Lake users have probably noticed all of the "Beware of Zebra Mussels" buoys at the mouths of marinas and boat loading ramps. They have been in Texoma for a long time.
TP&W biologists, led by Bruce Hysmith, put these buoys out. They also painted those big signs you see on the blacktop when you pull out of the water.
They did this to keep the mussels out of other North Texas lakes. For the most part people didn’t bother to follow orders and just left and went home. Now all of the surrounding lakes have mussels. Texoma is probably the leading lake for them.
The last couple of years we didn’t see much of them and thought the warnings were working. Wednesday I was down at our boat ramp when a teenager caught a rod and reel that had been in the lake a while. I went down to see if it was savable. You couldn’t see the rod or most of the reel as it was solid little zebra mussels.
I showed it around and explained how destructive and dangerous they can be. They grow to about the size of a nickel or bigger. They will attach to anything in the water. The edge of their shells will cut you if you step on them or grab something that has been in the water for sometime.
They have been known to cover the lower units of seldom used boats and not let any water in to cool the motor. If you have a boat with a Transducer and leave it in the water, they can cover it so solid that you can’t get a reading. If you have a seldom-used boat you might want to pull it out and go to a car wash and blast the bottom with hot water to get rid of those hitchhikers.
One other thing in Texoma you might not know about is crabs. Not those blue crabs you could catch on fried chicken necks off the beach in Galveston. I never knew till some years ago Texoma is full of fresh-water crabs. They look just like the salt-water crabs except one bigger than a quarter is rare. If you are a beach walker look around and you will probably find their skeletons.
Crappie season is upon us. I just wish it would get a little hotter. One day they bite like crazy then for the next few days you have to work to catch a fish. Brush of any kind right now in the water is a prime place to start. Blakemore Road Runner Heads with a plastic body are a good way to start your day.
Now I mentioned in an earlier article that Blakemore Fishing Group had solved the old Bugger Bear of Blakemore Jigs and open hooks and brush. The new Weedless 1/8 oz Blakemore Jig works. I haven’t lost one yet, just fish it slow and gentle.
Today I got a box from my friend at the TTIBlakemorefishing group. It had a selection of the new Weedless Jig heads — some already rigged and some I could use to put whatever I wanted to fish on plus a cap. Crappie can be caught now and they are toothsome eating. Another reason to go fishing now is you don’t have to worry about the six-foot rule and wear a mask. Beats being locked up in a house.
Joe Copeland's Future Bass Tournament on Texoma has been moved to Lake Eufaula in Oklahoma. Tournaments are still out on Texoma I guess. Black Bass fishing has been slow. Good fishermen I know are working hard to catch a few. The fast dropping lake water, cold weather and wind along with the mud from our last big rains finally making its way to the dam could be to blame.
Stripers continue to be good on both artificial and live shad. The fish have come back down river after spawning and are hungry. Get out there because there is nothing in the wind to hurt you if you stay away from groups. If you go fishing in a boat, try your best to keep your passengers six feet apart.