This is going to be an interesting read, I think. There are some cold facts, maybe some rumors, some questions about recently-passed laws that are sort of murky, and to the best of my knowledge some information about what ramps are open.

This is going to be an interesting read, I think. There are some cold facts, maybe some rumors, some questions about recently-passed laws that are sort of murky, and to the best of my knowledge some information about what ramps are open.


Let’s start with the fears and cold facts. The threadfin shad are dying by the barrel. Gulls are eating so many it’s taking three of them to get one off the water. Two have to hold up their wings as the third one gooses them up to flying speed.


All of the marinas I have checked out have lots of dead and dying shad in them now and gulls. Looking on the bright side, I have believable reports of plenty of shad in the deep river channels. Will we lose all the threadfins? TP&W Texoma Fisheries Station hasn’t offered me a comment one way or the other yet.


Already I am hearing talk from guides planning to go to other lakes to get shad if they have to. I am also hearing questions about how the new rules put into place about transporting bait and fish from Texoma to other lakes might affect these ideas. The TP&W in Austin passed these rules and says breaking them can result in a ticket if caught.


Now that all of the lakes in the North Texas watershed have been confirmed to have zebra mussels and should fall under the same rules the question is: Do they?


If a lake is confirmed to have zebras, what’s the difference on going down to say, Lake Tawakoni or Lewisville, catching shad, putting them in a shad tank with water from that lake and hauling them back to Texoma? Is this legal or does this recent rule only apply to Texoma?


I talked to Game Warden Dale Moses about this. He said the rule applied both ways: "You can’t take bait or water out of Texoma on a public road unless you are going to another ramp on Texoma. If you go to any other lake in the multi-county area of North Texas the same rule applies: You can’t put water in your bait tank from those lakes and come back to Texoma."


There might be something else in the rules about having a bait dealer’s license. You might want to check with a game warden or the Austin office of TP&W for clarification since it might be a lot cheaper than a ticket.


The last time this happened in 2009-10, I know there were some people bringing shad to guides here on Texoma from another lake and selling them. I’m not sure even a bait dealer’s license will lawfully let you do this with this transporting rule in effect. If anyone is thinking about selling shad if things come to the worst, check with the game warden first.


Fact: I didn’t see the fish dead but I saw the big bass caught by Jeff Reynolds in the Bass N Bucks tournament on Texoma last Sunday. This monster weighed 11.16 pounds and wasn’t really egged out or as fat as she would have been in another three or four weeks.


If ready to spawn the fish would probably been a new Texoma record and possible a Share Lunker. With the big bass for a kicker, Reynolds and Johnny Thompson, who I wrote about last week, had 22.43 pounds to win going away. Rumor word of mouth is she was found floating and dead Monday. Hope this isn’t true.


Fact: Getting in the lake and launching a boat now is chancy if you are unfamiliar with a ramp. Dropping off the end and pulling out can result in leaving an axle on the ramp.


If you do back off you might be able to pull the trailer out if you can get the boat off. You might want to look for another ramp to load it at. They are dredging out some but those are still closed. Now one ramp at Eisenhower is open, Highport is open, and Little Mineral is open.


I’m not sure if there is anything usable in Big Mineral arm. On the Oklahoma side Catfish Bay has one ramp open but they say it’s a "be careful" type. Buncombe Creek is open, as is Soldier, to the best of my knowledge. Most all of the little private ramps are out of the water or almost out, ours included. There might be a ramp in Tuckers Cove open but I haven’t heard.


After burning up more wood than gas the last three weeks, I’m going to hit the lake again. We have the Texoma Bass Club Tournament coming up this weekend and I would like to bring in at least one or more fish.


Looks like we might have a warming spell coming this week so be careful if you can find a place to put in and do get on the water.