They’re back. After a period of not being seen much, zebra mussels are at it again. A tire was pulled out of the lake at our boat ramp. It was solidly covered by mussels. It’s the first time I have seen this many in one spot in a while.

Tuesday Morning Charlie Hill and I went fishing in Charlie’s boat. We got to the ramp while it was still early. Charlie got in the boat after unhooking it from the trailer. I backed him in.

In the navy they taught some of us radio and signal men how to send messages with flags. I looked in the mirror as I backed him in the water. I finally got the stop signal. He started the boat but it wouldn’t come off the trailer. He motioned for me to back up some more.

All at once he commenced waving like a bird trying to get off the ground. Thinking he wanted me to back up some more I let it roll. This set off a new set of signals from him but now yelling was thrown in. I rolled down the window as Charlie was singing an old song that didn’t sound right to me.

The song he was yelling was pull, pull, pull out. I thought the words should be row, row, row your boat. While all this was going on another person waiting to launch was grinning ear to ear as our adventure continued. I got the message and pulled out.

Charlie had forgot to take off his safety straps and almost got a boat full of water before I decoded all his hand signals. Charlie has got a little temper and he was frustrated before the second problem came up. I told the man waiting to launch we were a couple of retired fire fighters and his grin got bigger.

Charlie was calming down and took off one strap with no trouble. The second one wouldn’t come loose. The more he pulled with no success the madder he got. His language was getting stronger. Finally he got a pocket knife from the grinning boater and needed a new strap as he sliced that one into Tofu strips. After taking the knife away from him and giving it back, I told him I had an extra strap at the house and he could have it.

I launched him, got in the boat and we headed out. He had to turn around as he forgot his life jacket. Good thing he did: I thought his lights would turn off by themselves but they don’t. I would not like to be around if he came back from fishing and had a dead battery.

He had bought a new trolling motor for the boat. I was treated to another funny event as he was pushing buttons and twisting knobs. We had not been fishing long when it blew a 40 Amp fuse. No 40 fuses in the boat, no trolling motor, no fish. We went for a 20-mile ride all over the lake looking for schooling fish.

On our way out we found the striper fleet at the mouth of Little Mineral. We gave them plenty of room and it was a relaxing ride as the lake was like glass.

Wednesday morning we went fishing again, this time in my boat. We launched at Highport. We moved around covering water. I caught a nice keeper on a Bomber Fat Free Foxy Shad. With no fish at the next couple of stops I made a run to the Oklahoma willow bank.

As we fished a long stretch of Willows, Charlie had three good fish hit his Booyah Buzz Bait. He should have put them all in the boat but he didn’t. He finally hooked up with one and I lipped it for him at the boat. We hit a couple of other places with nothing to show for it. I went to a place a friend had told me about.

I used my depth sounder to lay out the point under water. Dropping a marker I made a long cast and got a four-pound fish in the boat using a big Bomber Fat Free Shad. A lot of casts later I got a five-plus pounder to the boat. After a lot more casts I got a three-pound bass in the boat.

I had 12 pounds easy in 3 fish and Charlie witnessed them. I was ready to call calf rope as cranking that big deep running bait wore me out.

About that time we noticed what looked like a big house fire header of smoke. It got bigger as we fished. Finally we called it quits. As we came into Highport we could see the flames and boats burning. We quickly loaded and as I was leaving I saw a Sherman fire truck come in.

I knew some of the crew but they all knew me. They parked it on the ramp and set up to start drafting water. I went back to help and since I was wearing cutoffs I was going to place the hard suction strainer in the water. We were a little short but after getting another one from a truck at the fire they got it set up.

Sherman’s Chief Jones showed up. We had worked together for a lot of years. Then my retired game warden friend Dale Moses came up. About all we could do was watch until the Gunter tanker truck came for water. I wanted to get back in harness again for a little while. Best job in the world and it looks like Sherman has a great group of fire fighters who will carry on.

Out on Lake Texoma you never know what tomorrow will bring.