

Charlie was working his fly rod like an old mule skinner. Now he has come a long way on how to use it. He was hurrying to cast to the stripers when he got a big one. Thank goodness I had my big hat and not a cap on. He got my sombrero and not me.

I finally caught several stripers but he wouldn’t let me count them. We had a blast for some time in that one spot — laughing, making some boo-boos and generally having a fun day when fishing is slow. I moved on to a point Charlie threw right up on the bank — the water couldn’t have been over a foot deep.

When his Heddon Chugger Yellow Shore Minnow was surrounded by splashes, a big smallmouth came flying out of the water. Charlie played him for a while before getting it close enough for me to net. The fish went four-pounds, one ounce on my Berkley Scales. By then it was getting close to dinner so we went in. He skunked me again bass-wise — he had three; I had none.

He wouldn’t even let me count at least one striper. That one big fish, tough as fishing had been, made our day. I think the fish were still in shock from the boat traffic. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it as why I didn’t catch a bass.

It was another great day doing what fishing is about: fun, laughing and an occasional catch is icing on the cake. The lake is high and rising so be careful if you are out.